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New MasterCard Groceries App Will Work With Samsung’s IoT Refrigerator

January 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
MyWebGrocer, a provider of e-commerce and digital marketing solutions to the grocery industry, says it is working with MasterCard to introduce grocers to a new shopping app, dubbed Groceries by MasterCard. Consumers can use the app to buy groceries via the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator, an implementation of “Internet of Things” (IoT) technologies. The Groceries app will help consumers build, share, manage and modify shopping lists, place orders and make payments through a seamless, collaborative interface. The refrigerator was introduced at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show and will be available for purchase in the U.S. in May of 2016.
"MyWebGrocer Partners with MasterCard to Connect Consumers and Grocers via Smart Fridge", News release, MyWebGrocer, January 20, 2016, © MyWebGrocer
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McDonald’s Corporate Turnaround Plans Anger Franchisees

January 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A survey of McDonald’s restaurant franchisees has found many disgruntled by the marketing and promotional moves the company has made to regain customers and boost sales. Sales have improved – thanks in part to the all-day breakfast gambit – but franchisees complain their profit is down because they’ve been forced into a “price war” with competitors. The company recently introduced a ”McPick 2” promotion offering two of four menu choices for $2. It pleases customers, but angers franchisees.
Hayley Peterson, "McDonald's new plan to dominate fast food is angering some franchisees", Business Insider, January 20, 2016, © Business Insider Inc.
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Retail Company Spending On YouTube Video Ads Still Growing

January 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart spent about $2.6 million on YouTube video advertising in 2015, according to YouTube’s ad buying and video marketing unit. Walmart was followed by Target, which spent $1.9 million last year. Ad spending on YouTube continues to grow, but the trend is unpredictable from company to company. Lowe’s, The Home Depot, CVS and Amazon, for example, decreased their spending. Amazon spending dropped from about $1.7 million in Q1 to $162,000 in Q4. Pixability says YouTube, owned by Google, will maintain the biggest share of overall U.S. video ad revenues through 2017. But eMarketer says growth in retail company spending on YoouTube advertising will drop 6.2 percent in 2017.
"Retail Brands Continue to Advertise Heavily on YouTube", eMarketer , January 20, 2016, © eMarketer Inc
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Mix Of Paper Versus Mobile Retail Coupons Shifts

January 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Kantar Media’s report on the use of freestanding advertising inserts (FSI) by the top ten U.S. retailers – who account for 81 percent of such advertising – finds Walmart remains the heaviest user, even though it has trimmed pages by a third. In second place was Target, which cut its FSI pages by 25 percent, while Walgreens was third, with a 38.4 percent decrease. The declines in paper couponing may be due to increased use of mobile coupons. Nearly 45 percent of U.S. companies will use mobile coupons this year. Meanwhile, Dollar General and CVS increased their FSI pages.
"Down by a Third, Wal-Mart Still Distributes Most Freestanding Inserts", eMarketer, January 19, 2016, © eMarketer Inc
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McDonald’s Tries New Menu Items In Japan

January 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald’s fans in Japan will find an unusual sweet treat on their menus this month. The company is adding French fries slathered in “chocolate with cacao flavor and white milk chocolate” sauces. The company reportedly has no plans to introduce the “McChoco Potato” in the U.S., however. As McDonald’s seeks an investor to buttress its money-losing Japanese subsidiary, it has been experimenting with its menus in the country. This month it added the “chicken cheese burger” and the “cream stew pie” filled with potatoes, mushrooms, bacon, and onions.
Michal Addady, "McDonald’s Is Adding This Weird Topping to Its Fries", Fortune, January 19, 2016, © Time Inc.
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Sephora Announces Program For Women-Owned Beauty Startups

January 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora announced the Sephora Accelerate program to help support beauty startups established by women entrepreneurs. Part of the company’s Sephora Stands social impact initiative, the program aims to inspire confidence and fearlessness among women. With data showing women entrepreneurs do not have the same access to funding, connections, or business instructions as their male counterparts, Sephora Accelerate was designed to build a community of female business founders in all areas of the beauty industry. Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply for one of up to 10 spots in the year-long program. Sephora Accelerate fellows will participate in a boot camp at the company’s San Francisco headquarters to learn the necessary skills to run and build their businesses.
"SEPHORA Champions Female Beauty Entrepreneurs with SEPHORA Accelerate, Part of its Comprehensive New SEPHORA STANDS Social Impact Initiative", PR Newswire, January 19, 2016, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Walmart Is World's Largest Retailer, Deloitte Study Reveals

