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Wal-Mart Stores To Become Walmart Inc. In February

December 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores is changing its legal name to Walmart Inc. effective on February 1 to reflect the fact that it is now serving customers in several different channels besides brick-and-mortar stores. The non-store channels include mobile devices, online, and pickup and delivery. CEO Doug McMillon said the company will continue to invest in its stores, but it felt that “it was best to have a name that was consistent with the idea that you can shop us however you like as a customer.” The company has more than 11,600 stores and clubs in 28 countries. [ Image credit: © Walmart  ]
"Walmart Changes its Legal Name to Reflect How Customers Want to Shop", News release, Walmart, December 06, 2017, © Walmart Inc.
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Christina Minardi To Help Manage Whole Foods’ Integration With Amazon

November 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Former Northeast regional president Christina Minardi was promoted to executive VP of operations for Whole Foods Market. As a regional president, Minardi was responsible for 40 stores in three states. Minardi will now lead four regions and help with the integration with Amazon. Her new responsibilities will include re-imagining the customer experience and driving e-commerce initiatives.  [ Image credit: © Christina Minardi / Twitter ]
"Whole Foods Market Names Christina Minardi Executive Vice President of Operations", News release, Whole Foods Market, November 17, 2017, © Whole Foods Market
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Successful Innovators Embrace Failure

November 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
While many top executives pay li[p service to the virtues of innovation and creativity, they fear mistakes, missteps, and disappointments. Creativity and innovation disappear. People and organizations need to keep learning as the world changes, or they will stop growing and evolving. One of the reasons for the success of companies like Netflix, Amazon.com, and Coca-Cola, is that their leadership embrace failure as a learning and innovation tool. Coke CEO James Quincey, for example, recently told his executives to shed their fear of failure – remember the “New Coke” fiasco? – so they could really ramp up innovation. “If we’re not making mistakes,” Quincey said, “we’re not trying hard enough.”
Bill Taylor, "How Coca-Cola, Netflix, and Amazon Learn from Failure", Harvard Business Review, November 10, 2017, © Harvard Business School Publishing
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Bezos Aide Steve Keller To Helm Amazon’s Delivery, Grocery, Store Ventures

November 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos has given a longtime aide responsibility for Prime Now, AmazonFresh, as well as the $13.5-billion Whole Foods Market acquisition and brick-and-mortar book and convenience stores. The idea, according to observers, is to facilitate changes across the rapid-delivery and grocery-delivery operations, and the physical facilities. Steve Kessel [left] spent several years managing Amazon’s digital ventures, including books and music. His teams developed the Kindle e-reader Fire tablet in late 2011. After a four-year sabbatical, he returned in 2015 to oversee efforts to reimagine the in-store experience. [ Image credit: © Amazon.com ]
Laura Stevens, "Amazon Puts Whole Foods, Delivery Units Under Bezos Lieutenant", The Wall Street Journal, November 09, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Carrefour Brasil Reports Strong Profit Gains For 3Q 2017

November 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Grupo Carrefour Brasil, French retailer Carrefour's Brazilian unit, reported net profit almost doubled to 581 million reais, or $179 million, in the third quarter of 2017. For the same quarter in the previous year, the company reported net profit of 292 million reais. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization was 845 million reais, an increase of 6.9 percent compared with the same period in the previous year.
Gram Slattery and Bruno Federowski, "UPDATE 1-Carrefour Brasil's third-quarter profit jumps on cash-and-carry sales", Reuters , November 09, 2017, © Reuters
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Ahold USA Earns Perfect Survey Score On LGBT Workplace Equality

November 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Ahold USA, the parent company of supermarket chains Stop & Shop, Giant, and Martin’s, as well as the grocery shopping/delivery company Peapod, received a perfect score on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The national benchmarking survey and report evaluates corporate policies and practices lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workplace equality. The high score earned Ahold USA the designation as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.” [ Image credit: © HRC ]
"Ahold USA Earns Top Marks In 2018 Corporate Equality Index", News release, Ahold, November 09, 2017, © Ahold
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Aldi Customers Using The Venmo Payment App Can Donate Meals To Needy

