Retail ethics feature heavily in the headlines today. Walmart is halting the sales of e-cigarettes in the wake of vaping-related deaths. Meanwhile, hundreds of retailers were affected by the climate change protests. For a more light-hearted start to your Monday, be sure to check out Ralph Lauren’s homage to the world’s favourite TV sitcom, Friends. Enjoy the read!




Monday, 23 September 2019





Hello ,

Retail ethics feature heavily in the headlines today. Walmart is halting the sales of e-cigarettes in the wake of vaping-related deaths. Meanwhile, hundreds of retailers were affected by the climate change protests. For a more light-hearted start to your Monday, be sure to check out Ralph Lauren’s homage to the world’s favourite TV sitcom, Friends. Enjoy the read!




US & Asia


Mass eco-movement ▪ Climate protests swept the globe on Friday, with many small retailers giving staff paid leave to attend the strikes. Employees at big tech firms also walked off the job to protest, and Amazon used the protests as an opportunity to announce its carbon-neutral pledge and the order of 100,000 electric delivery vehicles.



Taking opportunities ▪ As fears surrounding the health impacts of vaping rise, Walmart is taking the moral high ground and will stop selling e-cigarettes in its stores. Meanwhile, the company’s top dog Doug McMillon is set to become the chair of CEO trade group, the Business Roundtable.



Verbal order ▪ Coffee giant Starbucks has launched a voice ordering service with Alibaba in China. Consumers will be able to use their Tmall Genie smart speaker to place and track orders. AI technology will soon individualise recommendations and promote trending items.



Gig economy ▪ California lawmakers have signed legislation to limit the exploitation of ‘gig workers’, a move which may increase costs for companies that rely on these cheaper freelance drivers such as Uber and Lyft. Read on about the advice consumers get to challenge this often-unfair labour market.




Anuga Announcements


Themes and trends ▪ Two major shifts that will be explored at this year’s Anuga include the rapidly growing frozen food sector catering to the convenience market, and the meat revolution with exhibitors showing the latest in animal welfare, sustainable meat products and plant-based alternatives.




Europe


Home delivery payment ▪ The Netherland’s Albert Heijn has revealed a new smart-phone payment method. Consumers can now opt to pay for home deliveries through their bank’s app via a personalised QR code, instead of using a PIN. The retailer collaborated with finance service provider ING to develop the offer.



Probe concerns ▪ Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has expressed concern that the watchdog investigation into rival JD Sports GBP 90 million acquisition of Footasylum may have worrying implications. The retailer voiced unease around the impacts for the sector a probe would have on relationships with brands such as Nike.



Smells good ▪ The Perfume Shop has debuted its first ‘experiential concept store’ in England. The store boasts interactive areas for consumers to find agreeable fragrances, a sensory perfume wheel and a personalisation service for decorating and engraving bottles.




Strange but true


How you doin? ▪ The legacy of hit television sitcom Friends continues on with Ralph Lauren creating a line of fashion inspired by Jennifer Aniston’s iconic character Rachel Green, who worked at the luxury retailer during the show. Take a nostalgic peek at the collection… could it BE anymore stylish?



Pondering pets ▪ You can rent clothes, Christmas trees and coffins, and now leasing pets is in vogue. Most leases run between 18 months – 3 years with an option to buy at the end. The scheme has become so popular that many US states are looking at bans and not just because of animal welfare, but because owners can unwittingly end up paying considerably more than expected.