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Period: April 1, 2014 to April 15, 2014
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Food Companies Try To Settle The Argument Over Paper Versus Plastic Foam Cups

Plastic foam cups do a great job of keeping cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. But there is a perception among many consumers – and even some companies – that foam cups are not environmentally friendly because they do not recycle well. Scientists continue to debate the issue, but in the meantime retail restaurants like Starbucks, McDonald’s and Jamba Juice have turned to paper cups, particularly the more expensive double-walled ones that provide extra insulation. The big challenge for food companies is to find cups that work as well as plastic foam, don’t end up costing the consumer more and are more recyclable, according to industry analysts.

"Hot Drink Debate: Paper or Plastic?", The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2014

In A Time Of Food Scarcity Around The Globe, European Retailers Waste Megatons Of Produce

To demonstrate the magnitude of produce wastage by European retailers, Feeding the 5000 and partner organizations prepared free lunches in Brussels on April 1 with edible food about to be discarded for frivolous reasons. Tons of produce from as far away as East Africa were used to prepare the meals. In Kenya farmers were found to be trashing 40 percent of what they grew because of  “unfair and unnecessary trading practices” of European supermarkets. Waste handlers who collect unwanted edible produce must guarantee in writing that none of the “green waste” will be used to feed people. Produce is discarded because European retailers have cancelled a forecast demand at the last minute, or because the produce has not met “ultra-fussy cosmetic standards”.

"Fill bellies, not bins!", News release, EurActive, April 06, 2014

Tom Ford Launches Online Retail Store

Fashion and cosmetics retailer Tom Ford launched its online store, allowing its loyal customers to buy products, such as the Shanghai Lily Private Blend perfume, directly from the manufacturer. Featuring the kind of photography the company has been known for, the online store includes a feature allowing shoppers to zoom in on products, such as eye shadows and blushes, making it easy to choose products. Also, by hovering their computer mice or cursors over some colors, shoppers can see sexy GIF, such as that of a woman biting her lip. The website also offers content, which includes news and updates about the company’s various brands.

"Tom Ford Launches E-Commerce", Elle, March 25, 2014

Companies, Organizations  

Wal-Mart Protests China Fines; Calls On Government To Do More To Ensure Food Safety

After being fined $9.8 million over the previous three years by Chinese authorities, U.S. retailer Wal-Mart told China’s regulators that they also need to improve their product safety rules and policies. Some of the retailer’s alleged violations include misleading prices, selling products that did not meet quality standards and selling donkey meat that was later discovered as fox meat. In China, unlike in the U.S. and most other countries, manufacturers are not accountable for food safety problems. Instead, foreign-owned retailers, Wal-Mart in particular, often bear the brunt of government regulators’ actions. In contrast, regulators do not frequently visit stores owned by local grocery companies or often issue fines against them. Some market analysts said Wal-Mart’s risky move has enough basis, especially after the retailer had implemented various steps to ensure the quality and safety of food products it sells in the country.

"Wal-Mart Cries Foul on China Fines", Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2014

Tesco Must Act Fast, Take Drastic Actions To Stop Decline, Analysts Say

UK retailer Tesco must invest £450 million in providing shoppers with more value, according to market analysts who also said the company should go beyond improving service and making its stores look better. Validating in a way US broker Bernstein’s 2013 assertion that Tesco was increasing its prices faster than its rivals were doing, analysts including those from Espirito Santo said Tesco lags behind its competitors in terms of consumer perception on produce quality and value for money. Results of Espirito Santo’s SpendTrend survey of 2,000 shoppers revealed Tesco relied heavily on a confusing range of “multi-buy promotions, requiring shoppers to depend on “multi-pack deals to get the best value.” Analysts are calling on Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke to take prompt and drastic actions, as the retailer continues to lose market share to discount retailers and high-end market competitors.