November 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Discount grocery chain Aldi has partnered with the PayPal Venmo payment app to donate Thanksgiving meals to Feeding America. The meals are automatically donated every time a Venmo user adds a Turkey Hand Thanksgiving emoji on the payment screen. Feeding America annually provides meals to more than 46 million people through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. Germany-based Aldi operates 1,700 stores in 35 U.S. states. [ Image credit: ©  Aldi ]
Chantal Tode, Robert Williams, "Aldi Partners with Venmo for Emoji-Based Holiday Giving Campaign", Mobile Marketer, November 07, 2017, © Industry Dive
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Amazon Closes Two Whole Foods Stores In UK

November 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon said it plans to close two Whole Foods stores in the UK. Included in the shutdown list are the stores in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and in Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, cutting the number of Whole Foods store in the country down to seven. About 150 people work at the two stores.
Ashley Armstrong, "Amazon closes two UK Whole Foods stores just two months after completing its £10.7bn takeover", Telegraph, November 06, 2017, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Whole Foods’ Top Trends In Beverage Ingredients And Formats

November 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Floral-flavored beverages are among the top food trends for 2018 spotlighted by the global buyers at Whole Foods Market. Whole flowers and petals like lavender, rose, hibiscus, and elderflower have made their way into lattés, cocktails, and sparkling waters. Powders like matcha, maca root and cacao offer an alternative to coffee. Functional mushrooms, including reishi, chaga, cordyceps, and lion’s mane star, are showing up in bottled drinks, coffees, smoothies, and teas. Plant-based ingredients and proteins (e.g., pili nuts, peas, bananas, macadamia nuts, pecans) are being used in nut milks and yogurts. Last but not least: flavored sparkling waters include plant-derived options from Sap! (made with maple and birch) and sparkling cold brew from Stumptown. “Mocktails” are being made with Topo Chico and Whole Foods fizzy waters.
"Whole Foods Market Reveals Top Food Trends for 2018", News release, Whole Foods Market, November 06, 2017, © Whole Foods Market
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Asda Appoints Former Carrefour Merchandising Executive As CMO

November 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart-owned UK retailer Asda has appointed Jesus Lorente, Carrefour's former head of merchandising for its operations in Spain, as its new chief merchandising officer. Lorente will succeed Andrew Moore who is retiring in January 2018. Lorente's appointment follows Asda's announcement of deputy chief executive Roger Burnley's promotion to replace current CEO Sean Clarke in January 1, 2018.
Luke Tugby, "Asda names ex-Carrefour executive Jesús Lorente as new merchandising boss", Retail Week, November 06, 2017, © Ascential Information Services Limited
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Sean Clarke Leaves CEO Position At Walmart’s Asda Unit

October 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Roger Burnley [left] will take over as CEO of Walmart’s British supermarket chain Asda as of January 1, 2018, from Sean Clarke, who worked closely with Burnley over the past year as deputy CEO. After December, Clarke will take “some time out and will then remain engaged with Walmart,” Walmart International CEO Dave Cheesewright said. Clarke has worked in five of Walmart’s international markets, including a stint as CEO of Walmart China.  [ Image credit: ©  Asda  ]
"Roger Burnley appointed Asda President and CEO from 1 January 2018", News release, Asda, October 30, 2017, © Asda
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Walmart Launches Supermercado Retail Concept In Brazil

October 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart Brasil has launched its Walmart Supermercado retail concept in Brazil. Supported with a R$500 million investment, the business transformation project will see 120 Bompreco, Nacional, and Mercadorama supermarkets adopting the new retail brand during the next four years. Walmart opened its first two Walmart Supermercado stores in Curitiba.
"Walmart Launches New Supermarket Concept In Brazil", European Supermarket Magazine, October 28, 2017, © European Supermarket Magazine
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Data Analytics Platform Helps Tesco India Detect, Prevent Shopping Fraud

