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Lidl Launches MSC-Certified Whole Lobster In UK

October 26, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Lidl began selling wild-caught whole lobsters certified by the MSC. Launched in Lidl stores across the UK, the lobsters are sourced from a fisher in New Brunswick, Canada. Lidl has cooperated with the MSC for the past year to expand its range of certified sustainable seafood products. Forty-one percent of its wild seafood products are certified by the MSC, a 24 percent increase from 2014 level, with 100 percent of its fresh wild-caught fish MSC-certified.
Carina Perkins, "Lidl is first UK supermarket to offers MSC-certified lobster with Canadian catch", The Grocer, October 26, 2015, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Whole Foods Struggle To Meet Growing Demand For Sustainably Sourced And Humanely Raised Meat

October 18, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Demand for sustainable, organic, natural, and humanely raised meat and other foods is growing faster than the production capacity of farmers. Whole Foods meat supplier Sweet Stem Farm’s dispute with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals highlighted the problems posed by this trend for retailers and their customers. Data from the Organic Trade Association revealed sales of organic products in the United States grew 11 percent in 2014. For its part, sustainable-food restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill dealt with a shortage of sustainably raised pork by pulling off its “carnitas” burrito filling from the menu.
Andrew Martin et al, "Just How Happy Are the Pigs That End Up at Whole Foods?", Bloomberg Business, October 18, 2015, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Walmart Expects Weak Sales Growth In FY 2016

October 16, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart said it expects total net sales growth to be relatively flat for fiscal year 2016. During the company’s 22nd Annual Meeting for the Investment Community, company executives said Walmart’s investments in e-commerce platform and technologies, higher salaries, and store hours are expected to affect sales growth. Also, the company said total e-commerce and digital capital investments will be about $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2017.
Jamie Grill-Goodman, "Walmart Sales Will Remain Flat After E-Commerce Investments", Consumer Goods Technology, October 16, 2015, © Edgell Communications
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Whole Foods Market Partners With Infor To Create Cloud-Based Retail Management Platform

October 14, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Whole Foods Market partnered with technology firm Infor to build and install Infor CloudsuiteTM Retail, a cloud-based retail management solution. Designed to increase the speed and efficiency of the shopping process while improving the quality of customer experience, the platform combines cloud-based automation and updated processes designed for strategic merchandising and supply chain management. Through the partnership, Whole Foods Market will function as a testing ground for Infor’s technology.
"Whole Foods Market partners with Infor to build next-generation cloud retail management suite", Whole Foods Market, October 14, 2015, © Whole Foods Market
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Metro Cash And Carry India Opens New Store; Plans E-Commerce Business Launch

October 14, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Metro Cash and Carry India Pvt. Ltd. will open its second store in Delhi on October 15, 2015, bringing its total number of wholesale stores in the country to 19 and closer to its goal of having 50 branches in India by 2020. Besides opening new stores, Metro AG’s Indian unit plans to expand its business by launching an e-commerce business in the country. As part of its online business plans, Metro Cash and Carry began testing Metro Direct, an online service that allows customers to order non-food products, in Bengaluru.
Sounak Mitra, "Metro Cash and Carry eyes e-commerce sales", Livemint, October 14, 2015, © HT Media Ltd.
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Walmart Introduces Three-Year Business Growth Plan

October 14, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart unveiled a three-year business growth plan, which includes sales growth projection of $45 billion to $60 billion for the period ending fiscal year 2019. For its main goal, the growth plan envisions Wal-Mart to be the first retailer to provide consumers with a “seamless shopping experience.” According to the company, it will achieve this goal by winning with its stores, building on digital relationship with customers, and adopting “critical capabilities” needed to drive growth. Also, the company plans to invest $1.5 billion to raise the starting wage for current associates to at least $10 in the United States. Wal-Mart is also investing in technology to improve customer experience.
Doug McMillon, President & CEO, Walmart, "Why Walmart is Positioned to Win the Future of Retail", Walmart, October 14, 2015, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Walmart Announces Three-Year Strategic Plans At 2015 Meeting

