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Period: November 1, 2016 to November 15, 2016
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 Delivery Firm Just Eat Adds Former P&G Exec To Board

Online food delivery company Just Eat has named former P&G marketing exec Roisin Donnelly to its board of directors. Donnelly, 54, spent 31 years at P&G, most recently as chief marketing officer for Northern Europe. She left the company in June and was replaced by Stefan Feitoza de Oliveira. Just Eat, which operates a global marketplace for online food delivery, has 15.5 million active users in 13 countries.

"Former P&G Marketing Chief to Help Run World’s Top Online Food-Ordering Firm", Business Journals, October 17, 2016

Retail Grocers Need To Stay Focused On The Importance Of Innovation

Many big food companies are working hard to innovate, constantly refreshing their product offerings, hoping to satisfy consumer appetites for new and exotic foods and flavors. Kraft Heinz, for example, recently added Aioli Mayonnaise and Korean Barbecue Sauce to its product line. But the problem, according to the Kraft Heinz Europe president, is that grocery retailers are putting limits on the array of products they offer shoppers, to the point that supermarkets are “in danger of becoming too ‘manicured’ and reminiscent of ‘libraries’.” Matt Hill said retailers should not lose focus on the need to innovate in the food industry.

"Supermarkets Will Feel Like Dull Libraries if Bosses Don’t Support In-Store Marketing From FMCG Brands, Warns Kraft Heinz", The Drum, October 18, 2016

Starbucks To Expand Investment In Super-Premium Coffee Bars

Starbucks is in a fight to dominate the emerging super-premium coffee shops market, dubbed the “third wave” coffee movement. It just announced plans to add Reserve coffee bars in up to 1,000 of its cafes over the next year. Over time it plans to open 1,000 cafes that would sell only the Reserve brand coffees. Its two biggest competitors in the market are Blue Bottle, known for exotic micro-lot coffees, and Intelligentsia, owned by a German holding company.

"Starbucks Plans New 'Reserve' Targets in Super-Premium Battle", Reuters, October 20, 2016

Ugly Fruits, Vegetables Are Finally Making Their Way To Stores Instead Of Landfills

The food industry is getting the message from both anti-waste activists and consumers that fruits and vegetables don’t have to be uniformly perfect cosmetically to be marketable. Throwing away imperfect produce, whether at the production, distribution, or retail levels, is a huge waste of money – $40 billion a year – considering the water, fertilizer, energy and other resources it takes to grow crops that are never eaten. But that’s changing now: it’s increasingly possible to purchase ugly, or “wonky,” produce at grocery stores where bargain-hunting shoppers enjoy the hefty discounts.

"Food Industry Goes Beyond Looks to Fight Waste", The New York Times, October 24, 2016

Why Strong Consumer Spending Isn’t Buoying Retail Companies

Economic metrics related to U.S. consumers – i.e., unemployment, gas prices, stock market, etc. – are all trending positively. So why are the big retail chains, like Target, Abercrombie & Fitch, Dollar Tree, Barnes & Noble, etc., blaming their financial troubles on a dismal retail environment in which consumers aren’t spending? Analysts say consumers are indeed spending, just not as much at increasingly less relevant brick-and-mortar retailers. The facts: online buying is booming, especially at Amazon; there’s been a shift in buying products to buying experiences like travel (that show better on social media sites); and the success of upstart e-commerce brands such as Bonobos (left) or Fabletics.

"The U.S. Retail Environment? It's Doing Just Fine, Thanks", Bloomberg, October 25, 2016

Whole Foods Market Posts Strong Sales Growth In FY 4Q 2016

Whole Foods Market, Inc., reported total sales grew to a record $3.5 billion for the fourth quarter ending September 25, 2016. During the period, comparable store sales declined 2.6 percent, with net income at $88 million, or 2.5 percent of sales for the quarter. According to the retailer, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization were $276 million, or 7.9 percent of sales, with return on invested capital at 13 percent. Cash flow from operations were at $352 million, with the company investing $195 million in capital expenditures. Also, the company returned $44 million in quarterly dividends to shareholders and repurchased $15 million, or 0.5 million shares, of common stock.