October 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Indian technology center for supermarket chain Tesco has created a platform and team that detects online and offline fraud involving its massive amounts of collected customer data. The 18-member staff is focused on combating fraud for online businesses (food and non-food), buyer-supplier collusion fraud, and employee fraud at checkout counters. The platform is programmed to detect anomalies in purchasing patterns that might indicate fraud, such as bulk purchases of products like alcohol and cigarettes.  [ Image credit: © geograph.org.uk  ]
"Tesco unit builds anti-fraud platform for online businesses", Economic Times, October 27, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Carrefour Brazil Posts Strong Revenue Performance In 3Q 2017

October 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour reported its wholesale unit Atacadao posted sales of R$8.5 billion in the third quarter of 2017, an increase of 5.6 percent compared with the same quarter in the previous year. Carrefour Retail reported sales grew 5.0 percent to R$3.7 billion, with life-for-like sales rising 2.5 percent and total gross sales jumping 7.1 percent in the first nine months to RS11.2 billion.
"Carrefour Brazil Sales Growth in Q3 amid sharp food Deflation", Carrefour Brazil, October 18, 2017, © Carrefour
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Carrefour Posts Slightly Better Sales Numbers In 3Q 2017

October 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour reported sales rose 0.5 percent on a like-for-like basis to €21.859 billion in the third quarter of 2017, compared with the same period in the previous year. Effect of currency on the company's revenue was negative 1.5 percent during the quarter, while effects of petrol and calendar were neutral. At constant exchange rates, total sales increased 1.9 percent. Like-for-like sales in France declined 0.9 percent, the company said.
"Carrefour Third Quarter 2017 Sales", Carrefour, October 18, 2017, © Carrefour
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Kroger Reveals Leadership Changes For Central And QFC Divisions

October 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Kroger Co. revealed that Central division president Katie Wolfram has retired, with QFC division president Pam Matthews promoted to succeed her. Also, the retailer said it has appointed Suzy Monford as president of the QFC division.
"Kroger Announces Retirement of Katie Wolfram and Names New Leadership for the Central and QFC Divisions", Kroger , October 17, 2017, © The Kroger Co.
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The Body Shop Launches Asian-Themed Skincare Products In New Zealand

October 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer The Body Shop has introduced the Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask skincare product in New Zealand. According to the company, the product features the antioxidant properties of Japan's matcha green tea and dandelion extracts from France. Also, the retailer announced the Chinese Ginseng & Rice cleanser and toner, the Clarifying Polishing Powder Wash, and the Clarifying Milky Toner.
Portia Gascoigne, "Face the good stuff with the Body Shop’s new Asian fusion range", Lucire, October 16, 2017, © JY&A Media, a division of Jack Yan & Associates
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Carrefour Brasil Introduces Online Shopping Service In Sao Paul

October 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Grupo Carrefour Brasil, the French retailer's unit in Brazil, plans to launch an online grocery shopping and rewards platform in Sao Paulo. After raising $1.6 billion in an IPO in July 2017, the company will launch the services through the Meu Carrefour mobile app. According to the company, which has 4 million registered online users, it plans to issue about 100 million coupons each month through the mobile app.
Gram Slattery, "Carrefour Brasil opens online grocery shopping in Sao Paulo", Reuters, October 10, 2017, © Reuters
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Aldi Plans To Build ₤75-Million Warehouse In UK

October 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
German discount retailer Aldi plans to invest ₤75 million to build a distribution center in Bedford, England, to support the company's growing network in the UK. Aldi said it remains committed to expansion plans in the UK retail market despite reporting its third year of declining profit. By 2022, the retailer expects to have 1,000 stores in the country from its current 726 locations.
Polina Ivanova, "German retailer Aldi to build 75 million pound UK distribution centre", Reuters, October 09, 2017, © Reuters
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Lidl Sees Share Of Shopper Traffic Drop In US

October 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Months after opening its stores in the US in June 2017, German discount retailer Lidl saw its share of store visits declined, according to an analysis by location-based data firm inMarket. Local rivals, including Kroger Co. and Wal-Mart, have recovered much of market share they lost when Lidl after Lidl opened its first nine US stores in June 15. Lidl grabbed 11 percent of customer visits to traditional grocers in nine markets in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, inMarket data revealed. Lidl's share of traffic fell below 8 percent in August, inMarket revealed.
Heather Haddon, "Lidl Stores Gain Little Traction So Far in U.S.", The Wall Street journal, October 08, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Costco Introduces Online Shopping Services

