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Raw Pressery Juices Are Now Being Sold By Subscription In India

April 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Indian beverage company Rakyan Beverages, maker of the Raw Pressery cold-pressed juice brand, is among a handful of juice marketers in the country that are turning at least partly to a subscription-based sales and delivery model. According to Euromonitor, selling fresh juice via subscriptions to health-conscious consumers is gaining traction because plans can be customized to fit individual buyers. Rakyan offers juice subscriptions of one to three months.
"Parched this summer? Online juice delivery startups are here to save the day", YourStory, April 17, 2018, © YourStory Media Pvt. Ltd.
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Some Of U.K.’s Fashion Retail Centers, Outlets, Doing Fine Against Online Competition

March 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Data from Kantar Worldpanel confirm that online shopping hasn’t wiped out the U.K.’s bricks-and-mortar fashion retail segment, though it has been a challenging sales and growth environment. Store sales overall have fallen 2.4 percent since 2017, but not every sector is suffering. Retail centers and outlets are outpacing the fashion market, growing as much as 3.5 percent. One reason is that fashion stores at retail parks are only competing with each another for spend rather than with restaurants, cinemas and home furnishing shops. Also, retail parks and outlets cater to value-sensitive shoppers looking for bargains, while the high street or shopping centers may not. The fastest-growing retailers in the top 10 fashion retailers in the U.K. are the value-based fashion retailers. The discounted market is growing at 5.1 percent compared to full-price sales growing 3.3 percent. [ Topshop image credit: © VisitLondon.com ]
"The Thread: The Silver Lining in bricks and mortar", News release, Kantar Worldpanel, March 22, 2018, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Consumers, Workers Give Amazon.com High Marks In Several Categories

March 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Harris Poll customer satisfaction survey of more than 25,000 adults put Amazon.com in the top spot across several. Another survey by LinkedIn recognized Amazon as the most desirable workplace in the U.S., based on data about where job seekers want to work and how long employees stay with companies. The Harris survey asked consumers to evaluate companies on six categories:  workplace and leadership, and products and services. Amazon has been ranked at the top for four of the last five years. The company also topped the ACSI Retail Report Internet retail category for the eighth year in a row. To thank customers for the strong ratings, Amazon announced a 20 percent discount on some Alexa-enabled devices. [ Image credit: © Amazon.com ]
"Amazon Thanks Customers for Third-Straight #1 Ranking in 25,800-Person Harris Poll on Corporate Reputation", News release, Amazon, March 22, 2018, © Amazon.com, Inc.
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Automated “Mini Bakery” Using AI, Data Analytics Technology, Targets Grocers

March 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Washington State-based baking company working with a marketing firm recently debuted a product that promises to “create fresh bread right in front of your eyes.” BreadBot is a mini-bakery targeted at retailers looking for a “local bakery feel” while reducing carbon footprint, eliminating preservatives, and reducing waste. The smart bread robot or "Mini Bakery", from Wilkinson Baking Company and Bonin Ventures, is fully automated, produces 10 loaves an hour, and uses smart technology like AI, big data analytics and facial recognition. It customizes each purchase experience, providing real-time insights into customer purchasing behavior for retailers. The product debuted early in March at the South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) in Austin, Texas.  [ Image credit: © Wilkinson Baking Co. ]
"Food for Thought - Bonin Ventures Backed #BreadBot Feeds SXSW's Hungry", News release, Wilkinson Baking Co., March 09, 2018, © Wilkinson Baking Co.
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Kroger Reports Healthy Sales, Profits; CEO Says Tax Reform Will Help

March 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Retail grocery giant Kroger Co. posted fiscal 2017 net earnings of $1.9 billion ($2.09 a share) on sales of $122.7 billion, a 6.4 percent increase over 2016. Net earnings in 2016 were $2 billion ($2.05 share).  CEO Rodney McMullen said the company ended 2017 “with positive momentum in our sales and overall business” after launching Restock Kroger, a strategy to use the company’s food and data analytics expertise to create better customer experiences online and in stores. He waxed optimistic about the impact of President Trump’s tax reform measure. "The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a catalyst that is enabling us to accelerate investments in Restock Kroger,” McMullen said. “We are taking a balanced approach to ensure tax reform benefits our associates, customers and shareholders.” [ Image credit: © Kroger ]
"Kroger Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Results", Earnings release, Kroger Co., March 08, 2018, © Kroger Co.
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Target’s Solid Financials Signal Progress In “Rapidly-Changing” Retail Environment

