Tencent to invest in China's Yonghui Superstores | Mango touts high-tech tools in new Portugal flagship | Sources: India's Reliance Retail to become a supplier
13 December 2017
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Tencent to invest in China's Yonghui Superstores
Chinese tech firm Tencent Holdings will acquire a 5% equity interest in Yonghui Superstores, said the upscale supermarket chain, which operates 17 stores in six cities. Yonghui's growth in the online-to-offline grocery segment puts Tencent in competition with Alibaba Group Holding, which has been developing its own physical stores under the Hema Supermarkets banner.
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) (12 Dec.) 
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Retail in Europe
Mango touts high-tech tools in new Portugal flagship
Mango touts high-tech tools in new Portugal flagship
(Robert Marquardt/Getty Images)
Barcelona-based fashion retailer Mango has built a Lisbon, Portugal, flagship with art deco features and high-tech perks including Wi-Fi, digital dressing rooms and a click-and-collect program. The store is one of about 200 larger-format Mango stores that bring its women's, men's and children's fashions together in one store.
Women's Wear Daily (subscription required) (11 Dec.) 
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Retail in Asia
Sources: India's Reliance Retail to become a supplier
Reliance Retail will start testing apparel distribution to small neighbourhood stores in India in early 2018, with plans to add appliances and consumer packaged goods to the mix by April, industry executives said. The program will start with the company's private-label products and eventually expand to include branded goods.
The Economic Times (India) (11 Dec.) 
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Appliance brand Wonderchef to add 40 India stores
Wonderchef will open three new stores in the Indian city of Gurgaon, as part of the kitchen appliance brand's two-year plan to grow by 40 locations in the country. The company currently has 10 stores in India and also sells through other channels, including e-commerce and multi-brand retailers.
The Economic Times (India) (13 Dec.) 
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E-commerce Spotlight
Williams-Sonoma unveils e-commerce sites tailored for Canadian customers
Williams-Sonoma unveils e-commerce sites tailored for Canadian customers
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Retailer Williams-Sonoma, which has two dozen stores in Canada, has debuted new e-commerce sites for Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn and West Elm for the country's shoppers. "Canada is an important market for us, and we are excited to offer our Canadian customers the convenience of online shopping, providing them with a complete multi-channel experience," President and CEO Laura Alber said.
HomeWorld Business (11 Dec.) 
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Technology Solutions
Do consumers hold the keys to keeping inflation in check?
Do consumers hold the keys to keeping inflation in check?
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Smartphones and online tools that give consumers the instant ability to compare prices are keeping retail prices down and inflation in check in advanced economies including the US and Japan. Globalization, older populations and stagnant productivity growth have also led to weak inflation, according to economists.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (11 Dec.) 
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Spotlight on Luxury Goods
How Rebecca Mink turned vegan shoes into hot commodity
Former celebrity stylist Rebecca Mink was a pioneer in luxury vegan footwear when she launched Mink Shoes 17 years ago. Mink worked with an Italian factory to replace the leather, glue and other components to create designer shoes without any animal products, and today, vegan celebrities and other customers pay tens of thousands of dollars for cruelty-free styles.
Forbes (12 Dec.) 
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NRF News
Robots in retail are the way of the future
Many retailers struggle to justify investments in artificial intelligence unless they have a clear strategy. At Shop.org 2017, Oak Labs CEO Healey Cypher spoke with Google Head of Retail Innovation Joyce Lee and Nike Global Director of Project Management and Performance Innovation Jennifer Tvedt about why chatbots and AI-powered messaging may be a worthy investment for retailers. Read the session recap here.
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