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Retail Business Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

<<891011121314151617>> Total issues:161

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July 01, 2012, to July 15, 2012

The Body Shop Unveils First Pulse Store In Saudi Arabia

The Body Shop opened its first Pulse retail store in Saudi Arabia. Part of the company’s global revamp of its brand, the Pulse store concept combines activism and advocacy for environment protection and what the company claims as the best of beauty browsing experience. The company expects to have more than 120 stores across Saudi Arabia by end of 2012.

Billion Dollar Roundtable Seeks To Promote Supply-Chain Diversity In The United States

The Billion Dollar Roundtable, an organization of major marketers seeking to promote supply-chain diversity, will hold its 2012 summit on August 20–21 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Founded in 2001, the group consists of 18 corporations that each spends yearly at least $1 billion of their supply-chain money on minority- and women-owned businesses. Corporate marketers are also focusing more on supply-chain diversity, and the summit, which will include large advertising agencies, aims to increase awareness of diversity in the United States.

Spurred By Segment Growth, Luxury Brands Expand Travel Retail Operations

Manufacturers of luxury products plan to expand their airport retail operations, with the worldwide duty-free and travel retail market growing 28.3 percent in 2008–2011 and forecast to rise 25 percent to $44.5 billion by 2014, according to Generation Research. Boston Consulting Group forecast overall sales of luxury goods to increase 14.5 percent in 2014, driven by the increase in number of wealthy tourists from China, Russia, and Brazil. For example, Tiffany & Co. plans to open its second store in Singapore’s Changi airport and another at Berlin’s new airport; Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot plans to open a retail outlet in Frankfurt’s airport; and Estée Lauder Cos is opening stores in smaller cities in China and Brazil.

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June 15, 2012, to July 01, 2012

Barilla To Bolster Its Pasta Brands To Counter Private Label Threat

Recent moves by Italian food group Barilla – hiring a new CEO and selling its German bakery business – portend a revamped primary strategy, according to BMI Western Europe Food and Drinks Insights. The world’s largest pasta producer is being threatened by growth in private label pastas, probably due to the challenges associated with conveying the unique advantages of a pasta brand. To counter this threat, Barilla will focus more heavily on its core consumer pasta products, building and supporting the brands, and paying closer attention to innovation. Will it work? “We believe Barilla is likely to be able to keep this [private label] threat at bay over the longer term.”

As Market Explodes For Men's Cosmetics, Marketers Try Their Best To Convince Male Consumers It's Not Makeup

Sales of men's grooming products are forecast to reach $3.2 billion by 2016, up from $2.6 billion in 2012, which makes men's grooming one of the fastest expanding segments in the beauty market, according to market research firm Mintel. Although the market for cosmetics and skincare for men is booming, marketers have to deal with a major challenge — most men do not want to use products with packaging that seems too feminine. Marketers circumvent this issue by offering cosmetics with packaging that looks designed for cigar and liquor and sporting manly brand names. Nordstrom, for its part, transferred male grooming products from the beauty department to the men's furnishings section.

ICANN Expands Internet Address System; L'Oréal Proposes .Beauty Suffix

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the organization in charge of Internet addresses, received 1,930 proposals for 1,409 suffixes as part of the largest expansion ever of the Internet address system. Technology company Amazon.com submitted 76 bids, while Google applied for 101 suffixes. Cosmetics company L'Oréal, for its part, proposed the ".beauty" suffix for beauty products and general information on personal beauty.

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June 01, 2012, to June 15, 2012

India's Proposed Standard-Pack Sizes Rule Poses Threat To Consumer Goods Companies' Profits

Consumer goods companies said the Indian Ministry of Consumer Affairs' plan to implement standard pack sizes will adversely affect their profitability and could bring about higher prices. Standard sizes may lead to higher consumer inflation, according to a report by brokerage firm Kotak Institutional Equities. Consumer goods most likely to be affected by the proposed rule include Hindustan Unilever, Nestlé, and Britannia.

The Body Shop's Germany, Austria, Switzerland Stores Take Part In Global Campaign Against Animal Testing

The Body Shop expanded its call to end animal testing in the cosmetics industry to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. As part of the company's partnership with Cruelty Free International, The Body Shop's more than 160 stores in these countries will participate in the global campaign. For its part, Cruelty Free International aims to encourage the 275 million consumers who visit The Body Shop stores each year to join the international organization in seeking a global ban on the use of animals for testing of cosmetics products.

U.S., Europe Loosen Trade Barriers For Certified Organic Products

The U.S. and the European Union have partnered to in an “equivalency arrangement” to make it easier to market certified organic products in both regions. The USDA said the partnership, whose goal is to create a level playing field for U.S. organic products in Europe, will open new markets for American farmers and ranchers, create more opportunities for small businesses and create jobs for Americans who “grow, package, ship, and market organic products.” The U.S. has  signed a similar arrangement with Canada; additional equivalency arrangement negotiations have begun with South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

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May 15, 2012, to June 01, 2012

Wal-Mart Gets Boost From Express Stores, Plans To Open Hundreds More

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said its Walmart Express stores, which are smaller than one-tenth of the size of Walmart supercenters, are turning in a profit less than a year after the retailer started opening them. First opened in Gentry, Arkansas, there are currently 10 Walmart Express stores in other rural areas and in Chicago. U.S. Walmart president Bill Simon said his company might open hundreds of Walmart Express stores, which have been the retailer's response to the growing competition from dollar stores.

