Ikea gets results from its online investments, and Sainsbury's is on the road to recovery after its failed Asda move. Read on and enjoy the rest of your day!

Thursday, 26 September 2019

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Ikea gets results from its online investments, and Sainsbury's is on the road to recovery after its failed Asda move. Read on and enjoy the rest of your day!


Seeing results ▪ For the first time, Ikea broke EUR 40 billion in online sales. Despite being slow to delve into the online retail world, the Swedish flat-pack giant has made several digital pushes over the last two years in order to compete with the likes of Amazon.

Supermarket success ▪ In the aftermath of its failed merger with Asda, Sainsbury's is making headway again. By prioritising cost cuts and debt management, the UK grocery major is determined to show it can continue to forge its own way. Meanwhile, the business is also reducing plastic packaging for its fresh flowers.

Top changes ▪ Upmarket department major Marks & Spencer has gained a new stores director in the shape of Morrisons operations director David Lepley, who was previously employed by Asda, and has been the operations director for Morrisons since 2017.

Anuga Announcements

Boulevard of Inspiration ▪ Three new platforms are being introduced at this year's Anuga, which takes place from 5 to 9 October. The so-called trend zone, a taste innovation show and the new event area, Anuga Horizon 2050, located in front of hall 8 at the Cologne fairground, will showcase future scenarios and themes.

United States

Innovative tech ▪ Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said the company is currently working on regulations around its use of facial recognition technology. The online giant has also announced a host of new devices at its Alexa convention.

Merger disruption ▪ US cigarette and tobacco multinational Phillip Morris has left merger talks with vaping major Altria Group. The move comes after recent crackdowns on regulations surrounding e-cigarette devices. The company will instead focus on launching the tobacco-heating product iQOS in the US.

Cardboard action ▪ Coca-Cola is continuing to up its sustainable profile, announcing it will be removing plastic packaging from its multi-pack cans in the UK within the next 18 months. The beverage giant will instead use recyclable cardboard packaging for 4, 6, and 8 can packs across all of its brands.

Asia and Australasia

Intelligent development ▪ Alibaba has announced its first self-developed AI chip, the Huanguang 800. The chip specialises in machine-learning tasks, and is currently being used within the company, and is intended to further its cloud computing services.

Franchise openings ▪ CU, a major South Korean C-store chain, is set to open in Vietnam. This will be the franchise's second international move after Mongolia. Meanwhile, Taiwan's Milksha line of bubble tea stores has opened its first store in Australia, in Melbourne.

Record loss ▪ New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra has reported a net loss of NZD 605 million for the year, the worst the company has every reported. The company has now announced a major shake-up of the business, and a back to basics strategy. Analysts believe it is the right approach.

Inside look ▪ In a particularly interesting venue, Australian architecture firm March Studio has designed beauty retailer Aesop's 17th signature store in its homeland of Hong Kong. The location features a wedge shape, and the interior utilises glasswork and a spiral staircase. Check out images here.