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Period: October 15, 2014 to November 1, 2014
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends
Companies, Organizations  

Online Fashion Retailer Zalora Opens First Offline Store In Singapore

Southeast Asian online fashion retailer Zalora opened its first physical store in Singapore. The first such store for an online retailer in the region, the Zalora store is aimed at increasing “awareness of the online store among local consumers,” according to the company's regional managing director Tito Costa. Backed by Germany-based venture fund Rocket Internet, Zalora operates localized websites for Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It sells clothing, shoes, and accessories from various international brands.

"Southeast Asia E-commerce Startup Zalora Opens First Offline Shop", The Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2014

Staples Joins Growing List Of U.S. Retailers Attacked By Cybercriminals

Office supplies retailer Staples revealed its computer systems were compromised in a cyber-attack incident affecting customers' credit- and debit-card information. According to the company, it is cooperating with law enforcement authorities to assess the scope of the cyber-attack. Other recent incidents of hacking or cyber-attack include those reported by Sears Holdings Corporation's retail business Kmart, and other retailers, such as Target, Supervalu, and Home Depot. Based on Secret Service estimates, about 1,000 United States-based merchants had been affected by cyber-attacks and similar incidents.

"Staples Is Latest Retailer Hit by Hackers", The New York Times, October 21, 2014

Amazon Launches Amazon Fresh Same-Day Grocery Delivery Service In New York City

Online retailer Amazon is launching its Amazon Fresh same-day grocery delivery service in New York City. According to the company, the service will start in Park Slope, a neighborhood in the Brooklyn area. Already available in Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, the service delivers items bought on Amazon's online store to customers homes and apartments within the same day or early the following morning.

"Amazon's same-day grocery delivery service launches in New York Beginning today in Park Slope", The Verge, October 17, 2014

Costco Says Will Use Alibaba's Tmall Ecommerce Platform To Open Online Store In China

American retailer Costco Wholesale Corp. said it plans to open an online store in China using the Tmall online marketplace operated by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Aimed at offsetting slowing sales at its home market, the warehouse operator's Tmall store will sell branded products, including food and healthcare products, and own-brand products under the Kirkland Signature private label. Tmall features virtual storefronts and payment platforms for sellers, which encouraged several Western retailers, such as Inditex, Burberry, and ASOS, to join the online marketplace.

"Costco to enter China through Alibaba's Tmall", Reuters, October 14, 2014

Apple Pay: Seamless in Stores, but Quirky Online

The New York Times, October 21, 2014

Can You Uber a Burger?

The New York Times, October 21, 2014

Amazon’s Monopsony Is Not O.K.

The New York Times, October 19, 2014

Top 5 Reasons Amazon Needs a Physical Store

Retail Info Systems News, October 14, 2014

Market News  

Wal-Mart Looks At Matching Online Prices To Grab Bigger Slice Of E-commerce Pie

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is evaluating a program that would match online prices offered by rivals, such as Amazon.com Inc., for the coming 2014 holiday season. Likely to adversely affect the company's profits, the move aims to expand the retailer's share of the online market. Consumers are forecast to spend more than 44 percent of their holiday shopping budget on online purchases in 2014, compared with 31 percent in 2009, data from the National Retail Federation showed. For quite sometime, Wal-Mart has refused to match online prices; however, its failure to attract shoppers to its large supercenters prompted it to invest significantly in ecommerce and small-format stores. As part of these efforts, Wal-Mart introduced its online and mobile app Savings Catcher, which compares prices and refunds price differences between its offerings and those of its competitors.

"Wal-Mart Weighs Matching Online Prices", Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2014

Online Retailers Raise Costs Of Free Shipping

Retailers, such as Amazon.com Inc., Best Buy Co., and Gap Inc., are raising the amount that online shoppers need to buy to be able to avail themselves of free shipping. July 2014 data from market researcher StellaService Inc. revealed a customer has to spend an average of $82 on products to qualify for free shipping, up from $76 year on year. For example, Amazon raised its free-shipping threshold from $25 to $35 in 2013, and increased the membership fee for its Prime delivery service in March 2014. The trend highlights the efforts of retailers and shipping firms to cover their shipping costs; however, a small group of retailers, which includes Amazon's Zappos, Nordstrom Co., and L.L. Bean, still offer no-minimum free shipping.