October 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Membership-only warehouse club Costco Wholesale introduced two online shopping services, as part of efforts to expand its online retail presence. Available at present at 376 stores in the US, Costco's partnership with Instacart will be expanded to include more locations across the country. Launched on October 1, 2017, the company's CostcoGrocery online shopping service include about 500 nonperishable dry grocery products delivered free to Costco customers who make orders worth at least $75.
Jon Springer, "Costco Launches Online Grocery Offering", Supermarket News, October 06, 2017, © Penton
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'Supermarket' Startup Seeks To Go Storeless

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Farmstead believes it can reinvent the supermarket model by eliminating its physical structure altogether. The San Francisco based startup has a series of micro-warehouses stocked with a range of local farm produce and grocery products and uses AI to predict a customer’s future needs based on their initial order. The selection is then delivered to the customer. Farmstead claims to have made over 15,000 deliveries in the Bay Area and has raised $2.8 million from venture funds.  [Image credit © Farmstead]
Dan Orlando, "Startup Believes it Can ‘Reinvent’ Supermarket Model", Supermarket News, October 05, 2017, © Penton
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Amazon Seeks To Expand Own Delivery Capabilities

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. is expanding its in-house delivery capabilities in order to increase the number of products available for free two-day delivery and decrease warehouse overcrowding. Dubbed by the company as Seller Flex, the proposed service first began in India. Amazon began testing the service in West Coast states in 2017 and plans to launch the service across the country in 2018.
Spencer Soper, "Amazon Is Testing Its Own Delivery Service to Rival FedEx and UPS", Bloomberg, October 05, 2017, © Bloomberg LP
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Upcoming GDPR Legislation Set To Have Global Impact

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST

New General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are due to arrive in May 2018. GDPR will create a standardized data privacy law for EU members. It will also affect companies and individuals selling goods or services to EU citizens. The legislation will give individuals more rights to their data, including the “right to be forgotten” and asking consent for data processing. Potential fines for not adhering to the regulations can be up to $24m, or 4% of a company’s annual turnover. A recent PwC survey revealed that GDPR is a top data priority for more than 50 percent of US multinationals. [Image credit © EDPS]

Ronan Shields et al., "What Does the EU’s Privacy Reform Mean for US Marketers? And what Should You Do Now?", The Drum, October 05, 2017, © Carnyx Group Ltd
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Walgreens Boots Alliance Launches YourGoodSkin Line Of Skincare Products

October 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walgreens Boots Alliance has launched the YourGoodSkin line of skincare products exclusively at Walgreens stores in the US and Boots branches in the UK and Ireland. Developed in partnership with scientists, dermatologists, and thousands of women, YourGoodSkin products are designed to “help transform skin” and give consumers “good skin for life.” Featuring the Balancing Skin Concentrate ingredient, YourGoodSkin products can give 90 percent of women skin with improved texture; 71 percent, more even skin tone; and 80 percent, more radiant skin, according to test results.
"Walgreens Boots Alliance Launches YourGoodSkin™, First Skincare Range in over 20 Years Which Includes Hero Product ‘Balancing Skin Concentrate,’ Clinically Proven to Improve the Five Key Signs of Visibly Healthy Skin", Business Wire, October 04, 2017, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Amazon Talks Logistics Collaboration With French Retailer Leclerc

October 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon has discussed possible logistics partnerships with Leclerc, according to the French retailer's chief executive Michel-Edouard Leclerc. French newspaper Le Monde earlier reported that Amazon has approached local supermarket companies regarding the possibility of establishing distribution deals or acquiring retail company in the country.
Pascale Denis, "French retailer Leclerc approached by Amazon over logistics partnership", Reuters, October 04, 2017, © Reuters
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Wal-Mart Buys NYC-based Last-Mile Delivery Service Parcel

