We use our own and third-party cookies to optimize your experience on this site, including to maintain user sessions. Without these cookies our site will not function well. If you continue browsing our site we take that to mean that you understand and accept how we use the cookies. If you wish to decline our cookies we will redirect you to Google.
Already have an account? Sign in.

 Remember Me | Forgot Your Password?

This is a general newsletter - click here to create something specific to your interests

Search criteria:
  • Ready-to-go newsletters on topics you choose, in your template
  • We prepare the content for you
  • You review, edit and click Send. Easy!
Read more about SmartNews360
  • A competitive intelligence leader for 20 years
  • Helping top corporations with research and analysis
  • From quick projects to ongoing support and outsourced services
Read more about Business360
Period: May 1, 2017 to May 15, 2017
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

Watsons Kiosk In Shanghai Features YouCam Makeup App, Allows Customers To Virtually Try On Cosmetics

Retailer Watsons' flagship store in Shanghai features a kiosk that comes with augmented-reality-powered facial detection technology. Developed by Perfect Corporation, the YouCam makeup app allows customers to try on more than 30 products from leading makeup brands, such as MaxFactor, Maybelline, and Kate Cosmetics.

"YouCam Makeup App Becomes an Interactive Makeup Consultant in Watsons Shanghai", Business Wire, February 24, 2017

Year-Old Chain Of Quick Food Stores Succeeds With Healthful Meals

Convenience and nutrition are the watchwords of a rapidly-expanding chain of grab-and-go stores founded in Omaha, Neb., with outlets in Kansas, Missouri, Arizona, South Dakota, and Iowa. Eat Fit Go stores are based on a simple, but compelling, concept: fast packaged meals that are healthful. That means fresh, pre-portioned foods high in protein, low in sodium, mostly gluten-free and preservative-free, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. The owners plan to open 100 more stores in 2017 – in Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota and Oklahoma – while introducing an e-commerce platform for home delivery.

"Grab-And-Go Model Fuels Fast Growth for Omaha-Based Health Food Store", New Hope Network, April 19, 2017

British Retailer Begins Revamping, Closing Stores

British department store chain Marks & Spencer is closing six stores as part of its planned operational overhaul, but vows to find jobs for all 380 employees affected by the move. The company said last year that closings and store conversions were in the offing to trim the amount of floor space devoted to faltering clothing lines. Thirty full-line U.K. stores – they sell homeware, clothing, and food – will be closed, while 45 will become food-only shops. The company has had to face the reality that customer shopping habits are changing: people don’t do “one big shop” anymore, and they often buy online and pick up in store. Even with the closings, the company is launching new stores, with 34 food and two full-line shops employing 1,400 staff coming online in the next six months.

"M&S to Close Six Stores as it tries to 'Stay in Tune' with Shoppers", The Guardian, April 20, 2017

Smart Lock Technology May Solve Major E-Commerce Problem

One of the biggest worries of online buyers is the fate of a delivered product when the buyer isn’t at home. It can be stolen, rained on, or simply returned to the seller if too many delivery notices are ignored. This “cognitive load” dampens online sales – it's the number one problem inhibiting e-commerce – according to the founder of August Smart Lock. His technology automatically unlocks the door when the correct codes are presented, giving delivery companies one-time, specific-time, or anytime access to the house. A camera monitors the whole process. A pilot test showed that lock owners, though nervous at first, were extremely happy with the process. Bottom line: “This is how I want everything delivered to my house.”

"How In-Home Package Delivery Could Save E-Commerce", Fast Company, April 21, 2017

“Blessed” Panera Streamlines Food Ordering, Ramps Up Delivery

Panera founder and CEO Ron Shaich says his company is “blessed” because it has not only applied the principle of “digital utilization” to streamlining the ordering process, its menu – soups, salads, sandwiches – is perfect for easy delivery to homes and businesses. This blessing has meant that the company can reduce the number of workers handling food, but has to hire 10,000 delivery people by the end of 2017, as it adds delivery services to as many as 40 percent of its eateries this year. The streamlining process, known as Panera 2.0, has meant changes across the board, including redesigned kitchens and reworked assembly lines, plus implementation of new ordering technology like digital kiosks.