January 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. retailers Walmart, Costco, and Kroger lead the list of the top 250 retailers worldwide, according to a study by Deloitte and trade magazine Stores. Published by the National Retail Federation, the study “2016 Global Powers of Retailing” names Walmart as market leader, with $485.6 billion in revenue for financial year ending 2014 and CAGR of 3.5 percent for 2009–2014. Next in line is Costco Wholesale Corporation, with $112.6 billion in retail revenue and CAGR of 9.5 percent during the period. Kroger, which moved up from 6th to 3rd place, had $108.4 billion in revenue and CAGR of 7.2 percent.
"Walmart, Costco And Kroger Named As Top Global Retailers", European Supermarket Magazine, January 19, 2016, © European Supermarket Magazine
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Retail Sector Sees Important Developments In Latin America In Q4 2015

January 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In the fourth quarter of 2015, Latin America’s retail market saw many significant developments expected to influence future directions in 2016 and beyond. Retailers Soriana and La Comer agreed to comply with conditions set by Mexico’s competition authorities for approving their proposed merger. Falabella announced its expansion plans for the period 2016–2019 across its six markets in the region. Casa Ley opened its 60th store in Mexico’s Sonora state. Ara opened a second distribution center in Colombia.
"Latin America: key retail developments in Q4", Retail Analysis, January 19, 2016, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution
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Global Luxury Sector Faces Threat Of Rising Instability In Emerging Markets

January 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In 2016, various developments and trends are forecast to influence future directions for the global luxury goods industry, according to Euromonitor. Rising instability in emerging markets poses the biggest threat to the segment; however, marginally stronger economic growth in Western Europe and North America could give global brands a break. Burberry CEO and creative director Christopher Bailey is expected to give up one of his positions in the company. Market leader LVMH is expected to acquire Italy-based Tod’s to compensate for its exposure in Asia Pacific. Ralph Lauren CEO Stefan Larsson is expected to increase its offerings of affordable luxury fashion.
Rob Walker, "25 Predictions for the Luxury Goods Industry in 2016", Euromonitor International, January 17, 2016, © Euromonitor
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WeChat Launches Service Allowing Consumers To Share Coupons In China

January 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Mobile and web messaging company WeChat launched its shared coupons service for retailers in China. Designed to let users of the messaging service share coupons for dining, shopping, or entertaining, the service also lets consumers receive coupons at offline stores. Shared coupons will be classified based on location to let users gain access to wide range choices. Participating retailers can distribute shared coupons with consumers offline and can monitor consumers’ usage of the coupons.
"WeChat Offering “Friends-Shared Coupons” for Retailers", China Internet Watch, January 17, 2016, © Incitez Pte. Ltd.
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Ahold, Delhaize Take Further Legal Steps Toward Merger

January 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retail food giants Royal Ahold and Delhaize Group have filed the common draft terms of their cross-border merger, or joint merger proposal. Delhaize filed the proposal at the Brussels Commercial Court, a step required before presentation to shareholders at upcoming extraordinary general meetings. The companies announced their intention to merge last June. The merger will create a company with more than 375,000 associates in the United States and Europe. They expect to complete the merger by mid-year, assuming shareholder and regulatory approvals.
"Ahold and Delhaize announce filing of Joint Merger Proposal", News release, Royal Ahold, January 15, 2016, © Royal Ahold
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Carrefour’s 4th Quarter Disappoints, Thanks In Part To Paris Terrorist Attacks

