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Period: July 1, 2017 to August 1, 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

Amazon's 2Q 2017 Profit Drops 77 Percent; Blames Expansion Costs

Online retailer Inc. reported profit fell 77 percent to $197 million in the second quarter of 2017, compared with the same quarter in the previous year. Sales grew 25 percent to $38 billion; however, the high cost of expansion efforts, which include new warehouses and delivery capacity for its retail business and datacenters for its cloud services business, caused the drop in quarterly profit. Amazon is expanding its brick-and-mortar business, highlighted by its acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. in June 2017.

"Amazon’s Expansion Costs Take a Toll as Profit Falls 77%", Wall Street Journal, July 27, 2017

Consumer Shopping: Speed Is Of The Essence

Now that consumers have the technological capability to shop at the speed of light, they expect instant gratification at online stores. Retailers have put in place a wide array of technologies and practices that speed transactions and fulfillment, from one-day delivery to in-store beacons (left) that communicate with shoppers via smartphones. Other advancements created to satisfy the new “I want what I want when I want it” shopping culture are: experimental delivery drones, same-day doctor appointments,, virtual doctor consultations, one-hour delivery of food and groceries, in-store restaurants and bars, and the “see-now, shop-now” trend that lets consumers order new fashion items seen on Instagram almost immediately. [Image credit: © ...  More

"Faster Shopping: A Top Consumer Trend for 2017", Blog entry, Euromonitor, July 26, 2017

Ahold Delhaize Marks First Year After 2016 Merger

Ahold Delhaize is celebrating the first anniversary of the merger between Ahold and Delhaize Group that created the retail company in July 2016. As a merged company, Ahold Delhaize owns 21 local brands and employs 370,000 associates. It serves more than 50 million customers each week in 11 countries.

"Ahold Delhaize 1 year", Ahold Delhaize, July 24, 2017

Tesco Expands Same-Day Delivery Service Across UK

Tesco said it has expanded its same-day online grocery delivery service across the UK. Launched in 2014 in London and the South East, the service is now available for customers of more than 300 stores across the country, the company said. Free for a limited period to members of the Tesco's Delivery Saver online delivery program, the service will cost between ₤3 and ₤8. Customers need to place their order by 1:00pm to have their purchases delivered by 7:00pm or later.

"Tesco becomes first retailer to offer same day grocery delivery nationwide", Tesco, July 24, 2017

Aldi Says It Will Not Sell Flushable Toilet Wipes In Australia

Discount retailer Aldi has canceled plans to sell the Green Action line of bathroom cleaning wipes the company described as “flushable.” Aldi's action came following complaints by consumers and warnings by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission regarding how “flushable” wipes harm the environment when disposed of in toilet. In December 2016, the ACCC sued Kimberly-Clark Australia and Pental for making misleading claims by describing their products as biodegradable.

"Aldi withdraws 'flushable' toilet wipes from sale after customer backlash and water authorities warning they block drains", Daily Mail, July 20, 2017

Walmart Says To Develop Camera System To Detect And Assist Unhappy Shoppers

Walmart is creating an in-store facial recognition system designed to recognize customers' facial expressions. According to the retailer's patent filing, the technology will use video cameras at store checkout lines to detect signs of anger and dissatisfaction. Upon detection of an “unhappy customer”, the system will alert staff and prompt them to report to the checkout line. Also, the company has filed a patent for using drones to improve customers' in-store experience.

"Walmart developing smart camera that can spot unhappy and frustrated shoppers and alert staff", Daily Mail, July 20, 2017

Bakery Adapts Old Portuguese Pastry Recipe To Make “Bagel Doughnuts”

The recipe for a popular Hawaiian pastry with roots in Portugal is the inspiration for a Leesburg, Va., bakery’s unusual “bagel doughnuts.” The founders decided to bypass traditional custard and jelly doughnut fillings, and model their treats on the malasada –  a yeast-leavened doughnut made with real fruits, premium heavy cream, and custards made from eggs. They are filled with pastry and chantilly cremes, as well as cream cheese. The bagel doughnuts are dipped in ”everything bagel” seasoning, filled with whipped cream cheese, infused with chives or smoked bacon, and can be topped with smoked salmon.  [ Image credit: © B. Doughnuts   ]

"Malasadas-Inspired 'bagel Doughnuts' Come to D.C. Pop-Up Bakery", United Press International, July 19, 2017

Growth Of In-House Brands Squeezes Big Food

Supermarket private label brands in the U.S. historically have not been as important as in European countries. Private label accounted for 17 percent of U.S. sales last year, less than half their share in the U.K. and Germany. But supermarket shoppers are increasingly switching to generic brands, and big food companies are beginning to feel the pinch. Retailers like Walmart are already seeing a rise in sales of their own brands. As retailers allot greater shelf space for their own items, traditional manufacturer brands will see sales volumes decline. And retailers in a fierce competitive environment can point to the growth of their in-house brands to coerce suppliers to cut prices. [ Image credit: © Walmart  ]

"Big Food’s Next Big Problem: Supermarket Brands", The Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2017

U.K. Relaxes Overly Cautious “Use By” Dates On Food Packaging

Calling current rules overly cautious, the U.K.’s Food Standards Agency has issued draft guidelines urging supermarkets to scrap “use by” dates on packages of food that wouldn’t cause poisoning in favor of “Best Before” dates. The proposed rules also state that packaging should tell customers how to store food, and should display the snowflake logo to indicate that a product can be frozen. The goal is to reduce the 7.3 million tons of food a year, two million tons of which is due to it “not being used in time.” The guidance is “under consultation” until August. [ Image credit: © NHS (UK) ]

"Supermarkets are Told to Stop Telling Shoppers to Throw Away 7.3m Tons of Good Food Every Year by Scrapping 'Use By' Dates", Mail Online, July 17, 2017

Walgreens Announces Technology Investments, Proposed Purchase Of Rite Aid Stores

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. said it is investing to update and upgrade the company's technology. According to the pharmacy and retail chain, the company aims to put in place a new system in a few years, enabling it to improve the organization of its stores. Also, the company announced its proposed acquisition of 2,186 stores from Rite Aid, including warehouses and inventory, as well as real estate properties.

"Walgreens Invests In New Technology and Personalization", Retail Info Systems, July 17, 2017

Kroger Most Loved Grocery Brand In US, Morning Consult Survey Says

Supermarket chain Kroger Co. received the highest customer satisfaction rating, according to Morning Consult. Data from the public opinion data company's Spring 2017 Most Loved Brands consumer survey revealed Kroger received a 53-percent favorability among grocery store brands. Whole Foods got 48 percent; Safeway, 40 percent; while Albertsons and Publix each received 33 percent.

"This grocery chain is most loved in U.S., survey says",, July 17, 2017

Walgreens Adds UK Brand Sleek MakeUP To Beauty Lineup

Walgreens said it will start selling Sleek MakeUP brand of cosmetics at more than 150 stores and on One of the fastest-growing mass-market beauty brands in the UK, Sleek MakeUP was acquired by Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2015. Created by a local beauty entrepreneur in East London, the brand seeks to cater to the needs of women of color who were faced with limited choices in the cosmetics market.

"Walgreens Continues to Differentiate its Beauty Offering with Sleek MakeUP",, July 17, 2017

Iowa Bakery Known The World Over For One Special Pastry