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Amazon Plans To Launch Business In Indonesia, Local E-Commerce Executive Says

June 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon plans to enter Indonesia's e-commerce market, according to Indonesia E-commerce Association chairman Daniel Tumiwa. According to Tumiwa, local e-commerce companies “stand no chance to win against” the online retailer. Tumiwa also said Amazon plans to invest $600 million for its proposed Indonesia operations.
Anisa Menur, "Amazon to enter Indonesian market, gets US$600M ready for its first year", Yahoo! News, June 20, 2016, © Yahoo! News
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Wal-Mart Sells China E-Commerce Site To JD.com

June 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it has agreed to sell its Yihaodian website in China to JD.com Inc., the country’s second-largest online retailer. As part of the deal, which marks a strategic shift in the US-based retailer’s approach to e-commerce business in China, Wal-Mart will receive a 5-percent stake in JD.com. After opening its first store in China in 1996, Wal-Mart has found it hard to expand in the country where it operates about 430 locations. In 2012, Wal-Mart first invested in Yihaodian and gained full control of the website in 2015.
Rick Carew, Alyssa Abkowitz and Sarah Nassauer, "Wal-Mart to Sell Chinese E-Commerce Business to JD.com", Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Kroger Posts Strong Sales Growth In 1Q 2016

June 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Kroger Co. reported total sales grew 4.7 percent to $34.6 billion in the first quarter of 2016, compared with $33.1 billion for the same quarter of the previous year. Net earnings reached $680 million, or $0.70 per diluted share, with same-store sales, withou fuel, growing 2.4 percent during the period. Total sales, fuel and Roundy's excluded, rose 3.5 percent, compared with the same period in 2015. FIFO gross margin was 23.0 percent of sales; however, without fuel and Roundy's, FIFO gross margin declined 2 basis points. Kroger reported a $15 million LIFO charge during the quarter, compared with $28 million in the previous year.
"Kroger Reports First Quarter Results", Kroger, June 16, 2016, © The Kroger Company
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Wal-Mart Is Gunning For $45 Billion To $60 Billion More Sales In Next Three Years, CEO Says

June 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores aims to increase sales by $45 billion to $60 billion over the next three years, according to CEO Doug McMillon. He made the statement during a presentation at the Consumer Goods Forum even in Cape Town. McMillon said that sales growth would show the company is actually a growth company.
Wendell Roelf, "Wal-Mart targets new sales of up to $60 billion by 2019: CEO", Reuters, June 16, 2016, © Thomson Reuters
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Amazon Announces Lower Shipping Fees To Better Compete With Online Rivals

June 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. announced lower fees it charges merchants that sell small, flat products that can fit in envelopes. Effective July 1, 2016, sellers would pay $1.61 to ship three, flat, 1-ounce packages, which is 67 percent lower than the existing fee. Covering merchants using the online retailer’s Fulfillment By Amazon Small and Light program, the move is seen as part of the online retailer’s efforts to better compete with marketplaces owned by rivals Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., EBay Inc., and Wish.com that link China-based sellers with shoppers in the US.
Spencer Soper, "Amazon Cuts Shipping Fees in Threat to Alibaba’s U.S. Business", Bloomberg Technology, June 16, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Panera To Get Rid Of All Artificial Additives In Bakery And At-Home Products

June 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Further applying its Panera 2.0 program, Panera Bread says it will remove all artificial ingredients from its range of 50 Panera at Home products by the end of the year. It has also said it will eliminate all artificial ingredients from its food in all 2,000 bakeries and cafes by the end of 2016. The company has already removed ingredients like artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners, from 90 percent of its food items. Panera at Home sells Panera branded products to other retailers, including refrigerated soup, mac and cheese, pasta, and salad dressings, as well as artisan frozen bread, sliced sandwich bread and coffee.
"Panera to Remove Artificial Ingredients from At-Home Products", Zacks, June 16, 2016, © Zacks Investment Research
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Wal-Mart Enlists Five Elements Robotics To Help Develop Robotic Shopping Cart