January 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
French retailer Carrefour reported sluggish fourth quarter sales, except in Brazil, its biggest market after France. The company said slow sales were due to the November terrorist attacks in Paris and unusually warm weather in the home country. Fourth-quarter sales were $24.41 billion, slightly higher than average analyst forecasts. Ignoring fuel, currency and calendar effects, revenue grew 2.4 percent from a year ago, but was down from 4.2 percent growth in the third quarter. Even with the quarterly slowdown, the company posted its fourth consecutive year of rising sales. Sales in Latin America were up 11.7 percent. Sales in Brazil were up 12.6 percent. In Asia, sales were down 9.5 percent, and in China down 15.7 percent. Analysts said the company is revamping its hypermarket strategy, as consumers switch to local and online shopping.
"2015 Sales: +3% Organic Growth Fourth Consecutive Year Of Organic Sales Growth", News release, Carrefour, January 15, 2016, © Carrefour
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Tesco Corporate Affairs Director Shelley Resigns

January 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
UK retailer Tesco announced Rebecca Shelley’s resignation as group corporate affairs director effective by end of February 2016. Shelley began working at Tesco in May 2012 after spending almost five years as a partner at the agency Brunswick.
Sam Burne James , "Tesco corporate affairs chief Rebecca Shelley to step down next month", PRWeek, January 15, 2016, © Haymarket Media Group Ltd.
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Walmart Trims Losing Stores, Ends Convenience Store Experiment

January 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart is closing 269 stores in the U.S. and around the world that lost money or didn’t fit strategic plans. The financial impact will be about $0.20 to $0.22 of diluted earnings per share from continuing operations. The affected stores account for less than one percent of square footage and revenue of the company’s 11,600 locations. The company will shut down its five-year-old Walmart Express small format, convenience store experiment. The company characterized the closings – 154 in the U.S., including 112 Express stores – as a “disciplined” attempt to continue growing through portfolio management. The company plans to open 300 new stores globally this year. It will emphasize strategically its Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, e-commerce business and customer pickup services.
"Walmart Continues Sharpened Focus on Portfolio Management", New release, Walmart , January 15, 2016, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Chipotle Says It Has Righted Its Food Safety Ship

January 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Battered by a loss of customers and sales, a severe drop in stock value, and facing a bundle of lawsuits and even a federal criminal probe, Chipotle Mexican Grill says it has taken the necessary steps to ensure that the spate of foodborne illness outbreaks at its restaurants since July 2015 does not continue. The company hired a food safety specialist who says all of his recommendations have now been adopted, and the risk of further food contamination is now at “a level of near zero.” But Seattle-based attorney Bill Marler, who is handling several of the lawsuits against Chipotle, believes that the company still doesn’t know “how to embrace food safety with the same zeal they’ve shown for the other things” – i.e., being local, organic and fresh – “they’re striving for.”
James B. Stewart, "Chipotle’s New Mantra: Safe Food, Not Just Fresh", The New York Times, January 14, 2016, © The New York Times Company
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Wal-Mart Shuts Down 60 Stores In Brazil

January 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. shut down around 60 stores in Brazil, more than 10 percent of its branches in the country. According to sources, the store closures were part of the retailer’s reorganization of its Brazil operations, one of its most important overseas markets. In December 2015, the company said it plans to close “underperforming” stores, about 5 percent of its total locations in the country.
Nathan Layne and Brad Haynes, "Wal-Mart closed over 10 percent of Brazil stores in restructuring: sources", Reuters, January 14, 2016, © Thomson Reuters
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Walmart Eyes Partnerships With Local E-Commerce Firms In India

January 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart is reportedly planning to partner with India’s leading e-commerce companies, including Flipkart, Snapdeal, and ShopClues. Seen as part of the U.S. retailer’s efforts to take advantage of the growing online retail market in the country, Walmart’s e-commerce move follows its failed attempt at launching its local consumer retail business. India allows 100 percent foreign direct investment in cash-and-carry or wholesale businesses; however, FDI is limited at 51 percent in multi-brand retail.
Nivedita Mookerji & Dilasha Seth , "Walmart plans tie-ups with online retailers", Business Standard, January 14, 2016, © Business Standard Private Ltd.
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Aldi Australia Bans Microbeads From Its Personal Care Products

January 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Supermarket chain Aldi Australia said it will remove plastic microbeads from its own-brand personal care products by 2017. Joining other retailers Coles and Woolworths, Aldi said it will replace microbeads with natural ingredients. Environmentalist Jon Dee, one of the leading campaigners for a ban on microbeads, commended Aldi for its decision.
Rachel Browne, "Aldi joins Coles and Woolies in microbead ban", The Sydney Morning Herald, January 14, 2016, © Fairfax Media
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Sephora Launches Online Store In Malaysia

