A number of futuristic concepts have caught our eye today. In Vietnam, supermarket group Vinmart has introduced the country’s first virtual stores, and Sweden's Ikea is launching a new app to allow customers to visualize what they will shop. Meanwhile, Amazon is experimenting with a mini format in shopping centres. Get inspired!




Tuesday, 28 May 2019





Hello ,

A number of futuristic concepts have caught our eye today. In Vietnam, supermarket group Vinmart has introduced the country’s first virtual stores, and Sweden's Ikea is launching a new app to allow customers to visualize what they will shop. Meanwhile, Amazon is experimenting with a mini format in shopping centres. Get inspired!




Asia & Australia


Second public offering ▪ In a bid to diversify its funding channels and boost liquidity, Alibaba is reportedly considering to offer new public shares through a second listing in Hong Kong. The offering could garner as much as USD 20 billion. The Chinese powerhouse is working with financial advisers on the plan.



Alibaba allies ▪ Supermarket chain China Resources Vanguard will add 2,000 stores to the e-commerce leader's delivery platform Ele.me across 100 Chinese cities. Fast food major McDonald's is also partnering with the platform, offering its customers' loyalty points when they order via Ele.me.



Increasing interest ▪ The number of bidders for German wholesaler Metro’s Chinese operations is on the rise. At least 8 companies have signalled interest in second-round bids, including supermarket operator Yonghui. A deal could see Metro's business valued at USD 1.5 to 2 billion.



Good intentions ▪ Coles wants to increase its indigenous workforce from 4,200 to more than 5,500 within four years. The Australian supermarket major works in partnership with a number of Aboriginal employment specialists and with elders in remote locations to reach this goal.




Europe & Middle East


Fair trading ▪ Britain's Co-op has reiterated its commitment to support Fairtrade and raised GBP 300 million to boost the organization's products. The supermarket operator has issued so-called 'sustainability bonds' to spend on marketing the brand and its distribution.



Struggling chains ▪ UK's Arcadia Group has decided to shut Miss Selfridge's flagship London store on top of the closure of 23 other stores of the group. Across the channel in France, a Paris commercial court has placed Rallye, the parent company of Casino, under creditors’ protection. The retailer is battling with high debts.



Expanding across the border ▪ Majid Al-Futtaim, the Middle Eastern retail giant and franchise partner of French multinational Carrefour, has opened a shopping mall in the Egyptian city of Ismailia. Last year, the group said that it was planning to open 100 new branches across Egypt.




United States


Minis in malls ▪ Amazon has revamped its presence inside malls and launched 'Presented by Amazon', a mini store concept for shopping centres. This comes after the online juggernaut has decided to discontinue its pop-up kiosk programme. The new concept is currently operating in four locations



Working class hero ▪ Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is reportedly expected to join Walmart's annual meeting in June to demand the retailer increase its wages. Sanders, a long-time critic of working conditions at the nation’s biggest private employer, is said to introduce a workers' proposal at the event.




Future thinking


Getting the picture ▪ Ikea wants to make shopping online easier by launching a new app which will allow customers to visualize how their homes could be furnished with the Swedish retailer's products by inputting room dimensions. The platform will be first introduced in France and the Netherland.



Virtual reality ▪ Vietnamese supermarket chain VinMart has launched the first virtual store in the Southeast Asian nation. The new concept provides images of more than 100 product groups which are arranged as if in a real store, in public places in 20 locations across the country for customers to scan and order.