June 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is collaborating with robotics company Five Elements Robotics to develop a shopping cart that would help shoppers look for items on their lists. Robotic shopping carts can help brick-and-mortar retailers to compete with Amazon.com Inc. and other retailers, according to Five Elements Robortics founder and CEO Wendy Roberts. Wal-Mart has been investing in technology to improve customers' shopping experience and compete with online retailers.
Spencer Soper and Shannon Pettypiece, "Wal-Mart Experimenting With Robotic Shopping Cart for Stores", Bloomberg , June 15, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Lush Relies On Word-Of-Mouth Marketing To Fuel Growth

June 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Lush Cosmetics does not advertise on traditional media but instead relies on word-of-mouth marketing. In order to grow into a large beauty retail company, Lush Cosmetics has implemented a content strategy using non-traditional methods using brand values and identity, reinforced by the company's dedication to its ethical principles, such as minimal packaging and protests against animal testing. Also, the company is known for its unique and interesting copywriting, using flowery and humorous language to describe its products.
Nikki Gilliland, "How Lush Cosmetics uses word-of-mouth marketing", Econsultancy, June 15, 2016, © Econsultancy.com Limited
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Aldi Wins Grocer Of The Year Award In UK

June 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Discount retailer Aldi was recognized as Grocer of the Year at the 2016 Grocer Gold Awards. Marking the third time the retailer won the award in four years, the event saw Aldi grabbing the award from rivals Lidl and Ocado. Tesco was voted UK's Favorite Supermarket by the public, while Andy Savage from Morrisons was Store Manager of the Year.
James Halliwell, "Aldi crowned Grocer of the Year", The Grocer, June 15, 2016, © William Reed Business Media Ltd.
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Leading Retailers Resume Global Expansion Efforts In 2015, Report Says

June 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In 2015, the world's top retailers resumed their international expansion, according to market research group Planet Retail. Data from the company's report "Internationalisation of Retail, 2016," revealed an increase in the number of markets in which the leading players operated, compared with the period 2012 to 2014. Last year, the Top 100 retailers added 27 new markets to their global operations, compared with only 17 in the previous two years combined. Africa and Middle East became a key region for top retailers' international expansion efforts, with the region experiencing the fastest growth rate among all the regions covered by the study. Marke leaders, such as Walmart, Carrefour, and 7-Eleven, are targeting the region. Retailers are also using the Internet and marketplace platforms to launch their international operations without actually setting up physical stores in countries outside their home markets.
"Internationalisation of Retail", The Consumer Goods Forum and Planet Retail, June 14, 2016, © Planet Retail
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Six Retail Chief Executives Make It To Glassdoor's 2016 List Of Top 50 CEOs

June 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Six chief executive officers from the retail industry are among the 50 Highest Rated CEOs list for 2016 from Glassdoor. Apple CEO Tim Cook is on 8th place overall, with Glassdoor employee approval rating of 96 percent. Supermarket chain H-E-B’s CEO Charles C. Butt dropped 16 places from his third place finish in 2015 to 19th overall, with employee approval rating of 95 percent. Nike CEO Mark G. Parker, whose e-commerce business goal for his company is $7 billion in revenue by end of fiscal year 2020, has an employee approval rating of 94 percent. At 46th place is Costco CEO Craig Jelinek who has 92 percent employee approval rating. Laurent Potdevin, CEO of yoga and fitness apparel retailer lululemon, has an employee approval rating of 92 percent. Sephora USA CEO Calvin McDonald earned for himself a 92-percent employee approval rating.
Tim Denman, "Retail's 6 Highest Rated CEOs", Retail Info System, June 14, 2016, © Stagnito Business information + Edgell Communications
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Sephora Opens New Distribution Facility In Poland

June 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora opened a new distribution center in Poland. Located at the Segro Logistics Park Warsaw, the facility is managed by the company's logistics operator Logwin. Also, Sephora introduced a SAP storage and distribution system, which uses automation on most of the process.
"Sephora launches latest logistics model", Eurobuild CEE , June 13, 2016
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Wal-Mart Stores Announces Several Changes To Senior Management Team Of International Business

