Walmart continues with its renewable energy initiative and has sealed a new solar deal. Nestlé looks to expand its plant-based partnership with McDonald’s beyond Germany, and Unilever taps into alternative cosmetics. Meanwhile, Amazon has been crowned the world’s most valuable brand. Congratulations! Enjoy the read and feel free to share!




Wednesday, 12 June 2019





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Walmart continues with its renewable energy initiative and has sealed a new solar deal. Nestlé looks to expand its plant-based partnership with McDonald’s beyond Germany, and Unilever taps into alternative cosmetics. Meanwhile, Amazon has been crowned the world’s most valuable brand. Congratulations! Enjoy the read and feel free to share!




Europe


Growth strategies ▪ Unilever has agreed to buy skin-care brand Tatcha, which makes cosmetics based on algae, for USD 500 million. The brand was founded in San Francisco and has an innovation hub in Japan. The Anglo-Dutch giant sees a lot of growth potential in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar.



No meat please ▪ Swiss major Nestlé and McDonald’s are reportedly discussing the next steps of their plant-based burger sales partnership. Nestlé is also looking for other partners to grow in the market for meat substitutes and is eyeing the US, where it will compete with products made by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.



Fashion moves ▪ Japanese apparel chain Uniqlo, owned by Fast Retailing, enters Italy with its first store in Milan. It will be the 10th European country entered by the brand. In Britain, womenswear retailer Quiz has ended its partnership with Germany's Zalando after return rates significantly increased and profit decreased.




US & Canada


Strategic decisions ▪ Amazon is shutting down its restaurant food delivery business in the US after facing too much competition from rivals like Uber Eats. But there is no stopping the online star from expanding its Amazon Go format, with a 13th location opening in New York. The company has also announced the launch of its prime service in the UAE.



Green commitment ▪ Walmart is growing a new type of garden as it continues to expand its commitment to renewable energy. The big box retailer announced that it has reached an agreement with US Solar to subscribe to 36 of their community 'solar gardens', which will generate clean energy to Walmart locations



Department store decisions ▪ Kohl’s will close down its off-price format, which was designed to sell deeply discounted merchandise. Meanwhile, upmarket fellow retailer Nordstrom is set to open its first ever flagship in New York, where it will partner with a celebrity chef to give food a major presence.




Asia & Australasia


Online catch ▪ In a bid to accelerate the digital and e-commerce capabilities of its banners Kmart and Target, Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers has entered into an agreement to buy online retailer Catch Group for AUD 230 million. The platform, which started in 2006, will operate as an independent business unit.



Entering New Zealand ▪ US wholesaler Costco's announcement that it will open its first megastore in Auckland is welcome news for insiders, who say not only shoppers will benefit, it will also create jobs and eventually draw more international retailers into the country. Earlier this year, Ikea revealed plans to land in New Zealand.



Digital car assistant ▪ Alibaba's artificial intelligence research unit is partnering with automakers including Audi, Renault, and Honda to integrate its smart speaker, Tmall Genie, into the cars. It will allow drivers to use voice commands to place orders on Alibaba's online platform and enhance in-car services.




Valuable brands


And the winner is ▪ Beating Apple and Google, Amazon has won the top spot and become the world's most valuable brand, valued at USD 315.5 billion, for the first time. This is according to BrandZ, a unit of research agency Kantar. Chinese rival Alibaba ranks at 7th place, and McDonald's follows at 9th.