Tag Archives: China

The 5p plastic bag charge: All you need to know

A plastic bag wrapped round a tree in the foreground of a Tesco sign

A new 5p charge for plastic bags is to be introduced in England on 5 October. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s happening?

Shoppers are to be charged 5p for every new plastic bag they use at large stores in England.

The charge applies only to shops or chains with 250 or more full-time employees.

Plastic bags at airport shops or on board trains, planes or ships, will not be included, and neither will paper bags.

England is the last country in the UK to start charging for plastic bags.

Why do this?

A blue plastic bag in Regent's Canal in London

The number of plastic bags handed out by supermarkets in England in 2014 rose to 7.64 billion – 200 million more than in 2013.

Figures collected by waste-reduction body Wrap, on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), show that the figure has steadily increased for the past four years.

In 2010 almost 6.3 billion were used.

Campaigners argue that the bags blight streets, spoil the countryside, and damage wildlife, seas and coastline.

Ministers think introducing a 5p charge will stop shoppers using as many new bags, and encourage people to re-use old ones.

The government hopes to see an 80% reduction in plastic bag use in supermarkets, and a 50% fall on the high street.

Over the next decade it hopes the charge will create:

  • £60m savings in litter clean-up costs
  • £13m in carbon savings

The charge was a policy championed by the Liberal Democrats in the previous coalition government.

Where will the money go?

5 pence piecesImage copyrightThinkstock

Initially to the supermarkets. This is not a tax and the money raised by the levy will not go to the government.

Retailers can choose what to do with the proceeds of the charge, but they are expected to donate it to good causes.

Over the next 10 years the government hopes the charge will raise £730m for such causes.

Retailers will need to report to ministers about what they do with the money, and the government will publish this information each year.

What is being done elsewhere?

Sainsbury's plastic bagsImage copyrightGetty Images

In 2011, Wales started charging 5p per bag and saw a 71% drop in the number used by customers.

Scotland and Northern Ireland introduced their charges in 2014 and 2013 respectively and have also seen significant drops in usage.

In Scotland the charge was introduced in the final 11 weeks of 2014 and figures show a drop of 18% when compared with the statistics for the previous year. Similarly, in Northern Ireland in 2014 there was a 42.6% annual reduction following a previous drop of 71%, after the carrier bag charge was introduced.

But the UK is not alone in trying to limit use.

In 2002, Bangladesh became the first country in the world to ban thinner plastic bags altogether, after they were found to have choked local drainage systems during floods.

Other countries including South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, China, and Italy followed suit.

More recently Mexico City and the US state of California imposed bans.

Is the charge avoidable?

Pigeon plastic bagImage copyrightGetty Images
  • Firstly, you could try a smaller shop. As the charge technically only applies to bigger stores, smaller places may continue to hand bags out for free. Such stores are allowed to ask for 5p a bag, but the Association of Convenience Stores, which represents more than 33,500 local shops, said only 8,000 were planning to do so
  • Secondly, it’s an obvious point but bring your own bag(s). #reusebags is the government’s Twitter hashtag for this policy change, and it’s a simple message.

Does the charge involve all plastic bags?

a goldfish in a plastic bagImage copyrightPA

No. There are a few very specific exemptions. You will not be charged for plastic bags if you’re buying:

  • live aquatic creatures in water
  • unwrapped blades, including axes, knives, and knife and razor blades
  • uncooked meat, poultry or fish
  • prescription medicine
  • unwrapped loose seeds, flowers, bulbs, corns, rhizomes – as in roots, stems and shoots, such as ginger – or goods contaminated by soil, like potatoes or plants
  • unwrapped ready-to-eat food for animal or human consumption – for example, chips, or food sold in containers not secure enough to prevent leakage during normal handling

What about home deliveries?

An Ocado delivery vanImage copyrightOcado

While all of the major supermarkets will be charging for plastic bags at their outlets, the fee will also affect home deliveries.

Most supermarkets are offering a “bagless” delivery service, or are charging a standard flat fee for plastic bags per shop.

Other operators such as Morrisons and Ocado will be charging 5p per bag for deliveries. However, they will also be giving customers back 5p for the plastic bags they return to the company to recycle.

Are re-usable bags cleaner?