October 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart said it has acquired Parcel, a technology-enabled, last-mile delivery service company specializing in perishable and non-perishable products in New York City. Operating 24/7, Parcel relies on technology, a fleet of leased vehicles, and employee-based workforce to rapidly sort, load, and deliver products to customers. Wal-Mart said it plans to use Parcel to deliver packages to customers in New York City.
"Walmart Announces the Acquisition of Parcel, a Technology-Based, Same-Day and Last-Mile Delivery Company", Walmart, October 03, 2017, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Lotte Affiliates Announce New Holding Company

October 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In response to challenging retail conditions in Korea and abroad, especially in China, Lotte has announced the launch of a new holding company, Lotte Corporation. Four Lotte affiliates, Lotte Shopping, Lotte Confectionery, Lotte Chilsung Beverage and Lotte Food will merge their investment entities into the new holding company. Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin and Hwang Kag-gyu, head of the corporate innovation office, will lead the new company. Lotte says the change will make its governance structure more transparent and efficient, while analysts point out that the move will strengthen Shin's control over the company, especially if a rumored merger with Hotel Lotte takes place.
Won Ho-jung, "Lotte begins new governance under holding company", The Korea Herald, October 01, 2017, © The Korea Herald
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Whole Foods Says Customer Card Payment Information Hacked By Cyberthieves

September 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Whole Foods has warned customers that hackers gained access to payment card information at several stores. Acquired by online retailer Amazon for $13.7 billion in June 2017, Whole Foods said the cyberattack affected the company's taprooms and restaurants and not the main checkout lines of its stores. Whole Foods operates 449 stores in the US, with more than 40 branches selling beer on tap.
Alfred Ng, "Whole Foods hit by credit card hack at several stores", CNET, September 29, 2017, © CBS Interactive, Inc
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Natura Names Boynton CEO Of The Body Shop

September 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Natura Group has named David Boynton as chief executive of beauty retailer The Body Shop. Boynton's appointment coincides with Natura Group's implementation of a new governance and management structure following its acquisition of TBS in September 2017. At present, Boynton is chief executive of men's wear retailer Charles Tyrwhitt. He started his career in the grocery market and later moved to health and beauty retailer AS Watson.
Elias Jahshan, "The Body Shop’s new owner snaps up Charles Tyrwhitt’s David Boynton as new CEO", Retail Gazette, September 29, 2017, © Retail Gazette
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Wal-Mart Aims For High-End Market With Jet.com

September 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is repositioning its Jet ecommerce unit toward the high-end market, as part of the retailer's efforts to compete with online rival Amazon. Acquired by Wal-Mart for $3.3 billion in 2016, Jet plans to sell apparel from online retailers bought by the retail giant in the previous year. Also, Jet plans to introduce a new line of private-label food and grocery items.
Sarah Nassauer, "Wal-Mart Tries to Take Jet.com Upscale", The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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China's FMCG Market Grows 4.6 Percent In August 2017 Quarter

September 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In China, sales of fast-moving consumer goods grew 4.6 percent during the 12-week period ending August 11, 2017, compared with the same period of the previous year, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Data from the market research firm revealed lower-tier cities saw faster growth at 4.9 percent compared with 4.1 percent for leading cities and provincial capitals.
"Further recovery for China's FMCG market", Kantar Worldpanel, September 28, 2017, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Wal-Mart Expands Sustainability Chemistry Policy, Demands Safer Products From Suppliers

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart said it has expanded its sustainability chemistry policy for consumable products, as part of the retailer's efforts to improve transparency, promote better product formulations, and widen its selection of sustainable products. First launched in 2013, the program covers about 90,000 products from 700 suppliers. As part of the commitment, Wal-Mart expects its suppliers to completely disclose chemicals used as ingredients in their products, ensure their products come with safe ingredients, and integrate sustainability into their product manufacturing.
"Walmart Strengthens Sustainable Chemistry Commitment, Reports Progress in Safer Product Formulation", Wal-Mart, September 27, 2017, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Discount Retailers Aldi And Lidl Have US Retailers Against The Ropes