"Tesco under pressure to win back customers with price cuts", The Guardian, April 09, 2014

Carrefour Opens NFC-Equipped Hypermarket Near Paris

France’s leading retailer Carrefour opened its Villeneuve-la-Garenne hypermarket equipped with 55,000 near field communication shelf-edge labels. Designed to allow shoppers to scan product information, the NFC technology also lets customers pay for their purchases at the point of sale with contactless terminals. Carrefour also developed the mobile app C-où, which lets shoppers prepare their shopping lists before coming to the store located near Paris. The app also guides shoppers around the store, helping them find products on their list with geo-tagged NFC shelf edge labels.

"Carrefour equips new digital hypermarket with NFC", NFC World, April 09, 2014

Ulta Beauty Uses Customer Loyalty Program To Grow Business

Cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty’s customer loyalty program ULTAmate rewards played a significant role in the company’s growth to 675 stores since its founding in 1990 in the United States. With 13 million active members, defined by the company as shoppers who bought products in 2013, the loyalty program helps Ulta interact with consumers regarding its offers and promotions using mobile, direct mail, online, guest services, and in-store activities. Ulta adopted Adobe Campaign’s loyalty program management technology to run ULTAmate rewards. Sharing the lessons it has learned from managing its loyalty program, Ulta offers several tips on implementing campaign management technology, such as defining the requirements when integrating data and ensuring collaboration among IT, finance, and marketing departments.

"Improving customer loyalty through technology innovation at Ulta Beauty", CMO.com, April 02, 2014

Costco Launches International Ecommerce Site Developed By Reply And Hybris Software

Retailer Costco Wholesale Corporation launched its international ecommerce website, Costco.com.mx, developed by digital media-based enterprise solutions provider Reply and SAP company hybris software. Reponsible for deploying Costco’s first ecommerce platform in the UK in 2012, Reply partnered with hybris software to build the international site using the blueprint from the UK site. Fully integrated with Costco’s warehouse management system, which runs Reply’s in-house software-as-a-service technology WMS SideUp Reply, the ecommerce site lets the retailer manage orders and monitor stock levels efficiently and reliably.

"Costco selects Reply and hybris to implement its new international ecommerce site", Reply.eu, April 02, 2014

Aldi Buys Future Site For Southern California Headquarters

Retailer Aldi bought a piece of land in Moreno Valley where it plans to build its Southern California regional headquarters. Based in Batavia, Illinois, the U.S. arm of the Germany-based Aldi announced in December 2013 its plans to open 650 new stores across the country in the next five years. Aldi’s expansion move marks the discount retailer’s first forays into the California market, with most of its existing 1,300 stores located in the Midwest or on the East Coast.

"Supermarket chain Aldi buys Moreno Valley site for a headquarters ", Los Angeles Times, April 01, 2014

Aldi Australia Adopts Parent Company's Global Management Structure; Appoints Co-Managing Director

Aldi Australia appointed Stefan Kopp as its joint managing director, adopting the retailer’s dual-management structure in place at its international operations. A 23-year veteran of the company, Kopp will manage the Australian business in partnership with group managing director Tom Daunt. Kopp’s appointment means Aldi has grown enough to support Aldi’s dual-management strategy. Data from market research firm Roy Morgan Research showed Aldi operates 340 stores across the country, with sales of $5 billion to $6 billion a year.

"Aldi Australia doubles up on its management structure", Sydney Morning Herald, March 31, 2014

Macy's Names New Company President

Macy’s promoted its chief merchandising officer Jeffrey Gennette to company president, replacing Terry J. Lundgren who retains his CEO and chairman titles. Starting his career with Macy’s in 1983 as an executive trainee, Gennette has held various positions in the company in many parts of the United States. He has been the retailer’s chief merchandising officer since 2009 and appointed as chief executive for regional divisions of Macy’s.