A 'natural green bag' from TescoImage copyrightGetty Images

The thin modern plastic bags used by supermarkets are actually cleaner to produce, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, than paper bags, heavier plastic “bags for life” and textile bags.

In 2011 Britain’s Environment Agency published a Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags, which concluded that long-life bags have to be reused a number of times – more than 100 times in the case of a cotton bag – if they are to be environmentally a better option than standard plastic carrier bags.

Of course, if a plastic bag is reused then its carbon footprint per use decreases even further.

But although they are technically cleaner to produce, plastic bags do not biodegrade.

According to Professor Tony Ryan, at the University of Sheffield’s faculty of science, plastic bags in landfill “exist for at least hundreds of years”.

You can also get biodegradable plastic bags but at the moment the government wants to charge for these too.

Defra says it needs to find a way of distinguishing biodegradable bags from standard plastic bags in the recycling process.

Biodegradable plastic bags need oxygen and sunlight to degrade. If they get buried in landfill there is little difference between them and standard carrier bags.

What’s been the reaction?

A survey of more than 2,000 people commissioned by Break the Bag Habit coalition – which includes the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Keep Britain Tidy among others – found that 62% of people in England agreed a 5p charge was “reasonable”.

Environmental charity Friends of the Earth also welcomed the charge, but said more needed to be done.

The group’s chief executive, Craig Bennett, described the move as a “small step” and believed it would “do little to tackle the nation’s huge waste mountain”.

The plans for the levy were described as a “complete mess” by the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee last year.

It warned that excluding paper bags and small retailers risked confusing consumers and undermining the effectiveness of the levy – a view also held by the Association of Convenience Stores.

Source: Bbc.com

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Chinese webwinkel Albert Heijn snijdt handelaren de pas af

De Chinese webwinkel van Albert Heijn. De producten zijn omgerekend fors duurder dan in Nederland.

Chinezen kunnen stroopwafels, billendoekjes en peutermelk van Albert Heijn voortaan kopen bij een eigen webwinkel. Albert Heijn heeft maandag stilletjes een webwinkel gelanceerd in China.

Binnen ons bedrijf willen we veel ruimte bieden aan nieuwe ideeën en innovaties. Zo is dit ook ontstaan

Ahold-woordvoerder in een reactie tegen NOS

De met Zaanse molens en tulpenvelden opgedirkte site moet tussenhandelaren de wind uit de zeilen nemen. Die gaan nu nog op strooptocht door Nederlandse supermarkten om de producten met vette winsten door te verkopen in China.

Het Financieele Dagblad had dinsdag de primeur van Albert Heijns Chinese webwinkel. Qua assortiment blijft de supermarktketen vooralsnog op de kleintjes letten in China: de webwinkel telt slechts een honderdtal producten. Chinese klanten kunnen er terecht voor eerste levensbehoeften als jodenkoeken, rozijnvriendjes, gewelde abrikozen en mondwater. De nadruk ligt sterk op producten voor baby’s en (aanstaande) moeders: melkpoeder, Bambix, zwangerschapsolie, billetjescrème, foliumzuur, fopspenen, toetenvegers, etc. Maar ook muesli, shampoo en scheergel behoren tot het assortiment.

‘Albert Heijn en Ahold kijken altijd naar nieuwe mogelijkheden’, zei een Ahold-woordvoerder in een reactie tegen NOS. ‘Binnen ons bedrijf willen we veel ruimte bieden aan nieuwe ideeën en innovaties. Zo is dit ook ontstaan.’ Een maand geleden meldde Albert Heijn nog dat er geen plannen waren voor een Chinese webwinkel.


Wij moeten hier zorgvuldig naar kijken. Voor ons allebei, AH en Nutricia, ligt de prioriteit bij voldoende beschikbaarheid voor ouders in Nederland

Woordvoerder Ahold tegen het FD

Opmerkelijk genoeg verkoopt Albert Heijn in de eigen webwinkel niet het in China populaire melkpoeder van Nutrilon. In 2008 stierven zes Chinese kinderen en belandden nog eens tienduizenden in het ziekenhuis nadat ze melkpoeder hadden gedronken waaraan de kunsthars melamine bleek toegevoegd. Sindsdien nemen veel Chinese ouders hun toevlucht tot Nutrilon en ander Nederlands melkpoeder, dat als veilig te boek staat. Chinezen zijn bereid er fors voor te betalen. Dit heeft geleid tot een welig tierende zwarte handel tussen Nederland en China, waardoor ouders in Nederland dikwijls misgrijpen in de schappen. ‘Wij moeten hier zorgvuldig naar kijken’, reageerde een Ahold-woordvoerder tegen het FD. ‘Voor ons allebei, AH en Nutricia, ligt de prioriteit bij voldoende beschikbaarheid voor ouders in Nederland.’

