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Target Names Executive In Charge Of Efforts To Improve Business Operations

September 24, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Target Corporation appointed Anu Gupta as senior vice president for operational excellence. Among the responsibilities that go with Gupta’s position, a job recently created by the retailer, is managing a team tasked with “simplifying and optimizing processes” to improve the company’s ability to foresee and meet customers’ needs. Gupta will report directly to chief operating officer John Mulligan.
"Target Appoints Operations Leader, Anu Gupta, as Senior Vice President, Operational Excellence", Target, September 24, 2015, © Target Brands, Inc.
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Kroger Appoints Scot Hendricks President Of Delta Division

September 24, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
The Kroger Co. promoted Scot Hendricks to president of the company’s Delta division. Based in Memphis, Kroger’s Delta division covers stores operated by the company in Western Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri. Hendricks replaces Tim Brown, who was appointed as president of the retailer’s Cincinnati/Dayton division.
"Kroger Names Scot Hendricks President of Delta Division", Kroger, September 24, 2015, © The Kroger Co.
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Men Make Most Of Grocery Buying Decisions In India, Study Reveals

September 24, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
In India, men make about 80 percent of decisions when households buy groceries, according to a study conducted by IMRB International for Facebook. Data revealed men make about 86 percent of decisions when it comes to buying skincare and haircare products, 84 percent for oral care products, and 79 percent in household care products. Covering 6,000 shopper groups consisting of one or more shoppers inside 48 stores in cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru, the study also surveyed 1,700 men online.
Sounak Mitra, "Nearly 80% of grocery shopping decisions taken by men, says study", Livemint, September 24, 2015, © HT Media Ltd.
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Nine More Companies Join Campaign To Promote Renewable Electricity

September 23, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
The U.K.-based Climate Group announced that nine major companies have joined 27 others in a year-old initiative known as RE100, pledging to source 100 percent of their electricity from renewable energy to reduce CO2 emissions. The newly-added members are Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, NIKE, Procter & Gamble, Salesforce, Starbucks, Steelcase, Voya Financial, and Walmart. The goal of RE100 is to massively increase private sector demand for renewable power, accelerate the transformation of the global energy market, and enable the transition to a prosperous low-carbon future.
"Fortune 500 listed companies pledge to use 100% renewable electricity", News release, The Climate Group, September 23, 2015, © The Climate Group
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Fortune Honors Whole Foods Market’s 37-Year-Old CIO

September 24, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Fortune magazine has named Whole Foods Market Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer 37-year-old Jason Buechel one of the 40 most influential business people under the age of 40. Buechel, executive vice president and chief information officer, is No. 11 on Fortune’s “40 Under 40” list.  He is the youngest member of the Whole Foods executive team. Fortune noted Buechel’s role in building Whole Foods’s Market’s partnership with Instacart, implementing Apple Pay, and testing the company’s first rewards program.
"Whole Foods Market’s Jason Buechel named to FORTUNE ‘40 Under 40’ list", News release, Whole Foods Market, September 24, 2015, © Whole Foods Market
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Walmart Needs To Redefine Itself In The Volatile E-Commerce Era

September 23, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart has traditionally competed with other retailers on the principle of “always low price.” The Sam Walton principle dictated tough negotiations with suppliers. But the principle may no longer apply in the volatile age of e-commerce and omnichannel. In fact, price may not be the best way to compete at all any more. Store customers who have long expected the lowest price from Walmart can now turn to Amazon, Jet, and Walmart’s own Web site. All of them offer lower prices than Walmart stores. This realization requires a change in Walmart’s corporate mindset, culture, business and operations. Another key factor: investors in retail competitor Amazon are extremely patient, letting the company experiment, make mistakes. Walmart’s investors, however, demand growth, which has been flat recently. A result of this approach is that Amazon’s market value leapt past Walmart’s ($231 billion) to $248 billion this summer.
Daphne Howland , "In an age of disruption, where is Wal-Mart going?", Retail Dive, September 23, 2015, © Industry Dive
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Economic Slowdown Hurts Consumer Spending In Latin America

