The increasing popularity of Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant have triggered concern in Luxembourg. In Russia, Apple is accused of unfair competition, and in Australia, a former manager is sued for fraud. On a lighter note, have a look at some inspiring store concepts on both sides of the Atlantic. Enjoy the read and have a great weekend.




Friday, 09 August 2019





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The increasing popularity of Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant have triggered concern in Luxembourg. In Russia, Apple is accused of unfair competition, and in Australia, a former manager is sued for fraud. On a lighter note, have a look at some inspiring store concepts on both sides of the Atlantic. Enjoy the read and have a great weekend.




Europe


Waiting in line ▪ Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky has conceded that his EUR 5.8 billion bid for German wholesaler Metro would not succeed and said it was now up to management to show that the company is worth more. He will remain in the company as a shareholder and wants his company to play an active role.



Eco-friendly initiative ▪ Leading Russian retailer X5 Retail Group has deployed Smart Store technology in some of its Pyaterochka stores in Moscow with the aim to reduce energy consumption. The comprehensive system that works with special sensors is set to be rolled out in 120 branches of the chain.



Beverage numbers ▪ Although Swiss-based soft drink bottler Coca-Cola HBC missed analyst expectations with its half-year profit, net sales revenue rose 3.8% to EUR 3.35 billion, beating a forecast EUR 3.34 billion. Rival Coca-Cola European Partners separately reported a higher profit.




United States


Under investigation ▪ Luxembourg’s privacy regulator has asked Amazon for information regarding voice assistant Alexa, which is regarded as an indication of rising unease over the use of personal data. In Russia, a cybersecurity company accused tech giant Apple of abusing its dominant market position.



On the brink ▪ New York luxury retailer Barneys has secured surprising new financing that will allow it to operate. Lenders Brigade Capital and B. Riley Financial will inject a total of USD 218 million, which will give the troubled company time to find a buyer by the court-appointed deadline of October 24.



All time low ▪ After reporting weak sales, Kraft Heinz has written down the value of several business units by more than USD1 billion and dropped its full-year forecast. The maker of packaged foods disclosed earlier this year it had received a subpoena by regulators into its accounting policies and internal controls.




Asia & Australia


Raising the stakes ▪ JD.com has become the largest shareholder in e-commerce platform Tiki Vietnam, which has grown from an online bookstore to the country’s second-largest online provider in terms of traffic. The Chinese online giant has reportedly increased its stake in the business to 25.65 %.



Serious accusation ▪ Australian supermarket operator Coles is suing its former finance executive over an AUD 2 million fraud, accusing him of having transferred money out of the company and using fraudulent emails in an attempt to cover it up. Victoria Police is investigating the alleged fraud.



Moving forward ▪ Kathmandu has reported an increase in sales in Australia and a decline in New Zealand for its financial year. The Christchurch-headquartered outdoor clothing chain, which is also present in the UK, has acquired US-based hiking boots business Oboz in April.




Image galleries


Service to the point ▪ To improve its competitive edge, German DIY chain Toom Baumarkt is testing a new concept for its customers: The recently opened location in Stade offers a lot of advice, services and regionally product ranges. Click here for pictures (captions in German)



Outdoor ethos ▪ California-headquartered clothing chain The North Face is in the process of updating its store fleet and has launched the first outlet with an overhauled concept in Manhattan, designed to reflect the company's sustainable approach.