De webwinkel, te vinden op ah.tmall.hk, is ondergebracht bij Albert Heijns Chinese partner Tmall, onderdeel van de Alibaba Group, ‘s werelds grootste internetwinkel. Albert Heijn wilde de website eigenlijk geruisloos lanceren om nog wat verbeteringen te kunnen doorvoeren, schrijft het FD. De officiële lancering in China volgt later deze week.

Niet goedkoop

Veel AH-artikelen op de website werden online al verkocht in China, vaak tegen forse meerprijzen. Ook de Chinese webwinkel van Albert Heijn is niet goedkoop. Een pak Albert Heijn Standaard 4 Peutermelk kost in Nederland bijvoorbeeld 6,69 euro, terwijl Chinezen er 84 yuan voor betalen, 11,60 euro. De in een Delfts blauw blik gestoken stroopwafels van Rosenberg kosten in Nederland 3,79 euro, in de Chinese webwinkel omgerekend 13,55 euro.

Source: Volkskrant.nl

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Hublot opens in Singapore its largest pop-up store

With international action star Donnie Yen (from the film IP Man) officiating the opening, the Swiss watchmaker Hublot debuted last week its largest pop-up store in the world. Based at the shopping centre Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza in Singapore, the building stands at 7 metres tall and occupies a massive area of 1,050 square metres.

Standing at 7 mts tall and over 1,050 sq mts, Hublot’s Singapore pop-up store is the largest in the world – Hublot

Present to witness the celebration were some 250 exclusive guests and media from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and China.

The pop-up store, which commemorates a decade of Hublot’s spirit The Art of Fusion, showcases exclusive limited editions, as well as lifestyle accessories specially curated for this store.

Visitors can expect innovative and playful interactive displays that will take them through a virtual journey around Hublot’s watchmaking universe, examining the brand’s DNA and revealing the stories behind Hublot design and craftsmanship.

At the new pop-up store, the Swiss luxury company launched the “Red Dot” Bang, a set of limited edition 44mm Big Bang watches that were introduced in two cases, Hublonium and yellow gold. Additionally, the Swiss watchmaker launched its Manufacture MP-05 La Ferrari timepiece, which comes in a yellow gold case set with 440 baguette-cut diamonds worth at least 13 carats.

The Swiss watchmaker also launched a set of limited edition watches – Hublot

“With the help of our long-time partner and leading watch retailer, The Hour Glass, Hublot’s presence has stayed strong in Singapore for more than 30 years and we are honoured to be part of Singapore’s jubilation as we also celebrate our own success with the iconic Big Bang this year,” said Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot’s CEO.

Hublot has more than 750 points of sale worldwide and over 60 mono brand boutiques.

Source: us.fashionmag.com

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Hugo Boss setzt trotz Krise auf China

Hugo Boss wird seine Präsenz in Asien stärken. Nicht nur in China, sondern im ganzen Fernen Osten”, sagte Gaetano Marzotto, der im Aufsichtsrat sitzt, kürzlich in der „Welt am Sonntag“. Seine Familie ist bereits seit 1991 an dem schwäbischen Edelschneider beteiligt und hat ihren Anteil mit dem Ausstieg des Finanzinvestors Permira weiter ausgebaut. „Bislang erzielen nur weniger als 10% unseres Umsatzes in China. Das ist also ausbaufähig“, erklärte Marzotto weiter. Von 1.088 Retail-Store werden aktuell 281 in der Region Asien/Pazifik betrieben. Auch in der Investorenkonferenz am 4. August räumte Hugo Boss ein, dass man einen verstärkten Fokus auf das Retail und Brand-Management legen müsse, um anhaltenden Marktschwäche entgegen zu treten.