June 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced several changes to its senior-level management team for its international business. Andy Clarke plans to step down as president and chief executive officer of Asda, Wal-Mart’s UK operations, effective end of July 2016. Wal-Mart said Sean Clarke will return to the UK and succeed Clarke as president and CEO of Asda effective July 11, 2016. Also, Wal-Mart confirmed Roger Burnley will be appointed as deputy CEO and chief operating officer of Asda in October 2016. Wal-Mart also said Walmart Canada president and CEO Dirk Van De Berghe will be Walmart China’s new leader effective August 22, 2016, while Walmart Asia president and CEO Scott Price will focus on his role as chief administrative officer of Walmart International.
"Walmart Announces Senior Management Changes in International Business", Walmart, June 13, 2016, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Carrefour Deploys Apple Pay In Stores Across France

June 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour plans to install Apple Pay at its stores in France, allowing shoppers to pay for their purchases using their smartphones. Combined with Carrefour Banque, Apple Pay will offer a “simplified, seamless and practical shopping experience” to all PASS MasterCard cardholders. Easy to set up, Apple Pay offers security and privacy. Also, Apple Pay is designed to let users continue receiving all of the rewards and benefits offered by credit and debit cards.
"Apple Pay coming to Carrefour’s Customers in France", Carrefour, June 13, 2016, © Carrefour
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Carrefour Argentina Deploys Caja Ya System To Shorten Shoppers' Wait Time

June 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour Argentina has implemented Caja Ya, a customer queue management system developed to shorten shoppers' waiting time when paying for their purchases. Designed to ease the flow of customers, the system of electronic queues generates shifts and screens with information on waiting times. Shoppers can pick up the device upon entering the store, take their turn by scanning the bar code at a Consultation Point.
""Caja Ya" (Checkout), Carrefour’s new service in Argentina", Carrefour, June 13, 2016, © Carrefour
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Carrefour Expands 24-Hour Business Operations In Madrid

June 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour expanded its 24-hour business in Spain, by opening new stores in Madrid. Results of test runs in two stores in the country's capital have encouraged the company to expand the concept by adding a Carrefour Market branch to its lineup of locations that operate 24 hours a day. Carrefour's 24-hour push is targeting the city's workforce who work long hours or finish very late, as well as shoppers who hate large crowds.
"Carrefour Expands 24-Hour Shopping In Spain", European Supermarket Magazine, June 13, 2016, © European Supermarket Magazine
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Sephora Partners With Website MadameNoire To Launch Digital Campaign Aimed At Women With Curly Hair

June 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora partnered with African-American lifestyle site MadameNoire to launch “Curls Run the World,” a digital video series featuring four leading natural hair promoters. Highlighting conversations focused on black women proud of their curly hair, the episodes will feature New York hairstylist Monica Stevens, natural hair and fashion blogger Yolanda Renee, TLC lead singer and fitness guru Rozonda Thomas, and poet Aja Monet. Also, the series will highlight Sephora's top product choices for each natural hair texture.
"Beauty Brand, Sephora, Partners with MadameNoire on ‘Curls Run The World’ Natural Hair Product Campaign", PRWeb, June 09, 2016, © Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC.
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Walgreens Boots Alliance Appoints Gourlay And Barra As Co-Chief Operating Officers

June 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walgreens Boots Alliance announced the appointment of Alex Gourlay, executive vice president of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of Walgreens, and Ornella Barra, EVP of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president and chief executive of global wholesale and international retail, as co-chief operating officers. According to the company, the appointments are aimed at improving focus and collaboration, and further improve the management of global operations. Also, the company said Simon Roberts, EVP of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of Boots, will leave the company in July 2016.
"Walgreens Boots Alliance Announced Changes to Senior Management Team for Next Phase of Evolution", Walgreens Boots Alliance , June 09, 2016, © Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
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Trader Joe's Is Shoppers' Favorite Grocer, Survey Says

June 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Trader Joe's is the most customer-centric grocery chain, according to results of the latest Customer Quotient survey from C Space. Data from the customer intelligence agency revealed Shaw's had the lowest score among retailers covered by the study. Trader Joe's received particularly high marks for its shopper loyalty despite the fact that it has no loyalty program. Results of the survey, which asked the opinion of more than 500 shoppers across the US, showed customers expect to continue shopping at Trader Joe's because the company hires friendly and helpful staff.
Dan Berthiaume , "Study: What grocers satisfy customers the most (and least)?", Chain Store Age, June 08, 2016, © Chain Store Age
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China Allows Wal-Mart To Acquire Online Retailer Yihaodian Without Restrictions

