There is considerable crossover between politics and retail today with US politicians taking fire at Amazon on Twitter for its questionable business model, and Starbucks top dog Howard Schultz withdrawing his bid from the 2020 presidential election. Meanwhile, two high profile film directors believe New Zealand could become a world leader for plant-based food innovation. Enjoy the read!




Monday, 17 June 2019





Hello ,

There is considerable crossover between politics and retail today with US politicians taking fire at Amazon on Twitter for its questionable business model, and Starbucks top dog Howard Schultz withdrawing his bid from the 2020 presidential election. Meanwhile, two high profile film directors believe New Zealand could become a world leader for plant-based food innovation. Enjoy the read!




United States & Mexico


Delivery initiatives ▪ Despite Walmart's attempts to address their concerns, Mexican regulators have opposed the retail giant’s plan to buy grocery delivery app Cornershop because of the impacts on competitors whose patrons use the app. In the US, Walmart is offering an unlimited grocery delivery subscription for USD 89 per year.



Political condemnation ▪ Former US vice president Joe Biden took issue with Amazon’s zero-dollar tax bill from last year, claiming a company who makes billions shouldn’t pay lower taxes than teachers. Meanwhile, Senator Bernie Sanders believes the online powerhouse’s new easy-to-get credit card with 28% interest rates will ‘make the poor even poorer’.



Beverage shake up ▪ Softdrink giant PepsiCo has appointed Ram Krishnan as global chief commercial officer. Meanwhile, rival Coca-Cola and coffeehouse company Costa have partnered to launch a new ready-to-drink canned coffee range which will debut in the UK.




Europe


Announcements from the top ▪ Tesco CEO Dave Lewis has raised concerns that the new Brexit date in October will see the grocery leader in a trickier preparation position than they were for the original March Brexit deadline. In France, the Carrefour CEO has predicted greater consolidation of the retail sector as competition heats up.



Enviro friendly ▪ British supermarket giant Sainsbury’s is trialling a reverse vending machine that allows customers to return plastic bottles in exchange for discount coupons. In Portugal, grocery chain Pingo Doce is introducing packaging using plastics found in the ocean. Meanwhile, a UK report highlights that 80% of shoppers think supermarkets aren’t doing enough to reduce plastic use.




Asia & Australasia


Watch this space ▪ Leading Chinese e-tailer Alibaba is believed to have filed a confidential mega listing in Hong Kong, a move which could see the tech giant raise as much as USD 20 billion by the third quarter this year. The funds are expected to be used in technology investment.



East meets west ▪ Apple is opening its second retail store in Taiwan, with design elements taken from the tech leader’s Chicago flagship store. Check out a sneak peek of images from the opening. Meanwhile, popular Chinese hotpot chain Xiaolongkan plans to open its first restaurant in New York next year.




Unusual and remarkable


Money, money, money ▪ Ever wondered how the tech giants figure out salaries for software engineers? So did a lot of potential employees! The incredible disparity in Silicon Valley, lead two friends to develop a website which crowd sourced income data from all the big tech companies. It’s definitely worth a peruse!



Meatless venture ▪ Famous film directors James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) and Sir Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings trilogy) are teaming up to transform food production in New Zealand, aiming to move away from meat and dairy farming, into plant-based food businesses. Cameron, an environmental activist, believes the innovation could drive economic growth.



Pushing pause ▪ Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has decided to postpone his 2020 presidential bid, citing medical reasons. The coffee tycoon had planned to run as a ‘centrist alternative’ to the Democratic and Republican parties. He hasn't ruled out future campaigns - watch this space!