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New Grocery Receipts Could Help You Eat More Healthfully

February 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A British designer has come up with a simple way to track the nutritional value of grocery purchases. It’s not an app, but a colorful graphic printed at the bottom of a store receipt that shows nutrient data. Color-coded symbols tell whether levels of sugar, salt, saturated fat, etc., are low, medium, or high. Problem items are printed in red as a warning. Supermarkets would pull the data from databases. Hayden Peek believes supermarkets will like the idea because they have a vested interest in keeping shoppers “alive and loyal for as long as possible."
Adele Peters, "This Brilliantly Simple Graphic Turns Your Grocery Receipts Into A Health Tool", Fast Company, February 22, 2016, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Kroger Reveals Smith's President Jay Cummins' Plan To Retire

February 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Kroger Co. announced the retirement of Jay Cummins, president of the retailer’s Smith’s division, effective on April 29, 2016. Cummins began his career at Kroger as a clerk in 1972. During his 44 years with the company, Cummins rose through the ranks, serving in positions of increasing responsibility.
"Kroger Announces Retirement of Smith's President Jay Cummins", Kroger, February 22, 2016, © SNL Financial LC
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Steinhoff's Rival Bid Threatens Sainsbury Attempt To Buy Home Retail

February 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Sainsbury needs to reconsider its £1.3-billion bid to acquire Home Retail following South Africa-based Steinhoff’s £1.42 billion all-cash rival bid for the retailer. Sainsbury could match Steinhoff’s offer; however, the South African company has more cash to finance its bid in case of a bidding war with Sainsbury. Also, Sainsbury has a net debt of £1.5 billion, making it one of the most heavily leveraged grocery chains in the UK.
Andrea Felsted, "Sainsbury Becomes the Prey", Bloomberg Gadfly, February 22, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Wal-Mart Reports Revenue Growth For 4Q And FY 2016

February 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., reported total revenue on a constant currency basis grew 2.2 percent to $134.4 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016, compared with the same period of the previous year. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was $1.43, with adjusted EPS at $1.49. According to the retailer, comparative sales rose 0.6 percent, the sixth consecutive quarter of growth. Net sales increased 3.3 percent on a constant currency basis to $37.4 billion, compared with the same period in the previous year. For fiscal year 2016, the company said operating income fell 11.2 percent. On a reported basis, total revenue was $482.1 billion, and $499.4 billion on a constant currency basis, a growth of 2.8 percent.
"Walmart reports Q4 adjusted EPS of $1.49, Fiscal year 2016 adjusted EPS of $4.59 ", Walmart, February 18, 2016, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Wal-Mart Suffers Setback In Bid To Catch Up With Online Rival Amazon

February 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart’s global e-commerce sales grew 8 percent in the fourth quarter, which covered the months of November 2015 to January 2016. Despite the retailer’s efforts to ramp up online sales and narrow the gap with rival Amazon, growth was at its slowest during the quarter. To help boost online sales, Wal-Mart plans to expand its online offerings and increase the number of stores where online shoppers can pick up their orders.
Phil Wahba, "Walmart Loses Ground To Amazon in E-Commerce Battle", Fortune, February 18, 2016, © Time Inc.
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Kroger SVP Perry Set To Retire, Company Says

February 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Kroger Co. announced the retirement plans of Marnette Perry, SVP for retail operations and strategic initiatives, effective on April 29, 2016. Marking 44 years of service with the company, Perry joined the company as a part-time cashier in 1972. She rose through the ranks, occupying leadership positions with increasing responsibility. Perry helped establish Kroger’s Natural Foods centers and Floral departments in the early 1980s. She has been an active leader in representing the company in the communities where she has lived.
"Kroger Announces Retirement of Senior Vice President Marnette Perry", Kroger, February 18, 2016, © SNL Financial LC
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MNC Launches BrandOutlet Online Store In Indonesia

February 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Investment company MNC Group launched BrandOutlet, an online store for high-end beauty and fashion products in Indonesia. Highlighting the potential of Internet-based retail in the country, the online store comes with a product lineup that is 60 percent made up of local brands. Operating on a multi-channel basis across mobile and desktop, the store also comes with a dedicated blog.
Lucy Whitehouse, "Premium beauty and fashion e-commerce site launched in Indonesia", CosmeticDesign-Asia.com, February 18, 2016, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Asda CEO Clarke Declines To Blame Marketing For Falling Sales