January 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora announced the launch of its online store in Malaysia on February 1, 2016. Aimed at Malaysian consumers who have gotten accustomed to the convenience of online shopping, the online store will offer hundreds of beauty brands and products, including makeup, bath and body, and nail care.
Andrea Tim , "Sephora is going to end your shopping abstinence with its Malaysian online store", Elle, January 14, 2016, © MONGOOSE PUBLISHING
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Walmex Names Wal-Mart Brazil Leader As New CEO

January 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart de Mexico y Centroamerica appointed Guilherme Loureiro as its new chief executive officer effective February 1, 2016. Previously CEO of Wal-Mart Brazil, Loureiro will replace Enrique Ostale, who will remain as CEO of Wal-Mart Latin America. Ostale, who was CEO of Walmex for just over a year, took over from Scot Rank, who was CEO when bribery allegations came out against the company.
Elinor Comlay, "UPDATE 2-Walmex gets new CEO from Wal-Mart Brazil", Reuters, January 14, 2016, © Thomson Reuters
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Tesco Reports Sales Recovered In Third Quarter 2015-2016

January 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
UK retailer Tesco reported group like-for-like sales grew 2.1 percent for the 19-week period ending January 9, 2016. Third quarter like-for-like sales in the UK rose 1.3 percent during the period. According to the company, all measures of customer satisfaction rose between 3 percent and 5 percent. For the third quarter, which ended November 28, 2015, group like-for-like sales grew 0.5 percent. In the UK, like-for-like sales during the period rose 1.5 percent.
"Tesco Third Quarter and Christmas Trading Statement 2015/16", Tesco, January 14, 2016, © Tesco PLC
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Euromonitor Presents Forecasts For Markets And Consumers In 2016

January 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In 2016, the migrant crisis is forecast to continue, while the working-age population in China is expected to decline for the first time, according to Euromonitor. Other forecasts for the year made by the market research firm include an increase in integration of loyalty programs with mobile wallets and the continued expansion of S-commerce, driven by social media platforms’ integration of buy-now buttons into their sites. Also, Euromonitor predicts an increase in calls for more time away from digital devices and increase in consumer demand for healthy food, with fastfood chains offering greener, healthier, and more local food products.
Carrie Lennard, "Economies and Consumers Expert Predictions for 2016", Euromonitor International, January 14, 2016, © Euromonitor
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Amazon Finds Need To Rethink Marketing Deal With India's Future Group

January 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon’s exclusive online marketing deal with India-based fashion and retail conglomerate Future Group is facing some significant challenges. According to sources, disagreements between the business partners focus on funding of discounts on Future Group’s fashion brands sold on Amazon. Amazon reportedly asked Future Group to shoulder part of the discounts offered to online shoppers or end the exclusive deal with the online retailer and list its products the way any other vendors would.
Rasul Bailay & Chaitali Chakravarty, "Amazon and Future Group partnership on rocks over funding of discounts", Economic Times, January 13, 2016, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Aldi, Lidl Top UK Brand Rankings By YouGov

January 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Discount retailers Aldi and Lidl topped YouGov’s BrandIndex brand rankings in the UK for the second year in a row. Aldi took first place, with a Buzz ranking of 19.7, followed by Lidl with a score of 17.5. YouGov determines brand rankings by measuring respondents’ recollections about a brand in the past two weeks. Data revealed the brands achieved the rankings with the help of creative advertising.
Shona Ghosh, "Creative ads keep Aldi and Lidl ahead of John Lewis on BrandIndex rankings", Marketing Magazine, January 13, 2016, © Haymarket
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Ad Age Presents Marketing Predictions For 2016

January 12, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Several marketing predictions are presented by the Ad Age magazine for 2016. Restaurants are expected to continue offering value bundles, as consumers prefer to get bargains even when treating themselves. Department stores are forecast to enter into business deals with retail partners to share sales risk and improve chances of success. In order to better compete with online rival Amazon, Walmart is expected to expand its ShippingPass delivery service.
"Ad Age's Marketing Predictions 2016", Advertising Age, January 12, 2016, © Crain Communications
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Fred Meyer Stores President Lynn Gust Retires

