The global retail giants are feeling the squeeze today, as governments around the world reassess their power. In the US, an antitrust panel targeting Facebook and Apple has requested internal emails and documents. Meanwhile, the Indian government is being lobbied to rein in Amazon and Flipkart, and Google has settled a landmark tax dispute in France. Enjoy the read and have a great week!




Monday, 16 September 2019





Hello ,

The global retail giants are feeling the squeeze today, as governments around the world reassess their power. In the US, an antitrust panel targeting Facebook and Apple has requested internal emails and documents. Meanwhile, the Indian government is being lobbied to rein in Amazon and Flipkart, and Google has settled a landmark tax dispute in France. Enjoy the read and have a great week!




Europe


Takeover plans ▪ Metro and Redos are planning to register the sale of Real at the german Federal Cartel Office until the end of September. The new date for signing the deal has been postponed to the end of October, because Kaufland might be back in the game.



Speaking out ▪ Sainsbury's CEO Mike Coupe is adding to the no-deal Brexit fears sweeping Britain by countering Prime Minister’s Boris Johnson’s assurances that the UK is ready. Meanwhile, the 150-year-old retailer is celebrating its birthday with a heart-warming promo featuring some of its oldest employees. Check out the video here.



Legal matters ▪ Google has been ordered to pay almost EUR 1 billion in fines and additional taxes by a French court, following a four-year investigation into the online giant’s tax affairs. In Russia, the ministry of health is planning legislation for an excise tax on electronic cigarettes.



Progressive policies ▪ Some exciting eco-initiatives have popped up today, with Swiss food giant Nestlé setting up a research council to create more Earth-friendly packaging, rather than relying on suppliers. Food manufacturer Kraft Heinz is promising to meet poultry welfare standards, and department store chain Marks & Spencer is growing herbs in store.



Expansion plans ▪ Foot Locker is gearing up to open a new flagship store in Manchester, serving England’s north-west region. The global footwear retailer is promising an experience-led store which includes a special events space and area for demonstrations.




Anuga announcements


Food concepts ▪ The Innovation Food Conference lead by the German Institute for Food Technology will feature at the Anuga. 200 participants are expected to take part in the event on October 7 at the Congress Centre North. Significant food trends will be explored as well as the impact of blockchain and artificial intelligence on the supply chain.




United States


Troubling tech ▪ The probe into big tech by the US government has deepened with an application for internal documents from the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon to be handed over. Meanwhile, questions are being asked about Google’s Nest Hub Max, and whether the smart speaker with face-tracking capabilities is too intrusive.



Walmart unveils ▪ The retail powerhouse is keeping busy with the launch of its new, renovated supercentre in Georgia. The store boasts an ‘enhanced omnichannel shopping experience’ and also features the chain’s first standalone health clinic concept.



Fresh thinking ▪ Amazon is trialling some innovative initiatives, starting with making it easier for customers to leave feedback by using new one-tap ratings. The online juggernaut is also crowdsourcing the answers to complex questions that smart assistant Alexa receives and currently can't answer.



Healthcare withdrawal ▪ Wholefoods is raising the bar by which employees are entitled to receive medical benefits. From 2020, part time employees of the Amazon-owned chain will need to work 30 hours per week to receive a health-care plan, a move which will slash the benefits from 1,900 workers.




Asia


Discount debacle ▪ One of India’s leading trader bodies has requested the government ban Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart from operating sales for Dussehra and Diwali. The Confederation of All India Traders argues that the substantial discounts offered by the juggernauts during the festive period create an uneven playing field for local retailers.



Crocodile pears ▪ Avocado-themed restaurant ‘Avobar’ has made its Hong Kong debut and is set to wow locals with its impressive menu, including drinks and desserts, all inspired by the green superfood. Check out the mouth-watering images of the new eatery.