"Whole Foods Market Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2016 Results", Whole Foods, November 02, 2016

Target Says SVP Of Grocery Anne Dament Leaving Company

Retail company Target Corp. said senior vice president of grocery, Anne Dament, is leaving the company effective November 18, 2016. Chief merchandising officer Mark Tritton is taking over Dament's position on a temporary basis. Dament has occupied the post for about 18 months, during which time the company's grocery business did not perform as well as expected.

"Target’s Grocery Chief to Leave", Wall Street Journal, November 02, 2016

Major Management Restructuring At Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market is eliminating its co-CEO management structure in favor of a single chief, naming John Mackey to the position. Walter Robb will remain as co-CEO until the end of December. After that, he will remain a director and continue to serve as chairman of both Whole Kids Foundation and Whole Cities Foundation. The company also announced that CFO Glenda Flanagan will retire from the role after 29 years at the end of fiscal 2017 (Sept. 2017), but will remain an advisor.

"Whole Foods Market Announces Changes to Leadership; Eliminates Co-CEO Structure; Appoints John Mackey CEO ", News release, Whole Foods Market, November 02, 2016

Walgreens Boots Alliance Gets CSR Leadership Award From American Ireland Fund

Retail company Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., received the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from the American Ireland Fund for its commitment to and investment in Ireland. Awarded during the organization's 32nd Annual Chicago Dinner, the recognition honors the retailer for the jobs it has created and services provided at more than 170 stores in Ireland.

"Walgreens Boots Alliance Receives American Ireland Fund Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership Award", Walgreens Boots Alliance , November 03, 2016

Carrefour Spain's Express Store Count Reaches 500

Carrefour Spain has opened 160 new Express stores in 2016, bringing the total to 500 locations across the country. With the new stores creating 1,100 new jobs, the company's Express-format business currently employs more than 3,000 in the country. With an average floor area of 100‒500sq m, Express stores offer consumers in Spain with a local retail outlet that offers about 5,000 products at the most affordable prices, the company said.

"Carrefour Spain reaches 500 Express Stores", Carrefour, November 04, 2016

Sam's Club China Offers More Expensive Products; Aims For Country's High-Spending Consumers

Walmart has revised the merchandising strategies at its Sam's Clubs members-only warehouse chain in China. During the past two years, the retailer has added more expensive products, such as Zojirushi rice cookers, which cost $3,200 each, and diamond rings that cost $295,000, to the product collections of the 14 Sam's Club stores in the country. Walmart believes China offers big growth potential, with the company's Sam's Club in Shenzhen being the best-performing among the retailer's locations worldwide. Also, as part of efforts to attract more high-spending customers, Walmart increased the club's annual membership fee in April 2016 to 260 yuan, or $40, almost double the previous fee.

"China’s High-End Retail Emporium", Bloomberg Businessweek, November 04, 2016

Sephora Faces Trademark Infringement Lawsuit From Green Heart Labs

Beauty retailer Sephora has been sued by Green Heart Labs for allegedly violating the company's trademark for its Aha! Moment! skincare product. According to the lawsuit, Sephora has failed to stop selling the brand Drunk Elephant, which Green Heart Labs claims is using the trademark to promote its product. Green Heart Labs also claims the infringement “has caused injury to its business, goodwill, and property.”

"Sephora caught up in trademark lawsuit", Cosmetics Design, November 08, 2016

Boots Launches 2016 Christmas Campaign Highlighting Working Women

Retail company Boots launched its “The gift of beauty” marketing campaign for Christmas 2016. Highlighting working women, the campaign focuses on those who have to work on Christmas day and support their communities instead of celebrating the holiday. Also, the ad features two women, including a paramedic, talking about their experiences.

"Boots takes emotional route with Christmas ad celebrating working women", Marketing Week, November 08, 2016

France Sues Carrefour For Alleged Unfair Supplier Discounts

France is suing retailer Carrefour for allegedly demanding huge discounts from suppliers without providing anything in return. According to the French Economy Ministry, the government “would seek a fine and a court order” to stop the retailer's alleged unfair commercial practices that also harm companies and farms.

"French government to sue Carrefour over big supplier discounts", Reuters, November 09, 2016

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