Political matters are again dominating headlines and affecting the retail climate. The anti-government protests in Hong Kong have consequences for Alibaba and Amazon, while Google employers are taking a stand against the US immigration raids that have separated families. Meanwhile, warning signs of a looming recession are a cause for concern. Enjoy the brain food and have a great week.




Monday, 19 August 2019





Hello ,

Political matters are again dominating headlines and affecting the retail climate. The anti-government protests in Hong Kong have consequences for Alibaba and Amazon, while Google employers are taking a stand against the US immigration raids that have separated families. Meanwhile, warning signs of a looming recession are a cause for concern. Enjoy the brain food and have a great week.




United States


Taking a stand ▪ Following recent shootings in its own stores, Walmart has weighed in on the US gun debate, showing support for improved regulatory measures to prevent weapons in the hands of ‘mass murderers’. The American giant has also disclosed its gun sales data, estimating the chain has a 2% and 20% market square for firearms and ammunition respectively.



Wrong person ▪ Amazon has suffered a security lapse with users being sent invoices and order updates intended for other customers. Details such as names and addresses were revealed, as well as order details which can reveal personal proclivities. This is the second such breach in 9 months.



Eco initiatives ▪ Environmentally-friendly practices are aplenty with Coca-Cola unveiling plans to introduce aluminium cans and bottles for its Dasani water. Meanwhile, Carrefour Brasil intends to double its organic product sales by next year and grocery major Kroger will soon be stocking vegan eggs.



Power in numbers ▪ Over 800 Google employees have banded together to urge the tech giant against bidding on a US government cloud computing contract that could be used to implement the controversial immigration policies at the Mexican border as well as federal raids on immigrant families.




Europe


Putting out fires ▪ Sainsbury’s is in damage control mode after rumours emerged the grocery chain was undergoing internal succession plans for its CEO. Current top dog Mike Coupe has been given a public assurance from the board and shareholders that he has their full support.



Progressive practices ▪ Danish toymaker Lego has unveiled braille building blocks so that people with sight impairments can learn to read while playing. Meanwhile, Waitrose will be the first British supermarket to sell small pullet eggs from ‘teenage’ hens that normally go to waste.




Asia & Australasia


Alibaba invests ▪ The Chinese technology titan is set to pay USD 2 billion in cash to acquire competitor e-commerce company NetEase Kaola. Kaola is the largest online Chinese platform selling imported goods and specialises in apparel and homeware.



Hong Kong protests ▪ The civil unrest in the Asian region is having fallout in the retail world. Tech giant Alibaba is now reconsidering the timeline for its USD 15 billion listing in the area, while Amazon is under fire from Chinese social media users for selling T-shirts bearing the slogan ‘Hong Kong is not China’.



Customer appeal ▪ E-commerce player Shopee has signed on iconic Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo as a brand ambassador. Meanwhile, Malaysian telco Maxis have unveiled a new store concept touted as a ‘retail experience for the future’. Check out the gallery here.




Money matters


Warning signs ▪ News reports have been circulating this week about the likelihood of a recession hitting in the near future, sparking fear and uncertainty. Read up about yield curves, stock markets, unemployment and gross domestic product, which are all areas to keep an eye on as worries grow.



Under the radar ▪ We frequently hear rumours and exploits linked to the founders of major retail empires, like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Alibaba’s Jack Ma, but rarely are stories heard about the family behind Walmart. Meet the Waltons – read on to find out how they amassed their incredible and ever-growing fortune and what they spend it on.