Fitbit is releasing a new smartwatch, this time with an added AI punch. Aldi is looking to nutrition labelling in Switzerland, and Woolworth's stays strong in Australia. Meanwhile, some FMCG companies and retailers get both serious and creative about training. Read on, and enjoy the rest of your day!




Thursday, 29 August 2019





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Fitbit is releasing a new smartwatch, this time with an added AI punch. Aldi is looking to nutrition labelling in Switzerland, and Woolworth's stays strong in Australia. Meanwhile, some FMCG companies and retailers get both serious and creative about training. Read on, and enjoy the rest of your day!




US and Canada


Selling up ▪ Canadian owned department store staple Lord and Taylor is being acquired by relative newcomer Le Tote for USD 100 million. The deal will see Hudson's Bay retain certain assets to the chain. Le Tote is a clothing subscriptions retailer.



Discount success ▪ Five Below is continuing its upwards trajectory, with 44 stores opened this quarter and a net income just above estimates. Net sales fell slightly short of expectations, however, the value retailer is on track to open 150 stores by the end of the fiscal year.



Delivery deals ▪ McDonald's is expanding its McDelivery service to thousands of stores across the US, after seeing success from its 200-store trial earlier this year. The move is in partnership with DoorDash, and customers will be able to place orders through the delivery service's app.



Fitness first ▪ Exercise and electronics platform Fitbit is rolling out a new smartwatch, the Versa 2, which will feature Amazon's Alexa voice AI. The watch will also include online payment and music storage. Meanwhile, Amazon is purported to be in the testing stages of new ad campaign software.




Europe


Aldi update ▪ The German discounter is pinning its hopes on the Nutri-Score scale in Switzerland. The discounter wants to be the first retailer in the country to introduce the five-stage nutritional labelling system, starting from next year. Initially, Aldi Suisse plans to print the logo on some of its own brands for testing purposes.



Produce purchase ▪ Spanish food processing company Ebro has acquired specialist rice brand Tilda from Hain Celestial. The deal is a 'strategic sale' for the US company, who will use the funds to decrease debt and increase shareholder profit.



Reporting results ▪ British books and stationary franchise WHSmith has reported its earnings are in line with estimates, bolstered in particular by a boost in sales at airports. On the other hand, beauty retailer Coty's quarterly results have suffered from an EUR 2.7 billion write-down in brand value.




Australasia


Going strong ▪ Woolworths has reported a 9% rise in underlying profit with net profit rising to AUD 1.75 billion, up from 1.61 the year prior. This beats estimates of AUD 1.74 billion. The Australian supermarket leader's results were bolstered by a strong performance in its Australian Food division.



Franchise expansion ▪ 7-Eleven has seen a 7.2% hike in sales in Malaysia, after the Japanese c-store chain opened a swathe of new locations in the country. Meanwhile, electrical appliances retailer Gome is planning 1,000 store openings in China as its restructure efforts see results.




Innovative training


Play time ▪ Danish retailing company Dagrofa is implementing a digital game-based training programme in 51 Spar stores. The Store Game features a competitive, points-based system which incentivises employees to play, and has reportedly been seen to increase sales in stores by 4%.



Taking action ▪ Fast food favourite McDonald's is prepping a new training initiative for its employees in the US. The program will start in October, and focuses on anti-harassment, workplace bullying, and retaliation prevention.