March 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Target Corporation posted a net profit of $2.9 billion ($5.32 a share) on fiscal 2017 sales of $71.9 billion, a year-over-year sales increase of 3.4 percent. The earnings per share result compares to $4.58 in 2016. The company cited the success of strategic initiatives and long-term investments in delivering strong traffic growth in stores and online “in a rapidly-changing consumer and retail environment." In 2018, Target said it expected a low-single digit increase in comparable sales, and both GAAP EPS from continuing operations and adjusted EPS of $5.15 to $5.45. [ Image credit: © Target ]
"Target Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2017 Earnings", Earnings release, Target, March 06, 2018, © Target Brands, Inc.
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Walmart Unveils High-Tech Produce Spoilage Initiative At Distribution Centers

March 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart has introduced an “Intelligent Food” initiative to improve perishable food quality and eliminate waste from the produce supply chain. Dubbed “Eden,” the initiative has been implemented company-wide in 43 grocery distribution centers and other facilities over the last 12 months. The company says Eden has already reduced spoilage by “tens of millions of dollars” in fiscal 2018 (since January 27, 2018), and will eliminate $2 billion in spoilage over the next five years. Under the program, visual inspection of fresh produce at distribution centers is being automated and digitized. Algorithms and other advanced technologies monitor the temperature and freshness of produce and perishable foods from farm to supplier to warehouse to Walmart’s shelves. [ Image credit: ©  Walmart ]
Michael Browne, "Walmart Introduces Eden, its High-Tech Fresh-Food Initiative", Supermarket News, March 01, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Despite Hiccup In 4th Q Online Sales, Analysts Don’t See Walmart Losing To Amazon

February 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Investors are nervous that a dip in Walmart’s 4th quarter e-commerce sales – the announcement triggered a nine percent stock price drop – could portend an online future in which the mega-retailer plays second fiddle to Amazon. Online sales grew only 23 percent during the holiday quarter. Yet the company continues to forecast 40 percent growth for the current fiscal year, and analysts and industry experts seem to be on board with that. The company’s investments in its website and overall e-commerce operations will begin to pay off later in the year. Walmart also has a substantial brick-and-mortar retail base, something Amazon lacks. A Cowen & Co. analyst said “the future of e-commerce is physical + digital,” a strategy that “will drive a 'productivity loop.'" [ Image credit: © Walmart  ]
Lauren Thomas, "Walmart Has Big Year of E-Commerce Investments Planned to Bring Growth Back to 40 Percent", CNBC, February 20, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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Amazon Rewards Whole Foods Shoppers With Access To Prime Visa Benefits

February 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Amazon has extended the benefits of Amazon Prime membership to shoppers at Whole Foods Market, its newly-acquired grocery retail chain. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Cardmembers who shop at Whole Foods Market and use the card to purchase animal welfare-rated meat, sustainably caught wild and responsibly farmed seafood, or any local, Whole Trade, or organic produce will earn five percent bac. The discount is in addition to any other rewards they receive, including five percent back on Amazon.com purchases, two percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and one percent back on all other purchases. The rewards never expire and are redeemable, as long as the account is open, on millions of products at Amazon.com. [ Image credit: ©  Amazon.com ]

"Prime Members Now Earn 5% Back When Shopping at Whole Foods Market Using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card", News release, Amazon, February 20, 2018, © Amazon.com
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Kroger Divests Its C-Store Business

February 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Kroger announced it is selling its convenience store business to British petrol forecourt C-store retailer EG Group. As part of the $2.15 billion deal, EG Group will set up headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, home of Kroger. EVP/CFO Mike Schlotman said the company’s review of assets determined that the C-store business would “better meet its full potential outside of our business." Kroger said it plans to use the proceeds from the sale to repurchase shares and to lower its net total debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio.  [  Image credit:  © Kroger   ]
"Kroger and EG Group Announce Definitive Agreement for Purchase of Kroger's Convenience Store Business", News release, Kroger , February 05, 2018, © The Kroger Co.
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Israel May Ease Tax Burden To Lure Walmart, Other Retailers