October 14, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. discussed its strategic outlook and future growth plans at the company’s 2015 annual meeting. Part of the company’s three-year strategic plans, net sales is projected to grow between 3 percent and 4 percent annually, or $45 billion to $60 billion, during the period. Also, the company highlighted plans to invest in people and technology to ensure strong shareholder returns. In terms of capital investments, the company will allocate $11 billion for fiscal year and will likely remain at that level for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Also, the company said it plans to invest about $1.1 billion on e-commerce and digital business ventures in fiscal year 2017.
"Walmart strategy drives growth and sustainable returns, Plans $20 billion share repurchase program over two years", Walmart, October 14, 2015, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Walmex Outperforms U.S. Parent Company Wal-Mart In September Quarter 2015

October 13, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart de Mexico reported same-store sales grew 7 percent for the quarter ending September 2015, compared with the same period in 2014. Walmex’s results for the quarter drove the company’s shares 31 percent higher in 2015, recovering from the 40 percent fall caused by the 2012 bribery scandal in Mexico. In contrast, parent company Wal-Mart Stores Inc. saw its stock falling 22 percent in 2015, with same-store sales growing slightly at 1.5 percent despite efforts to cut costs and improve revenue performance.
Andrea Navarro , "Wal-Mart Mexico soars while U.S. parent struggles", Chicago Tribune, October 13, 2015, © Chicago Tribune
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Walmart Plans To Double Products Sold From Women-Owned Companies

October 12, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart India said it plans to double the volume of products it sources from women-owned business enterprises in the next five years. Part of the company’s global initiative to help empower women, the company also seeks to source $20 billion in products from women for its business in the United States. Also, the company partnered with nonprofit group WEConnect International to identify products made by women-owned companies, with companies that are at least 51 percent owned by women allowed to use a “women-owned” logo on their products.
Meenakshi Verma Ambwani, "Walmart India to double sourcing from women-owned businesses", The Hindu Business Line, October 12, 2015, © The Hindu Business Line
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FMCG Companies Face Risk Posed By Slowdown In Emerging Markets, Euromonitor Says

October 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Multinational FMCG companies’ exposure to emerging markets is turning to risk as economic growth in those regions slow down, according to Euromonitor International. Data from the market research firm’s Competitor Analytics report revealed Danone had the greatest exposure to emerging countries in 2014, with more than 61 percent of its retail value sales coming from those markets. For the years 2008 to 2014, emerging markets were the primary growth driver. For example, Procter & Gamble earned more than $20 billion in retail value sales during the period in emerging markets, while Unilever added more than $27 billion. Also, Unilever’s sales in developed countries grew 1 percent, while sales in emerging markets grew 12 percent.
Giedrius Daujotas, "FMCG Companies Most At Risk Due to Emerging Market Slowdown", Euromonitor International, October 11, 2015, © Euromonitor
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Grocery Makers In Australia Cut Product Sizes Without Cutting Prices

October 9, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers’ favorite grocery items, such as laundry liquid, deodorants, chips, and chocolates, have shrunk by as much as 30 percent without any corresponding reduction in price, according to News Corp. Australia. Manufacturers’ justification for the reductions include protecting the environment, portion control, and saving local jobs. Consumer advocates, who call such reductions “weight-outs,” claim making more money is manufacturers’ main motivation. Queensland Consumers Association representative Ian Jarratt said downsizing was manufacturers’ attempt at taking advantage of consumers’ focus on total price instead of quantity and unit price. Some of the most significant downsizing incidents include the 30 percent size cut in Unilever’s Omo laundry liquid and the 25 percent cut in Cadbury’s Caramello Koala chocolate product.
John Rolfe, "Honey, they’ve shrunk the groceries! Some popular items now 30 per cent smaller but cost the same", Daily Telegraph, October 09, 2015, © News Limited
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Walmart Names Bratspies U.S. Chief Merchandising Officer

October 9, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart U.S. named Steve Bratspies as chief merchandising officer for stores in the United States. Effective October 19, 2015, the appointment means Bratspies will manage all merchandise categories across more than 4,500 stores in the retailer’s home market. Bratspies will continue reporting to Walmart U.S. president and CEO Greg Foran.
"Walmart U.S. Appoints Steve Bratspies to Chief Merchandising Officer", Walmart, October 09, 2015, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Nivea, Wal-Mart Partner To Promote Beauty Sales In Mexico