September 23, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Latin America’s economic slowdown is forcing consumers in the region to reduce their spending and look for cheaper alternatives. Results of the latest consumer survey by FT Confidential Research revealed consumer confidence is declining across the region, even in Colombia and Peru, whose economies are forecast to grow by more than 3 percent in 2015. In June 2015, 19 percent of respondents said they put most emphasis on price when buying food, compared with 16.4 percent nine months earlier. Also, price is the main concern for 41.5 percent when buying clothes and personal care products. In Brazil, where the economy is forecast to contract about 2 percent, consumers still prefer high-end brands of shampoo, face cream, cosmetics, and other personal care products; however, demand has been strong also for economy brands.
Richard Lapper, "Latin American slowdown hits spending power of consumers", Financial Times, September 23, 2015, © The Financial Times Limited
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Ulta Launches Marketing Campaign In United States

September 22, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Ulta launched a marketing campaign aimed at promoting its brand and driving consumer awareness in the United States. Acknowledging that U.S. consumers are generally not aware of the brand, the company is spending a significant amount of money on TV advertising. As part of the campaign, the company aims to position itself as a “fun alternative” to rival Sephora, which is widely accepted as “sleek and chic.” Ulta, the country’s largest beauty retailer, reported $3.2 billion in sales for fiscal year ending January 31, 2015, with net income rising from $71 million to $257 million.
Kim Bhasin, "Can America’s Biggest Beauty Retailer Take On Sephora?", Bloomberg, September 22, 2015, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Wal-Mart Demands Lower Prices For Goods Made In China

September 23, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is demanding lower prices from its suppliers that manufacture their goods in China. Seeking to share in the savings generated by China’s devaluation of the yuan, Wal-Mart managers in various countries have reportedly asked price cuts of 2 percent to 6 percent. Aimed at helping Wal-Mart maintain its “everyday low cost” or EDLC, the demand for cost cuts will cover mainly general merchandise, including home furnishings, apparel, and health and beauty products.
Nathan Layne and Nandita Bose, "Exclusive: Wal-Mart presses suppliers to share benefits of cheaper yuan", Reuters, September 23, 2015, © Thomson Reuters
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UK Supermarket Industry Posts Weak Growth In September 2015 Quarter

September 22, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
In the UK, the supermarket industry grew 0.9 percent for the quarter ending September 13, 2015, according to market research firm Kantar Worldpanel. Data from the company showed Sainsbury’s saw its sales grew 0.9 percent, holding on to its share of the market at 16.2 percent, while Tesco’s sales dropped 1 percent, with its market share declining 0.6 percentage points to 28.2 percent. Morrisons saw its share of the market contract by 1.4 percent to 10.7 percent. According to Kantar, the ongoing grocery price war is hampering market growth in the country.
"Grocery price war continues to stall market growth in the UK", Kantar Worldpanel, September 22, 2015, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Groupe Auchan, Metro Cash & Carry Expand Purchasing Deal In France

September 22, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
French retailer Groupe Auchan and wholesaler Metro Cash & Carry expanded their purchasing cooperation deal. First launched in the international level in November 2014, the deal was extended to cover France following changes in the European retail market. In compliance with applicable local laws, Metro Group will outsource to Auchan the negotiations of the buying terms for 2016 for certain product categories and suppliers in France. Both companies, however, will take care of their respective commercial and sales policies and strategies.
"METRO GROUP and Groupe Auchan: new stage of their purchasing cooperation in France", Groupe Auchan, September 22, 2015, © Groupe Auchan
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Almost Half Of UK Grocery Shoppers Come To A Discount Retailer

September 22, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
In the UK, almost 50 percent of households buying groceries visit discounters, either Aldi or Lidl, every month, according to market research firm Nielsen. Data from the study, which covers the 12-week period ending September 12, 2015, the discount retailers accounted for 10.7 percent of supermarket sales in the country, up from 8.7 percent in the previous year. Among the country’s top 4 retailers, Sainsbury’s was the only one to see an increase in sales, with a year-on-year rise of 0.1 percent. Tesco saw its sales starting to improve, while Asda and Morrisons remained the sector’s weakest performers.
"Nearly half of grocery shoppers visit a discounter", Nielsen, September 22, 2015, © The Nielsen Company
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UK Average Household Discretionary Income Rose In August 2015, Asda Report Shows

