Nutella lovers have reason to be worried as a strike in its biggest production factory continues, threatening the supply of its precious spread. Across the channel, grocer Waitrose goes full steam ahead with eco-friendly ideas, while fellow retailer Morrisons celebrates Father's Day with special biscuits. Read on to find out.




Wednesday, 05 June 2019





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Nutella lovers have reason to be worried as a strike in its biggest production factory continues, threatening the supply of its precious spread. Across the channel, grocer Waitrose goes full steam ahead with eco-friendly ideas, while fellow retailer Morrisons celebrates Father's Day with special biscuits. Read on to find out.




Europe


Future living ▪ Ikea has teamed up with US start-up Ori for the development of robotic pieces of furniture aimed at helping people make more efficient use of tiny living spaces. The Swedish flat pack giant said that the offer will first be available in Hong Kong and Japan, but should expand around the world.



Green initiative ▪ UK supermarket chain Waitrose has launched a packaging-free concept that could save tonnes of plastic. A pilot in Oxford sees packaging removed from hundreds of products and refill stations with dispensers for products such as pasta, rice or coffee.



Strike action ▪ Employees at the world's largest Nutella factory in northern France are on strike over pay. The workers are preventing trucks from entering and leaving the plant, which is owned by Italian confectionary company Ferrero. So far, the shutdown has not led to a shortage of the spread.




The Americas


Obstacles ahead ▪ Mexican authorities reportedly oppose Walmart’s acquisition of grocery delivery platform Cornershop. Subsidiary Walmex says it is analysing the situation and adds that the takeover is positive for the competitive environment as it will drive the development of e-commerce.



Innovative formats ▪ Pharmacy chain CVS Health is powering ahead with its health-focused store concept and said the service will expand to 1,500 stores by 2021. Office supply retailer Staples unveiled its ideas about co-working and has launched a space for small businesses, called 'Staples Studio'.



Cutting costs ▪ Gamestop eliminates its quarterly dividends as the video game retailer struggles with lower sales and a 13.3% fall in Q1 revenue. Meanwhile, Microsoft is reportedly phasing out its speciality stores and closing down all of its mall-based kiosks and pop-ups to focus more on flagships.




Asia


Pushing overseas ▪ The joint venture deal between Alibaba, Russian internet company Mail.ru and two other partners is about to be sealed today. The Chinese online powerhouse is also in serious negotiations with the government in Nepal to start its payment service Alipay in the country.



Delivery competition ▪ Indonesia's online major Tokopedia is extending its one-day delivery offer to nearly all products in a bid to fend off foreign rivals. It will also begin to acquire minority stakes in local firms to expand its service. The company is backed by Alibaba and Japan's Softbank.



Cashing in ▪ Softbank will enjoy a pre-tax profit of USD 11.1 billion for selling part of its stake in Alibaba. The deal was announced three years ago. The transaction leaves the Japanese investment bank with a 26% stake in the Chinese e-commerce retailer, which is worth USD 101 billion.




Sweet treats


Gingerbread Prince ▪ UK grocer Morrisons is celebrating Prince Harry’s first Father’s Day with a special handmade gingerbread biscuit. It will be decorated in military uniform with iced ginger hair to resemble the Duke of Sussex, who welcomed his first child with wife Meghan Markle in May.



Sugar, sugar ▪ America's largest speciality candy retailer has opened a flagship (with pictures) in Las Vegas. It’Sugar CEO Jeff Rubin says that the humorous brand brings out the child in every adult and is a natural fit to join the Las Vegas strip. It’Sugar is a unit of BBX Capital Corporation.