Exciting store concepts dominate our newsletter today. Apparel retailer Lululemon flexes its muscles in Chicago and Microsoft takes on Apple with its first UK flagship. Japanese retailer Muji shows a highly distinctive layout in Manhattan, and Walmart opens the doors to its supercenter in Sacramento. Get inspired and have a great weekend.




Friday, 12 July 2019





Hello ,

Exciting store concepts dominate our newsletter today. Apparel retailer Lululemon flexes its muscles in Chicago and Microsoft takes on Apple with its first UK flagship. Japanese retailer Muji shows a highly distinctive layout in Manhattan, and Walmart opens the doors to its supercenter in Sacramento. Get inspired and have a great weekend.

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United States


French acquisition ▪ US consumer goods company Colgate-Palmolive will buy the skin-care business of France’s Laboratoires Filorga Cosmétiques for USD 1.69 billion, bolstering its personal care business. The French anti-ageing skin-care brand is primarily focused on facial care and sold in over 60 countries.



Retaining initiative ▪ Amazon plans to spend more than USD 700 million to keep one-third of its workforce. The online powerhouse is pledging to 'upskill' 100,000 of its employees across the US by 2025, and says it is one of the world’s largest employee-retraining efforts as advances in robotics and technology continue to increase.



Tech investments ▪ Texas grocer H-E-B has teamed up with self-driving vehicle developer Udelv to trial autonomous delivery service in San Antonio. After breaking ground in Ohio last month, supermarket giant Kroger and its partner Ocado are pushing ahead with another new high-tech fulfilment centre in Georgia.




Europe


Billion-dollar fine ▪ UK-headquartered multinational consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser has agreed to pay a USD 1.4 billion fine to close a US investigation into the sales of an opioid addiction drug under its former pharma arm Indivior. While some call this move logical, others find the outcome ridiculous.



Management reshuffle ▪ Marks & Spencer has ousted fashion boss Jill McDonald, who tried two years to turn around the struggling division. CEO Steve Rowe will take over the role in the short term. Insiders think that the department store icon still hasn't fixed the basics when it comes to its all-important clothing business.



London flagship ▪ Microsoft has opened its first store (with pictures) in the UK, not far away from Apple. Upon entering the store, visitors are greeted by a large video wall and devices on tables that they can try. Customers will experience tech support and advice as well as an exclusive gaming lounge.




Asia & Africa


Reporting results ▪ Japan's Fast Retailing posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly profit due to a weaker sales at its Uniqlo clothing chain at home. South African department chain Woolworths claims to have turned around its fashion, beauty and home business due to rising sales in the first half-year.



Supporting developers ▪ Apple has opened its first Chinese design and development accelerator in Shanghai to help locals create better apps. The US tech giant started to hold regular lectures and networking sessions for developers. Two years ago, the company launched a similar initiative in India.




More pictures


Californian dream ▪ In Sacramento, Walmart runs a supercenter which is regarded as the most current (pictures, captions in German) store concept of the world's largest retailer. There are no drones or artificial intelligence, but a comprehensive non-food assortment, an offensive low-price strategy and various online services.



Cutting edge ▪ Canadian apparel retailer Lululemon has launched its biggest-ever store in Chicago this week. In addition to its signature sports gear, it includes a restaurant and three studio spaces for workout classes. Meanwhile, Japanese homeware retailer Muji has chosen New York to introduce its highly distinctive concept.