October 8, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Beiesdorf Mexico partnered with Wal-Mart’s Walmex unit to launch the Beauty Parade 2015 marketing campaign in the country. Aimed at boosting sales of beauty products, the campaign will market Nivea’s products during a sales promotion, which will involve 7,000 multi-branded beauty products sold at discounts as high as 30 percent. Running in the retailer’s 250 stores across Mexico, the campaign will include launches of new products, including body lotions, cosmetics, shampoos, and hair dyes.
Ivan Castano, "Nivea, Wal-Mart Join Forces to Boost Sales in a Flat Market", WWD.com, October 08, 2015, © Fairchild Fashion Media
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Tesco Reports Slight Improvement In Sales For 2015-2016

October 7, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
UK retailer Tesco reported like-for-like sales in the local market grew 1.1 percent in the first half of fiscal year 2015-2016, which included more growth in the second quarter. Like-for-like sales for the company’s international units grew 1.0 percent in the first half, with both Europe and Asia markets showing positive growth rates in the second quarter. In the UK, growth was driven by the retailer’s focus on service, availability, and price. Tesco said operating profit reached £354 million, and claimed it was on track on deliver £400 million in annual cost savings from its restructuring investment.
"Tesco Interim Results 2015/16", Tesco, October 07, 2015, © Tesco
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Wal-Mart Holds On To Market Share With Three Strategies

October 6, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart adopted three strategies for protecting its share of the retail market from online retailers. Leveraging its “everyday low price” policy, the company added the Savings Catcher feature to its mobile app which enables customers to verify that the goods they bought are lowest priced at Wal-Mart. Also, the retailer offers unmatched convenience to consumers by combining ease of online shopping with local pickup option through its network of local stores. Wal-Mart’s mobile app has become one of the most popular in the retail segment, with consumer adoption driven by the app’s Savings Catcher feature to reach 22 million users as of June 2015.
"Three Ways Walmart Is Making Big Strides In Its Battle Against Online Retailers", Trefis, October 06, 2015, © Insight Guru Inc.
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Walmex Reports Stronger Sales Growth In 3Q 2015

October 5, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB said sales rose 12.5 percent to 37.3 billion pesos, or $2.23 billion, in September 2015, driving sales for the third quarter to grow 11.6 percent to 116.5 billion pesos, compared with the same period in the previous year. Same-store sales for September grew 7 percent in Mexico and 3.4 percent in Central America. Walmex said sales growth has recovered in 2015, driven by an improving Mexican economy and the company’s efforts to improve sales at its Sam’s Club membership stores.
Anthony Harrup, "Wal-Mart de Mexico Sales Gain Pace in Third Quarter", NASDAQ, October 05, 2015, © NASDAQ.com
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Henkel Beauty Care Wins Retail Honors In China

October 5, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Henkel Beauty Care won awards from Watsons, Mannings, and Nielsen for its China retail business in the third quarter of 2015. Considered the top honors in China’s retail sector, the Watsons Health, Beauty and Wellness Awards honor brands that have received wide reception among consumers. Henkel’s Schwarzkopf haircare brand won the Best of the Best award. Henkel also won the Best Supplier of the Year award from Mannings China in the Health and Beauty category for the third consecutive year. Henkel’s Schwarzkopf Freshlight Waterlily Moisture Shampoo was chosen as one of the 15 products in the hair category of Nielsen’s 4th Annual Consumer 360 Forum awards.
"Henkel Beauty Care China received various prizes in 3rd quarter", Henkel, October 05, 2015, © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
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Amazon Joins Interbrand List Of World's Top 10 Most Valued Brands

October 4, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon entered the Top 10 circle of Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report for the first time. With a brand valuation of $37.948 billion, Amazon joins the ranks dominated mainly by technology companies, including Apple at number 1, Google at number 2, and Microsoft at number 4. Five new brands joined the list: Lego at number 82, PayPal at 97, MINI at 98, Moet & Chandon at 99, and Lenovo at 100. Automotive brands join technology companies as among the most dominant in the 2016 list.
"Interbrand Releases 2015 Best Global Brands Report", Interbrand, October 04, 2015, © Interbrand
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Chick-fil-A Continues Aggressive Expansion Strategy