February 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A senior aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disclosed that Israel is leaning toward loosening the tax structure that makes foreign investment more difficult. Netanyahu economic adviser Avi Simhon said “some drastic changes” – including tax cuts – are needed to lure foreign retailers like Walmart to Israel to help lower the cost of living. Netanyahu spoke with John Furner, a senior Walmart executive, at the recent World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland. According to Simhon, the two discussed the idea of Walmart’s opening a retail branch and investing in Israeli technologies after the country eased some regulatory burdens. “The door to Netanyahu’s office is open,” Simhon said. Walmart did not comment on the discussions. [ Image credit: ©  Benjamin Netanyahu via Twitter  ]
David Wainer et al., "Is Walmart Coming to Israel? Netanyahu Says the Door Is Open", Bloomberg, February 04, 2018, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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Amazon.com Posts $3B Profit For 2017; Cites Success Of Alexa Platform

February 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Amazon.com posted a full-year profit of $3 billion ($6.15 per share) for 2017 on net sales of $177.9 billion, a sales increase of $41 billion year-over-year. Profit was up $600,000 over 2016. Fourth quarter profit was $1.9 billion ($3.75 a share) on $60.5 billion in sales, compared with a profit of $749 million ($1.54 a share) in the same period in 2016. The company also reported: five billion items shipped with Prime worldwide in 2017; Fire TV Stick and Echo Dot were the best-selling products in 2017; the Alexa Skills store now offers more than 30,000 skills; Alexa Voice Service (AVS) adoption among device makers continues to grow; and new tools and developer kits were introduced. “Our 2017 projections for Alexa were very optimistic, and we far exceeded them,” CEO Jeff Bezos said. [ Image credit: © Amazon.com  ]
"Amazon.com Announces Fourth Quarter Sales up 38% to $60.5 Billion", Earnings release, Amazon.com, February 01, 2018, © Amazon.com, Inc.
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Kroger’s Scan, Bag, Go Digital Shopping Service To Expand Nationwide This Year

January 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Kroger said it will introduce its Scan, Bag, Go shopping technology this year in 18 operating divisions and 400 stores. The company said it tested the service in several locations and decided to expand its availability across the U.S. through Restock Kroger. Scan, Bag, Go allows customers to use a wireless handheld scanner or the smartphone app to scan and bag products as they shop. Shoppers can view and download digital coupons, keep a running total of their order, and view the current week's sales ad. They can then provide payment directly through the app so they can exit the store quickly.  [ Image credit: © Kroger  ]
"Kroger Announces Divisions for Scan, Bag, Go Expansion", News release, Kroger Co. , January 31, 2018, © The Kroger Co.
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Walmart’s Wrestling Match With Amazon.com Now Moves To India

January 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart’s strategy in its game of catch-up versus Amazon.com is to acquire companies with the talent and technological expertise it needs to become an e-commerce behemoth. The company recently closed a $3 billion acquisition of Jet.com, after a five-year shopping spree in the world of young e-commerce companies, filling its shopping cart with 15 startups. It is now eyeing an investment in another, this time India’s Flipkart. Industry observers speculate that Walmart is looking to buy a 20 percent stake in the company, which sells a variety of consumer goods online, including electronics and appliances. Flipkart is looking to move into the food and grocery business, and an investment by Walmart could make that happen. Amazon.com, meanwhile, has pledged to invest $5 billion in India. [  Image credit:  ©  Flipkart  ]
Arun Kumar & Chaitali Chakravarty, "Walmart in talks to buy a significant minority stake in Flipkart", The Economic Times, January 31, 2018, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd
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Walmart Makes Operational Changes To Speed Stock Replenishment, Delivery