Chinesischer Luxusmarkt im Umbruch

Dass es den Luxusmarken in China derzeit nicht allzu gut bestellt ist, juckt Marzotto offenbar nicht. Pradas Umsatzzahlen der letzten Monate waren geprägt von den „Absatzproblemen in Asien“, auch Gucci und Louis Vuitton hadern mit sinkender Nachfrage in der Volksrepublik. Einen großen Einfluss auf den Nachfrageknick hatten die verstärkten Anti-Korruptionsregelungen: Handtaschen, Uhren oder exquisiter Schampus sind nicht länger eine akzeptable Geste – zum Leidwesen der europäischen Luxusmarken und ihrer Investoren. Zudem sind die Chinesen zunehmend anspruchsvoll, wenn es um Luxus geht. Plakative Logos wie bei Gucci, Louis Vuitton oder Prada sind weniger gefragt und gelten als „secretary brands“. Die sog „high-net-wealth“-Konsumentin in China ist in der Regel gut 20 Jahren jünger ist als ihr westeuropäisches oder amerikanisches Pendant und bevorzugt den subtilen Luxus über offensichtlichem Bling-Bling. Marken, die den Fehler machten, zu rasch und zu dominant zu expandieren wie etwa Gucci oder Prada, müssen jetzt zurückrudern und Filialen schließen oder ihre Eröffnungsstrategien relativieren. LVMH bspw. möchte im Reich der Mitte künftig lieber mit Céline und Fendi statt mit seinem bekannten Zugpferd expandieren.

China: Chance für die bescheidenen Schwaben

Für Hugo Boss bedeutet der Wandel durchaus auch Chancen: Die Schwaben kokettieren nicht mit ihrem Logo und setzen zunehmend eine Positionierung im Luxusgenre. Rund 20% der Umsätze sollen mit der aufgewerteten Marke BOSS bis 2020 im Luxusbereich erzielt werden. Ansonsten soll Hugo Boss – laut Marzotto – eher für „affordable elegance“ stehen. Ob das den Chinesinnen zusagt, wird sich daran entscheiden, ob die Deutschen die Mittelschicht für sich gewinnen kann.

Sollte die China-Offensive scheitern, wäre das für Marzotto kein Beinbruch. Er mache die Beteiligung an Hugo Boss nicht davon abhängig, ob das Unternehmen „die für das Jahr 2020 gesteckten Ziele „punktgenau erreicht oder nicht“, erklärte er der Hamburger Zeitung. „Wir sind in dieses Unternehmen verliebt“, so Marzotto. Ein schönere Liebeserklärung könnte sich Vorstandschef Claus-Dietrich Lahrs wohl kaum wünschen.

Source: fabeau.de

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World’s largest online retail markets to double in size by 2018

New statistics from OC&C Strategy Consultants, PayPal and Google predicts that the online retail markets in the US, China, UK and Germany will grow by £320bn to £645bn by 2018.

The study, called “Cracking the World’s Largest ecommerce Markets”, reveals a huge opportunity for UK retailers, as the country is the most popular online overseas destination for German shoppers, and the second most popular in both China and the US.

Chinese and German shoppers spend on average 2.7 and 1.7 times more in each UK online transaction than UK consumers do, and Chinese shoppers buy from UK retailers online almost as frequently as domestic shoppers do.

However, the research also revealed that UK e-tailers aren’t taking full advantage of the opportunity. They could be earning up to 60% more by building trust with local consumers, installing infrastructure to match local competitors, and responding to local payment preferences.

When buying British goods, the biggest pull factor for international customers is purchasing products they can’t find in their own country, the research found.

Martijn Bertisen, Sales Director at Google UK, said:

“The number of people with internet access is growing fast, with many new consumers skipping the desktop phase entirely and only experiencing the web through a smartphone. Our study shows that this is increasingly translating into mobile transactions and that a mobile-first or even mobile-only strategy is now imperative to international success in retail. UK retailers should be well positioned to lead this growth internationally, as UK consumers are already amongst the most mobile of all. PayPal data used in this study suggests that in fashion, for example, 59% of online transactions are already being made via mobile in the UK, compared with 45% and 24% in the US and Germany respectively.”

The study analysed search and transaction data from Google and PayPal and the online shopping habits of consumers in what will be the four largest online retail markets by 2018.