June 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
China's Ministry of Commerce has removed restrictions on Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s acquisition of online supermarket Yihaodian. In August 2012, Wal-Mart received conditional approval for its deal to increase its investment in the online retailer, becoming its controlling shareholder with a 51-percent stake. In July 2015, Wal-Mart acquired the remaining 49 percent of Yihaodian.
Donny Kwok, "China commerce ministry removes curbs on Wal-Mart's Yihaodian deal", Reuters, June 08, 2016, © Reuters
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Carrefour Agrees To Lose Three Supermarkets To Gain Government Nod For Acquisition Of Romania's Billa Supermarket Chain

June 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
French retailer Carrefour has agreed to let go of three supermarkets in Braila, Romania, to secure the approval of the country's Competition Council for its acquisition of the Billa supermarket chain. According to the agency, the retailer would become dominant in the region's retail market following the planned merger. In 2015, Carrefour agreed to acquire the 86 Billa supermarkets from German company Rewe in a deal worth between €95 million to €100 million.
"Carrefour gives up three stores in Romania to get OK for Billa takeover", Romania Insider, June 08, 2016, © Romania-Insider.com
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Ireland's Grocery Market Posts Strong Sales Growth In Quarter Ending May 2016

June 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Ireland’s grocery market posted 4 percent growth in sales for the 12-week period ending May 22, 2016, compared with the same period in the previous year, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Data from the market research firm revealed the average household in the country increased spending by €50 on groceries, or a total of €89 million more for the market. Dunnes Stores was one of only two retailers to see sales grow faster than the rest of the market, with sales rising 8 percent and average shopper spending at €37.20. Lidl saw its sales grow the fastest, with 72.4 percent of all households shopping in one of its stores during the period.
"Grocery spend continues to rise and record numbers shop at Lidl", Kantar Worldpanel, June 07, 2016, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Tesco Plans To Sell Kipa Retail Chain In Turkey And Giraffe Restaurants In UK

June 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
UK retailer Tesco is expected to sell its Kipa chain in Turkey and Giraffe restaurants in its home market. Tesco's planned sale of Kipa marks another step in the retailer's withdrawal from the international market following the sale or closure of businesses in China, South Korea, and the US. Also, the planned sales are part of the efforts of Tesco CEO Dave Lewis to improve the retailer's revenue performance.
Mark Kleinman, "Tesco To Sell Giraffe And Turkish Chains", Sky News, June 07, 2016, © Sky UK
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Amazon Continues Beating Walmart Online, Mizuho Says

June 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Amazon's online shoppers spend about $157 a month on average, up from $130 a month in November 2015, according to financial research firm Mizuho. In contrast, Walmart's online customers reduced their average monthly spending from $30 a month to $27, data revealed. Walmart saw lower numbers despite its efforts to grow its online business, including its commitment to invest $900 million for the next two years and partnerships with ride-sharing firms Uber and Lyft to expand online delivery service. According to Mizuho, Amazon's growth is driven in part by mobile platform, with 67 percent of respondents picking Amazon as their favorite mobile shopping site.
Eugene Kim, "Here's another sign that Amazon is absolutely crushing Walmart in online shopping", Business Insider, June 07, 2016, © Business Insider Inc.
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Sephora Adopts ShopStyle App To Let Consumers Buy Products They See On Snapchat

June 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora has started allowing its Snapchat followers to buy products it features in live stories. By taking a screenshot and downloading the ShopStyle application, consumers can buy beauty products they like. With Snapchat not allowing marketers to include clickable shopping links in photos they upload, beauty marketers are creating ways to make money using the image-sharing website. PopSugar’s ShopStyle app is designed to help marketers monetize their Snapchat stories.
Alex Samuely , "Sephora uncaps new mobile revenue stream via shoppable Snapchats", Luxury Daily , June 07, 2016, © Napean LLC
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Amazon.com Aims To Boost Spending Power In India By $3 Billion

June 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. announced plans to invest $3 billion more in India. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the investment plans during a meeting with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington. In contrast with local online retailers that are finding it hard to raise cash, Amazon's announcement raises its total planned investment in India to $5 billion. India could be the next biggest e-commerce market; however, Amazon is facing serious competition from local online operators, including Flipkart Internet and Snapdeal.com. Also, the company is adapting its business operations to local conditions. For example, it is doing home delivery itself and operates more and smaller warehouses in the country.
Greg Bensinger, "Amazon Plans $3 Billion India Investment", The Wall Street Journal, June 07, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Lidl Names 360i Agency To Manage Social Media Marketing