February 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
UK retailer Asda CEO Andy Clarke refused to blame the company’s marketing for the 5.8 percent drop in sales during the 13-week period ending January 1, 2016. Although the retailer has seen sixth straight quarters of falling sales, Clarke claimed Asda’s Christmas campaign was a “huge success.” Speaking at a press conference, Clarke claimed the sales decline was due to the price-cutting moves by rivals, such as Tesco and Morrisons, which showed sales gains during the holiday shopping period.
Thomas Hobbs, "‘Our advertising is not to blame’ insists Asda as sales fall for a sixth consecutive quarter", Marketing Week, February 18, 2016, © Centaur Communications Ltd
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Indian Grocer’s No-Frills Strategy Keeps It Successful

February 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Indian supermarket chain D-Mart – the third largest in the country – has turned a profit every year for 15 years while larger domestic competitors have struggled, and foreign companies – Walmart, Carrefour, Metro AG – have all lost money consistently. The secret, apparently, is shrewd simplicity. D-Mart doesn’t spend a nickel on the marketing technology that other retailers are so in love with, i.e., data analytics, loyalty programs, e-commerce, social media advertising, etc. It offers customers a limited range of products, so it negotiates favorable prices with suppliers. It sells groceries and cheap household items at prices well below the maximum retail price (MRP) mandated by Indian law. Customers come to buy the lower-margin foods, but end up buying higher-margin items as well.
Adi Narayan et al., "Giving Shoppers Less Means Big Bucks for Indian Retailer", Bloomberg Business, February 18, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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McDonald’s Tests Chicken-And-Pancake Sandwich In Ohio

February 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Now that McDonald’s has successfully introduced the all-day breakfast, it has begun experimenting with a few menu changes. Most recently it has been testing a portable chicken and pancake sandwich. The Chicken McGriddle blends a fried chicken patty between two pancake buns soaked in maple-flavored syrup. A franchise owner in central Ohio who came up with the idea has decided to step beyond market testing the sweet-and-savory sandwich and add it to the menu. Expansion to other areas of the country depends on customer surveys, the franchise owner said.
Laura Lorenzetti, "The McDonald's Chicken-and-Pancake Sandwich Is Real", Fortune, February 18, 2016, © Time Inc.
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Salvage Food Store Has Had Its Share Of Hurdles To Overcome

February 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A Kansas grocery store that sells only salvage foods and beverages at discount has proved beneficial to the local community, but has had some unique problems to overcome. The Bargain Barn’s shelves are filled with overstock items and products close to or a little past their expiration date that might otherwise end up in a landfill. So to keep its certification, the store must be inspected regularly by the state to make sure the food is safe. But that eases the concerns of some shoppers who worry that salvage food means spoiled food. In addition to inspections, the store faces the challenge of obtaining its food supply through bidding or contracting. State regulations prohibit buying locally produced goods, like eggs. But otherwise a full range of items is available, including gluten-free and international foods.
Chloe Donaldson, "Store sells salvage, discount food", Parsons (Kansas) Sun, February 17, 2016, © Parsons Sun, Parsons, KS
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Wal-Mart Struggles In Brazil

February 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. closed 60 stores in Brazil as part of the retailer’s efforts to reorganize its operations in the country and lower costs. Despite its $22 billion in capital investment during the past five years, Wal-Mart generated a 4.5 percent operating profit margin from its international operations, compared with 7.4 percent return posted from its U.S. business. Its problems in Brazil, which include poor locations, inefficient operations, labor problems, and uncompetitive prices, highlight the difficulties Wal-Mart has been facing overseas.
Brad Haynes and Nathan Layne, "Insight: Lost in translation - Wal-Mart stumbles hard in Brazil", Reuters, February 17, 2016, © Thomson Reuters
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Ad Campaign Reanimates Colonel Sanders, And Millennials Get The Joke