Source: fashionmag.com

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Cina top supplier per la moda italiana

Se la Cina rappresenta, per il comparto moda italiano, il maggior fornitore di tessile e abbigliamento, è altrettanto vero che continua a essere un mercato di destinazione delle produzioni Made in Italy in crescita costante e double digit.
In generale, secondo i dati preconsuntivi 2014 diffusi da Sistema Moda Italia, l’export del tessile abbigliamento nel mondo dovrebbe raggiungere il +3,9%, per un valore complessivo prossimo ai 28,5 miliardi di euro.

L’import ha cambiato passo, facendo registrare una variazione che a consuntivo dovrebbe essere di circa l’8%. L’effetto combinato dei flussi commerciali in uscita e in ingresso da/in Italia determinerebbe nel 2014 un arretramento del surplus con l’estero; il saldo infatti passerebbe a circa 9,2 miliardi di euro (-3,8%, corrispondente a meno 360 milioni di euro).

Focalizzando l’attenzione sul solo mercato cinese, secondo dati Istat elaborati da Sistema Moda Italia, il saldo commerciale con la Cina nel 2014 è negativo di 193.695 milioni di euro. Il tessile ha visto un incremento dell’import del 9,3% pari a 1 mld e 430 mln di euro (+11,3% in quantità), e un decremento dell’1% a 318 mln (-3,2% in quantità) per un saldo negativo di 125 milioni di euro.
L’abbigliamento moda ha visto invece un aumento delle importazioni del 5,8% a 2 mld e 916 mln (+10,7% in quantità) e pure un aumento delle esportazioni del 19,5% a 555 mln di euro (+6,9% in quantità) per un saldo negativo di circa 69 milioni.

Entrando ancora più nello specifico, le importazioni di filati dalla Cina sono aumentate del 4,6% a 285 mln di euro e le esportazioni hanno segnato +1,9% a 61 mln, per un saldo negativo di 11,5 mln di euro. Il comparto dei tessuti registra a fine 2014 un saldo negativo di 22 milioni con le importazioni in crescita dell’1,5% e le esportazioni in calo del 7%.

Sommando a questi il tessile casa, la maglieria e la calzetteria e altre sottocategoria, il totale mostra un incremento delle importazioni del 6,9% a 4,345 miliardi e un aumento delle esportazioni dell’11,1% a 873 milioni.
Interessante l’outlook sul 2015 (fonte Esportare la Dolce Vita, Csc-Prometeia): in Cina l’import dal mondo dovrebbe attestarsi a 14,17 miliardi, dall’Italia a 1,415 miliardi (a prezzi 2012), cui l’abbigliamento tessile concorrerebbe per 425 milioni di euro.

Guardando al 2019, le importazioni dal mondo in Cina dovrebbero aggirarsi intorno ai 18,5 miliardi (+49,6%) e dall’Italia (+49,6%) essere di 1,8 miliardi. Nel 2019 l’abbigliamento dall’Italia concorrerebbe per 528 milioni di euro (+38,9%).

Source: fashionmag.com

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Faguo renforce sa distribution

Jusqu’au 26 avril, Faguo s’installe au rez-de-chaussée du magasin parisien le BHV Marais Homme pour y présenter ses collections accessoires et chaussures, et sa première ligne textile déclinée en t-shirts et sweats.

En plus du développement de ses collections, Faguo renforce sa présence à l’international et exporte depuis très récemment ses gammes en Amérique et notamment au Mexique avec une implantation dans une vingtaine de points de vente premium.

Fondée en 2009, Faguo prévoit prochainement l’ouverture de sa première boutique en propre à Paris. En 2014, la griffe indique avoir connu une croissance de 40 % et un chiffre d’affaire de 3 millions d’euros dont 35 % réalisés dans une vingtaine de pays à l’international.

Source: fashionmag.com

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Global Retail E-Commerce Keeps On Clicking

In markets big and small, retail e-commerce is maintaining its impressive growth.

The 2015 Global Retail E-Commerce Index highlights the big and the small: the countries that are always going to be e-commerce behemoths because of their size, and the smaller yet still-promising markets where potential matters more than size.

This dichotomy plays out in the results of this year’s Index: The world’s largest markets for e-commerce dominate the top half of the top 30, led by the United States, China, and the United Kingdom (see figure 1). In the bottom half are some smaller markets, such as Mexico, whose potential for growth is impossible to ignore.