"Macy’s C.E.O. Gives Up Title of President", The New York Times, March 31, 2014

Sephora Goes Social To Find And Spark Conversations

Retail Solutions Online, April 10, 2014

It's Really Hard to Be a Whole Foods Clone

Wall Street Journal, April 09, 2014

Wal-Mart Mexico Same-Stores Sales Down 3% on Year

Wall Street Journal, April 03, 2014

The Checkout Coupons Edition

The Integer Group/The Checkout, April 01, 2014

Market News  

Sephora Spurns Australia's Leading Retailers; Will Open Stand-Alone Stores Instead

Cosmetics retailer Sephora plans to open its first stand-alone stores in Australia in 2015, according to industry sources. After talking with several retail chain operators, Sephora opted instead to go its own way. Sephora’s coming to Australia poses serious threat to retailers Myers’ and David Jones’ dominant positions in the country’s $1.8 billion high-end cosmetics and fragrance market. Together, the companies account for more than 60 percent of the market, serving as the main distribution channel for leading global brands, such as Estee Lauder and L’Oreal.

"Sephora to open stores in Australia", Australia Financial Review, April 08, 2014

Massmart Plans To Open Stores In Angola; Eyes Rest Of Africa For Expansion

Wal-Mart’s South African unit Massmart plans to open two retail stores in Angola by 2015, according to the retailer’s Africa director Mark Turner. Currently operating in 11 markets in the sub-Saharan region, including Nigeria, Tanzania, and Ghana, Massmart is seeking to expand into the whole of Africa, with the continent’s population forecast to reach 2 billion by 2050. Also, the company plans to open its first store in Kenya following its failed bid to acquire existing retailers in the country. Doing business in Africa can be challenging, according to the executive; however, relative political stability, a growing middle class, and expanding urban centers are prompting companies to consider expansion plans into the continent.

"South Africa's Massmart to enter Angola with two stores", Reuters, April 08, 2014

UK's Leading Supermarkets Lost Market Share In 1Q 2014, Report Says

UK’s four largest supermarket companies, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and Asda, lost sales and market share in the first quarter of 2014, according to market research firm Kantar. Data revealed that a late Easter, lower grocery inflation, and growing strength of discount retailers Aldi and Lidl are causing problems for the supermarket giants. Aldi posted a sales growth of 35.3 percent in the 12-week period to the end of March 2014, expanding its market share to 4.6 percent, while rival discounter Lidl grew its sales by 17.2 percent. Sainsbury’s saw its market share fell 1.7 percent, with its share of the grocery market falling from 17 percent to 16.5 percent. Tesco reported sales fell 3 percent, while Morrisons said sales declined 3.8 percent.

"Big four supermarkets lose market share in first three months of 2014", The Guardian, April 08, 2014

Tesco's Troubles Pile Pressure on CEO Philip Clarke

Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2014

Lidl Belgium appoints new CEO

FreshPlaza, April 08, 2014

Marketing & Advertising  

Target Expands Range Of Natural, Sustainable Products It Sells

Retailer Target expanded the range of natural, organic, and sustainable brands it sells at its stores as part of the company’s Made to Matter initiative in the United States. Coming from leading organic brands, including Chobani, Method, and Seventh Generation, the collection will include more than 120 products, such as non-aerosol air freshener and no-bleach baby diapers. Target’s initiative, which encourages the brands to collaborate and increase their innovation, has helped the company increase its sales of sustainable and organic products by 15 percent over the past several years.

"Target ups game on organic, sustainable products", The Big Story, April 08, 2014

U.S. Consumer Goods Makers Offer Discounts To Revive Market Growth

Consumer goods companies in the United States are adopting serious discounts to spur growth, as growth in their industry remains flat, according to data from market research firm Nielsen. Factors holding back growth in the market include changes in consumers’ preferences, buying habits, and spending priorities. Also, the financial crisis has forced consumers to cut back on their spending on essentials and pick up cheaper store brands. U.S. consumers spend 10.8 percent of their personal expenditures budget on packaged consumer products, compared with 11.2 percent in 2000 and 13.7 percent in 1990. While some categories, such as pet food, energy drinks, and Greek yogurt, have posted strong growth, other segments are seeing discounts as a standard marketing tool.

"Discounts Are Piled On as Americans Buy Fewer Basics", Wall Street Journal, April 03, 2014

Tesco Click Commute Collect

Retail Analysis, April 08, 2014

Developed by Yuri Ingultsov Software Lab.