June 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Discount retailer Lidl awarded its social media marketing account to 360i. As part of the account requirements, 360i has to help the retailer increase its share of online mentions and implementing its “Surprisingly Different” campaign.
Jennifer Faull, "Lidl taps 360i for social media business", The Drum, June 07, 2016, © Carnyx Group Ltd
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Kroger Makes It To Newsweek's List Of Top 500 Environment-Friendly Companies

June 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Kroger Co. said it has been included in the Newsweek Green Rankings list of the top 500 environment-friendly companies for 2016. Kroger's sustainability efforts include reducing its carbon footprint by reducing overall energy consumption in all of its stores by 35 percent. Also, the retailer is nearing the EPA's Zero Waste threshold of 90 percent. Kroger, a founding partner of Feeding America, supports organizations that bring food and hope to hungry people. During the last eight years, Kroger has created more than 74,000 new jobs.
"Kroger Recognized in Newsweek's 2016 Green Rankings", Kroger , June 07, 2016, © The Kroger Company
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Shopping Mall Owners Invest In Technology To Attract Shoppers And Retailers

June 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Shopping malls are investing in technology to improve the ways they connect with shoppers, hoping to encourage more activity and even giving mall owners an edge in lease negotiations with retailers. This trend is also helping grow a cottage industry of technology startups creating and selling software and services that develop interactive maps and mobile advertising for shopping malls. Other products includes those designed to support real estate maintenance and security operations. Also, some vendors offer technologies designed to help mall owners analyze foot traffic in shopping malls, an important metric cited by landlords and retailers during lease negotiations. Mall owners need more accurate methods of measuring the number of shoppers and how they behave in order to be able to lease their properties and charge the highest possible rents.
Esther Fung, "Mall Landlords Embrace High-Tech to Entice Shoppers", The Wall Street Journal, June 07, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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New Partnership Will Help Determine Levels Of Food Waste In Countries

June 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Though 800 million people globally are malnourished, about a third of all food – approximately $940 billion worth each year – is lost as it moves from farm (or factory) to table. To help end this trend, a group of international organizations has partnered to launch a Food Loss and Waste Standard that will help businesses, governments, and other organizations to measure the problem. Organizations involved in the initiative include the World Resources Institute, the Consumer Goods Forum, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and others. The basic goal of the program is to help companies and countries find out how much food is lost or wasted, and where it occurs within their borders, operations or supply chains.
"First-Ever Global Standard to Measure Food Loss and Waste Introduced by International Partnership", News release, World Resources Institute, June 06, 2016, © World Resources Institute
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Lidl And Kaufland Report Strong Sales Gains In Romania In 2015

June 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retailers Lidl and Kaufland reported strong sales and revenue growth in Romania in 2015. Discount retailer Lidl reported revenue grew 11 percent to €1 billion, while sister company Kaufland posted a 16-percent jump to €2 billion. Growth was driven by strong like-for-like sales growth and new store openings, with Kaufland opening five stores to reach 107 stores. Lidl opened about 10 stores to close the year with more than 190 locations.
"Lidl and Kaufland double digit growth in Romania", Retail Analysis, June 06, 2016, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution and IGD Services Limited
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New Asda COO Will Eventually Head Company, CEO Clarke Says

June 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
UK supermarket chain Asda CEO Andy Clarke said the company's new chief operating officer Roger Burnley will be his successor as chief executive officer. After about a decade of working at one of Asda's major supermarket rivals, J Sainsbury PLC, Burnley will join Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s UK business in October 2016. Burnley was Asda's head of logistics before leaving to join discount clothing seller Matalan in 2002.
Sam Chambers, "Wal-Mart’s Asda CEO Clarke Says Burnley Will Be His Successor", Bloomberg, June 06, 2016, © Bloomberg LP
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Bath & Body Works VP Says Customers Love Nostalgic Fragrances