October 2, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Chick-fil-A, which ranks third nationally in number of outlets, is accelerating its expansion activities by opening a hundred new restaurants this year. The Atlanta-based chain has more than 1,900 stores in 42 states. The latest outlet will be in New York City, a sign that it wants to expand significantly beyond the South, where it is most heavily concentrated. “We could build restaurants for a long time," says a Chick-fil-A vice president. Though McDonald's (with 14,300 locations) and KFC (with 4,300) are bigger chains, Chick-fil-A restaurants do much better in average sales ($3.2 million). McDonald’s locations average $2.5 million and KFC $960,000.
Candice Choi, "Chick-Fil-A Opening NYC Outpost In National Push", Associated Press, October 02, 2015, © The Associated Press
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Kroger Tries Smart Shelf Technology At Ohio Store

October 2, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Kroger is installing and testing smart shelf technology at its Cold Spring store on Crossroads Boulevard near Cincinnati, Ohio. Without revealing the cost of developing and installing the technology, the retailer said future applications could include providing nutrition information on demand, as well as allowing shoppers’ smartphones to link up with the shelf. Each of the Edge smart shelf comes with a plastic screen, with a small digital device inside that projects pricing and other data onto the screen. Kroger said it has already tested video and no-motion ads that reportedly boosted sales results.
Alexander Coolidge, "Kroger tests ‘smart shelf’ technology", Cincinnati.com, October 02, 2015, © www.cincinnati.com
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Smaller Countries Serve As Innovation Labs For McDonald’s

October 2, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald’s is determined to reverse the downward trend in same-store sales and get consumers interested in its brand again. To do that it is testing innovations in smaller markets like Canada and Australia where the gamble is less risky and the scale is smaller. The experiments sometimes fail, but some lead to roll-outs, both here and abroad. A significant example is the DIY Create Your Taste digital self-serve station, tested in Australia and now rolling out in the U.S. It will expand the program to 1,400 Canadian locations over the next year. Self-service kiosks and table delivery with dedicated wait staff are part of the plan. The key question for the fast-food chain: can it implement these innovations fast enough to re-engage consumers and re-invigorate the bottom line?
Dale Buss, "McR&D: How McDonald’s Tests Innovations in Canada and Australia", BrandChannel, October 02, 2015, © Interbrand
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Online Retailers Open Physical Stores In UK

October 1, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailers in the UK are opening brick-and-mortar stores. Online fashion retailer Boden, which has £280 million in annual sales, plans to open several new stores in the country, in addition to its original mail-order and online-only businesses. Rapha, an online seller of high-end bicycles and cycling products, opened its first physical store in central London two years ago. Online seller of beachwear, Orlebar Brown, started its ecommerce business in 2007; however, the company has opened five stores in London since 2011.
"Popping up everywhere", The Economist, October 01, 2015, © The Economist Newspaper Limited
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Wal-Mart Eyes Leaner Workforce At Headquarters

October 1, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is reportedly planning to lay off hundreds of employees at its corporate headquarters. Expected to begin in the coming week, the cuts are likely to include senior executives. Previously reported by the Wall Street Journal, the planned job cuts are part of company CEO Doug McMillon’s efforts to reduce operating costs.
Shannon Pettypiece, "Wal-Mart Said to Plan Hundreds of Job Cuts at Headquarters", Bloomberg Business, October 01, 2015, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Kroger Launches HemisFares Collection Of Quality Food Products From Worldwide Sources

October 1, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer The Kroger Co. introduced HemisFares, a corporate brand of imported food products from the world’s most food-rich regions. Found exclusively at the company’s stores, the collection includes 27 authentic Italian products, with more products from other countries to be added soon, Kroger said. Developed by Kroger in partnership with the best food connoisseurs, the collection comes with unique product packaging designed to highlight the food and the story behind it.
"Kroger Introduces HemisFares", Kroger, October 01, 2015, © SNL Financial LC/ The Kroger Company
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Whole Foods Market One Of Best Companies In CSR, Report Shows

September 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Whole Foods Market was recognized for its corporate social responsibility efforts in the United States by the Reputation Institute’s report, US CSR RepTrak. According to Reputation Institute, the list measures the public’s perception of companies based on workplace, governance, and citizenship. Whole Foods Market ranked 25th on the 2015 list, while in June 2015, the company was ranked third most reputable company in the retail industry and the third-strongest retail brand in the US.
"Whole Foods Market named one of America’s most reputable companies for corporate social responsibility by Reputation Institute", Whole Foods Market, September 30, 2015, © Whole Foods Market
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Hawaiian Raw Fish Delicacy Invades Los Angeles