"Panera is Replacing Cashiers with Robots — but it's Hiring Thousands of Workers for Another Task", Business Insider, April 24, 2017

McDonald’s Continues To Ride The All-Day-Breakfast Wave To Profitability

Despite warnings that the all-day-breakfast fad would peter out soon, McDonald’s continues to ride a wave of earnings prosperity thanks to the menu ploy. The fast-food giant reported a surprising global same-store sales hike of four percent during Q1 of fiscal 2017, and a 1.7 percent hike in U.S. same-store sales. McDonald's pointed to continued success of its all-day breakfast menu, as well as Big Mac and drink deals, as reasons for the better-than-expected gains. And, although top-line sales slid four percent during the quarter, profit grew eight percent to $1.2 billion. Earnings per share hit $1.47, easily beating the Wall Street consensus of $1.33.

"The McBreakfast Bump Continues: All-Day McMuffins Boost McDonald's Q1 Sales", Forbes, April 25, 2017

Misconceptions Swirl Around Lidl As U.S. Debut Approaches

A Kantar retail industry analyst reports that attenders at a recent chain drug store meeting had one topic on their mind: the pending arrival of the first 20 U.S. stores of the German small-format discount chain Lidl.  He was amazed at “the level of misinformation swirling around the retailer.” Potential competitors believe, for example, that Lidl operates down-market stores, targets low-income shoppers from poor areas, and competes mostly with other discounters of its ilk, such as Aldi. In fact, however, Lidl is a mid-market retailer; its stores are austere but pleasant and attractive; shoppers represent all income levels; it underprices competition by double-digit percentages on branded items and sells high-quality private label products; and competes successfully with supermarkets and supercenters.

"It's Time to Get Real About Lidl", News release, Kantar US, April 26, 2017

Fast-Growing U.K. Beauty Services Venture Gets Cash Infusion From Unilever

Unilever Ventures is putting $4.5 million into rapidly expanding London-based on-demand beauty services provider Blow Ltd. to facilitate the company’s expansion to other U.K. cities and to the Continent. Blow, which has been expanding at a rate of 20 percent a month, is based on an advanced technology platform that allows customers to book time-saving, at-home beauty appointments using its website or smartphone app. The company calls it a reinvention of the service experience that also creates a new product distribution channel. Three-fourths of the app users are busy women looking to save time by having beauticians, manicurists, etc., come to the home.

"Britain’s Blow Secures Unilever Ventures Investment, Plans Expansion", Women’s Wear Daily, April 27, 2017

UK's Grocery Market Expands In April 2017 Quarter

In the UK, the grocery market grew 3.7 percent during the 12-week period ending April 23, 2017, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Marking the fastest growth rate since September 2013, the growth is worth almost ₤1 billion in additional sales for the sector. Kantar Worldpanel head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt said all of the country's 10 leading retailers posted growth. Strong sales during Easter also helped the market grow, with shoppers spending ₤325 million on Easter eggs, McKevitt added.

"Britain’s Sweet Tooth Helps Grocery Sales Rise", Kantar Worldpanel, May 03, 2017

Ulta Beauty Sees Better Stock Market Performance Following Surge In Estee Lauder's 3Q Profits

Shares of cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty rose 0.6 percent to 290.36 on the stock market. Beauty conglomerate Estee Lauder's profit performance in the third quarter helped boost the retailer's stock. Also, specialty beauty retailers, including Ulta and Sephora, are popular among younger consumers.

"Ulta Beauty Shares Break Out As Estee Lauder Pops On Earnings", Investor's Business Daily, May 03, 2017

Survey Puts Amazon, Google At Top Of Beloved Consumer Brands List

Digital media and survey research firm Morning Consult says the two “most loved” consumer brands in the U.S. are Amazon and Google, followed by Campbell Soup, Hershey Company, UPS, FedEx, Sony, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Google unit YouTube. The rankings are based on 200,000 interviews that covered 27 consumer brand sectors. In the food and beverage category, beer is led by Heineken, followed by Budweiser and Samuel Adams. Among restaurants, Baskin Robbins is the leader, followed by Wendy’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. And Kroger edges out Whole Foods in the grocery category.

"Amazon, Google 'Most Loved' Brands", MediaPost, May 03, 2017

Subway U.K.’s New Low-Sugar Drink Options Lower Calorie Intake By 3.7 Billion

Subway in the U.K. has forged a new beverage contract with Britvic and PepsiCo that means a wider selection of drinks for consumers and a lower overall calorie and sugar intake – as much as 3.7 billion calories by July 2017. Redesigned drinks fountains and refrigerators emphasize the low/no sugar beverage arrays. The changes have already led to significant changes in consumer purchases. Options include no-sugar Pepsi Max or Diet Pepsi, 7Up Free, and Britvic’s lower sugar Orange Tango. Subway says the changes have led to a 30 percent reduction in calorie consumption, or early two million calories per store a year.