The 2015 Global Retail E-Commerce Index TM

Across the world, the past year brought a continuation of the impressive growth of retail e-commerce around the world. Sales increased more than 20 percent worldwide in 2014 to almost $840 billion, as online retailers continued expanding to new geographies and physical retailers entered new markets through e-commerce (see figure 2). Perhaps the biggest expression of this boom was in the stock markets, which gave e-commerce companies skyrocketing valuations. This was highlighted by Alibaba’s record-setting $25 billion initial public offering in September, which valued the China-based company at about $170 billion.

Global retail sales are set to increase, although the rate of growth will slow

Of course, the boom has brought challenges. For one, both brick-and-mortar leaders and pure-play online behemoths are learning that the future of the industry is not merely online, but rather in creative omnichannel offerings that link online and physical shopping. As a result, the walls between brick-and mortar and e-commerce are already coming down. Brick-and-mortar stalwarts such as Walmart and Nordstrom continue to expand their online offerings, while online leaders from U.S.-based Amazon to Singapore’s Zalora are stepping into physical markets. Those retailers that can manage to merge online and offline setups most seamlessly could prove to be the big winners.

A.T. Kearney’s third Global Retail E-Commerce Index finds a market still growing fast.1 The Index ranks the top 30 countries based on nine variables, including select macroeconomic factors as well as those that examine consumer adoption of technology, shopping behaviors, infrastructure, and retail-specific activities. The Index balances current online retail market indicators with those that predict the potential for future growth (see sidebar: About the Global Retail E-Commerce Index). This study is designed to help retailers devise successful global online retail strategies and identify market investment opportunities while understanding the tradeoffs and barriers to success.

A Leadership Shuffle

The top 30 includes a mix of developed and developing countries, but developed countries lead the top half of the list, starting with the United States. After placing third in 2013, the United States—the world’s largest e-commerce market at $238 billion—takes over the top spot from China, thanks to continued growth and an improving economy. In the United States, the broader market is gaining momentum and consumer confidence is improving. Although e-commerce remains less than 10 percent of total retail sales, it has seen consistent growth, and it rose by 15 percent in 2014.

In Europe, the United Kingdom (3rd), Germany (5th), and France (6th) all move up one spot in the Index, while Belgium (a 15-spot rise to 9th place), Denmark (up 13 spots to 15th), and Spain (entering the rankings in 18th) have posted impressive progress.

The Asia Pacific market continues to grow—soon it will be the world’s largest region in terms of online sales—but many of its representatives in the Index took a slight dip in 2015. China, the previous leader, has seen its e-commerce market continue to expand, but it dips one spot as its e-commerce market expanded but its rate of growth slowed. South Korea drops to 7th place, down from 5th in 2013, as its e-commerce sales growth slowed down relative to other countries. Still, South Korea remains a leader in consumer online and mobile engagement and boasts a solid financial and logistical infrastructure.

In Latin America, while Mexico jumps into the rankings at 17th place, Brazil and Argentina fall steeply in the Index, not surprising in light of their slowing macroeconomies. Fundamental infrastructure challenges—logistics and transportation in Brazil, government regulations in Argentina—may hinder e-commerce growth in the future.

Lastly, India remains unranked. In our 2013 report we examined in depth many of the challenges India faces and why the world’s second largest country by population was missing from the top 30. There are only 39 million online buyers in India, a tiny fraction of the more than 1 billion who live in the country. Only 69 percent of India’s population has more than limited access to broad-band and mobile Internet, so the market will still prove challenging for some time to come. However, there have been some advances. In 2014, e-commerce in India increased 27 percent to $3.8 billion, and over the next five years spending is expected to grow 21 percent, slightly higher than the global average. Amazon announced a $2 billion infrastructure investment in July, and homegrown Flipkart announced that it raised $1 billion in capital.

The State of Global Retail E-Commerce

Four overarching themes color this year’s Index findings as they relate to business strategy, customers, and channels. Following is a look at those four themes.

Internationalization. Large e-retailers are finding possibilities for growth in new markets—often without a physical footprint. Across the world shoppers are buying more products online—and in particular, on their mobile phones—so there is clearly an opportunity. Online payment options are growing more secure: Visa Token Service, which replaces traditional 16-digit account numbers with one-time-use codes, is just one example of ramped-up cybersecurity efforts. In many fast-growing emerging markets, the Internet is the safest, fastest way to get products from international brands. International shipping and fulfillment are also improving, with companies such as Borderfree helping retailers ship products across the world while assisting with currency conversion, customs, and return issues.