Target Expands Shopkick Loyalty Program Nationwide

Target expanded its customer loyalty campaign linked to the shopkick application for iPhone and Android smartphones in the United States. Consumers with shopkick-enabled smartphones can earn points for shopping at Target stores and redeem points for various rewards, including Target gift cards, Facebook credits, and dining gift certificates.

Whole Foods Market Announces Winners Of Its Supplier Awards

Whole Foods Market announced the winners of its first Supplier Awards, which highlight vendors of natural and organic food products that represent the retailer's corporate mission and core values. Italian food exporter Agritalia won the Top Supplier of the Year award for its "commitment to quality, consistent customer service, and transparency." Whole Foods Market's global buyers and experts chose the awardees from among the company's suppliers and business partners.

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May 01, 2012, to May 15, 2012

Bath & Body Works' Hand Soaps For Men Not Manly Enough

Bath & Body Works' Twilight Woods, Noir, and Ocean varieties of anti-bacterial gentle-foaming hand soap for men come with overpowering aroma and too heavy scents that might turn off most male consumers. The hand soaps seemed to be designed more for concealing bad odor instead of cleaning hands. Ultimately, the issue boils down to whether men need hand soaps especially designed for them when any generic soap will do for most members of the male species. 

Asda Completes Trial Of Tensator's Virtual Store Assistant

Asda conducted a trial of Tensator's hologram store-assistant technology at one of the retail chain's stores in Buckinghamshire, UK. During the trial period, a female virtual assistant was programmed to greet shoppers and offer details of the retail chain's 10 percent price guarantee. Tensator claims that the virtual assistant technology, which was also tested in airports, will soon be implemented in most supermarkets.

Web Site Helps Senior Women Find Solutions To Their Beauty Questions

Bloom.com, a Web site that sells cosmetics products from 150 brands, also offers an online forum where senior women can interact and share stories about their beauty needs and solutions. Established by technology entrepreneur Julie Mahloch in 2010, the Web site reached the $1 million revenue milepost in December 2011. Mahloch's site allows users to upload videos and photos highlighting how they resolved beauty questions with branded products; it also features beauty consultants and professionals and matches women with similar beauty needs or questions.

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April 15, 2012, to May 01, 2012

Facebook's Timeline Feature Lets Supermarket Retailers Manage Better Their Social Media Presence

Facebook's Timeline feature allows companies including supermarket retailers to enhance their social media presence, improve their virtual relationship with shoppers, and help them develop online presence with the same focus they give to their merchandise displays. For example, Price Chopper Supermarkets' Facebook strategy makes the most of the interactivity the site offers. Timeline lets companies take more control of their Facebook fan pages and how they interact with social media users. It also helped supermarket retailers, such as Wal-Mart Stores, Sears, and Target, to increase engagement per post by 46 percent in average, according to Simply Measured.

Tesco Plans To Open Megastore In Ethiopia; Government In Talks With Other Foreign Retailers

Tesco is in talks with the government of Ethiopia regarding the UK retailer's plan to open a megastore in the country. The Ethiopian government started talking with foreign-based retailers, including Tesco and Wal-Mart, after the government's dispute with local wholesalers and retailers that allegedly conspired to artificially raise commodity prices. Allowing entry of foreign retailers is part of the course of action the government threatened to take unless wholesalers and retailers end price manipulation.

Technology Helps Online Grocers Expand, Grab Bigger Share of India's Food And Grocery Market

Online grocery retailers, such as Bigbasket.com and Mygrahak.com, are using technology to expand their business and their shares of India's food and grocery market estimated to be $343 billion in value. Online retailers use supply-chain management technology that allows online consumers to purchase items using "multiple channels;" they also use applications that allow them to forecast customer behavior, which lets them maintain low inventory levels and cut operating costs.

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April 01, 2012, to April 15, 2012

New Dads Are Getting More Involved In Social Networks

A growing number of first-time dads – those whose oldest child is no older than two – actively use social networks to share updates (42 percent), photos (56 percent) and videos (21 percent) with friends, according to a survey. The survey also found that millennial dads have more online friends than millennial moms: an average of 96 as opposed to 70. The findings correlate with a deeper trend: with about 17 percent of fathers these days at home, dads increasingly view themselves as partners with moms, sharing household responsibilities like nurturing, cooking and  food shopping. And dads are catching up to moms in another area: a study done a year ago found that 25 percent who use social networks follow a brand.