September 22, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
In the UK, the average household saw its weekly discretionary income rose by £18 to £191 in August 2015, according to the latest Asda Income Tracker report. With employment growth recovering, the country’s unemployment rate dropped back to 5.5 percent in the quarter ending July. Data revealed, however, that low level of inflation and faster wage growth were the main drivers in household spending power. Compared with the same period in 2014, the average household discretionary incomes rose 10.7 percent, representing the 23rd consecutive month of annual growth in income.
"Asda Income Tracker", Asda, September 22, 2015, © Asda
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Online Grocery Shopping Forecast To Reach $21 Billion In Value By 2016, Report Says

September 21, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
In the United States, online grocery shopping is forecast to expand from $15 billion to $21 billion by end of 2016, according to Forrester Research. Data from the market research firm’s report “Groceries 2.0” revealed a list of reasons for grocery shoppers’ reluctance to embrace online shopping. These include the inability to touch, smell, and feel fresh food products purchased online and not being able to avail of in-store promotions and discounts. Citing the experience of Walmart, the report identified challenges and opportunities for online grocers, such as the importance of marketing, the need to consider timing, and determining which products need to be available online.
Gemma Mainland et al, "America’s online grocery shopping expected to grow 40% by end of 2016", Australian Food News, September 21, 2015, © Australian Food News
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Factors Driving Growth Of E-Commerce In Emerging Markets Differ From Those In Advanced Countries

September 21, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Several factors are driving growth of e-commerce use in emerging markets. Compared with those in developed markets, online retailers in emerging markets offer limited range and choice in products for sale. In turn, this is pushing demand for global shipping and international commerce. International online retailers also have to keep in mind the popularity of web-enabled mobile phones, which are often the only means of accessing the Internet in emerging markets. Most developing countries have limited banking facilities; hence, online retailers should offer more payment options in order to reach a wider consumer base.
Pavel Marceux, "What are the Main E-Commerce Drivers in Emerging Markets?", Euromonitor International, September 21, 2015, © Euromonitor International
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Kroger Is Doing A Lot Of Things Right These Days

September 21, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Kroger’s technology-savvy retail grocery strategy is paying off big in terms of both sales and profits. The acquisition of supermarket chain Harris Teeter, for example, gave the company access to the Express Lane “click and collect” service. The company has introduced a mobile app to improve interaction with customers. As a result, household engagement hit record levels in the second fiscal quarter. The company has launched an Internet of Things initiative to better monitor temperature in stores to lessen shrinkage, and reduce labor and energy use. Another successful strategy: a multi-tiered portfolio of private brands, including the billion-dollar Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic brands.
Kelly Tackett, "International analysis: Kroger chief executive reveals winning formula", Retail Week, September 21, 2015, © EMAP Publishing Limited
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Grocery Chain Renames, Expands Its Natural, Organic Product Line

September 19, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A Michigan-based retail grocery chain is combining its house organic and natural foods line under one brand name and says sit plans to expand the 225-product family to 325. Meijer says the products – including granola chips, coconut oil, macaroni and cheese, juice boxes and spices – will be branded “True Goodness” to reflect consumer desire for healthier options, especially less-processed foods. They will contain no artificial ingredients or hydrogenated oils. USDA certified organic items will not contain GMOs, growth hormones, antibiotics, conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or ionizing radiation.
Susan Selasky, "Meijer expands and renames organic and all-natural line", Detroit Free Press, September 19, 2015, © www.freep.com
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Nestlé Seeks Advice On Digital Transformation From Young Mentors

September 17, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé believes that its older employees need to better grasp today’s social media trends and technologies if the company is ever going to reach younger generations like Millennials. So what better way to educate those C-level executives – and speed the company’s digital transformation – than by a “reverse mentoring” plan involving social media-savvy young people? The CEO of Nestlé’s Germany division, Beatrice Guillame-Grabisch believes the initiative will help its executives understand “different perspectives from different generations.” Guillame-Grabisch herself has a female mentor in her twenties.
Natalie Mortimer, "How Nestlé is tapping into the millennial mind by embracing reverse mentoring", The Drum, September 17, 2015, © Carnyx Group Ltd
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German Retailer Takes Top Honors For Sustainability Efforts

