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Executive Summary

  • This week’s note “From the Desk of Deborah Weinswig” discusses how blockchain technology could democratize operations and promote cooperation in retail.
  • US retail sales unexpectedly rose in January, increasing 0.2% month over month, lifted by an increase in purchases of building materials and discretionary spending.
  • British online grocery retailer Ocado has begun testing its new one-hour delivery service, Ocado Zoom, in West London. The service is powered by the Stuart same-day delivery platform.
  • Alibaba Group is acquiring a 14% stake in one of China’s leading express carriers, STO Express, in a deal worth $693 million. This is the e-commerce giant’s fourth major investment in a China-based courier company.

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