As China’s Diet Changes, Grocery Sales Surge

Food industry analysts IGD report that the Chinese grocery sector is now the world leader at $970 billion, pushing the U.S. market ($913.5 billion) into the No. 2 spot for the first time. The grocery spending gap is likely to widen even more by 2015. The growth will occur despite a significant slowdown in China’s economy as the country’s diet moves beyond rice and pork to include dairy products, wheat, grains, and white and red meats. Increased demand for these products in China has led to price hikes around the globe. IGD also expects that Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the BRIC countries) will comprise four of the top five grocery markets in the world by 2015.

Shareholders Call On Tesco To Enhance Business Tactics, Do Better In UK

Leading shareholders of Tesco called on the retailer to revise its business strategy and enhance its performance in the UK, its home market. Legal & General Investment Management told Tesco to do better with its capital allocation and return on investment, while others called on the company to scale down its expansion efforts in the United States, as the retailer issued in January its first profit warning.

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March 15, 2012, to April 01, 2012

Analyst Sees Dark Clouds On Walmart’s Horizon

A Motley Fool analyst writes that Walmart is taking it on the chin sales-wise and profits-wise, mainly because of growing online competition from Amazon.com and bulk product sales competition from Costco, which limits its markup to 15 percent. Though it has managed to show positive same store sales growth in 2011 – “a measly 1.5 percent” after nine quarters of decline – overall profit dropped 13 percent. The trend – shifting consumer buying patterns – will not sink Walmart anytime soon, says Adam J. Wiederman, but it will become increasingly difficult for the huge company to grow.

Boots Opens New UK Service Center

Alliance Boots' health and beauty retailer Boots opened its new service center in Burton-upon-Trent, England. Worth over £50 million in investment, the Burton Service Centre is designed to support order processing for the company's boots.com ecommerce operation, Christmas gift business, and international distribution, and includes automated handling systems developed by Knapp.

24-Hour Cupcake “ATM” Is A Cash Cow For Sprinkles Cupcake Company

Fulfilling a late-night craving for a cupcake is no longer an impossibility, thanks to a technological advance in food vending. The high-tech ATM-like machine developed by California’s Sprinkles Cupcakes accepts credit cards for the purchase of $4.00 packaged, freshly-baked “haute” cupcakes that are instantly dispensed, 24 hours a day. The company’s success with the cupcake ATM -- it may not dispense cash but is definitely a cash cow -- is driving expansion of the technology to its nine locations across the country, including New York, D.C., and Chicago.

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March 01, 2012, to March 15, 2012

Sephora Enters India's Fast-Growing Health And Beauty Retail Market

Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy's premium beauty products retailer Sephora is expanding into India's health and beauty retail market, which is estimated to be worth almost €26.6 billion in 2011. India's H&B market, which grows at almost 16 percent annually, has also attracted other large multinational retailers, including AS Watson Group of Hong Kong and The Body Shop, which entered the market in 2006.

Walmart Canada Will Not Let Target Break Its Stride

Walmart Canada CEO Shelley Broader said her company plans to keep its focus on offering price savings and convenience to consumers despite the planned entry into the Canadian retail market of Target, the second largest discount retailer in the United States. Retailers, including Sears Canada and Loblaw, are revising their business strategies in anticipation of Target's plan to open as many as 135 stores starting in March 2013.

South African Regulator Approves Wal-Mart's Bid For Controlling Interest In Local Retail Chain

South Africa's Competition Appeal Court sustained the ruling issued in 2011 by the country's Competition Tribunal allowing Wal-Mart to acquire a controlling stake in local retail chain Massmart. The appellate court, however, also called for an evaluation of the country's policies to enable small producers to compete with larger foreign manufacturers, and also recommended the reinstatement of workers dismissed by the local chain to encourage Wal-Mart to push through with the deal.

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February 15, 2012, to March 01, 2012

Marketers Recognize Growing Power Of Women Consumers

Although marketers have made significant strides in understanding and targeting women as consumers, some misconceptions and biases still need to be addressed. Recognizing women's role as decision-makers, marketers need to adopt "coed approaches" to marketing, which Harley-Davidson has done for decades in its advertising to women and Unilever recently did in its TV and online ads for its first female product extension of its popular Axe.  A senior brand manager for Axe said, “We made a strategic decision in recent years to involve women more closely in the creative to bring them even closer in on the joke”.

Tesco, Unilever Launch Rainforest Protection, Sustainability Programs

Tesco and Unilever recently announced initiatives seeking to protect rainforests and reinforce sustainability of supply chains worldwide. Tesco partnered with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to raise more than £1 million for rainforest protection projects, while Unilever pledge to source 100 percent of cocoa for its Magnum ice cream brand from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms by 2015.

Target, Other Large Retailers Use Predictive Analytics To Fine-Tune Marketing

Target and other large retailers now use predictive analytics to collect and analyze customers' personal and purchasing-related data and in the process develop effective and targeted marketing strategies that enable retailers to target consumers with uncanny accuracy. Companies' ability to understand and predict consumers' shopping habits is made possible by academic and corporate researchers' focus on habit formation as a neurology and psychology subject.
<<891011121314151617>> Total issues:161
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