Sales Activation

(Author : Obi Anyanwu)
Target announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire Shipt, Inc., the online same-day delivery platform for $550 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close before the end of 2017.

Target to acquire same-day delivery platform Shipt

The Minneapolis-based retailer will offer the same-day delivery service to half of its stores by early 2018 and to most of its stores in major markets before the 2018 holiday season. The same-day delivery service will be offered for groceries, essentials, home, electronics, and other products at launch and will include all major product categories by the end of 2019.

“We laid out an ambitious strategic agenda in early 2017, which included a focus on giving our guests a number of convenient ways to shop with Target, whether it’s ordering online and picking up in one of our stores, driving up to pick up an order, or taking advantage of services like our new Restock program,” said Target EVP and COO John Mulligan.

“With Shipt’s network of local shoppers and their current market penetration, we will move from days to hours, dramatically accelerating our ability to bring affordable same-day delivery to guests across the country. ”

Founded in 2014, Shipt offers personalized grocery delivery across the US, utilizing a network of over 20,000 personal shoppers in over 72 markets. The Birmingham, AL-based company connects members to shoppers through its app. With the acquisition, Shipt will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Target, but will continue to operate independently. All Shipt employees will continue to operate out of the company’s two offices in Birmingham and San Francisco and CEO Bill Smith will remain in his role, but will now report to John Mulligan.

The same-day delivery concept has quietly grown over the years with companies like Net-a-Porter offering the service in New York City and Amazon offering the service under special circumstances. Macy’s this fall expanded its same-day delivery service to 15 additional markets in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

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(Author : Inside Retail Hong Kong)
Lifestyle brand Aigle Hong Kong has relocated and redesigned its outlet in IFC Mall as a concept store. Presenting a new French lifestyle retail experience, the store has beige tones with Aigle’s exclusive patterned ceramic tiles featured in the floors, walls and on the exterior.

Aigle Hong Kong introduces concept store

At the entry the store has an unusual glass folding door. The doorfront and exterior wall are embellished with cut-metal embellishments with the Aigle ceramic tiled logo. Customers are first greeted by a “logo wall”, inspired by a Paris metro mosaic wall. A new boots bar on one side of the store has aged-wood fittings, and four main areas showcase the 160-year-old brand’s products.

Aigle Hong Kong introduces concept store1

Singer/actress Gigi Leung Wing-kei was special guest for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and shared her styling tips with guests. It is the second time Aigle has polished its image in Hong Kong. Earlier it revamped its K11 store in Tsim Sha Tsui into a globetrotter-themed concept store, a world’s first.

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(Author : Inside Retail Hong Kong)
Alibaba Group plans to open 2000 branches of its Hema supermarket, which aims to merge online and offline shopping, in China over next three to five years.

Woman Pushing Shopping Cart In Supermarket

It opened its first Hema last year and will end with year with 22 stores. Its latest outlets are in Beijing, Guiyang, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen, and this month it opened its second store in Ningbo to be followed by one in Suzhou next week. Hema stores are part of Alibaba’s “new retail” strategy that enables customers to shop, order groceries for home delivery and eat in-store. Purchases can be made through the Hema mobile app, which is linked to Alipay.

The stores focus on a wide assortment of food, and the brand places an emphasis on fresh – and live – seafood, reports Undercurrent News. Moreover, the business model combines supermarket, restaurant and e-commerce, complete with mobile app. This means customers can buy items in the supermarket for the restaurant staff to cook for them.

At the moment, about half of sales at Hema stores take place online. The company claims that customers within a 3km radius of a store can have their shopping delivered within 30 minutes.

Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang says Hema draws on data and smart logistics technology to seamlessly integrate online/offline systems.

“Hema’s goal is to broaden the new retail model by working with retail partners like Sanjiang Shopping Club and Xingli Department Store,” says Hema CEO Hou Yi. “As our model becomes more established, it can be shared with other traditional retailers to help them transform in the digital age.”

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(Author : Jon Russell)
Ford has put a lot of focus on China’s electric vehicle market — with a local joint ventureexpected to lead to 15 electric or hybrid models on sale in the country by 2025 — and today the automotive giant announced a tie-in with Alibaba to fulfill its ambitious goals.

North American International Auto Show Features Latest Car Models

The scope of alliance is fairly broad and vague at this point, but a large chunk of  the”strategic collaboration” appears to be based around developing a direct sales channel to reach consumers in China. Alibaba is the country’s largest e-commerce firm that’s best known for its Taobao marketplace and T-Mall service for brands. The alliance could see Ford utilize T-Mall to sell cars to consumers — the company has sold items like cargo jets via Taobao before — but there could be room for collaboration within Alibaba’s ‘Next Retail’ strategy that unites online and offline commerce.