February 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Yum Brands’ Kentucky Fried Chicken has turned the corner sales wise – six straight quarters of revenue increases – thanks to a savvy ad campaign and rededication to Colonel Sanders’s food standards. The moves seem to appeal to Millennials, a major accomplishment considering that 60 percent of Millennials have never eaten at KFC and the generation as a whole distrusts big company advertising. But thanks to a “re-Colonelization” of its flavor and preparation standards, and new ads featuring Norm Macdonald as a gently satirical reincarnation of the Colonel, Millennials are taking notice. The company is also adapting its chicken-on-the-bone menu to adjust to modern trends: 70 percent of the market is strips, nuggets and sandwiches these days, says KFC’s CMO. So, “we’ve got to adjust.”
Candice Choi, "KFC executive says chain going through 're-Colonelization'", Associated Press, February 17, 2016, © Associated Press
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Walmart Dismisses Mediavest As Media Agency

February 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart ended its relationship with Mediavest, a media agency unit of Publicis Groupe. According to Ad Age Datacenter, Walmart spent more than $900 million measured media in the United States in 2014. Walmart’s move came after Walmart chief marketing officer Stephen Quinn’s resignation on January 31, 2016.
Alexandra Bruell, "Publicis' Mediavest Loses Massive Walmart Account", Advertising Age, February 16, 2016, © Crain Communications
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Ireland's Grocery Market Keeps Growth Momentum In 2016

February 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In Ireland, consumer spending on groceries grew 3.8 percent during the 12-week period ending January 31, 2016, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Data from the market research firm revealed SuperValu grabbed a 25 percent share of the market, making the company the sector’s leader. During the period covered by the study, SuperValu posted sales growth of 4.4 percent, outperforming the market.
"Irish grocery market continues rapid growth in 2016", Kantar Worldpanel, February 15, 2016, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Trader Joe’s Continues 20-Year Transition To Cage-Free Eggs

February 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Specialty grocery chain Trader Joe’s announced that its 11-year-old plan to ensure that all of its house brand eggs come from cage-free hens -- would continue for nine more years, or earlier if market conditions permit. Sixty-two percent of the eggs it sells now are from cage-free hens. It will switch to 100 percent cage-free eggs in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado by 2020. Target has announced it was shifting to cage-free egg sources, as have restaurant chains Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Panera Bread, among others.
Ashlee Kieler, "Trader Joe’s To Sell Only Cage-Free Eggs Nationally By 2025", Consumerist, February 15, 2016, © Consumer Media LLC
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Streamlining Strategy Is A Tricky One For Whole Foods Market

February 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Whole Foods Market is tightening the reins on its local and regional managers to reduce costs and ward off intense competition from Kroger and Costco, which have advanced successfully into the organic and natural foods segment, often charging lower prices. From the beginning, Whole Foods has tried to operate with a local slant, giving managers leeway in the choice of specialty offerings. But the streamlining initiative – which could also include discounting – will mean shifting more responsibility for buying packaged foods, detergents and other nonperishable items to its Texas headquarters, and relying more on software to simplify scheduling staff and replenishing shelves. The move may damage  its customer-friendly reputation and peeve shoppers who prefer local products The difficult strategy, Co-CEO John Mackey acknowledges, is to eliminate “redundancy and waste” and boost stock value, without destroying a unique culture.
Ilan Brat, "Whole Foods Works to Reduce Costs and Boost Clout With Suppliers", The Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Calif. Restaurant Makes Bread From Promising Grass Alternative To Wheat

February 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A San Francisco “post agrarian” restaurant's goal is to rethink the restaurant business to focus on helping the environment through sustainable design. The Perennial's menu includes, for example, plant-centric starters such as sunflower Caesar salads made with aquaponic lettuces and entrees like pastured beef (four-ounce portions) with blistered broccoli leaves. Also featured is a house bread made with kernza, a perennial grass developed by the Land Institute in Kansas as an alternative to wheat. Kernza grows deep roots so it more effectively stores carbon, wards off pests, prevents soil erosion and fights other problems associated with “annual monoculture.”
Meesha Halm, "How one restaurant designed itself around preventing climate change", Mashable.com, February 13, 2016, © Mashable, Inc.
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A Steadily Changing World Reflected In Consumer Survey Results

February 12, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A preview of Euromonitor’s 2015 global consumer survey results reveals that Millennials and Gen Z – consumers under 30 – are leading the shift from computers to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This shift includes young people of the growing middle classes in emerging markets. Among other insights: Paid advertising, while still influential and important, is losing ground to product endorsements and opinions shared by family and friends on social media. Fifty-nine percent consider these recommendations to be very or extremely influential. Despite the upsurge in home food preparation, time-strapped consumers still buy packaged food and ready meals, especially “all natural” products. Lastly, consumers struggle to link health priorities with everyday habits, and try to find time for “what matters:” family, friends, and themselves.
Lisa Holmes, "Top 6 Insights from the 2015 Global Consumer Trends Survey", Euromonitor International, February 12, 2016, © Euromonitor
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Lidl Receives ISO Recognition For Sustainable Energy Management