September 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
The Hawaiian staple known as poke (pronounced poke-eh) is gaining traction on the West Coast, especially in L.A. The chopped, seasoned raw fish is used as a topping or main ingredient in customizable sandwiches, burgers, burritos, pizza or salads, and can be served with brown rice, kale, sriracha and ponzu sauce. The popularity of the food is reflected in the number of poke restaurants that have opened over the last two years in the Los Angeles area. One of them serves poke on rice, salad or in a wrap with pineapple, seaweed salad, crab and crispy garlic or onions. Available seafood includes spicy tuna, tuna, salmon, yellowtail, scallop, albacore and octopus.
Jenn Harris, "Why is poke so hot right now? Here are 9 restaurants you'll want to try", Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2015, © Los Angeles Times
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Lidl Announces Senior Executive Appointments For UK, Ireland Units

September 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Lidl appointed Martin Bailie as chief operating officer of its UK business. Before his appointment, Bailie, who has worked at Lidl for almost 14 years, was chief operating officer of Lidl Ireland for three years. Matthew Heslop, former joint chief operating officer for Lidl UK for 18 months, was appointed as Bailie’s replacement in Ireland.
Luke Tugby, "Lidl names new UK chief operations officer amid raft of management changes", Retail Week, September 30, 2015, © EMAP Publishing Limited
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Euromonitor International Announces Winners Of Best Retail Concepts Awards 2015

September 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Mega Image SRL’s Gusturi Romanesti grocery store in Romania won the best retail concept award for 2015 from Euromonitor International. Culture Convenience Club Co. Ltd.’s Tsutaya Electronics in Japan won the same distinction in the non-grocery category, while independent farmers in Hungary, with their “adopt a laying hen” program, won in the non-store concepts category. In the digital concepts category, L’Oreal HK Ltd. won with its Makeup Genius app for the Hong Kong market.
Michelle Malison, "The Best New Retailing Concepts of 2015", Euromonitor International, September 30, 2015, © Euromonitor International
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Sale Of South Korea Unit Is Last Of Tesco's Overseas Divestment Move, Chairman Says

September 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
After disposing of its South Korean business unit Homeplus for $6.1 billion, UK retailer Tesco has no plan of selling any other major overseas business. Speaking during the company’s shareholder meeting, Tesco chairman John Allan said his company will hold on to its businesses in Thailand, Malaysia, central Europe, and Ireland. Aimed at helping reduce the retailer’s debt and getting rid of its junk credit rating, the Homeplus sale follows Tesco’s divestment moves in Japan, China, and the United States.
James Davey, "Tesco says no more big overseas disposals being discussed", Reuters, September 30, 2015, © Thomson Reuters
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Target Adds More Rivals To Online Price-Match Lineup

September 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Target Corp. expanded its price-matching campaign to include more rival retailers, such as Amazon.com and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. From October 1, 2015, Target.com will start matching prices from 29 online stores, as well as those of brick-and-mortar rivals, including CVS Health Corp. and Costco Wholesale Corp. Retailers have widely adopted price-match policies despite avoiding to make such offers previously due to bottom-line concerns.
Paul Ziobro, "Target Expands Online Price-Match Policy to Include Amazon, Wal-Mart", Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2015, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Whole Foods Announces End To Selling Foods Made With Inmate Workers

September 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Whole Foods Market said that by April 2016 it will stop selling foods produced using prison labor. Whole Foods made the decision following a protest rally organized by the End Mass Incarceration Houston in Houston. At present, Whole Foods sells foods produced by Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy and Quixotic Farming. Both companies have partnered with the Colorado Department of Corrections to employ prisoners to milk goats and raise fish.
Allison Aubrey, "Whole Foods Says It Will Stop Selling Foods Made With Prison Labor", National Public Radio, September 30, 2015, © npr
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Metro Group Sells Galeria Kaufhof Department Store Chain