The Chinese giant recently invested in national hypermarket operator Sun Retail in a move that it hopes will increase the synergies between e-commerce and physical retailing, and automotive is one vertical where that mesh is more obviously beneficial. People like to touch, feel and drive cars before they buy them, but yet doing basic research and purchasing online is more productive than visiting multiple showrooms.

A source also indicated that Alibaba may consider a “vending machine” style approach to selling cars. We’ve seen such an approach before — like this compact 15-story operation in Singapore that looks like a child’s toy box and examples in Germany — and that could be one branch of Alibaba’s retail strategy in the future.

Beyond sales, the companies said they will explore opportunities to work together on technology, including cloud computing for big data analysis, digital marketing services and using Alibaba’s AliOS operating system.

China’s state-owned media predicted than more than 800,000 green vehicles would be sold this year, up more than 50 percent on 2016, thanks in no small part to a government incentive that covers 26 different models. Data is scant, but that’s almost certain to make China the world’s largest market for electric vehicles. Already it has attracted Tesla, which is planning its own China-based factory, while VW is among the international firms that has invested in order to make its mark in the country.

“China is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic digital markets, thriving on innovation with customers’ online and offline experiences converging rapidly. Collaborating with leading technology players builds on our vision for smart vehicles in a smart world to reimagine and revolutionize consumers’ mobility experiences,” Jim Hackett, Ford President and CEO, said in a statement.

Executive chairman William C. Ford Jr. was even more direct in his assessment of the importance of China.

“When I think of where E.V.s are going, it’s clearly the case that China will lead the world in E.V. development,” he told the New York Times.

Alibaba announced its first internet car in partnership with Chinese firm SAIC last year — the vehicle runs AliOS — and it claims to be powering more than 400,000 vehicles across China’s roads today. This deal with Ford might not culminate in a Ford car running AliOS, but it does represent a first deal between Alibaba and an automaker from outside of China. That makes it a significant tie-in even the exact nature of the arrangement is rather frustratingly unclear at this point.

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(Author : Marianne Wilson)
In the wake of a wider quarterly loss than expected and a continuing sales slide, Barnes & Noble plans to a greater emphasis on what brought it the party in the first place: books.

Barnes & Noble sees smaller stores, more books in its future

Barnes & Noble’s sales in the second quarter fell 7.9% to $791.1 million. Same-store sales decreased 6.3%. But book sales are on the rise, the company said. “Book sales continued to strengthen, and we saw improved traffic and conversion trends,” said Demos Parneros, CEO of Barnes & Noble. “As a result of the improving trends, we will continue to place a greater emphasis on books, while further narrowing our non-book assortment.”

Barnes & Noble has added more toys and games to its assortment. But its efforts have been met with falling sales. Its e-book business has also stalled.

Along with a renewed focus on books, the retailer is looking is smaller stores. Barnes & Noble stores average approximately 26,000 sq. ft. But its new store, in Plano, Texas, is less than half that, about 10,000 sq.ft.

“Our goal is to get smaller,” Parneros told analysts on the chain’s quarterly call. “We want to have smaller stores that are more efficient.”

The struggling retailer posted a consolidated second quarter net loss of $30.1 million, or $0.41 per share, compared to a loss of $20.4 million, or $0.29 per share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected a loss of 26 cents per share with approximately half of this decline attributable to last year’s release of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, the company said, with the balance primarily due to non-book categories. It was Barnes & Noble’s 14th straight quarter of revenue decline.

“Comparable sales improved throughout the second quarter and into November,” For fiscal 2018, the company expects comparable sales to decline in the low single digits and full year consolidated EBITDA to be approximately $180 million. It expects comparable store sales to be approximately flat for the balance of the fiscal year. Additionally, it plans to reduce costs by $40 million for the full fiscal year.

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(Author : Christine Chou)
Global lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret, known as much for its “Angel” supermodels and its “Bombshell” branded products, has brought its iconic fashion show to Shanghai.

How Victoria’s Secret is using Alibaba to drive China sales

Alibaba Group’s Tmall and Taobao marketplaces and video-streaming site Youku were used as broadcast channels to reach the world’s most sought-after consumers, the Chinese. In addition to locating the event in the world’s second-largest economy – the first time it has been held outside of the US or Europe – the company is leveraging the “See Now, Buy Now” format made popular in China by Alibaba. All items seen on the runway, aside from those not yet released in the market, are available for immediate purchase as Chinese shoppers watch the show.