January 12, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Kroger Co. announced the retirement of Fred Meyer Stores president Lynn Gust effective January 31, 2015. Gust started his 45-year career with Kroger in 1970 as a parcel clerk at Fred Meyer’s Fourth Plain store in Vancouver, Washington. Kroger is promoting Kroger’s Central division president Jeff Burt to succeed Gust.
"Kroger Announces Retirement of Lynn Gust, Jeff Burt Named President of Fred Meyer Stores", Kroger , January 12, 2016, © The Kroger Co.
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Metro Group Posts Slightly Better Like-For-Like Sales In 1Q Of 2015-2016

January 12, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retail company Metro Group reported like-for-like sales grew slightly at 0.1 percent in the first quarter of operating year 2015-2016, compared with the same period in the previous year. In Germany, like-for-like sales during the Christmas shopping period grew 2.1 percent. Reported sales, however, declined 1.5 percent to €17.1 billion, due to adverse effects of foreign exchange moves, primarily that of the Russian ruble, compared with the same quarter in the previous year. Sales growth at Metro Cash & Carry, adjusted for currency fluctuations, compensated for portfolio changes. Media-Saturn business posted positive sales growth in Germany and Western Europe.
"METRO GROUP kicks off 2015/16 with like-for-like sales increases at METRO Cash & Carry and Media-Saturn", METRO GROUP, January 12, 2016, © METRO GROUP
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UK Supermarket Sector Braces For Expected Consolidation Trend

January 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In the UK, the supermarket sector is expected to see a merger trend involving some of the market’s largest operators. Several factors are forecast to drive this trend, including the drop in market valuations of leading supermarket chains, which has made UK chains cheaper compared with their European counterparts. For example, Tesco’s shares have declined 66 percent; Sainsbury’s, 38 percent; and Morrison, 44 percent. Tesco’s size makes it unlikely to be part of any merger deals; however, a deal involving Morrison and Sainsbury’s is more probable.
Andrea Felsted, "The Supermarket Buyout Bargain Bin", Bloomberg, January 11, 2016, © Bloomberg LP
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Asda Prepares £500 Million War Chest As It Readies For Battle With Low-Cost Rivals In UK

January 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart’s UK business Asda said it plans to spend £500 million more to reduce prices at its stores across the country. Part of the retailer’s efforts to compete with low-cost rivals Aldi and Lidl in a market increasingly characterized by a fierce price war, the investment follows the previous £1 billion pledged by Asda in November 2013. Among UK’s top supermarkets, Asda posted the worst sales performance in 2015.
Ben Chu, "Asda invests £500m in slashing prices as supermarket price war against Aldi and Lidl heats up", The Independent, January 11, 2016, © The Independent
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Walgreens Likely To Buy PBM Express Scripts, CEO's Statements Hint

January 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Pharmacy chain Walgreens is expected to acquire pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, based on comments by company CEO Stefano Pessina who said “vertical integration is a necessity” for future expansion plans. During the company’s latest earnings call, Pessina also noted that Walgreens had made two large acquisition deals in less than a year. Its rival CVS Health owns Caremark, the second-largest PBM in the United States, which has helped the company’s shares outperform Walgreens by more than 90 percent.
Max Nisen, "Walgreens' Next Big Deal", Bloomberg Gadfly, January 09, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Estee Lauder Names Sue Fox VP And GM Of EMEA Travel Retail Business

January 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Estee Lauder Companies appointed Sue Fox as vice president and general manager of its Travel Retail business for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region. Effective on January 4, 2016, the appointment means Fox will report to ELC president for Travel Retail Worldwide Olivier Bottrie. After starting her career with the ELC travel retail business in EMEA, Fox has held several positions at the company during her tenure.
Kapila Gohel , "Sue Fox appointed VP Estee Lauder Travel Retail EMEA", DFNI , January 08, 2016, © Metropolis Business Publishing
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Mobile Shopping For 2015 Holiday Season Jumps 59 Percent

