Saks to debut a Paris-themed eatery in NYC | UK's Doddle to offer click-and-collect services in US | M&S to experiment with plastic-free produce packaging
18 January 2019
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Saks to debut a Paris-themed eatery in NYC
Saks Fifth Avenue's New York City flagship will open a restaurant called L'Avenue at Saks next month, capping a $250 million, multiyear makeover for the luxury department store. French designer Philippe Starck designed the space, which is an extension of the concept created in Paris by Jean-Louis Costes and Alex Denis.
Eater/New York (15 Jan.),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (15 Jan.) 
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Speak Human
What turns customers into advocates? We commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a study to find out. The result? The Braze Brand Humanity Index: a primer on the aspects of conversation that yield reliable purchase behavior and customer loyalty. Get the Report.
Retail in Europe
UK's Doddle to offer click-and-collect services in US
Click-and-collect technology provider Doddle is expanding to the US. The UK-based company, which gives online shoppers the option of picking up purchases at stores, has retail partners including ASOS and Debenhams. (U.K.) (16 Jan.) 
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M&S to experiment with plastic-free produce packaging
UK retailer Marks & Spencer will begin testing a greengrocer concept that will feature upwards of 90 produce varieties served in compostable punnets with zero plastic packaging. The test will launch in a single store and employees will be on hand to help customers weigh fruits and vegetables and share tips for preventing food waste.
The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (16 Jan.),  HuffPost (17 Jan.) 
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Retail in Asia
Alibaba teams with lender Kabbage
China's Alibaba has joined with US business-to-business lending startup Kabbage as part of an initiative to expand sales in the US. A program called Pay Later will provide point-of-purchase financing from Kabbage for US firms buying from Alibaba.
TechCrunch (14 Jan.),  American Banker online (subscription required) (14 Jan.) 
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E-commerce Spotlight
Flipkart wins investment to stay competitive
Flipkart wins investment to stay competitive
(-/AFP/Getty Images)
The wholesale division of Indian e-commerce company Flipkart has received an investment of $201 million from its Singapore-based parent company. Flipkart is expected to spend heavily in the coming years as a result of growing competition from Amazon.
LiveMint (India) (17 Jan.) 
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Technology Solutions
China's emerging role as a retail tech developer
Companies in China are playing a growing role in developing retail technology, with backing from digital retail leaders including Alibaba Group and, executives said at NRF 2019: Retail's Big Show. Alibaba developed self-checkout machines for its 120 Freshippo stores and has since deployed upwards of 10,000 of the machines at its stores and stores operated by others.
Xinhua News Agency (China) (16 Jan.) 
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Spotlight on Fashion
Lulus builds a bigger digital following for its fashions
Fashion retailer Lulus began life as a brick-and-mortar store before switching to a pure-play online model in 2008, and it's bucking the trend of online merchants expanding into physical stores. Lulus has built a bigger following of influencers, and it's expanding its bridal business with a dedicated Instagram channel.
Women's Wear Daily (subscription required) (14 Jan.) 
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NRF News
Levi's CEO seeks "profits through principles"
Reinventing an American icon is no easy task. On the "Retail Gets Real" podcast, Levi Strauss & Co. President and CEO Chip Bergh -- winner of NRF's "The Visionary" award -- gives insight into strategically seizing opportunities for growth, pursuing "profits through principles" and championing innovation. Listen.
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I liked being half-educated; you were so much more surprised at everything when you were ignorant.
Gerald Durrell,
naturalist and television presenter
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