As in past years, Alibaba’s See Now Buy Now fashion show kicked off the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival season last month, this year mixing the latest clothes and accessories from international names such as Ralph Lauren and Mac with performances by Chinese female rap star VaVa and pop icon Chris Lee to create a retail-as-entertainment experience for viewers.

Beyond the sheer spectacle of the event, Alibaba also allowed viewers to buy the products featured during the show in real time, whether through the Tmall or Taobao mobile apps or even dedicated links to products that were included on the Youku viewing page. Victoria’s Secret used this same technology for its fashion show.

“Part of Alibaba’s mission is to find the most innovative and effective ways to engage Chinese consumers, and the “See Now, Buy Now” model is one of the best examples we have yet,” said Chris Tung, Alibaba Group’s chief marketing officer. “The plan was always to make these innovations available to global brands looking to do business in China. So it’s great to see it being adopted by companies like Victoria’s Secret.”

Filmed last week at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, the show aired in the US on November 28; yesterday in Beijing time.

That on-air date coincided with Victoria’s Secret’s “Super Brand Day” marketing campaign on Tmall, the lingerie brand’s sole e-commerce channel in China. The 24-hour promotion gave the company premier placement on all of Alibaba’s e-commerce sites and drove traffic to Victoria’s Secret’s Tmall flagship store. Alibaba also leveraged consumer analytics to better reach the lingerie giant’s target audience, helping to grow its customer base and enable deeper engagement with consumers. New visitors to the brand’s flagship store, for example, saw a selection of products tailored to their interests.

The fashion show in Shanghai and the Super Brand Day are part of Victoria’s Secret’s latest push in China. The company bought 26 stores in China from franchisees last year, transforming its China business from a franchise model to a company-owned model. But these stores, spread across first- and second-tier cities, only offer beauty products and accessories.

Things started to change this year, as Victoria’s Secret debuted its lingerie in its first flagship stores in China, including in Shanghai, Chengdu and Chongqing. Beijing is next on the list, with the brand planning to open six more flagships by the end of this year.

Victoria’s Secret officially launched its Tmall flagship store in July, while introducing faster delivery services and branded packaging to its customers. It has since been embracing Alibaba’s digital-marketing tools to better reach the 500 million-plus mobile-active users on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms.

“The China market is too big and too important for us not to own it,” said Leslie Wexner, the chairman and CEO of L Brands, the retail group which owns Victoria’s Secret, in the group’s latest annual report. “Our opportunity for growth in China is very large… we are building the organisation needed to support accelerated growth.”

The women’s lingerie market in China is forecasted to reach US$25 billion this year, double than that of the US, according to Euromonitor, and is set to grow to $33 billion by 2020.

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(Author : PSK)
Global lifestyle brand Calvin Klein and online marketplace Amazon have collaborated on a holiday retail experience that includes pop-up shops in New York City and Los Angeles, along with an online brand store. 

Amazon And Calvin Klein Team Up For Holiday Retail Experience

Until December 31st, customers can shop at Calvin Klein X Amazon Fashion for exclusive styles such as men’s and women’s underwear, loungewear, and more. The online brand store features an expanded selection of underwear and jeans products.

Cheryl Abel-Hodges, head of Calvin Klein Underwear, said in a press release:

“We are proud to collaborate with Amazon Fashion on this exciting retail concept. It is our goal to deliver an immersive and content-driven shopping environment to the consumer, and we are thrilled to introduce this experience to CALVIN KLEIN and Amazon shoppers, both online and offline, just in time for the holiday season.”

The pop-ups offer an interactive shopping experience with exciting tech integrations throughout. Visitors can easily purchase by scanning a barcode in the Amazon App and get their items delivered to their home or purchase them in-store. Fitting rooms contain Amazon Echo devices, enabling shoppers to ask Alexa questions about the products and experience, control lighting features, and pick the music that is played.

The pop-ups also feature areas designed to engage and entertain customers. There are customization stations where shoppers can get their purchased underwear items personalized with special embroidery, content creation spaces for creating sharable social media clips, and lounge areas that connect shoppers between the bi-coastal shops via video calling.

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(Author : fashionnetwork)
IKEA Group’s new CEO will focus on developing new stores and showrooms in city centers as the surge in e-commerce and home delivery dims the appeal of its giant out-of-town warehouse stores.