September 16, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
German retailer Metro Group was ranked first in the retail category of the 2015 international Dow Jones Sustainability Index. The Dow sustainability analysts cited Metro Group’s activities in the ecological and economic field, including a “positive trend” in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions, power and water consumption, and waste volumes. The Sustainability Indices list the companies with the best ecological, social and economic performance in their respective industry. The world rankings include about 10 percent of the companies from each industry among the top 2,500 companies listed in the S&P Global Broad Market Index.
"Metro Group is the industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices", News release, Metro Group, September 16, 2015, © Metro Group
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Carrefour Competes In Price, Highlights Savings For Consumers

September 16, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
French retailer Carrefour began emphasizing its competitive prices, reminding customers how much they can save by shopping in the company’s hypermarkets. As part of the campaign, Carrefour compares the prices of its customers’ actual shopping baskets with those of a rival store within a 30-kilometer radius. Carrefour’s initiative aims to compete with rival Leclerc, which has been using low-price positioning as a core business strategy.
"Carrefour focusing on price", Retail Analysis, September 16, 2015, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution
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Ocado Reports Sales Growth Despite Supermarket Price Wars

September 16, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Online grocery store Ocado reported gross retail sales rose 15.3 percent to £252 million in the quarter ending August 9, 2015, compared with the same period in the previous year. Sales growth, however, slowed from the 16.2 percent in the previous three months, while its average basket size declined 1.1 percent to £110.46 from the same period a year ago. According to analysts, falling prices in the retail sector, driven by price-cutting moves by the Big Four players, are adversely affecting Ocado’s sales.
Roger Baird, "Ocado sales rising as supermarket price wars intensify", Belfast Telegraph, September 16, 2015, © Belfast Telegraph
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Ad Spending In United States Declines In 1H And 2Q 2015

September 16, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Advertising expenditures in the United States declined 3.9 percent to $38.0 billion in the second quarter of 2015, according to market research firm Kantar Media. For the first half of 2015, ad spending dropped by 3.9 percent, data also revealed. Of the 22 media types monitored by the company, 15 showed reduced ad spending during the second quarter, which was consistent with the trend involving ad budgets shifting to unmeasured digital platforms. Network television was the only media type to showed growth, with expenditures rising 1.0 percent. Cable TV dropped 5.1 percent, with ad revenue hampered by reductions from leading categories, including automobile makers, motion pictures, and telecommunications.
"U.S. Ad Expenditures Declined 3.9% in Q2 2015 To $38 Billion", Kantar Media, September 16, 2015, © Kantar Media
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Target Partners With Instacart To Launch Same-Day Delivery Service In Minneapolis

September 15, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Target Corp. partnered with Instacart Inc. to offer same-day delivery of groceries and household products for $3.99 in Minneapolis. Described as an alternative to Amazon.com Inc.’s $299-per-year Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service, the service highlights supermarkets’ efforts to sell grocery products online. Target will be Instacart’s second-largest partner in the retail industry in terms of revenue.
Spencer Soper and Shannon Pettypiece, "Target Teams With Instacart to Challenge Amazon on Groceries", Bloomberg, September 15, 2015, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Walgreens Works With Postmates To Offer Same-Day Delivery Service

September 15, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Walgreens partnered with Postmates to offer same-day delivery for a flat delivery fee of $4.99. As part of the partnership deal, Postmates will work closely with Walgreens to ensure that the catalog of the 500 most popular products in the store is always updated. Walgreens’ on-demand delivery service will be available at 600 stores across the United States.
Megan Rose Dickey, "Postmates And Walgreens Team Up For On-Demand Delivery", Tech Crunch, September 15, 2015, © AOL Inc.
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Target Tests Fast Grocery Delivery Service In Minneapolis

September 15, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Target launched a speedy grocery delivery service in the Minneapolis area. Part of the retailer’s partnership with on-demand grocery delivery service provider Instacart, the service can deliver groceries purchased online from Target within an hour. Also, the partnership will enable shoppers to buy certain household, health and beauty, pet, and beauty products from Target’s online store.
"Target Pilots On-Demand Grocery Delivery with Instacart", A Bullseye View, September 15, 2015, © Target Brands, Inc. Target, the Bullseye Design and Bullseye Dog are trademarks of Target Brands, Inc.
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Carrefour Belgium Plans To Install Contactless Payment Systems In Stores Across The Country