February 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Germany-based discount retailer Lidl said it has received an ISO 50001 certification for sustainable energy management. Covering Lidl’s 3,200 stores, the certification makes the company the largest food and retail chain in the country to receive such recognition. According to the company, a crucial part of its energy management is the use of a building control system, a software designed to help the company analyze store power consumption for irregularities and determine potential savings.
"Lidl presented with ISO 50001 certification for sustainable energy management ", International Supermarket News, February 11, 2016, © Retail Magazine
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Lidl Names Fieber CEO Of Sweden Business

February 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Lidl appointed Johannes Fieber as new CEO of the discount retailer’s operations in Sweden. Previously sales director at Lidl Italy, Fieber replaces Conor Boyle who has been Lidl Sweden’s top executive since August 2013. Fieber’s appointment comes as Lidl Sweden plans to expand its operations in the country by opening more stores, building a third distribution center, and opening a new headquarters.
"Lidl Sweden appoints new CEO", Retail Analysis, February 11, 2016, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution
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Walmart Opens First Walmart-Branded Store In Nicaragua

February 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart opened its first Walmart-branded store in Nicaragua. Located in the country’s capital Managua, the store opened to hundreds of shoppers looking for savings on clothes, electronics, toys, appliances, groceries, and other products. Walmart invested $17 million in the modern store format with 5,890 square meters, creating 150 direct jobs and 1,575 indirect jobs. According to the retailer, a great majority of its offerings come from local small- and medium-sized suppliers.
Carlos Arroyo, SVP and COO, "Hello, Nicaragua! Welcoming Walmart to Managua", Walmart Central America, February 10, 2016, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Digital-Enabled Beauty Shoppers Not Likely To Seek Help From Sales Associates, Study Reveals

February 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In the United States, 16 percent of consumers shopping for beauty products prefer to buy at stores where sales associates will not bother them until assistance is sought, according to Mintel. Data from the market research firm revealed 45 percent of beauty shoppers like to search for product information in-store using their own mobile device rather than seek help from a sales associate. Also, 39 percent of respondents said they are interested in using, or have used, a store-provided tablet to look for available beauty products. Data also showed 58 percent of consumers are interested in mobile apps that feature product offers to redeem in-store.
"45% of US beauty consumers prefer mobile devices over sales associates for in-store assistance", Mintel, February 10, 2016, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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Whole Foods Market Reports Record Sales For 1Q 2016

February 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Whole Foods Market, Inc., reported total sales grew 3 percent to $4.8 billion in the quarter ending January 17, 2016. Same-store sales declined 1.8 percent on a constant currency basis, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization reaching $399 million or 8.3 percent of sales. According to the retailer, diluted earnings per share were $0.46, with adjusted return on invested capital at 14 percent. For the quarter, Whole Foods reported $232 million in cash flow from operations. Also, the company said it invested $179 million in capital expenditures and returned $45 million in quarterly dividends to shareholders. It repurchased $634 million or 21.2 million shares of common stock.
"Whole Foods Market Reports First Quarter Results", Whole Foods, February 10, 2016, © Whole Foods Market
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Data Gathered From Walgreens Customers Needs To Be Managed, Analyzed

February 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walgreens Boots Alliance CIO Abhi Dhar has an intriguing data management problem. After creating a successful mobile app that is used by a million consumers every day, he now has to find a way to store, process and analyze all the customer data being collected. He is testing Hadoop software with the goal of replacing traditional relational databases with Hadoop clusters that handle text and video data more efficiently. Another benefit is the fact that Hadoop is a low-cost open source software that uses commodity servers. Dhar says that when the systems are able to scale across Walgreens’ 8,200 retail stores, they will be analyzed for insights about operations, logistics, and customers. Once that is accomplished, “we start driving more value for customers.”
Clint Boulton , "Walgreens CIO starts with the customer and works backward", CIO , February 09, 2016, © CXO Media Inc.
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British Grocery Market Continues Slow Growth Pattern

