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Weekly Insights Jan 13, 2017

Executive Summary

  • This week’s note “From the Desk of Deborah Weinswig” discusses the cool and innovative gadgets and technology on display at this year’s CES trade show in Las Vegas.
  • Despite reports of a strong holiday season, some retailers are not feeling so jolly. The “Amazon effect” is taking its toll on brick-and-mortar stores, including major brands, but retail has always been in a constant state of change, according to former Walmart US CEO and President Bill Simon.
  • UK retail sales rose by 1.7% year over year in the five weeks from November 27 through December 31. Over the three months ended December 31, food sales grew by 2.4% year over year and nonfood sales grew by 1.3%. During the period, online sales grew by 7.2%, while in-store sales declined by 1.2%.
  • As it deepens its integration with brick-and-mortar stores, Alibaba Group is leading a bid to privatize department store operator Intime Retail for about $2.55 billion. Alibaba originally took a stake in the retailer in 2014, which gave Alibaba access to Intime’s inventory and allowed its online customers to pick up orders from Intime’s physical stores.

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