Chanel takes stake in Farfetch to build digital tools | Maplin seeks buyer, to add smart home services | Tencent, Alibaba raise their profiles in China's retail scene
20 February 2018
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Chanel takes stake in Farfetch to build digital tools
Chanel takes stake in Farfetch to build digital tools
(Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
France-based luxury brand Chanel has invested in online fashion marketplace Farfetch, which sells styles from upwards of 700 boutiques globally. Chanel, which won't sell its fashions on the site, will work with Farfetch to develop new digital tools to enhance customer service, Chanel executive Bruno Pavlovsky said.
Reuters (18 Feb.) 
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Retail in Europe
Maplin seeks buyer, to add smart home services
UK-based Rutland Partners, parent of electronics retailer Maplin, is negotiating with several potential buyers and expects to announce a sale of the retailer soon, a spokesman said. The company aims to implement a 2020 multichannel strategy, which includes helping customers choose the right smart devices and installing the devices in their homes.
The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (19 Feb.) 
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Retail in Asia
Tencent, Alibaba raise their profiles in China's retail scene
Rival Chinese tech companies Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings have together spent more than $10 billion on retail investments since early 2017. The firms have invested in both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail, with a focus on expanding the range of their respective mobile payment services.
Reuters (19 Feb.) 
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E-commerce Spotlight
Casino to grow online, buy shoe brand Sarenza
France-based supermarket operator Casino aims to acquire shoe retailer Sarenza and ramp up online growth to stay competitive, as Amazon plans to expand in the country. Sarenza's sales topped $310 million in its last fiscal year.
Reuters (19 Feb.) 
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Technology Solutions
Chatbots superior to apps in ability to deliver for brands
Consumer fatigue with apps and all that they demand is growing, and chatbots stand poised to take their place, writes PHD chief Mike Cooper. This is key for brands, with chatbots' ability to instantly access social profiles and personalise information for a variety of functions without the hassle of navigating different user interfaces, he writes.
The Drum (Scotland) (19 Feb.) 
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Spotlight on Grocery
Amazon tests online food sales in India
Amazon has launched a food retail pilot project in the Indian city of Pune, making it the first foreign-owned e-commerce company to sell food directly to consumers in India. Last year, Amazon applied to India's government to start selling locally produced food.
The Economic Times (India) (19 Feb.) 
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Israeli company raises $20M as it works on grocery supply chain
Israel's CommonSense Robotics has raised $20 million in financing as it works on ways to automate the supply chain for the grocery industry. It is working to develop "mirco-fulfillment centers," which would be smaller than full warehouses and closer to population centers.
ZDNet (15 Feb.) 
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NRF News
Tractor Supply creates a winning online experience
Tractor Supply Company Senior Vice President and CIO Rob Mills says 70% of his company's customers shop on a mobile device for gardening equipment, animal supplies, hardware and apparel. In this episode of NRF's Retail Gets Real podcast, Mills discusses how Tractor Supply creates an award-winning online customer experience. Listen now.
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To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
Bertrand Russell,
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