January 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Mobile shopping grew 59 percent to $12.7 billion during the holiday shopping season in the United States, according to Comscore Inc. Consumers using their smartphones and tablet computers spent significantly more than the $11.7 billion forecast by the market research firm. Discount deals and shipping options offered by online retailers made the growth possible, according to Comscore data. Mobile commerce accounted for 18 percent of total digital retail revenue during the holiday season, up from 13 percent in 2014.
Yashaswini Swamynathan, "Mobile shopping soars during holiday season : Comscore data", Reuters, January 08, 2016, © Thomson Reuters
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Walgreens Boots Alliance Reports Strong Income Spike In 1Q Of FY2016

January 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walgreens Boots Alliance reported net earnings grew 30.6 percent to $1.1 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2016, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. GAAP net earnings per diluted share rose 13.5 percent to $1.01 during the same period. Adjusted net earnings for the quarter increased 51.1 percent, while net earnings per diluted share grew 32.1 percent to $1.03. Net sales in the quarter rose 48.5 percent to $29.0 billion, compared with the same quarter in the previous year, with the inclusion of Alliance Boots consolidated results.
"Walgreens Boots Alliance Reports Fiscal 2016 First Quarter Results", Walgreens Boots Alliance, January 07, 2016, © Walgreens Boots Alliance , Inc.
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Walmex Reports Strong Revenue Growth In December, All Of 2015

January 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart de Mexico S.A.B. de C.V. reported revenue grew 11 percent to 485.86 billion pesos, or $27.1 billion, in 2015, compared with the previous year. For December 2015, the Mexican unit of Wal-Mart said sales grew 12.5 percent, compared with the same month in 2014. Total sales for Mexico increased 10.5 percent from December 2014, with same-store sales rising 9.1 percent during the period. Total sales for the five-week period from November 28, 2015, to January 1, 2016, rose 9.4 percent, with same-store sales rising 8.0 percent.
"Wal-mart de Mexico CentroAmerica Reports December 2015 Sales", Wal-mart de Mexico, January 07, 2016, © Wal-mart de Mexico S.A.B. de C.V.
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Metro Group Sells Vietnam Wholesale Business To Thailand's TCC

January 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Metro Group said it has completed the sale of its Cash & Carry wholesale business in Vietnam to Thailand-based TCC. TCC Land International Pte. Ltd. paid €400 million for the deal, which covers all of the retailer’s 19 wholesale stores and the related real estate portfolio with an enterprise value of €655 million. Metro Group launched its cash & carry wholesale business in Vietnam in 2002, with its local unit reporting sales of €507 million in financial year 2014-2015.
"METRO GROUP completes sale of METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam to TCC", METRO GROUP, January 07, 2016, © METRO GROUP
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Sephora Looks At Amazon And Prestige Beauty Market For Growth Ideas

January 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora Americas president and CEO Calvin McDonald said his company aims to further grow its business by integrating lessons it has learned from online retailer Amazon and the prestige beauty market. Stating that Sephora’s success depends on balancing exclusive, limited, and broad brands, McDonald said Amazon’s success as a mass merchant poses a threat to the beauty retail market. Sephora’s Beauty Tip Workshop strategy, which combines brick-and-mortar, mobile, and digital channels aims to help the company compete with the online retail giant.
Jeb Gleason-Allured, "How Amazon and Prestige Beauty Are Reshaping Sephora", GCI Magazine, January 07, 2016, © Allured Business Media
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Southeast Asia's Online Retail Market Expected To Explode, Analysts Say

January 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Southeast Asia, with a population of 600 million people, is expected to see a boom in its e-commerce market. Beauty brands are expected to benefit from such a market trend if they are willing to create online retail operations in the region. For example, Unilever Thailand, established its e-commerce division with revenue targets for 2016. Brands without online presence are predicted to create online retail operations in 2016, according to tech media firm techcrunch.com.
"Southeast Asia's on the cusp of an 'e-commerce golden age'", Cosmetics Design, January 06, 2016, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Sephora Comes To New Zealand

January 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Cosmetics retailer Sephora plans to launch its business in New Zealand. By acquiring the beauty website Luxola New Zealand, and transforming it to Sephora NZ, the company will be able to ship products to their local consumers. While Sephora’s acquisition of the website means consumers can now access other brands, such as Kat Von D, Marc Jacobs, and BECCA, the online store will now stop selling Maybelline and L’Oreal Paris products.
"Sephora is coming to New Zealand", nzherald.co.nz, January 06, 2016, © NZME. Publishing Limited
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Key Data Technology And Mergers Put Kroger Ahead Of Competition in Online Sales