September 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Metro Group sold its department store chain business Galeria Kaufhof to the Canadian Hudson’s Bay Company. Valued at €2.825 billion, the transaction was completed on September 30, 2015, and covers all store locations in Germany and Belgium. Galeria Kaufhof has about 17,000 employees and 134 locations, generating sales of €3.1 billion in financial year 2013-2014.
"METRO GROUP successfully concludes sale of Galeria Kaufhof", METRO GROUP, September 30, 2015, © METRO GROUP
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Emmas Enkel Opens New Stores In Germany's Cities

September 29, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Startup online retailer Emmas Enkel continues expanding its operations in Germany’s urban centers. Already operating a store in the Berlin-Friedrichshain area, the company plans to open stores in the cities of Dortmund, Cologne, and Dusseldorf in the North Rhine-Westphalia region. Based on the company’s business concept of combining the atmosphere of a small store with the convenience offered by online shopping, the Berlin store features seating with the option of placing orders online. Retailer Metro Group bought a 15 percent stake in the startup in December 2014.
"Start-up Emmas Enkel continues to expand", METRO GROUP, September 29, 2015, © METRO GROUP
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Fractured Prune Doughnuts: Hot, Made-To-Order, All Day

September 29, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
It’s not your grandfather’s doughnut shop. No more baking the standardized selection of treats before dawn, loading the display shelves, then selling them long after the baker has gone home. At the Fractured Prune, customers have a big variety to choose from, and the bakery chain, which sells hot, made-to-order doughnuts from dawn to long after dusk, is thriving. Customers pick the glaze and toppings they want from a list of 24 options, or choose one of the favorites. Top sellers include honey glaze and cinnamon sugar, banana glaze and vanilla wafers, and blueberry glaze and powdered sugar. The East Coast chain just opened its first California location in Santa Clara, and there are plans to open 20 more in the Bay Area.
Linda Zavoral, "Fractured Prune brings 'design your own doughnut' concept to Bay Area", San Jose Mercury News, September 29, 2015, © Digital First Media
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Wal-Mart Expands List Of Test Sites For Grocery Pickup Service

September 29, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is expanding its free grocery pickup service to cover more cities in the United States. Seeking to address the growing competition from Amazon.com and other rivals that offer home delivery, the world’s leading retailer aims to leverage its network of brick-and-mortar stores across the country. Cities to be added to the retailer’s test areas for online grocery delivery services include Atlanta and Salt Lake City. Also, Wal-Mart will appoint or hire new employees to function as “personal shoppers” for shoppers availing themselves of the service.
Nathan Layne and Sruthi Ramakrishnan, "Wal-Mart expands grocery pickup in battle with Amazon", Reuters, September 29, 2015, © Thomson Reuters
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Unilever And Israeli Supermarket Chain Settle Pricing Dispute

September 29, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever and Israel-based supermarket chain Super-Sol have settled their dispute over fair prices. With both parties declaring victory, Unilever said the retailer agreed to pay millions of shekels owed the consumer goods company. For its part, Super-Sol claimed the local unit of Unilever agreed to the supermarket operator’s terms. As a result of the settlement, Unilever products will be coming back to Super-Sol store shelves.
Adi Dovrat-Meseritz, "Unilever Products Due Back at Super-Sol After Sides Resolve Spat ", Haaretz, September 29, 2015, © Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd.
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Aldi Plans To Launch Online Service In UK In 2016

September 28, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
German discount retailer Aldi announced plans to launch an online service in the UK. Scheduled for early 2016, the planned online service was unveiled following a 4.1 percent decline in sales in 2014 at the company’s UK and Ireland unit. Opening its first store in the UK in 1990, the company has spent £878 million on its expansion in the country, which included 54 new stores opened in 2014. As part of its proposed online business, the company will start selling wine by the case online, to be followed by non-food special sales in the spring.
Ian Walker, "German Discount Grocer Aldi to Go Online in Britain", Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2015, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Numerous Factors In Play As Walmart India’s Sales Plummet