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
German discount retailers Lidl and Aldi are expected to grow faster than their local competitors in the US market. By offering limited variety of products at very low prices, Lidl and Aldi are winning a price war and expanding their shares of the retail market. Operating in the US since the 1970s, Aldi has 1,700 stores across the country, while Lidl began its expansion in the East Coast in June, and opened its 30th store in September 2017. Also, by offering private-brand products, the German retailers can offer discounts ranging from 35 percent to 40 percent, compared with their rivals.
Alina Selyukh, "Discount Grocers Aldi And Lidl Give U.S. Stores A Run For Their Money", National Public Radio, September 27, 2017, © npr
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Tesco Own-Label Suppliers Commit To Food Waste Transparency

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Major own-label food suppliers to British supermarket chain Tesco have agreed to start publishing their food waste data within the next year. CEO Dave Lewis called the commitment by 24 of the company’s biggest suppliers “pivotal.” Lewis said he believed that many other suppliers and retailers would follow suit in the next weeks and months. Suppliers were apparently influenced by a WRAP organization report in March that showed investments in curbing food waste earned positive returns. For every £1 invested in reducing food waste, WRAP reported, half the business sites had at least a £14 return. WRAP is a nonprofit organization whose vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. [ Image credit: © Tesco  ]
Ian Quinn, "Tesco CEO Hails Waste Agreement with Two Dozen Suppliers a 'Pivotal Moment'", The Grocer, September 21, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Food Industry Giants Seek Label Standardization Within Three Years

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An organization that represents 400 consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in 70 countries has proposed that food date (viz., "sell by," use by," etc.) labels be standardized and streamlined globally within three years to help customers reduce the amount of edible food thrown out by households. The “Call to Action” from the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a Paris-based group with offices in Tokyo and Washington, D.C., requires retailers and food producers to focus on numbers of labels, inclusion of expiration dates for perishable items and food quality indicators for non-perishable items, and educating consumers on what date labels mean. The CGF includes companies like Tesco, Kellogg, Walmart, Campbell Soup, Bimbo, Pick n Pay, Nestlé, Carrefour, and Unilever. [ Image credit: © Consumer Goods Forum  ]
"Companies Commit to Simplify Food Date Labels Worldwide by 2020, Reducing Food Waste", The Consumer Goods Forum, September 20, 2017, © The Consumer Goods Forum
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Wal-Mart Plans To Build New Corporate Headquarters In Bentonville

September 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart announced plans to build a new corporate headquarters in its hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas. According to the retailer, its current setup of separate buildings and offices limits its ability to expand and grow its business. Wal-Mart said a “central campus” will encourage “collaboration and speed” among associates and business units. Also, the planned building will provide employees with “improved parking, meal services, fitness, and natural light,” which will help the company attract the best talents and inspire current workforce to give their best.
"Winning the Future: A new Home Office in Bentonville", Walmart, September 17, 2017, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc
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Vengeful Government Tactics Force Lotte Mart To Sell China Operations

September 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
South Korea-based discount retailer Lotte Mart is putting its China operations up for sale, alleging that the government conducted a campaign to destroy it in retaliation for cooperating with the U.S. in the area of missile defense. Beverage maker Lotte Chilsung is also considering selling its Chinese operations. Lotte Mart allowed the use of a former company golf course for deployment of a U.S. high altitude antimissile system in South Korea. The company alleges that China retaliated by shutting down stores because of purported safety violations, and by encouraging consumer boycotts. Lotte Mart spent more than $600 million to bolster the China operations, but now says enough is enough.
Choi Hyun-Joo et al., "Lotte Mart exits China, other units may follow", Korea JoongAng Daily, September 16, 2017, © JoongAng Ilbo Inc.
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Metro AG Posts Strong 3Q Sales