June 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Bath & Body Works vice president of brand development, Soyoung Kang, said the personal care company is seeing a renewed consumer interest in classic olfactive ingredients. Kang said customers love fragrance notes that feel nostalgic but come in modernized forms and structure in the overall fragrance. According to the executive, customer favorites include Fine Fragrance Mist, which allows fragrance to be worn in a lighter way all day.
Melissa Meisel, "What’s New at Bath & Body Works?", Household And Personal Products Industry, June 06, 2016, © Rodman Media
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Facebook Urges Beauty Brands To Go Mobile

June 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Social networking site Facebook told beauty marketers that commerce is moving to the mobile platform. Launched at the company’s first beauty summit, held in Los Angeles’ Hotel Bel-Air, Facebook IQ’s report “Beauty Beyond: The Thumb is in Charge” showed three in 10 beauty and personal care purchases by consumers 18 years old and above happened on mobile from September to December 2015. Data from the report revealed millennials, mothers, and multicultural customers accounted for 81 percent of beauty purchases during the last holiday shopping season. Also, the report forecast that in 5–10 years, all consumers will be using mobile for their purchases.
Rachel Brown, "Facebook to Beauty Marketers: The Moment for Mobile Is Now", Women’s Wear Daily, June 06, 2016, © Fairchild Publishing, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC
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More Than A Quarter Of American Population Will Live In Top 10 Cities By 20125, Euromonitor Forecasts

June 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
By 2025, 27 percent of Americans will be living in the country’s 10 largest metropolitan areas, according to Euromonitor International. Data from the market research firm’s presentation, “US Consumers in 2025: What’s in Store for Retailers?,” revealed households without children will grow the fastest and the country will become more ethnically and racially diverse. Also, millennials will account for 30 percent of gross income; however, income inequality will persist.
Michelle Grant, "US Consumers in 2025: What’s in Store for Retailers", Euromonitor, June 06, 2016, © Euromonitor
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Food Retailers, Manufacturers Back New Food Waste Reporting Protocol

June 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Swiss food manufacturer Nestle and British retail grocery chain Tesco have announced support for new international reporting requirements for food loss and waste. A Nestle representative called the reporting standards “a massive, global step in fighting food loss and waste.” The World Resources Institute (WRI) said food loss and waste globally costs $940 billion a year; food loss generates about eight percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Using the standard, countries and companies will be able to quantify how much food is lost and wasted and where. They will also be able to report on it credibly and consistently. Other major companies backing the standard individually, or through the Consumer Goods Forum, include Australia’s Woolworths and Unilever.
John Shepherd, "Nestle, Tesco back new world standard on food loss and waste", Just-Food, June 06, 2016, © just-food.com
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Restaurant Chains Claim Reductions In Antibiotics Use, But Who Really Knows?

June 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Several large fast-food restaurant chains have announced voluntary “free from antibiotics” policies thanks to pressure from consumers and consumer advocacy groups. But with limited information from the companies themselves, no agreed-upon standards, and no government regulation, how does a consumer really know whether his pizza is antibiotics-free? Each company is implementing the policy in its own way, some following, for example, USDA guidelines for reducing drug use in livestock production except in case of illness. But one fact remains clear: there's little evidence that agricultural use of antibiotics is dropping. The FDA reported in December that antibiotics sales for farm animals was up 22 percent from 2009 to 2014. International use is expected to rise 66 percent by 2030.
Deena Shanker, "Can You Really Know If That Pizza Is Antibiotic-Free?", Bloomberg, June 04, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Retailers Look At Chatbots As Another Way Of Staying In Touch With Customers

June 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retailers are testing chatbots, computer programs powered by artificial intelligence and designed to imitate human conversations, as a means to reach, retain, and sell to customers. Although chatbots have been around for years, the growing popularity of messaging apps, such as Kik, WhatsApp, and Snapchat, has made these AI-enabled chat tools popular. With American consumers' retail spending on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, forecast by eMarketer to grow from $123.13 billion in 2016 to $242.08 billion in 2020, retailers might see advantages in deploying chatbots. There are some drawbacks to using chatbots; for example, there is the risk of losing data and insights if customers stopped using their apps and websites. Also, these AI-enabled tools are still not fully capable of fully mimicking human conversations and usually fail when faced with queries and comments not covered by their scripts.
Queenie Wong, "Retailers experiment with chatbots to reach customers", Mercury News, June 03, 2016, © Digital First Media
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Birchbox Adds Retail Locations To Its Subscription-Box Business Model