September 14, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour Belgium partnered with Visa Europe and Worldline to install contactless payment systems for most of its stores across the country by the end of 2015. Contactless payment technology has been available in Carrefour stores in the country using Carrefour Visa cards since 2010. By adopting the technology, the retailer could help push the rest of the industry to adopt the platform.
"Carrefour Belgium To Employ Contactless Payment Nationwide", European Supermarket Magazine, September 14, 2015, © European Supermarket Magazine
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New Software Tools Help Retailers Sell Easily Across Apps, Social Networks

September 14, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
San Francisco-based e-commerce company Stripe unveiled a set of software tools, dubbed Relay, that help retailers sell goods more easily across a variety of apps and social networks. The product also makes checkout simpler for consumers. Believing that more people are starting to buy things online, Stripe hopes to lure big retailers like Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue to use Relay for selling across Twitter and other consumer apps. Twitter has integrated its e-commerce platforms with Stripe, hoping that   more people buy from inside Twitter itself. Fifty million people tweet some signal of intent — “I want, I need” — every month.
Mike Isaac, "Stripe Introduces New Tools to Simplify Mobile Shopping", The New York Times, September 14, 2015, © The New York Times Company
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Street-Side Retailers In India Not Really Harmed By Online Sales

September 12, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
India's traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are not suffering from the country's surge in e-commerce, according to credit ratings agency CRISIL. Street-side retailers will grow as much as 15 percent over the next three years in the country, despite the eye-popping success of Web sites like Flipkart and Snapdeal. CRISIL says revenues at 24 traditional retailers have grown at a “very healthy” 24 percent CAGR in the last five years “despite the headwinds.” By comparison, revenue growth among online retailers reached 60 percent in the same period.
Madhura Karnik, "Why India’s online shopping revolution won’t kill brick-and-mortar stores", Scroll.in, September 12, 2015, © Scroll.in blog
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Lidl Plans London Region Expansion, Aims To Double UK Store Count

September 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
German discount retailer Lidl said it plans to open 280 stores across London and the M25 area. Aimed at the region’s middle-class shoppers, the proposed stores will be located in upmarket sites, including Kensington, Chiswick, Notting Hill, and Mayfair. Lidl’s UK expansion moves are part of the company’s goal of doubling its size to 1,500 stores from the current 629.
"Lidl plots London expansion drive with 280 stores", City A.M., September 11, 2015, © City A.M. Limited
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Tesco’s Thailand Business Likely Safe From The Auction Block

September 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
British grocery retailer Tesco recently sold its South Korean operation Homeplus to improve its raggedy balance sheet. Analysts expect further cash-raising, debt-reduction, divestments, but sources say the company’s operations in Thailand – about 1,400 stores – are probably safe. The Tesco Lotus unit is as well-known a retail brand in the country as 7-Eleven and Central. It is also financially healthy and profitable with a lot of growth potential. Overall, the retail market in Thailand is buttressed by a high economic expansion rate, growth of middle-income consumers and a growing preference for shopping in modern stores.
"Tesco Lotus vows to keep faith in Thailand ", Bangkok Post, September 11, 2015, © Post Publishing PCL.
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Kroger Reports Strong Earnings For FY 2Q 2015

September 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Kroger Co. reported net earnings rose to $433 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2015. Also, the company said same-store sales grew 5.3 percent, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. Driven by lower retail fuel prices, total sales increased 0.9 percent to $25.5 billion during the period, compared with $25.3 billion in the same quarter of the previous year. Total sales, excluding fuel, rose 5.7 percent during the quarter.
"Kroger Reports Record Second Quarter Results", Kroger, September 11, 2015, © The Kroger Company
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Aldi Launches High-End Line Of Anti-Aging Skincare Products

September 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Discount retailer Aldi is launching the Lacura Caviar Illumination, a line of luxury anti-aging skincare products that contain caviar and snow algae. Each product from the high-end lifting and firming skincare range for women contains an anti-aging caviar extract. According to the retailer, the active ingredient comes with a lot of protein, vitamins, minerals, and lipid components. Working to reduce signs of aging by removing uneven spots, the products also act as moisturizer for the skin restricting, the company said. Included in the product line are the Lacura Cavira Illumination Day Cream, the Night Cream, and the 3 Minute Cell Renewal Peel Mask.
"Aldi to bring out caviar skincare range", Cheshire Today, September 11, 2015, © Cheshire Today Limited
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Wal-Mart Finds Fees For Suppliers Hard To Sell