January 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Thanks in part to its 2014 mergers with Harris Teeter and Vitacost.com, supermarket chain Kroger gained valuable insights into click-and-pick-up and home delivery technologies, and is best positioned to succeed in online grocery sales. Morgan Stanley research found that Kroger is likely to beat out Walmart, Target, and Whole Foods. A key factor is the company’s ability to gather and analyze customer data through its 84.51 division. The merger with Harris Teeter, however, gave Kroger access to technology that allows customers to order online and pick up their purchases at stores. The merger with Vitacost provided the technology and insights into home delivery that accelerated Kroger’s ecommerce growth by two to three years.
Kate Taylor, "Kroger is going to become Amazon and Walmart's biggest threat", Business Insider, January 05, 2016, © Allure Media
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Aldi Unveils Fastest Ever UK Expansion Plans

January 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Discount retailer Aldi plans to open 80 new stores across the UK in 2016. Part of the company’s two-year £600 million investment plan, the expansion will increase Aldi’s store count by 23 percent. Scotland will be a major focus of the planned expansion, with eight new stores slated to open during the year, raising the company’s store count to 72.
"Aldi plans record UK store openings in 2016", Retail Analysis, January 05, 2016, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution
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Walmart Adopts MasterCard's MasterPass Digital Payments Service

January 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart plans to allow U.S. consumers to use MasterCard’s MasterPass digital payments platform when paying for their online and mobile purchases across the country in 2016. MasterCard describes the payments system as a “simple, convenient, trusted digital platform” that offers shoppers a quick and safe way of paying for their online purchases. Shoppers across the country can set up a MasterPass account by visiting the service’s website or by signing up with a participating bank.
"Walmart Adds MasterPass™ by MasterCard to Online and Mobile Checkout", Business Wire, January 04, 2016, © Business Wire
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Target Promotes Janna Potts To EVP, Chief Stores Officer

January 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Target Corporation announced the promotion of Janna Potts to executive vice president, chief stores officer. Effective immediately, Potts appointment means she will be in charge of the retailer’s 1,805 stores across the United States. She will join the company’s leadership team and will report directly to CEO John Mulligan.
"Target Corporation Names Janna Potts Company’s Chief Stores Officer", Target, January 04, 2016, © Target Brands, Inc.
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Carrefour Completes Purchase Of E-Commerce Firm Rue Du Commerce

January 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
French retailer Carrefour revealed it has acquired 100 percent of the share capital of Rue du Commerce from Altarea Cogedim. Part of the retailer’s implementation of its omni-channel strategy in France, the deal is expected to benefit in-store and online shoppers. Rue du Commerce is a leading non-food e-commerce operator in the country, with almost 5 million unique visitors per month.
"Carrefour completes the acquisition of Rue du Commerce", Carrefour, January 04, 2016, © Carrefour
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Once Unthinkable, Bagel Evisceration Is Becoming More Common In N. Y. City

January 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The dubious practice of “scooping” bagels – hollowing them out to provide extra room for toppings or spread, or simply to cut calories – is anathema to many native New Yorkers. But it’s a growing practice that some nutritionists excuse as being healthy, if a bit wasteful. Anti-scoopers, however, say the calories saved are minimal, maybe 75 at best, about the number of calories in an apple. While the city’s bagel purveyors at first were horrified at the sight of their products being eviscerated, they have knuckled under to the trend. Terrace Bagels, Bagel Pub, Ess-a-Bagel, La Bagel Delight, and even fussy Murray’s Bagels all scoop on request.
Tim Donnelly, "Bagel scoopers are ruining NYC", New York Post, January 03, 2016, © NYP HOLDINGS, INC
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Tesco Kipa Holds On To Stores; Ends Talks With Turkish Rival Begendik