September 28, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Sales at Walmart’s Indian business unit dropped 32 percent in 2014, as the company investigates allegations of corrupt practices. Also, the company ended its relationship with Bharti, to which it supplied nearly a third of its merchandise, in 2013, losing a major source of revenue. Walmart has also put a hold on new store construction. The slide in sales may also be due to other factors, such as more aggressive marketing and store expansion by competitor Metro AG. In addition, Walmart’s stores tend to be located on the outskirts of cities, while competitors like Metro AG are closer to urban consumers. Lastly, local e-commerce companies have been discounting heavily.
Sagar Malviya, "Wal-Mart’s India sales dip 32 per cent in 2014", Economic Times, September 28, 2015, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Whole Foods Announces Big Layoffs

September 28, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Whole Foods Market announced plans to terminate about 1,500 employees, as part of the organic foods retailer’s efforts to cut operating costs. Also, the company said employees to be affected by the layoffs, which account for about 1.6 percent of the company’s total workforce, will be let go through normal attrition, with a significant number to be rehired for other jobs at its other stores. Whole Foods Market created 9,000 new jobs in the past year, and almost 35,000 over the past five years, the company said.
"Whole Foods Market statement regarding reduction in positions", Whole Foods, September 28, 2015, © Whole Foods Market
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Target Adds More Chemicals To Its List Of Banned Ingredients

September 28, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Target Corp. released an expanded list of chemicals it wants suppliers to remove from their products. Part of the retailer’s efforts to respond to consumer health concerns, the list includes almost 600 ingredients on Health Canada’s lineup of banned cosmetic ingredients. Also on the list is triclosan, an antibacterial agent being reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has a similar program aimed at encouraging suppliers to remove harmful chemicals from their products.
Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Shannon Pettypiece, "Target Expands List of Chemicals It Wants Out of Consumer Goods", Bloomberg, September 28, 2015, © Bloomberg
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Millennials Are Out There, But Brands Are Having A Hard Time Getting Their Attention

September 27, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
The Millennial generation – roughly 18 to 34-year-olds – are a tough, but much-desired,  market for the brand advertising community. Millennial consumers are young, influential, are getting married and having children, have discretionary income, are buying houses and cars, and are choosing the brands they’re likely to stick to for the rest of their lives. The problem is, they just don’t focus much on traditional media – TV, newspapers, magazines -- where traditional ads appear. They skip or block ads on the digital media where they spend a lot of their time. As one advertising consultant advised, “Everything you know about advertising — chuck it.” Tactics being tried in this brave new world include emojis, smartphone apps, and eye-catching special events.
Sydney Ember, "Brands Woo Millennials With a Wink, an Emoji or Whatever It Takes", The New York Times, September 27, 2015, © The New York Times Company
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Anthony Bourdain To Open Huge N.Y. City Market In Two Years

September 28, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Chef, author and culinary traveler Anthony Bourdain has confirmed plans to open a food market in 2017 in the meatpacking district of New York City. He and his partners have subleased the main concourse and mezzanine of Pier 57 on the Hudson River. The market will feature a steaming noodle stall, a farmers’ market, and a mezzanine packed with food stations and bars. “Think of an Asian night market,” he said. “Eating and drinking at midnight.” The Bourdain market, set to open in two years, will house about 100 global retail and wholesale food vendors, including fishmongers, butchers, bakers and other artisans, and a full-service restaurant. Bourdain has signed deals with Geylang Claypot Rice of Singapore and Sabina Bandera, owner of the Ensenada, Mexico-based seafood restaurant La Guerrerense.
Florence Fabricant, "Anthony Bourdain’s Food Market Takes Shape", The New York Times, September 28, 2015, © The New York Times Company
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Tesco Says Revenue Woes Continued In FY 2015

September 26, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Tesco reported sales dropped 1.3 percent to £70 billion in fiscal year 2014-2015, compared with the previous year. Trading profit declined 58.1 percent to £1.4 billion mainly due to a drop in like-for-like sales and the accrued costs of operating inefficiencies and the actions taken by the retailer in the second half of the year to stabilize its business. Tesco reported a statutory loss before tax of £6.4 billion, after charging one-off items valued at £7.0 billion. Sales in the UK dropped 1.7 percent, including a 1.8 percent contribution from newly opened stores. Like-for-like sales, including VAT and excluding fuel, decreased 3.6 percent.
"Annual Report and Financial Statements 2015", Tesco , September 26, 2015, © Tesco
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Albertsons Sets IPO Goal Of $1.84 Billion