January 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart has decided it can compete more effectively with Amazon.com if it shares more investory data with suppliers so out-of-stock items can be replenished more quickly. Formerly available only internally, the company’s On Shelf Customer Availability (OSCA) data information will be shared at the Supplier Growth Forum, a two-day event at Walmart headquarters. The retailer also said it will tighten deadlines for delivery. It is now requiring large suppliers to deliver full orders within a specified delivery window 85 percent of the time or face a fine of three percent of the cost of goods. Previously, large suppliers had to hit a 75 percent threshold to avoid fines. The delivery threshold for smaller suppliers will move to 50 percent, up from 33 percent, effective in April.  [  Image credit:  ©  Walmart  ] 
"Walmart to share inventory data with suppliers in battle with Amazon", Reuters , January 30, 2018, © Reuters
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Kroger Looks To Bolster “Restock Kroger” Initiative With Executive Changes

January 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Kroger announced it is shuffling two management positions to bolster Restock Kroger, a data-drive initiative focused on pricing, personalized communications with customers, and a large revamp of product assortments. The company, the largest collector of food purchase data in the U.S., wants to put that data to competitive advantage as it expands meal- and food-shopping solutions. Thirty-seven-year Kroger veteran Steve McKinney, president of the Fry's Food Stores division, will become senior vice president of retail divisions, effective February 5. Monica Garnes, corporate vice president of produce-floral merchandising, will succeed McKinney as president of the Fry's division. She has been with Kroger for 23 years.  [  Image credit:  ©  Kroger  ]
"Kroger Names Steve McKinney Senior Vice President of Retail Divisions, Monica Garnes President of Fry's Division", News release, Kroger Co., January 30, 2018, © Kroger Co.
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Walgreens Boots Alliance Names James SVP And Boots President, Managing Director

January 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., said it has named Sebastian James as senior vice president and president and managing director of the company's Boots division. James will join the company in the summer of 2018, with his appointment effective on September 1, 2018, the start of the company's new fiscal year. He will report to Walgreens Boots Alliance co-chief operating officer, Alex Gourlay.
"Walgreens Boots Alliance Appoints Sebastian James as Senior Vice President and President and Managing Director of Boots", Walgreens Boots Alliance, January 19, 2018, © Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
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Target Launches Good Chemistry Brand Of Fragrances

January 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Target said it plans to launch Good Chemistry, the retailer's first exclusive fragrance brand. According to the company, the brand includes four collections it says are inspired by different personalities: Confident and Charming, Good and Grounded, Vibrant and Playful, and Cool and Collected. Featuring paraben-free scents, the vegan fragrances are made with essential oils and will be available at all Target branches from January 21, 2018.
"Say Hello to Good Chemistry, Target’s First Exclusive Fragrance Brand", Target, January 18, 2018, © Target Brands, Inc.
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Lidl Launches Line Of Skincare Products In UK

January 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Discount retailer Lidl has launched the Cien Cellular Beauty line of skincare products in the UK. With an affordable price of ₤15, the products contain ingredients similar to those used in the La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream, which cost almost ₤500. With every product costing ₤3.49, the range includes a day cream, night cream, and serum.
Anna Johnstone, "Lidl are launching a £3.49 cellular beauty cream – and it costs £490 less than La Prairie’s version", The Sun, January 18, 2018, © News Group Newspapers Limited
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Walmart Names McKenna Head Of International Business

January 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart has named its chief operating officer for its domestic operations, Judith McKenna, to head the retail giant's international unit. McKenna's appointment marks a significant milestone for women executives at Walmart, with the international unit viewed as a “stepping stone” to the company's CEO job. Other announcements made by the retailer include plans to raise starting salary to $11 an hour and to close 63 Sam's Club stores.
Matthew Boyle, "Wal-Mart Makes Judith McKenna Its International Chief", Bloomberg, January 17, 2018, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Walmart Dismisses Thousands Of Store Co-Managers

January 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart is reportedly planning to eliminate about 3,500 co-manager positions in the US market. According to reports, the planned move is aimed at removing “poor performers” and provide “clearer paths to leadership” for aspiring store managers. Meanwhile, the company announced plans to raise its starting salary to $11 an hour and spend $400 million in one-time bonuses to employees.
Matthew Boyle, "Wal-Mart to Cut Thousands of Store-Management Roles", Bloomberg, January 13, 2018, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Walmart Brazil Plans To Combine Physical Stores With Online Retail