IKEA goes to town with new focus on city stores

The world’s biggest furniture retailer has relied for decades on shoppers driving many miles to load often heavy and bulky items into their cars. The rise of online shopping means consumers are getting used to having purchases delivered to the home, so Sweden’s IKEA is investing in e-commerce and services and trying new concepts such as pick-up-and-order points and city-center showrooms. Jesper Brodin, an IKEA veteran who became CEO in September, said he planned to make some changes to IKEA’s overall strategy early next year but the top priority was to test more store formats in towns.

“In what way can we better serve customers that live in city-centers?” he said in an interview. “That is one area we are going to step into with a lot of entrepreneurship.”

IKEA Group this year opened a kitchen showroom Stockholm and a bedroom store in Madrid, and plans include full-range showrooms in London’s Greenwich borough and Copenhagen in 2019 and 2020.

“We will now test not only kitchens and bedroom but living room, total range, part of the range. That’s what we are going to do in the coming years: to develop the menu for the world of IKEA in city centers,” said Brodin. The company will also focus on home delivery options as well as developing the online store, he said.

IKEA Group made its first-ever acquisition this year, buying on-demand odd-jobs platform TaskRabbit. Brodin said more may follow as one way to stay on top of innovation and develop the core business.

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(Author : European Supermarket Magazine)
France’s Groupe Casino has announced the signing of an international partnershipwith online retail specialist Ocado, which will see the establishment of an Ocado Smart Platform (OSP) in France.

Groupe Casino Announces Partnership Agreement With Ocado

Ocado’s OSP is a ‘scalable, modular end-to-end solution’ that can provide an answer to the ‘opportunities and challenges posed by shifting offline/online trends in grocery’, the company said.

Using the system, which will see the development of an automated warehouse, and the implementation of front-end website functionality and last-mile routing management, Groupe Casino will seek to increase its offering and reduce costs through its online channels.  It indicated that, the web platform for its Monoprix brand, will be the first retailer to take advantage of the system.

‘Immediate Initiation’
The agreement sets out plans for the ‘immediate initiation’ of the development of a Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) using Ocado’s proprietary Mechanical Handling Equipment (MHE) solutions, which will serve the Greater Paris area, the Normandie and Hauts de France Regions. The development of this is expected to take two years.

Groupe Casino has agreed to pay Ocado ‘certain upfront fees’ upon the signing of the agreement, and during the development phase, then ongoing fees linked to its utilisation of capacity within the CFC and service criteria. Following the initial CFC development, both companies added that they will ‘consider’ other CFCs close to large urban areas.

‘Major Leap’
“This agreement is a major leap in terms of quality,” said Jean-Charles Naouri, chief executive of Groupe Casino. “50,000 food items will be offered in the first stage to customers in the Greater Paris area with precise and speedy delivery at home and through a platform which makes it achievable to do this profitably. Groupe Casino is very proud to have sealed this deal with Ocado which will further strengthen the quality of service available to its customers, at the core of its commitments for 120 years.”

Commenting on the news, Bruno Monteyne of Bernstein Research said, “Deals like this will be signed but justifying the Ocado share price requires one such big deal each year. While the previous deal was more a shadow of a deal, this is a great deal for Ocado. There may be more deals in the pipeline. However, justifying the Ocado share price requires one big deal per year for the foreseeable future and we don’t believe there is sufficient deal potential for this.” In its third quarter, Ocado announced a 13.1% increase in sales, to £312.7 million.

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(Author : European Supermarket  Magazine)
French retailer Franprix has signed a one-year deal to sell private label products from upmarket British grocer Waitrose in its stores.

Franprix To Sell Waitrose Products In French Stores

Franprix says that it has been looking for new premium partnerships, both in France and internationally. “This new offer is in response to customer demand for new discoveries and novelties,” said Jean-Paul Mochet, managing director of Franprix.

“We are very proud to exclusively offer Waitrose brand products in France. We share values related to innovation and quality, but also strong commitments to social and environmental responsibility.”

Product Ranges
Franprix says that Waitrose offers ‘the best English specialities’, and will stock items from four of the UK retailer’s own-brand ranges – Duchy Organic, Essential Waitrose, Waitrose 1, and Waitrose LoveLife. This offering will include products such as cheese, porridge, crisps, chocolate, marmalade, and biscuits. These will be available at 50 Franprix stores from the beginning of December.

Franprix has been developing its retail concept over the past three years, with the Mandarine, Mandarine Vitaminée, and the recently launched Noé convenience stores.

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