September 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s suppliers are rejecting the retailer’s demand for storage fees and proposed payment schedule. Described by the retailer as a means to “simplify its relationships with suppliers,” the proposed changes are seen by some vendors as an effort by Wal-Mart to improve its margins and compensate for losses likely to be incurred from wage hikes for store workers. Also, several vendors are hiring lawyers to help them secure better terms for their supplier contracts with the retail giant.
Shannon Pettypiece, "Wal-Mart's Suppliers Are Finally Fighting Back", Bloomberg Business, September 11, 2015, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Sephora Signs Licensing Deal With India's Arvind Lifestyle Brands

September 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora signed a licensing deal with India-based Arvind Lifestyle Brands. Its third partnership in as many years, the franchise agreement will run for 10 years. Sephora global chief operating officer Olivier Schaeffer said the deal, which could be extended, will also cover e-commerce. Arvind Lifestyle Brands, which is a subsidiary of textile company Arvind Ltd., also has a joint venture with PVH Corp. covering the Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein brands in India.
Mayu Saini , "Sephora Finds a Partner in India", Women's Wear Daily, September 11, 2015, © Fairchild Fashion Media
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Discover Cardholders Can Now Use Apple Pay Platform

September 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Discover is making the Apple Pay mobile payment platform available to its cardholders. The launch features a 10 percent cash back offer to encourage customers to take advantage of the convenience of mobile payments. Apple Pay has been a slow starter, thanks to some technical difficulties and a long learning curve at brick-and-mortar stores, but is now catching on with retailers, credit card services and consumers. A Capital One executive predicts a massive shift to Apple Pay this year as more consumers carry smartphones at all times. Magnetic stripe payments will decline as a result.
Brielle Jaekel, "Discover introduces Apple Pay capability, tempts users with cash back", Mobile Commerce Daily, September 11, 2015, © Napean LLC
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Tesco Turkish Unit Sells 10 Grocery Stores

September 10, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
The Tesco Turkish unit (Kipa) is selling its only stores in the country’s second largest city, Ankara. Seven of the 10 stores it is selling to Turkish retailer Begendik for $13.3 million are located in Ankara. The divestment of the Tesco stores is the latest in a recent burst of retail acquisitions that involved Carrefour and Begendik. According to Retail Analysis, the Turkish retail market is “ripe for purchases” as retailers see acquisitions as a vehicle for growth.
"Tesco Kipa sells 10 Turkish stores", Retail Analysis, September 10, 2015, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution
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Upheaval In U.K. Grocery Industry Beginning To Spread To U.S.

September 10, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
German discount grocery retailers Aldi and Lidl have infested the British grocery industry for several years now, devouring market share at the expense of traditional players like Tesco and Asda. Their stock prices have plunged, spurring executive dismissals, layoffs and divestitures. The upheaval is just beginning to affect the $1 trillion U.S. grocery market. A&P, squeezed for years by competitors at the high end (Whole Foods) and low end (Walmart), said its bankruptcy is forcing it to close or sell its remaining stores. The German discounters are now set to boost their presence in the U.S. Aldi will spend $3 billion opening 600 new stores in Southern California. Lidl announced it will enter the U.S. market within three years.
Saabira Chaudhuri, "Look Out, U.S Grocers, U.K.’s Free-for-All Heads Across the Pond", The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2015, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Kroger Names Four New Executive VPs

September 10, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Kroger has appointed four executive vice presidents to manage merchandising, retail operations, information technology (IT) and finance.  Mike Donnelly (57) will head up merchandising, Chris Hjelm (54) is the new chief information officer, Fred Morganthall (64) will run retail operations and Mike Schlotman (57) is the new chief financial officer. The company also announced that the current head of retail operations, Geoff Covert (64), is retiring after nearly 20 years with Kroger.
"Kroger Announces Appointments of Executive Vice Presidents", News release, Kroger, September 10, 2015, © The Kroger Company
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Forbes Says Whole Foods Market Is A Top Innovator