Several brick-and-mortar retailers have used e-commerce to expand over the past two years. Upscale houseware retailer Williams-Sonoma has used the Internet to expand to more than 100 countries, and the web now accounts for 44 percent of its sales. It has full-scale e-commerce sites in Australia and the United Kingdom and plans for expansion into Mexico. Marks and Spencer, the UK clothing seller, is embracing a “bricks and clicks” strategy, opening physical stores in a few markets while expanding online in many more. The retailer is investing about $1.5 billion in logistics, IT, and systems, including a new UK distribution center.

The key to success internationally is localizing the online presence while also maintaining a unified global brand. For example, British fashion and beauty e-retailer ASOS created a dedicated team for its Russian market to ensure that its phrasing, language, and image resonated with 20-year-olds in Russia while still meeting global brand standards. Other brands, such as New Look, a teen fashion retailer, sell their products through third-party marketplaces (for example, China’s Tmall).

The rise (again) of e-commerce IPOs. Perhaps the best indicator of an industry’s rise is the attention paid to it by stock market investors. As private money flooded the e-commerce market over the past decade, and as some high-profile initial public offerings (IPOs) have captured big headlines, it seems likely that more IPOs are inevitable as private investors try to cash out.

The past couple of years have included several examples of just how much investors are interested in e-commerce. The biggest story was the record-setting $25 billion IPO for Chinese giant Alibaba in September 2014. The sale proved the allure not only of China, but also of e-commerce retailers. Alibaba’s IPO was preceded by that of U.S.-based Zulily, an online retailer that targets parents and kids, whose late-2013 IPO valued it at roughly $2.6 billion, and JD.com, another Chinese e-retailer that raised $1.8 billion in its May 2014 IPO, thanks to its impressive growth. In Europe, Zalando was valued at about $6.7 billion in its October IPO, while Cnova (owned by France-based Casino) raised almost $200 million in its November IPO.

Of course, bullish IPOs do not guarantee success. As of early March, Alibaba’s stock is trading below its IPO value, as it has missed revenue estimates and is facing several other challenges; Zulily’s stock is off by 80 percent from its peak, as investors worry about slowing growth. On the other hand, JD.com is recording better-than-expected revenue growth and is trading above its initial price.

The (continuously) connected consumer. A.T. Kearney’s 2014 Connected Consumer Study showed just how much consumers around the world are using the Internet, and offered many key insights for retailers.3 The survey included 10,000 “connected consumers”—those who say they connect to the Internet at least once a week. Of that group, more than half are “continuously connected”—that is, they check the Internet at least once every waking hour.

What connected consumers buy online says a lot about consumer confidence, the adoption of e-commerce, and country-by-country evolution. Overall, electronics, fashion, services, books, and tickets are the top categories for e-commerce; groceries and household items are the least commonly purchased (see figure 3).

Electronic goods, apparel, and books are among the most popular online categories

The details, however, vary by country. The U.S.’s fragmented grocery retail market has led to low online grocery penetration, whereas the more concentrated UK market has higher sales, driven by well-developed offerings, led by players such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Ocado.

The need for omnichannel. The buzz for e-commerce is justified, yet physical retail is by no means dead. A.T. Kearney’s On Solid Ground research found that in the United States 90 percent of all retail sales occurs in stores, and 95 percent are captured by retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence.4Physical stores remain the preferred shopping channel and where the most significant value continues to be created, as customers are able to touch and feel products, be immersed in brand experiences, and engage with sales associates. Two-thirds of the customers purchasing online use a physical store either before or after the transaction.

Successful retailers understand how each customer touch point adds value. They have developed omnichannel strategies that maximize customer satisfaction and profitability by seamlessly and securely improving the experience from bricks to clicks. For example, Topshop and Shangpin partnered with Beijing’s The Place Mall for “The Mobile Adventure,” an event in which more than 5,000 participants scan in QR codes around the mall to virtually select Topshop outfits. In Lane Crawford’s Shanghai flagship store, the “Future: Play” campaign turned the store into a futuristic arcade that allowed customers to view exclusive videos on their smartphones while shopping in the store.