August 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
German retail and wholesale company Metro AG (Düsseldorf) reported an increase of 2.6 percent in like-for-like sales in the third quarter, along with an increase of 4.9 percent in overall sales to $11 billion. The company attributed the healthy numbers to “positive currency effects” as well as its acquisition of Pro a Pro, a French foodservice distribution specialist. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) reached $256 million compared to $81 million in the same period last year. Chief executive Olaf Koch said the financial results, the first since the demerger of Metro Group, indicate that the company has “become more relevant for our customers worldwide.” [ Image credit: © Metro AG  ]
"Metro with strong like for like sales growth in Q3", Earnings release, Metro AG, August 31, 2017, © Metro AG
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Tesco’s “Turnaround” Fails To Usurp Irish Grocery Chain’s Market Leadership

August 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New market data from Kantar Worldpanel show that the Supervalu grocery chain remained Ireland's largest grocery retailer during the quarter ending in August, despite strong growth by Tesco. Year-on-year sales growth of 0.4 percent kept Supervalu in the top spot, thanks to improvement in the number of items sold per shopping trip at a lower price point. Supervalu has a 22.2 percent share of the grocery market, a slight (0.3 percentage points) drop from last year. Tesco experienced its fourth consecutive period of growth, “a clear indication that it's achieved a turnaround in performance. [ Image credit: © Supervalu  ]
David Berry, "SuperValu remain on top despite Tesco turnaround", News release, Kantar Worldpanel, August 29, 2017, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Discount Grocer Aldi Gives Big Midwest Competitors A Good Run For Their Money

August 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Data from grocery market researcher Shelby Report show that discount retailer Aldi is making headway in the Midwest against big players like regional retailers and Walmart. Aldi’s market share for its 45 stores in the Kansas/Missouri area was 2.8 percent of total retail sales (all commodity value) of $10.27 billion, compared with 1.5 percent in 2016. Market share in the $13 billion Missouri/Illinois/Indiana/Kentucky market increased from 2.4 percent to 4.4 percent; in the $10.88 billion Minnesota market it grew to 3.2 percent; and in the $18.79 billion Ohio/West Virginia/Kentucky market, it grew to 2.9 percent from 1.6 percent in 2016. [ Image credit: © Aldi  ]
Tom Karst, "Aldi Sees Market Share Gain", The Packer, August 28, 2017, © Farm Journal, Inc.
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Campbell Ramps Up Online Delivery Infrastructure For Evolving Retail Environment

August 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Though the percentage of food sold online today is in the low single digits, by 2021 it will be a $66 billion business. Campbell Soup is determined to part of that phenomenon.
It recently announced the hiring of Amazon (and eBay and Kohl’s) veteran Shakeel Farooque to lead the new e-commerce division. This “revealing” hire, as Quartz put it, underscores the company’s goal of selling more soup online. Campbell says its new distribution centers will operate differently from its warehouses that keep supermarkets stocked. The new distribution centers will focus on e-commerce only, customizing delivery of foods for different channels, whether meal kits or online grocery orders. [ Image credit: © Chef'd  ]
Chase Purdy, "Even Campbell Soup is taking a Page from Amazon", Quartz, August 24, 2017, © Quartz
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Sephora Launches Online Store In India

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora has launched its own online store, sephora.nnnow.com, in India. Combining the company's online and offline stores, the online channel will let the brand reach consumers across the country. According to the company, the online store will feature makeup, skincare, fragrances, bath, and body care products, as well as the rest of its product lineup.
Bhagyashree Nair, "Sephora goes online exclusively only at sephora.nnnow.com", ETRetail.com, August 23, 2017, © ETRetail.com
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Amazon Launches Business Grocery Delivery Service

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon.com is expanding the coverage of its AmazonFresh grocery delivery service to include business customers. Similar to the company's grocery delivery service for consumers, the Amazon Business service for business customers will feature access to produce and groceries from the company's online store and local shops with same- or next-day delivery.
Taylor Soper, "Amazon Rolls Out AmazonFresh Grocery Delivery Service for Business Customers", GeekWire, August 23, 2017, © GeekWire, LLC
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Ulta Beauty's Loyal Customers Empower It Against Amazon, Other Online Retailers