January 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart Brazil said it plans to spend $464 million in the next four years to integrate its brick-and-mortar stores with the company's online retail operations. Also, the retailer said it will expand its e-commerce platform to allow third-party retailers to sell goods on its online marketplace.
Ivanha Paz, "Walmart Brazil Is Integrating Physical And Online Retail", PSFK, January 09, 2018, © PSFK LLC
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Sephora India Plans To Open More Stores In The Country

January 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Sephora India plans to expand its store network in the country by opening 10-12 stores in the coming 15 months. At present, the beauty retailer, a joint venture between Sephora and Arvind Ltd., operates 13 company-owned retail branches in the country's metropolitan centers. India's beauty and grooming market, valued at $8 billion, is expanding at a compounded annual growth rate of 18 percent, with the premium segment growing at a faster rate of about 28 percent.
Shobha Roy, "French cosmetics retailer Sephora to deck up India in premium products", The Hindu Business Line, January 08, 2018, © The Hindu Business Line
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Bottled Cold Brew Line Expands Tiesta Tea’s Portfolio

January 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. loose tea maker Tiesta Tea has entered the RTD cold brew tea market with a line of five bottled variants labeled by function (i.e., Energizer, Slenderizer, Eternity, Immunity, and Relaxer) to help shoppers select the most appropriate product. Bottles are priced at $2.99, are labeled with major ingredients featured prominently, and are sold at Target. The cold brew tea market continues to attract consumer interest: online searches for “cold brew tea” ranked fourth in the U.S. and U.K. between April 2015 and March 2017, according to Google. The company says cold-brewing tea is slower, but results in a more potent and smoother-tasting tea.
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Tiesta Tea Launches Cold Brew Bottled Tea Line in Target Stores", BeverageDaily.com, January 08, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Kroger Continues To Expand Its Clean-Label Product Offerings

January 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Kroger’s “Simple Truth” product line, which are free from more than a hundred artificial preservatives and other undesirable ingredients such as GMOs and antibiotics, is being expanded, the company announced. Simple Truth brand includes more than 1,400 natural and organic products in categories such as grocery, meat, produce, deli, bakery, baby, household essentials and personal care. New Simple Truth products will debut this year that “align with customer trends, including increasingly popular categories like beverage, snacking and non-animal proteins." The company said Simple Truth 3rd quarter sales grew 19 percent.  [ Image credit: © Kroger  ]
Alissa Marchant, "Kroger Will Expand Its Simple Truth Lines to ‘Align With Customer Trends’", The Shelby Report, January 03, 2018, © The Shelby Report
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Amazon's Mexico Initiatives Gain Recognition From Euromonitor

January 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In the second half of 2017, online retailer Amazon launched three initiatives in Mexico, market research firm Euromonitor found interesting. In October 2017, the online retailer launched Amazon Cash, a service that allows consumers to load their Amazon accounts with credit by paying in cash at retail locations across the country. Also, Amazon launched its Handmade marketplace for artisan-made products, including jewelry, home décor, and accessories. Amazon also increased its focus on fast-moving consumer goods, such as pet care, beauty, and home care products.
Amanda Bourlier, "Three Interesting Initiatives by Amazon in Mexico", Euromonitor International, January 02, 2018, © Euromonitor
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FMCG Spending Grows In China, Report Shows

December 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Consumer spending on fast-moving consumer goods in China grew 5.5 percent during the 12-week period ending November 3, 2017, compared with the same period in the previous year, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Data from the market research firm revealed modern trade expanded 3.1 percent during the period, faster than the same period in the previous year. Also, smaller-store formats grew the fastest, with supermarket and convenience stores growing by 3.9 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, data showed. Among China's largest retailers, Yonghui grew the fastest at 11 percent, while Sun Art group, owner of the RT-mart brand, grew 5.7 percent, reinforcing its market-leading status.
"FMCG in China reported new record recovery", Kantar Worldpanel, December 20, 2017, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Big Grocery Chains Can Do A Lot To Reduce Food Waste