February 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Discount grocery retailers Aldi and Lidl saw growth accelerate in the U.K. – Lidl to 18.7 percent and Aldi to 13.7 percent. Lidl’s market share rose to 4.2 percent and Aldi’s to 5.6 percent. Among the big chains, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose’s sales were up, while Tesco’s and Morrisons’ were down, according to Kantar Worldpanel’s most recent data. The Co-operative – the U.K.'s fifth biggest food retailer and most frequently visited – was the fastest growing non-discounter, increasing sales by 1.4 percent. Consumers are making more healthful food choices. Although grocery sales growth in the U.K. has been sluggish overall – take-home sales increased only 0.2 percent in the period – the healthy trend led to a five percent increase in fresh food sales in both traditional and discount retailers. Fresh foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, fresh poultry and fish.
"New Year health drives mean growth for the British grocery", Report, Kantar Worldpanel, February 09, 2016, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Amazon's Physical-Store Plans Create Seismic Shocks For Brick-And-Mortar Retail Market

February 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Reports of Amazon’s plan to open 300 to 400 brick-and-mortar stores caused significant speculation on the online retailer’s future business strategies and their implications for the retail market. Discussion among market observers focused on how Amazon could use technology and data analytics to innovate in the physical-stores sector. Wharton management professor Daniel Raff said Amazon’s brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle offers some insights into the online retailer’s future plans.
"How Amazon Could Reinvent the Brick-and-mortar Store Experience", Wharton University of Pennsylvania, February 09, 2016, © Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
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Whole Foods Co-CEOs Say They’re On The Right Track Now

February 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Rocked by negative publicity and stiff organic and natural food competition from lower-cost retailers like Kroger and Costco, Whole Foods Market has experienced slower growth and a declining stock price (down 33 percent). A key problem for the chain is how to communicate to shoppers why its products are worth the higher prices. But in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the two co-chief executives said the company is not “on our heels." It will create 8,000 new jobs in 2016 and open 30 new stores. As to the negative publicity – New York City said the company deliberately mislabeled package weights and overcharged customers – they said they have learned to respond promptly to stop misinformation in its tracks.
Ilan Brat, "Whole Foods Boss Calls Himself a ‘Pusher Leader’", The Wall Street Journal, February 09, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Millennials Will Drive Consumption Trends In 2016, Webinar Reveals

February 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Millennial consumers are expected to have significant influence on consumption trends in 2016, according to the “Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2016” webinar. Consumers are likely to continue using social media to rant against greenwashing, or brands’ insincere displays of caring for the environment. Also, demand for recycled and pre-owned products is forecast to gain strength. For millennials, owning an automobile is no longer an “icon of freedom” but more of a “strain on their finances and the environment.”
Daphne Kasriel-Alexander , "Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2016: Webinar Q&As", Euromonitor International, February 08, 2016, © Euromonitor
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Wal-Mart Shutters Express Concept; Finds Urban Expansion Dream Elusive

February 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart’s move to close its Wal-Mart Express stores highlights the retailer’s preference to operate large-format stores. In 2011, Wal-Mart designed its Express stores as a means to launch its business in urban centers. Wal-Mart’s efforts to open locations in major cities, such as New York and Washington, D.C., have faced opposition.
Sharon Edelson , "Bigger Is Still Better at Wal-Mart", Women’s Wear Daily, February 04, 2016, © Fairchild Fashion Media
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Yum! Brands’ 4th Quarter Bolstered By Improved Sales At Two Chains

February 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Yum! Brands, owner of Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut, beat fourth quarter Wall Street earnings forecasts, posting $0.68 a share compared to $0.66, though sales were moderate. The company said profit was helped by improved same-store sales at Taco Bell (up four percent) and KFC (up three percent). Pizza Hut remains a worry: same-store sales rose one percent last quarter, just shy of the 1.5 percent gain expected by Wall Street. Overall revenue fell about one percent to $3.95 billion, short of analyst forecasts of $4.03 billion. Yum! Brands has said it will spin off its Chinese business into a separate unit. The company gets about half of its revenue from Chinese operations.
Leslie Patton, "Yum's Tops Profit Estimates After Taco Bell, KFC Sales Grow", Bloomberg Business, February 04, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Younger Consumers Prefer Mobile Shopping, Study Reveals