September 8, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Forbes magazine has ranked Whole Foods Market the 50th most innovative company in the world. To come up with the rankings, the magazine calculates each company’s income from various businesses, then the net present value of cash flows, to derive a current enterprise value (EV). Forbes says companies with an EV higher than the base value have an “innovation premium” built into their stock price. Whole Foods’s innovation premium is 46.85 percent, putting it at No. 50 out of 100, and the only retail grocer to make the list of 100 companies.
"Whole Foods Market Named One of World’s 100 Most Innovative Companies in 2015 by Forbes", News release, Whole Foods Market, September 08, 2015, © Whole Foods Market
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Metro Group Partners With Alibaba To Promote Online Commerce In China

September 8, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Metro Group partnered with Alibaba Group to promote e-commerce in China. As part of the strategic partnership, the companies will expand their e-commerce businesses in the country, with Metro Group opening a cross-border online store on Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global online market platform. According to the companies, they will also look at the feasibility of more collaboration opportunities in terms of sourcing, supply chain, and big data.
"METRO GROUP and Alibaba Group join forces to promote e-commerce in China", METRO GROUP, September 08, 2015, © METRO GROUP
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Tesco Sells South Korean Retail Unit

September 7, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
UK retailer Tesco Plc agreed to sell its South Korean business to a group of investors led by private-equity firm MBK Partners Ltd. Valued at $6.1 billion, the deal is the most significant step taken by the company under CEO Dave Lewis to reduce its debt and revive its business. Tesco will book a loss of about £150 million from the sale, which involves the largest and most profitable among the retailer’s overseas operations.
Sam Chambers and Cathy Kit Ching Chan, "Tesco to Sell Korean Unit to MBK-Led Group for $6.1 Billion", Bloomberg, September 07, 2015, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Latest Foodie Fad Is Toast, Topped With Anything But A Simple Swipe Of Butter

September 7, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Sliced bread can be toasted in an electric toaster, a toaster oven, on a grill, in an oven broiler, and in a frying pan. But it doesn’t seem to matter how the bread gets singed these days, it’s how it’s topped and served that’s important in this developing trend. Foodies have moved far beyond simple buttered white or wheat toast – traditionally served at breakfast with eggs and bacon – to such delicacies as toasted sunflower rye bread buried in ricotta cheese, figs, roasted hazelnuts and syrup. In a growing number of restaurants toast is not a side dish, it’s a meal. For the home cook, two new books with dozens of recipes should keep foodies riding the gourmet toast wave until the next faad bumps it to the shore.
Greg Morago, "Toast: It's not just for breakfast anymore", Houston Chronicle, September 07, 2015, © Hearst Newspapers, LLC
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Tesco Ponders Sale Of European Stores To Further Cut Debt

September 7, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
U.K. grocery chain Tesco may sell off 1,100 stores in central and eastern Europe to further reduce debt, according to reports. The company recently agreed to divest its South Korean operations. The stores in central and eastern Europe (i.e., Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Turkey), which bring in about $10 billion in revenue annually, are worth about $2.9 billion, one Wall Street analyst said. Sales have fallen over the last three years thanks to intense competition from discount grocery retailers like Aldi and Lidl.
Sam Chambers and Ruth David, "Tesco Said to Discuss Central and Eastern European Unit Sale", Bloomberg, September 07, 2015, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Brazil's Retailers Cope With Effects Of Economic Slowdown

September 3, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Cencosud, Walmart, and other retailers in Brazil are struggling as the country’s economic slowdown continues. With revenue and supermarket same-store sales decreasing, Cencosud announced it has reduced the value of its assets in the country. Walmart reported comparable store and net sales dropped in the second quarter. Rival Carrefour, however, reported like-for-like sales grew 7.1 percent during the period. GPA also reported gains in sales despite consumers’ more cautious attitude.
"How retailers in Brazil are facing economic challenges", Retail Analysis, September 03, 2015, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution
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Aldi Re-Invents Itself To Appeal To “Smart Shoppers”