"Free Shipping Is Going to Cost You More", The Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2014

Uber Tests On-Demand Delivery Service In Hong Kong

Ridesharing company Uber partnered with Hong Kong-based meal-in-a-box firm Secret Ingredient to test a meal delivery service in the city. The company first launched the service under the UberFresh brand in Santa Monica, California, in summer 2014. The service pilot highlights Uber's plan to compete with on-demand delivery services, such as WunWiun and Google Shopping.

"Uber expands meal delivery pilot to Hong Kong", Venture Beat, October 21, 2014

Amazon Grabs Lead In Canada's Online Retail Market

Amazon.com's Canadian unit, Amazon.ca, became the leading online retailer in the country, according to stockmarket analysts at BMO Capital Markets. Data revealed the online retailer is drawing about 5 million shoppers to its website on a monthly basis. BMO said Amazon has doubled its share of total site visits among Canadian Internet users, with growth driven by the company's introduction of new products, such as the Prime subscription delivery service, in the country. Although online sales accounted for only 5.2 percent of the $480 billion total retail spending in Canada in 2013, that share is growing 17 percent a year and is expected to reach 7.4 percent by 2017, according to market research firm eMarketer.

"Amazon jumps out to lead in Canada’s online shopping wars", Global News, October 14, 2014

Half Of Irish Consumers Get Product Information From Online Sources, Survey Says

In Ireland, half of consumers said they go online for information on consumable products before buying, with 62 percent saying they prefer to read online reviews, according to a study by Nielsen. Data from the Nielsen Global Survey of e-commerce revealed 38 percent of Irish respondents plan to purchase clothing and shoes online in the next six months, compared with 45 percent of consumers in the UK. Also, 61 percent of Irish consumers said they plan to buy airline tickets online, compared with the EU average of 34 percent.

"Just 15% of Irish Consumers Plan to Purchase Groceries Online", Nielsen, September 18, 2014

Emptying pockets

The Economist, October 18, 2014

Alibaba’s Next Move: Grow Abroad, or Go Deeper into China?

Wharton University of Pennsylvania, October 01, 2014

Marketing & Advertising  

Online Retailers Expand Same-Day Delivery Services

Ecommerce companies, such as Google, Amazon, eBay, and Uber, are expanding their same-day delivery services, according to a recent report from market research firm BI Intelligence. Data from the report revealed 2 percent of urban shoppers have used same-day delivery services, with same-day delivery services bringing about $100 million worth of products to consumers in the United States in 2014. Four in 10 US shoppers said they would use same-day delivery if they did not have time to go to a retail store.  Despite the projected increase in popularity of same-day delivery services, 92 percent of consumers said they are willing to wait four days or longer for products bought online to arrive, the study also revealed.

"Same-Day Delivery Services Are Going After Brick-And-Mortar Retailers’ Last Big Advantage", Business Insider, October 21, 2014

Wal-Mart Stores Announces Capex Plans For FY 2016

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said its total capital spending for fiscal year 2016 is forecast to be between $11.6 billion and $12.9 billion, with about $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion allotted for the company's e-commerce and digital operations. In addition to expanding its e-commerce investments by $1 billion, compared with fiscal year 2015, the retailer will also add between 26 million and 30 million net retail square feet to its global operations in the next fiscal year. Wal-Mart also said it expects net sales for FY 2016 to grow 2‒4 percent, or $10 billion to $20 billion.

"Walmart will accelerate investments in e-commerce and moderate global square footage growth", Wal-Mart, October 15, 2014

Google Brings Same-Day Delivery Service To Chicago, Boston, And DC

Google expanded its Google Shopping Express same-day delivery service to include Chicago, Boston, and Washington, DC. First launched in San Francisco, the service sends groceries and other items purchased from local stores to consumers' door at the time of day they prefer. Google Shopping Express lets shoppers order using apps compatible with Google's Android and Apple's iOS mobile operating systems. Previously available for free, the service now includes a new Express membership, which works in the same way as rival Amazon's same-day delivery service, Amazon Prime.

"Google unveils subscription plan for same-day ‘Express’ delivery service, as it arrives in 3 more cities", The Next Web, October 14, 2014

Finding a 'Theory of Everything' for Retail

Entrepreneur, October 10, 2014

Omnichannel: Loyalty

L2 Think Tank, October 10, 2014

Developed by Yuri Ingultsov Software Lab.