February 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Generation Z consumers are four times more likely to use their mobile phones to buy online, compared with Baby Boomers, according to the “GfK FutureBuy 2015” report. Results of the study revealed women are more likely to use mobile devices at 32 percent share of shopping, compared with men at 22 percent share. Data also revealed younger generations tend to use mobile devices when making online purchases, compared with consumers from the older age groups. Also, consumers’ previous experience and in-store environment are the most important factors influencing online buying behavior.
"GfK FutureBuy 2015 Select US Market Findings Highlights", GfK FutureBuy, February 04, 2016, © GfK
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Walmart Cries Foul, Sues Puerto Rico Over Special Tax For Goods From Off Island

February 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart sued the government of Puerto Rico over taxes it collects for the goods brought from suppliers off the island to sell in the retailer’s local stores. Puerto Rico’s move to raise the special tax on the goods from 2 percent to 6.5 percent prompted Walmart to file the lawsuit. Walmart claims the tax is illegal and violates both the Commerce Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Also, the retailer says it is the only business in Puerto Rico subject to the tax increase. Puerto Rico asserted Walmart can afford and should pay the tax because of the profits its business earns from the local retail market.
Mary Williams Walsh, "Walmart Sues Puerto Rico, Claiming an Unfair and Onerous Tax Burden", The New York Times , February 03, 2016, © The New York Times Company
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Supermarkets Invest In Fresh Prepared Foods To Meet Demand For Convenience

February 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Supermarkets are achieving operational efficiencies in their stores by investing in the prepared foods that meet consumer demand for convenience and freshness, according to the Food Marketing Institute. Retail food stores are competing with restaurants and convenience stores in the fresh prepared foods arena, and are boosting their investment there as center store sales decline. A survey of 8,000 stores conducted for FMI by Technomic found that the $15 billion growth in prepared fresh foods over the last eight years was no accident. Sixty-two percent of surveyed supermarkets offer customers made-to-order stations along the store perimeter. Some stores offer limited service or full-service restaurants. A key finding: “supermarkets are catering to the changing preferences of shoppers and their demands for customization.”
"Study Reviews Accelerating Sophistication of Supermarket Fresh Prepared Foods", News release, Food Marketing Institute, February 03, 2016, © FMI
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CEO Of Tesco’s Irish Unit Outlines Turnaround Plans

February 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Tesco Ireland will expand the number of Tesco Express convenience stores in the country – from its current 30 – in an effort to get the company back on a growth track. Part of CEO Andrew Yaxley’s “humble” plan includes pushing house brands and further developing online shopping and home delivery. Yaxley told an industry conference that the company will try to strengthen customer interaction, simplify the product range and develop sales channels. Tesco Ireland has added 1,000 own-brand products to its line-up in hopes of reversing sluggish own-brand sales.
Mark Paul, "Tesco Ireland CEO outlines back to basics plan", Irish Times, February 02, 2016, © THE IRISH TIMES
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Management Changes In Kroger’s Nashville Division

February 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Zane Day, vice president of operations in Kroger’s Smith’s division and a 42-year veteran of the retailer, will replace retiring Nashville division president Rick Going. Kroger also announced the promotion of Katie Wolfram to president of the central division. She is vice president of merchandising in the central division. Going joined Kroger in 1981 as a management trainee in the Cincinnati/Dayton division, and has served in management roles in stores, districts, operations and merchandising. Day began his career with Smith's on a night crew in 1974, and since served as a store manager and director of merchandising.
"Kroger Announces Retirement of Rick Going, Names Two New Division Presidents", News release, Kroger , February 02, 2016, © The Kroger Company
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Carrefour Succeeding In Europe With Multi-Format Strategy

February 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour’s success in Europe in recent years is based on a multi-format marketing approach that continues to emphasize brick-and-mortar stores, but does not neglect online and other channels. In an interview, CEO Georges Plassat said Carrefour’s stores are succeeding in Europe because they combine good formats, locations and product offers. He said he welcomes competition from online retail giant Amazon and others because it is good for the consumer, and Carrefour is really doing something quite different anyway. In Asia, the company sees some problems with China (i.e., ecommerce competition and changing “consumption habits”), but long-term prospects are good.
"Carrefour CEO on France, stores and emerging markets", Retail Analysis, February 02, 2016, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution
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Apple, Disney Are The Winners Of The “Brand Stars” Wars