September 3, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Aldi's U.S. business is re-inventing itself from a barebones retail grocer targeting poorer shoppers to one that is attracting cost-conscious “smart shoppers” who began flocking to the store at the onset of the recession in 2008 and have kept coming back. The company is presenting a more contemporary look and greater product options to appeal to mainstream grocery shoppers. It now offers trendy private label selections such as gluten-free, “free-from” pure foods, premium specialty foods, better-for-you items, and fresh foods including organic produce. The re-invention process has paid off for the company. As it attracts a broader audience, it is continuing its U.S. expansion program. The $3 billion, five-year program will add more than 650 new stores by 2018, for a total of 2,000.
Jon Springer, "Discount Redefined: Aldi in the USA", Supermarket News, September 03, 2015, © Penton Media
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Amazon Expands Its Dash Button Re-Ordering Program

September 2, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Amazon is expanding its one-click Dash Button program by offering more product brands, making it free, and expanding it to all customers. Dash Buttons for specific products allow users to simply press a button in the home to re-order detergent, trash bags, chewing gum, etc. – 18 brands so far -- via a smartphone. Amazon is not sharing any numbers related to the program, but the expansion indicates the initial phase of its “Internet of things” strategy is a success. The next phase is the incorporation of Dash Buttons into appliances and hardware, such as dishwashers (detergent), printers (toner) and water filters.
Leena Rao , "Amazon expands one click buying program, makes Dash Button free", Fortune, September 02, 2015, © Time Inc.
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Selling Assets Is One Thing, But Can Tesco Make Profits From What’s Left?

September 2, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
As the makeover of sagging U.K. grocery chain Tesco gets underway in earnest, partly through refocusing on price and customer service and partly through divestiture, analysts wonder whether CEO Dave Lewis can get the company’s “disparate parts” humming along together profitably. The sale of the South Korean Homeplus division and the Dunnhumby data analysis unit will bring in much-needed cash, though maybe not as much as hoped. But what about the other tiles in the Tesco mosaic? Should the coffee shop chain Harris + Hoole be renamed Tesco Coffee? Does Tesco really need a banking arm or a mobile phone operator? With Tesco stock 20 percent lower than when he took over, Lewis needs to clearly communicate to investors – not what else he plans to sell – but how he’ll get what’s left to operate successfully together.
James Quinn, "Tesco now needs to focus on the businesses it's not selling", Telegraph, September 02, 2015, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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All-Day Breakfast Launches October 6 At McDonald’s

September 1, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
In a move that might help reverse sagging sales and traffic at their restaurants, McDonald’s franchisees will begin serving breakfast all day on October 6. Items to be offered on the all-day breakfast menu include hotcakes, yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, hash browns, sausage burritos and either McMuffin sandwiches or biscuit sandwiches. The company hopes serving breakfast all day will bring in an extra 200 customers a week. Some franchisees worry that the all-day breakfast plan would make operations more complicated and slow down service.
"McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast Set to Start on Oct. 6", The New York Times, September 01, 2015, © The New York Times Company
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Kroger Appoints Adelman As Group VP Of Corporate Affairs

September 1, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
The Kroger Co. appointed Jessica C. Adelman as group vice president of corporate affairs. Effective November 1, 2015, Adelman’s appointment will see her performing reputation management, which includes external communications and brand public relations; media; government and regulatory affairs; and corporate social responsibility. Adelman graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College, with Russian Area Studies major. She has 20 years of experience as a public affairs executive in the food industry.
"Kroger Names Group Vice President of Corporate Affairs", Kroger, September 01, 2015, © The Kroger Co.
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Kroger’s Launches Campaign To Boost Milk Donations To Local Food Banks

September 1, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. retailer Kroger’s announced it is joining a hunger-relief organization, and dairy farmers and milk companies, to encourage grocery shoppers to donate milk to needy families in their communities. Milk is rarely donated to food banks, despite the fact that it is rich in nutrients, including protein. Through the “Pour It Forward” campaign, however, Kroger customers can donate $1, $3 or $5 at check-out to help deliver milk to a local family facing hunger. The company said all donations collected go directly to Feeding America food banks that service the local community where the donation was made. 
"Kroger Encourages Shoppers to 'Pour it Forward' by Donating Nutrient-rich Milk to Food Banks during Feeding America's Hunger Action Month", News release, Kroger, September 01, 2015, © SNL Financial LC/ The Kroger Company
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