December 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Three business and management scholars writing in the Harvard Business Review suggest several ways large food retailers – Kroger, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Carrefour, Walmart, etc. – can help reduce food waste in their supply chain, stores, and communities. The four-pronged strategy includes the following suggestions: upgrade inventory systems with the latest technology; partner with farms, where seven percent of U.S. produce is left unharvested; modify or eliminate traditional store practices that increase waste, e.g., focusing too heavily on the cosmetics of produce; and team up with consumers, only three percent of whom attach a social stigma to throwing away food. [ Image credit: © Walmart  ]
Yasemin Y. Kor et al., "How Large Food Retailers Can Help Solve the Food Waste Crisis", Harvard Business Review, December 19, 2017, © Harvard Business School Publishing
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Decorate A Yule Log Cake At Home With A Kit From La Madeleine Bakery

December 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
La Madeleine French-style bakery has created for the holiday season a decorate-it-yourself kit specifically for yule log cakes, known in France as Bûche de Noël. The kit enables customers to follow the French Christmas tradition of decorating and eating the Bûche de Noël at home with family and friends. The yule log cake starts as a vanilla sheet cake that is topped with chocolate mousse, then rolled into the iconic yule log shape. A fully decorated take-out cake is available for about $32.00. La Madeleine has more than 80 corporate and franchised bakery-cafés in ten states and Washington, D.C. [ Image credit: © La Madeleine  ]
"La Madeleine Introduces New Decorate Your Own Bûche de Noël Kit for the Holiday Season", News release, La Madeleine French Bakery & Café, December 07, 2017, © La Madeleine French Bakery & Café
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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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Minnesota Bakery Is Famous For Its “Texas Doughnuts”

December 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Hans’ Bakery in Minnesota continues a tradition begun in the 1970s of baking massive glazed or chocolate-covered treats known as “Texas doughnuts.” The pastries are about five times the size of a normal doughnut – as big as your head, as some say – and are a hit on social media. People flock to Hans’ Bakery just to take selfies holding them next to their faces or taking bites. The original Hans’ Bakery closed in 2010, but after a couple of personal and financial setbacks, new owner Kelly Olsen decided to revive it. The Food Network followed her journey. The shop re-opened in 2014 and became – along with its giant-size doughnuts – an instant hit.  [ Image credit: © Daniel Zemans  ]
 
 
Sharyn Jackson, "Minnesota Bakery’s Doughnut is ‘as big as Your Head’", TheStar.com, December 05, 2017, © Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd.
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For One Maryland Baker, Breadmaking Is Closely Linked To The Soil

November 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Maryland baker is taking breadmaking beyond the mere mixture of water, flour, and yeast to the higher art of crafting delicious loaves only from ingredients grown organically by a local farmer. Jonathan Bethony’s “horse bread,” for example, is made with field peas, sorghum, millet, mustard seed, and camelina – all provided by an organic farmer, who grows only what he needs to keep his land healthy and ready to produce more traditional wheat. Bethony mills the grains at his bakery. He never sifts, so the nutritious oils and bran remain in his bread and pastries. Chef and author Dan Barber says Bethony’s somewhat spiritual techniques may seem old-fashioned, but they’re actually rather futuristic: “You’re basically looking at the Steve Jobs of bread.”  [ Image credit: © Wikipedia  ]
Jane Black, "This New Bakery is Taking Local Grains to Another Level — and the Results Should Have You Standing in Line", The Washington Post, November 28, 2017, © The Washington Post
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Restaurants Can’t Ignore Customers Looking To Avoid Certain Foods

November 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Big restaurant chains are swerving from their standardized approach to foods and beverages to better serve customers trying to avoid gluten and dairy. Customers with food intolerances or allergies, or who are following avoidance diets, have become a market simply too large to ignore. Starbucks, for example, now sells a hot chocolate drink made with steamed almond milk. California Pizza Kitchen offers a gluten-free cauliflower crust for those who don’t eat wheat-based foods. Industry research has found that lactose comes in third, after high fructose corn syrup and GMOs, as America’s most-avoided ingredients. Gluten and wheat came in at No. 7. [ Image credit: © Starbucks  ]
Zlati Meyer, "Starbucks, Other Chains Cater to Customers Who Avoid Dairy, Gluten", USA Today, November 21, 2017, © USA Today
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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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