"Subway to Cut Almost Four Billion Calories from UK Diets", Food Ingredients 1st, May 03, 2017

China's FMCG Market Grew Slowly In 1Q 2017, Report Says

In China, spending on fast moving consumer goods grew slightly by 1.7 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2017, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Compared with the previous year, the country's GDP grew 6.9 percent, boosted by a government infrastructure focus and a hot housing market. Of the country's top 5 retailers, Sun Art, Vanguard, and Walmart were able to maintain their market ranking during the year. While Carrefour saw its market share drop by 0.1 point, local retailer Yonghui's share grew from 2.6 percent to 3 percent in the first quarter of 2017.

"FMCG growth remained challenging in the first quarter, while local retailers outpaced the market by opening more stores", Kantar Worldpanel, May 04, 2017

Sally Beauty President Sharon Leite Leaves Company

Sally Beauty Holdings announced Sharon Leite's resignation as president of the company's Sally Beauty chain of beauty and personal care stores effective May 1, 2017. According to the company, it has tasked an executive search firm to find Leite's successor and that, for the meantime, CEO Chris Brickman will act as the business unit's president.

"Sally Beauty Looking for a New President after Sharon Leite Resigns", The Dallas Morning News, May 05, 2017

Target Tests Next-Day Home Delivery In Minneapolis

Though retailer Target offers free in-store pickup for online orders, the store feels it needs to do more to keep up with competitors Amazon and Walmart, so it has begun an experiment with next-day home delivery of household staples. The company is testing the new service among employees in the headquarters city of Minneapolis, and will expand the test there later in the summer to the general public. For the pilot test, employees using a company debit or credit card will be limited to two 45-pound boxes of household goods, including laundry detergent, paper towels, granola bars and coffee. If the test succeeds, customers who use the Target Restock program will be charged “a low, flat fee,” according to the company.

"Target to launch next-day delivery of household goods", USA Today, May 09, 2017

Whole Foods Market Names Manbeck Chief Financial Officer

Retailer Whole Foods Market, Inc., said it has named Keith Manbeck as executive vice president and chief financial officer effective May 17, 2017. With more than 20 years of experience as financial and operational executive at leading companies, Manbeck joins the retailer's management team implementing an expanded strategy to improve shareholder value. Manbeck was SVP of digital finance, strategy management, and business transformation at Kohl's Corp. since 2014 and, before that, was global VP and CFO for Nike's Direct to Consumer business.

"Whole Foods Market Appoints Keith Manbeck as Chief Financial Officer", Whole Foods Market, May 10, 2017

Whole Foods Market Suffers Another Quarterly Drop In Same-Store Sales

Whole Foods Market posted generally healthy second quarter financials, but endured another quarterly decline in same-store sales. Total sales were up 1.1 percent to a record $3.7 billion for the quarter. Same-store sales, however, slid 2.8 percent, the seventh consecutive quarterly drop. Profit was $99 million (2.6 percent of sales), or an expected $0.37 a share. The company returned $45 million in dividends to shareholders. CEO John Mackey said a key goal is to return to positive same-store sales and earnings growth next year, though the company expects same-store sales to remain depressed this fiscal year. It hopes to trim $300 million in costs this year, and has hired a consulting firm to help it figure out how. Keith Manbeck was named the new chief financial officer.

"Whole Foods Market Provides Shareholder Update on Accelerated Path to Delivering Shareholder Value and Announces Second Quarter 2017 Results", Earnings release, Whole Foods Market , May 10, 2017

Grocery Discounter Aldi Increases The Pressure On Low-Price Competitors

German discount grocery chain Aldi is solidifying its gains in the U.S. market by competing even more on price, enhancing its product line, and remodeling stores and adding new ones. Internal research shows that Aldi already undercuts Walmart prices by an average of 21 percent, and it plans to keep the pressure on. The pricing strategy, aimed directly at low-price competitors like Walmart, includes expanding its array of private-label products. The company will spend $1.6 billion to expand and remodel 1,300 of its 1,600 U.S. stores, while opening 400 new stores in Florida, Texas and on the East and West coasts within a year and a half. CEO Jason Hart said all of these moves are designed to convince grocery shoppers to start their shopping trips at Aldi.

"Exclusive: Aldi raises stakes in U.S. price war with Walmart", Reuters, May 11, 2017

Developed by Yuri Ingultsov Software Lab.