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Weekly Insights Jan 20, 2017

Executive Summary

  • This week’s note “From the Desk of Deborah Weinswig” discusses what presenters and attendees at NRF Retail’s Big Show 2017 had to say about the in-store experience and explores three core functions retailers can provide in order to drive store traffic.
  • Walmart’s plan to pay higher wages and invest more in training suggests a major shift in its business model. However, the retailer will have to recoup those higher wages through higher levels of employee productivity.
  • The US Department of Agriculture is testing a pilot program this summer that will allow seven online grocery stores, including online-retailing giant, to accept food stamps. Expanding food stamps to online grocery services may help eliminate so-called food deserts, or neighborhoods that lack grocery stores offering fresh, healthy food.
  • France-based lens maker Essilor and Italian eyewear group Luxottica announced a merger worth €46 billion (US$49 billion) that will form the world’s largest player in the eyewear space. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2017, subject to approval by the shareholders of both companies and clearance by antitrust authorities.

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