June 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Birchbox Inc. plans to expand its share of the $16-billion prestige beauty industry in the US by opening retail locations. According to Birchbox co-founder and CEO, Katia Beauchamp, the company will not abandon its subscription-box business model. Instead, by opening its retail operations, the company aims to become profitable. Since its launch in 2010, the company has seen plenty of rivals with copycat versions of its samples-in-a-box offering.
Kim Bhasin et al, "Birchbox Finds Cute Boxes Filled With Makeup Aren't Enough", Bloomberg, June 03, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Woolworths Admits To Role In Laundry Detergent Price-Fixing Scheme

June 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission has fined supermarket chain Woolworths $9 million for its involvement in price-fixing among the largest laundry detergent companies in the country. According to Rod Sims, chairman of the competition and consumer-protection agency, the supermarket chain admitted to knowing about the illegal arrangement between Colgate-Palmolive, PZ Cussons, and Unilever. Two months earlier, Colgate-Palmolive was fined $18 million for its role in the scheme.
"Woolworths fined $9m for being an accessory to detergent producers' cartel", Guardian, June 03, 2016, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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Aldi USA Launches Little Journey Line Of Baby Care Products

June 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Discount retailer Aldi USA plans to launch its Little Journey brand of private-label baby care products. Available starting in August 2016, the lineup will cover almost 50 products, including diapers, training pants, and cleansing wipes. Designed to meet or beat national brands in terms of quality, durability, and taste, the products will meet the needs of babies from newborn to toddlers. By launching the product range, Aldi seeks to attract a key target group: young families.
"Aldi USA: taking on the baby category", Retail Analysis, June 02, 2016, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution and IGD Services Limited
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Lidl Launches Lithuania Business; Opens First 15 Stores

June 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
German discount retailer Lidl opened its first 15 stores in Lithuania on June 2, 2016. In 2002, the company announced its plans to enter the Lithuania market; however, these plans were put on hold. After the company opened a €40-million distribution center in Kaunas and hired public relations professionals, Lidl Lietuva finally announced its planned entry into Lithuania.
"Lidl opens 15 stores across Lithuania", Baltic Course, June 02, 2016, © The Baltic Course
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UK's Big 4 Retailers Hold On To Market Share, Report Shows

June 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In the UK, the big 4 retailers have managed to hold on to their market share, losing only 0.2 percent of consumers, in the 12-week period ending May 22, 2016, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Data from the market research firm revealed 94 percent of discount retailers Lidl and Aldi customers still visit at least one of the big 4 retailers every four weeks. Sales continued to decline for the big four, however, with Tesco showing the smallest sales drop at 1.0 percent. Sainsbury’s saw its sales drop 1.2 percent, causing its market share to fall to 16.2 percent. Asda’s low-price strategy remained vulnerable to discounters Aldi and Lidl’s expansion and saw sales falling 5.1 percent, with 15.8 percent of the market. Morrisons saw its sales affected by store disposals, while Waitrose posted sales growth of 2.1 percent, grabbing 5.3 percent of the grocery market. Lidl and Aldi remained the fastest growing retailers, rising 14.2 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively.
"Big four retain shoppers despite strong growth from competitors", Kantar Worldpanel, June 01, 2016, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Walmart Smiley Logo Reanimated

June 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart Chief Operating Officer Judith McKenna says the company recently dusted off its Smiley (face) logo, first introduced back in 1990 but on the shelf over the last decade, to reconfirm the connection between customer happiness and low prices. Company research found that nearly 70 percent of Walmart customers still associate Smiley with savings, even after 10 years. “Back in the day, Smiley was the face of rollbacks,” McKenna says. “Today, he represents all low prices.” Walmart for several years was embroiled in a trademark lawsuit over the image, but it says it definitely owns the logo free and clear.
Emily Schmid, "Why the (Smiley) Face? A Chat with Walmart’s COO", Blog, Walmart, June 01, 2016, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Ahold Reports Strong Sales, Profit Gains In 1Q 2016