September 25, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Grocery company Albertsons Cos. said it expects to raise as much as $1.84 billion from its initial public offering. Months earlier, private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP merged Albertsons with retailer Safeway Inc. The merger resulted in the second-largest grocer in the country, behind market leader Kroger Co.
Lisa Beilfuss, "Albertsons to Raise Up to $1.84 Billion in IPO", The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2015, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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The Body Shop Seeks To Expand Skincare Lineup In South Korea

September 25, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer The Body Shop plans to expand its skincare product line, as part of the company’s efforts to boost its presence in South Korea, according to country general manager Oh Mi-kyung. By expanding its focus to include skincare products, the company aims to increase its share of the country’s cosmetics market. Skincare products account for about 55 percent of South Korea’s beauty market. At present, TBS focuses mainly on body care products.
Sohn Ji-young, "The Body Shop looks to bolster skin care lineup", Korea herald, September 25, 2015, © Herald Corporation
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High-End Perfume Brands Find Their Way To Wal-Mart, Other Mass-Market Retailers

September 25, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
In the United States, luxury perfume brands, such as Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, and Davidoff, are finding their way to mass market retailers, including Wal-Mart, CVS, and Target. Procter & Gamble, Coty Inc., and other makers of luxury perfumes do not sell their products to mass-market retailers; however, Wal-Mart and company gain access to designer perfumes through gray-market suppliers. Despite perfume makers’ efforts to limit their products to official channels, shoppers still find many high-end perfume brands at their favorite retail outlets.
Serena Ng, "Luxury-Perfume Makers Turn to Wal-Mart, Target", Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2015, © Dow Jones & Company Inc.
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Beauty Products Retailer Ulta Renews Headquarters Lease With Expanded Space

September 25, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Cosmetics superstore chain Ulta has renewed the lease of its Bolingbrook, Ill., headquarters for another 13 years, landlord Equus Capital Partners announced. Ulta will expand its space by 66 percent to 206,473 square feet at Tallgrass Corporate Center, enough room to add 340 employees. The staff increase will combine new hires and relocations from a nearby Ulta facility. The additional space is part of the company’s new multi-year supply chain project that includes added capacity and system improvements to support expanded omni-channel capabilities.
Becky Yerak, "Ulta expanding, adding jobs at Bolingbrook headquarters, property owner says", Chicago Tribune, September 25, 2015, © Chicago Tribune
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Carrefour Reorganizes Private-Label Beauty Brand Into Exclusively Organic Range

September 25, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Carrefour transformed its private-label beauty range Nectar of Nature into a purely organic-only line. Also, the company launched another private-label line, Nectar of Beauty, which will include all non-organic products previously included in the Nectar of Nature range. Both product lines are included in the company’s Les Cosmetiques Design Paris brand.
"Carrefour Makes Private Label Beauty Line 'Organic Only'", European Supermarket Magazine, September 25, 2015, © European Supermarket Magazine
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Sephora Launches Beauty Subscription Service

September 24, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora launched its Play! by Sephora cosmetics subscription service on a limited basis in Boston, Cincinnati, and Columbus markets. With a monthly subscription fee of $10, the service is expected to be launched across the United States in 2016. Some industry analysts are predicting Sephora’s entry into the subscription market poses a strong competition to segment leader Birchbox, which has 1 million subscribers in six countries.
Marissa Piazzola, "Should Birchbox be Worried About Sephora?", Fox Business, September 24, 2015, © FOX News Network, LLC
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Creative Mobile Marketing Tactics That Really Worked

September 24, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Google released a report loaded with statistics and case studies describing creative mobile marketing tactics that have gotten results. One statistic that should prove eye-opening for mobile marketers: two-thirds of smartphone shoppers say they’ll switch to a competitors site if checkout drags on for too long. A case study on Red Roof Inn details how the motel chain took advantage of the statistic that canceled flights strand 90,000 travelers a day. The company launched a mobile campaign – “Stranded at the airport?” – targeting travelers frantic to find lodging nearby. Result: the chain experienced a 60 percent increase in last-minute bookings. Other “interesting” case studies in the report: Home Depot, Realtor.com, and Walmart.
Lauren Johnson, "4 Brands Whose Creative Approaches to Mobile Marketing Are Getting Big Results Google updates best-practice 'playbook'", AdWeek, September 24, 2015, © Adweek
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