January 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
UK-based retailer Tesco’s subsidiary in Turkey, Tesco Kipa, decided not to sell 10 stores to rival Begendik. Citing improved performance by the stores in the past six months, Tesco Kipa CEO Bill O’Neill said the proposed purchase deal was not right for the company. Begendik, which like other local retailers have benefited from international chains’ exit from Turkey, operates 46 supermarkets and 13 hypermarkets across the country.
Asli Kandemir, "Tesco Kipa ends talks with Turkey's Begendik on store sales", Reuters, January 02, 2016, © Thomson Reuters
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Innovation Is The Watchword For Today’s Supermarkets

January 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The key word for supermarkets these days is innovation, and many changes are in store, as it were, as we head into the New Year. Chief among them is the supermarket “experience” for shoppers: the creation of little events such as wine tasting, meat or veggie grilling, cooking classes, and food festivals. Special sections in some supermarkets will be devoted to brands, e.g., the Starbucks Signature Aisle, where sales have been shown to triple where installed.  And lastly, look for more drive-up or drive-thru offerings, where customers order groceries on their PC or smartphone, then pick them up at the curb, or perhaps in a drive-through aisle.
Geoff Williams, "Meet the Supermarket of the Future", U.S. News & World Report, January 01, 2016, © U.S. News & World Report LP
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India's E-Commerce Market To Hit $38 Billion In 2016, Study Forecasts

January 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
India’s e-commerce market is forecast to grow 67 percent to $38 billion in 2016, compared with $23 billion in 2015, according to industry group Assocham. Growth is expected to be driven by the increase in number of Internet and mobile users. In 2015, online purchases grew significantly due to online retailers’ aggressive discounts, with higher fuel prices and wider choices pushing further growth in 2016.
Besta Shankar, "India's e-commerce sector likely to grow by 67% to Rs 2.51 lakh crore in 2016: Assocham", International Business Times, January 01, 2016, © International Business Times, India Edition
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As Mobile Payments Soar, So Does Competition Among Retailers, Banks, Tech Giants

December 31, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
The ability to pay for purchases via  smartphone is becoming more widespread, as payment solution competition among banks, retailers and smartphone technology pioneers heats up. Market watchers predict that check-out transactions using smartphones will hit $210 billion within three years, up from $9 billion last year. That’s big business, and a lot of companies want a piece of the pie. There’s another incentive: retailers hate paying credit and debit card fees, and banks hate paying fees for Apple Pay transactions. So the biggest retailers and banks are all expected to have mobile-payment solutions to compete with Apple Pay, Google’s Android Pay, and Samsung Pay. These include JPMorgan Chase (Chase Pay), Walmart Pay, MCX’s CurrentC, and PayPal.
Olga Kharif, "Disrupt Mobile Payments Business in 2016", Bloomberg, December 31, 2015, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Getting To Know – And Sell To – The Tech-Savvy Z Generation

December 31, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Euromonitor already has a handle on the next consumer generational wave, those 1.3 billion kids between 11 and 20 years old. Dubbed Generation Z, the oldest have more money to spend, so retailers and brand marketers should start getting to know them. Basically, these digital natives who never knew a time without a high-speed Internet, smartphones or tablets, are well-connected and expect immediate access to their hearts’ desires “through as many channels and as few clicks as possible.” They use a lot of apps and live publicly on social media websites. They are very aware of the connection between brands and personal identity. Marketing successfully to the Gen Z crowd requires, at the very least, expertise in omnichannel retailing and perfect “integration of all channels flawlessly.”
Michelle Malison, "How Retailers and Brands Should Prepare for Generation Z", Blog, Euromonitor International, December 31, 2015, © Euromonitor
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ShopAdvisor Service Helps Consumers Buy Products They Actually Want

December 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Retailers are aware that online shopping and smartphone technology are here to stay. They are also acutely aware of the continued importance of the brick-and-mortar store: 92 percent of purchases are made there. Connecting the two phenomena is ShopAdvisor, an online service where consumers can download apps that take advantage of location-based beacon technology alerting them to store promotions while their out shopping. Beacon technology has been around for a while, but ShopAdvisor offers a helpful twist. Using data analytics, the service allows retailers to alert consumers who have downloaded a particular product’s app. The alert announces discounts, sales, and reviews that might spark an immediate purchase of a product that a consumer actually wants.
Glenn Rifkin, "ShopAdvisor Lets Retailers Target Shoppers by Location and Interests", The New York Times, December 30, 2015, © The New York Times Company
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