June 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Ahold reported group sales grew 4.3 percent to €11.8 billion, 3.5 percent at constant exchange rates, in the first quarter of 2016. Also, the company reported online sales grew 27.4 percent during the quarter, compared with the same period in the previous year. Underlying operating margin was 3.8 percent, compared with 3.5 percent in the same quarter of 2015, the company said. Group underlying operating income jumped 15.1 percent during the period, while free cash flow reached €287 million.
"Ahold Interim Report First quarter 2016", Ahold, June 01, 2016, © Ahold
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Tesco Reports Recovering Sales, Strong Profits In FY 2016

June 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Tesco reported sales excluding VAT and fuel grew 0.1 percent for fiscal year 2016, compared with the previous 52-week period, at constant exchange rates. Operating profit before exceptional items were £944 million, with statutory profit before tax at £162 million. According to the company, it generated £2.6 billion in cash from retail operations, an increase of 39 percent year-on-year, while reducing debt by £6.2 billion to £15.5 billion.
"Tesco Annual Report and Financial Statements 2016", Tesco, June 01, 2016, © Tesco Stores Ltd
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Wal-Mart Seeks Bigger Share Of China's Online Retail Market

May 31, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart is seeking to expand its e-commerce operations in China, as part of the company’s efforts to increase its share of the local online retail market. Yihaodian, which Wal-Mart acquired in July 2015, operates 250 e-commerce hubs in 200 cities across China. Online sales in the country reached $307 billion in 2013, hit $589.2 billion in 2015, and is forecast to grow beyond $1 trillion by 2019. In contrast, online spending in the US was $334 billion in 2015 and is forecast to reach $480 billion by 2019, according to Forrester. In China, 46 percent of shoppers are already buying groceries online for home delivery, compared with the global rate of 25 percent, according to Nielsen. Wal-Mart accounts for 1.6 percent of the local online market, which places it at number 6, behind Alibaba, which has 46.9 percent of the market and JD.com with 20.1 percent. According to analysts, Wal-Mart, which aims to be among the top 3 online retailers in the market, will find it hard to grab market share from the local online retail giants.
Anne D'Innocenzio and Paul Wiseman, "Wal-Mart Steps up Online Efforts in China as a Key to Future", ABC News, May 31, 2016, © ABC News Internet Ventures
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Wal-Mart China Posts Strong Sales Growth In 1Q 2016

May 31, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart said total sales in China rose 5.1 percent in the first quarter of 2016, compared with the same quarter in the previous year. Driven significantly by the strong performance of Chinese stores during the Chinese New Year, Wal-Mart China also said comparable sales grew 1.4 percent and comparable per-customer transaction jumped 5.2 percent. Data from market research firm Nielsen revealed Wal-Mart China's fast moving consumer goods share in hypermarkets grew for 13 consecutive quarters.
"Wal-Mart China Sales Up 5.1% In Q1 2016", ChinaRetailNews.com, May 31, 2016, © ChinaRetailNews.com
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Regular Customer Owes Life To Domino's Pizza Staff In Oregon

May 31, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Stores Magazine presented a list of events related to the retail market in the US. Kirk Alexander, a regular customer of Domino's Pizza store in Salem, Oregon, was brought to the hospital and received medical care after store employees noticed he had not ordered for several days. Araven ingroduced the Shop and Roll Loop, a shopping cart that combines convenience and ergonomics. Americans have serious security and trust issues concerning their personal and financial data, according to results of the survey, “Consumer Trust Survey: Data in the Hands of Companies and Government,” conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of data science company Feedzai.
Susan Reda, "STORES Trends: June 2016", National Retail Federation, May 31, 2016, © National Retail Federation
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CPG Companies' Ad Spending To Come Close To $6 Billion In 2016, Forecast Says

May 31, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Consumer packaged goods and consumer products companies in the US will spend $5.97 billion on digital advertising in 2016, an increase of 18.2 percent compared with 2015, according to eMarketer. Data from the report “The US CPG and Consumer Products Industry 2016: Digital Ad Spending Forecast and Trends” revealed the segment will account for 8.7 percent of total digital advertising spending in the country for the year. Although this industry is among the largest advertisers in the country, it pales in comparison with other industries when it comes to digital advertising spending.
"CPG Advertisers to Spend Nearly $6 Billion on Digital Advertising This Year", eMarketer, May 31, 2016, © eMarketer Inc.
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