February 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A brand valuation consultancy has named Disney the “world’s most powerful brand,” thanks to a slew of companies it has acquired over the years, including ESPN, Pixar, the Muppets, Marvel and Lucasfilm (i.e., the Star Wars franchise). Brand Finance also says  Apple is the “most valuable brand,” despite a drop-off in sales recently, and is now worth $150 billion. Four of the 10 fastest growing brands – including WeChat – are Chinese firms. Brands that have lost their luster, for one reason or another, include Volkwagen and Lego. Coca-Cola was ranked eigth in brand strength,Johnson's  was ranked seventh. Walmart was ranked the eighth most valuable brand.
"Global 500 2016 - Star Wars Sends Disney’s Brand into Hyperdrive", Brand Finance, February 01, 2016, © The Brand Finance Group
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Burger Chain White Castle To Shift To Cage-Free Eggs

January 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
After a review of its egg supply chain, burger and slider restaurant chain White Castle announced it would only use cage-free eggs by 2025, perhaps earlier. The company said it has been working with the Humane Society since last year to develop its cage-free egg policy. According to management, the new policy is a response to customer preferences. White Castle owns and operates nearly 400 restaurants in 13 states.
"White Castle to Transition 100% of Egg Supply to Cage-Free", News release, White Castle, January 29, 2016, © White Castle
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Seventy-Six 24-Hour Tesco Stores To Close For The Night

January 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
U.K. grocer Tesco said it is reducing hours by 25 percent at 76 stores that had been open 24 hours a day. The main reason for the hours change, which begins taking effect next month, is to improve the shopping experience for customers by giving night staff time to replenish the shelves and clean up. Closing the stores from midnight to six a.m. will mean “better availability of products and better looking stores when they open their doors to customers each morning.” The company also noted, however, that the affected stores didn’t get many customers between midnight and six.
"Tesco calls time on 24 hour trading at 76 stores", News release, Tesco, January 29, 2016, © Tesco
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Amazon Reports Strong Sales And Revenue Growths In 4Q And Full-Year 2015

January 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon.com, Inc., said operating cash flow jumped 74 percent to $11.9 billion for the year ending December 31, 2015, compared with the previous year. Free cash flow increased to $7.3 billion, compared with $1.9 billion for the year ending December 31, 2014. For the quarter ending December 31, 2015, net sales rose 22 percent to $35.7 billion, compared with $29.3 billion in the same quarter of 2014. Net sales grew 26 percent, excluding the $1.2 billion unfavorable impact of year-over-year charges in foreign exchange rates during the quarter. Net income was $482 million, or $1 per diluted share, compared with net income of $214 million, or $0.45 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2014.
"Amazon.com Announces Fourth Quarter Sales up 22% to $35.7 Billion", Amazon, January 28, 2016, © Amazon.com, Inc.
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Walgreens Boots Alliance Plans To Expand Beauty Business In US

January 27, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance plans to expand its beauty business in the United States, according to WBA executive vice chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina. Speaking at the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting in New York City, Pessina said WBA plans to duplicate Boot’s success in the UK beauty market. WBA is currently doing a pilot test of the Beauty Evolution initiative at 13 stores in the Houston area. Also, the company plans to launch another program it calls Beauty 2000 in the summer of 2016.
Allison Collins and Faye Brookman , "Walgreens Highlights Beauty", Women's Wear Daily, January 27, 2016, © Fairchild Fashion Media
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Brazil's Online Retail Market Forecast To Reach $40.8 Billion By 2019, Market Analysts Say

January 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online sales in Brazil are forecast to rise from $17.8 billion in 2014 to $40.8 billion by 2019, according to data presented by Costs Advogados partner Marcio Cots at a panel presentation hosted by the Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce in New York City. According to AD. Dialeto founding partner Leonardo Cid Ferreira, Brazilian consumers use online resources and social media to gather information, buy, and keep up with fashion and beauty trends. Consumers use e-commerce for “easy replenishment,” lower prices, and convenience of delivery.
Deanna Utroske, "Brazil’s recession is an e-commerce opportunity for personal care brands", CosmeticsDesign.com | USA, January 26, 2016, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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China's E-Commerce Market Grows 37 Percent In 2015, Study Reveals

