Major US department store chains, including Kohl's and J.C. Penney, reported disappointing quarterly earnings; only Home Depot was able to beat expectations. Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo also posted results. Meanwhile, Amazon and Walmart's Jet.com have found new allies to expand their offerings. Read on and have a great day!




Wednesday, 22 May 2019





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Major US department store chains, including Kohl's and J.C. Penney, reported disappointing quarterly earnings; only Home Depot was able to beat expectations. Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo also posted results. Meanwhile, Amazon and Walmart's Jet.com have found new allies to expand their offerings. Read on and have a great day!




US & Canada


Joining forces ▪ Florida-headquartered discounter Stein Mart is installing Amazon lockers in around 200 of its stores across 28 states with the aim to increase foot traffic. Expanding its Asian food offering is Walmart's Jet.com. The e-commerce platform has teamed up with the country's largest Asian grocer, H Mart.



Reporting results ▪ Department store operators have still not figured out how to lure customers into stores - Kohl’s, J.C. Penney and Nordstrom underperformed in the first quarter. DIY retailer Home Depot, however, was able to beat expectations despite falling lumber prices and a very wet start to spring.



Fight on plastic ▪ Supermarket major Kroger and retail pharmacy chain Walgreens are regarded as the first US retailers to pilot a reusable packaging system. The test is in partnership with online platform Loop, and developed by a waste management firm. Organic grocer Whole Foods saves the planet by banning plastic straws from its stores.




Europe & Middle East


Selling assets ▪ Tesco Bank has closed its mortgage business, claiming challenging market conditions. The supermarket leader looks for a buyer to sell its existing portfolio of home loans. Meanwhile, Majestic Wine said that its retail business has attracted a lot of interest. Britain's largest wine retailer put the unit up for sale last month.



Arab alliance ▪ Majid Al Futtaim, Carrefour's franchise partner in the Middle East, has acquired Saudi start-up Wadi.com. The online grocery platform had initially started in 2015, backed by Germany's Rocket Internet, and has been a strategic partner of the French multinational since 2018.



Reducing food waste ▪ Dutch retailer Albert Heijn is trialling a dynamic discounting system based on artificial intelligence to prevent food waste. An algorithm developed by the grocer takes into account factors such as location, bonus offers, weather conditions, historical sales trend, and stock in the store.




Asia & Australia


Crunching numbers ▪ Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo reported surging losses for the first quarter of the year, sending its shares sliding. However, it also announced that its revenue has more than tripled during the period to USD 677 million, an increase of 228% compared to the year before.



Battling rivals ▪ Australian supermarket leader Woolworths is selling two strategic supermarkets as it competes fiercely with resurgent rival Coles for market dominance. Meanwhile, the latter has become the latest major retailer to start selling fruit and vegetables with imperfections in an attempt to fight food waste.




Unusual & remarkable


Belgian brewers ▪ Monks at Grimbergen Abbey in Belgium, have resurrected a recipe that is more than 220 years old to brew a fabled medieval beer. The first glass was celebrated in style and the abbey's subprior said that it took four years of research to rediscover the original ingredients and methods in their archives.



Big spender ▪ The Asia-Pacific region is into artificial intelligence. Investments into the sector are expected to reach USD 5.5 billion this year, which is an increase of almost 80% compared to 2018. The development is driven by businesses in China and the retail industry, according to IDC.