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Ulta Beauty's loyalty program, as well as the unique experience the beauty retailer offers to its customers, will allow it to compete with online retailer Amazon, according to investment bank and securities firm Jefferies. Also, Ulta Beauty's business model can hold its own against the growing threat of online retail. Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink said the company's loyalty program has 24.5 million members and they account for 90 percent of the retailer's total sales.
Tae Kim, "Here's one retailer that may survive the Amazon onslaught because its customers are so loyal", CNBC.com, August 23, 2017, © CNBC LLC
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Tesco Lotus Plans Big Marketing Campaign In Thailand

August 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Thailand-based retailer Tesco Lotus announced plans for a major marketing campaign for the remaining months of 2017. Aimed at boosting sales and increasing in-store traffic, the campaign seeks to take advantage of the forecast increase in consumer spending during the period. As part of the campaign, Tesco will cut prices at its 1,900 retail stores across the country, as well as online.
"Tesco Lotus strives to boost store traffic", Bangkok Post, August 22, 2017, © Bangkok Post Public Company Limited
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Walmart Opens New Battlefront In War Against Amazon

August 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart has launched something of an air war against arch-rival Amazon. The Arkansas-based retailer has applied for a patent for its version of a floating warehouse – a “gas-filled aerial transport and launch system” – a similar version of which Amazon patented more than a year ago. And like Amazon’s version, Walmart’s could launch sorties of drones to deliver purchases to nearby homes. Walmart’s dirigible airship would hover at up to 1,000 feet in the air, contain multiple drone launching bays, and be computer- or pilot-operated remotely. Proponents of the airborne warehouses say they would cut online order fulfillment costs for “the last mile” to a customer’s house. [ Image credit: © Walmart  ]
Matthew Boyle, "Walmart Applies for Patent for Blimp-Style Floating Warehouse", Bloomberg, August 19, 2017, © Bloomberg LP
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The Body Shop Launches Natural Hair And Scalp Care Product In Sri Lanka

August 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer The Body Shop has launched the Fuji Green Tea Cleansing Hair Scrub haircare product in Sri Lanka. Inspired by a combination of Japanese green tea, mint menthol, salt crystals, and Community Trade honey from Ethiopia, the product is designed to deal with scalpcare problems caused by exposure to heat, pollution, and other harmful external factors. Faithful to the company's “Enrich, not Exploit” corporate principle, the product's ingredients are fully vegetarian, free from parabens, and sourced from sustainable suppliers.
"Refreshingly clean hair with The Body Shop’s Fuji Green Tea Hair Scrub", Daily Mirror, August 17, 2017, © Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.
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Walmart Reports Revenue Grew In 2Q Of FY 2018

August 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart reported total revenue grew 2.1 percent, or $2.5 billion, to $123.4 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2018. With currency excluded, total revenue for the period was $124.4 billion, an increase of 2.9 percent or $3.5 billion. Walmart U.S.'s comparative sales rose 1.8 percent, with customer traffic rising 1.3 percent. Walmart International posted net sales of $28.3 billion, a decline of 1.0 percent compared with the same period in the previous year.
"Walmart U.S. Q2 comps grew 1.8% and Walmart U.S. eCommerce GMV2 grew 67%, Company reports Q2 FY18 GAAP EPS of $0.96; Adjusted EPS3 of $1.08", Walmart, August 17, 2017, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Shoppers Look For Breads With Real Ingredients, Minimal Processing

August 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The bakery departments of grocery stores across the country are doing their best to satisfy health-conscious shoppers looking for breads with simple ingredients, including hearty grains, no preservatives, and no added sugar. Kowalski’s Markets in Woodbury, Minn., for example, is selling loaves made with protein- and vitamin-rich sprouted grains, ancient grains and superfood ingredients like hemp and chia. One sprouted variety is made with red wheat berries, quinoa, oat groats, rye berries, barley, amaranth and millet. Also being used in bread recipes are nutrient-dense seeds like chia, flax, linseed, and sunflower. The key trend? “Consumers want products with real ingredients and minimal processing," says Eric Richard of the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association. [ Image credit: © Arnold  ]
Carol Angrisani, "Better-for-you breads make the bakery case", Supermarket News, August 16, 2017, © Penton
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