January 25, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
China’s e-commerce market grew 37 percent in terms of gross merchandise value in 2015 to 3.8 trillion yuan, or $578 billion, according to iResearch. Data from the market research firm’s “2015 China E-commerce & O2O Summary Report” revealed mobile and online-to-offline markets drove the market’s overall growth. O2O gross merchandising volume rose 38 percent year-on-year in 2015, with sales reaching 335 billion yuan, or $51 billion. According to iResearch, the country’s O2O sector is forecast to grow to almost double its size in the next three years to 626 billion yuan, or $95 billion.
Casey Hall, "Chinese E-commerce Growth Continues", Women’s Wear Daily, January 25, 2016, © Fairchild Fashion Media
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Wal-Mart, Amazon Plan To Invest Over Rs 2,000 Crore In India

January 23, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and online retailer Amazon plan to invest more than Rs 2,000 crore to build their respective networks and expand their shares of India’s retail market. Expected to reach over $1 trillion in size in 2020, India’s retail sector will see Amazon investing Rs 1,696 crore in its Amazon Seller Services business. This raises Amazon’s total investment in the business to about Rs 4,800 crore. Wal-Mart Stores will invest Rs 360 crore to expand its lineup of wholesale stores in the country.
Sagar Malviya, "Retail giants Amazon, Walmart to invest more than Rs 2,000 crore in India", Economic Times, January 23, 2016, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Store Closures Show Walmart's Tough Enough To Make Hard Decisions

January 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart’s decision to close 269 stores worldwide, 154 in the United States, highlights changes in both how the company operates and in the retail market. Walmart’s move is based on a “clear-eyed, uncompromising, even unsentimental decision-making,” highlighting the company’s newly found discipline under its CEO Doug McMillon. These store closings, however, could also be a sign that Walmart moved too late even though it has all the needed resources to adapt to changes in the market. Walmart has failed to innovate. For example, it has all the data on consumer buying habits, but failed to create an easy, automated shopping process using such information.
Charles Fishman, "This Is What It Looks Like When Walmart Tries To Get Its Mojo Back", Fast Company, January 21, 2016, © Mansueto Ventures LLC
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Ahold Reports Strong Revenue Growth For 4Q And Full Year 2015

January 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Ahold reported consolidated net sales rose 21.4 percent to €9.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared with the same quarter in 2014. Net sales, at constant exchange rates, expanded 11.8 percent. For the full year 2015, consolidated net sales jumped 16.6 percent to €38.2 billion, compared with 2014. At constant exchange rates, net sales rose 4.3 percent, with net sales for the fourth quarter rising 3.1 percent and for the full year expanding 2.3 percent.
"Ahold Trading Statement Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2015", Ahold, January 21, 2016, © Ahold
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The Body Shop Awards Corporate PR Account To Another Word

January 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer The Body Shop International appointed PR agency Another Word Communications to manage corporate and sustainability communications. Described as a globally focused brief, the account will see the agency reporting directly to Kate Levine, The Body Shop’s international director of commitment and corporate communications.
Anna Reynolds , "The Body Shop appoints Another Word for PR brief", PR Week, January 21, 2016, © Haymarket Media Group Ltd.
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Wal-Mart Eyes Expansion Of Data And Analytics Operations In India

January 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores plans to invest in data and analytics in India, as part of its efforts to compete better with brick-and-mortar and online rivals, according to the retailer’s chief information officer Karenann Terrell. Instead of relying extensively on outsourcing, the company is employing third-party providers via a managed outcome approach. In India, the company is using both insourcing and outsourcing, the executive said. Terrell also said his company is collaborating with technology startups to leverage innovation. Wal-Mart intends to keep increasing its technology-related spending, Terrell added.
Anirban Sen, "Promise of Wal-Mart Technology being realised in India: Karenann Terrell, Wal-Mart", Economic Times, January 21, 2016, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Aldi’s First Online Store In U.K. Sells Wine In Cases

January 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
German discount grocer Aldi has opened an online store in the U.K. selling, for now at least, only wine in cases. The company offers 90 wines on its website with home delivery available except in Northern Ireland for the time being. Customers who buy at least ₤50 ($71.00) worth earn free shipping. The company said it would add non-food products to the website, including cycling gear, power tools and Halloween outfits, somewhere beginning in the second quarter of this year.
"Aldi opens its first online store in the UK", Ecommerce News, January 20, 2016, © Zietuwel
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