Conversely, many online-focused retailers are turning their attention to physical stores, understanding that a physical presence can bring significant value. In February, online giant Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar store at Purdue University, allowing students to order books, computers, and even food. In Singapore, Zalora opened its first physical store in an upscale mall in October 2014, the first time an online retailer has opened a physical store in Southeast Asia. U.S.-based designer eyewear brand Warby Parker, which originated as a website, has now opened 18 stores since its inception in 2010.

Market Spotlights

Many different markets offer different opportunities. Some are broad with heavy competition; others are small with prime opportunities for companies able to make the plunge.

In this year’s report, we highlight six markets that represent interesting prospects for online retailers.

China (2nd). China drops behind the United States in the latest Index, due to a decline in the growth in both e-commerce and the broader economy. But make no mistake about China: It remains one of the most attractive online retail markets in the world. The world’s most populous country (nearly 1.4 billion people) is active online—more than one-third of those who go online at least once a week are “continuously connected,” according to the Connected Consumer Study, and another 58 percent check the Internet two to four times per day.

China’s online buyers are sophisticated, with well-developed brand awareness for and trust in the biggest names, including domestic leaders Alibaba, Tmall, and JD.com as well as international players such as Amazon and eBay. Chinese shoppers have also embraced e-commerce as something of a cultural phenomenon, particularly on Singles Day (November 11), which has become much like the U.S.’s Cyber Monday. Alibaba reported $9.3 billion in sales on Singles Day 2014—equivalent to about 7 percent of the country’s total-year sales.

The market for e-commerce players is rapidly evolving as it continues to grow. Some domestic leaders, including Alibaba and Tencent, have been active in M&A to build their online capabilities and market share, a trend that should continue in coming years. Domestic business-to-consumer (B2C) sites such as Tmall and JD.com (formerly 360Buy) are growing faster than C2C players like Taobao, as more buyers seek high-quality products and services that can be better guaranteed by larger-scale retailers. Many B2C sites have embraced the Amazon-like model of selling goods to buyers, a contrast to Alibaba’s role as a middleman between buyers and sellers.

Online reviews heavily influence customers’ purchasing decisions—for example, 40 percent of online shoppers in China want instant “buy or don’t buy” advice and reviews, a much higher rate than in other countries. Online retailers, notably Taobao, have review systems for users; dianping.com has become a popular online review site for Chinese consumers.

Social media may hold the key to the future of e-commerce in China. Nike, for example, has multiple accounts on Sina Weibo (a Twitter equivalent), helping to promote the company on a wide scale and driving increased growth. WeChat, a mobile text and voice messaging service, has expanded into e-commerce on its popular site.

China continues to have distinct regional differences, which makes e-commerce a challenge. For example, consumers in tier 1 cities are doing far more luxury shopping—buying more big-ticket items such as cars—and are developing brand loyalty much more than shoppers in the tier 4 cities, where shoppers have less disposable income.

Logistics also poses difficulties. Shipping and distribution conditions are often vastly different depending on the destination, especially when it comes to the last mile. Retailers have also been slow to meet consumers’ expectations for refunds and returns, although this is improving in the fashion market, where returns are crucial for driving sales. One company succeeding with its logistics is JD.com, which operates more than 80 warehouses in 34 cities, allowing it to process orders and make deliveries faster than competitors.

Belgium (9th). Belgium is small—its population of 11.2 million people is smaller than many of the world’s largest cities—but its market is ripe with potential. Its infrastructure is solid, its connected consumer base is shopping online, and its competitive landscape is fragmented.

Most of the population is connected, more than half of online users shop online, and the country’s infrastructure and transportation also rate highly. Strong e-commerce growth is expected—as much as 25 percent per year through 2020—led in particular by the apparel, food, and electronics sectors.

Many Belgian retailers were relatively late to e-commerce, and as a result many Belgians are shopping on foreign websites. Among the other leaders are Germany’s Otto Group (under the 3 Suisses banner), Amazon’s French website, Netherlands-based Bol.com, and France-based Pixmania and Redcats.

Belgium’s online shoppers are looking for low prices, convenience, and no-risk product trials, and the country’s top sites are addressing this. Amazon offers free shipping to Belgium and competitive prices, while Carrefour has looked to help consumers with convenience, opening its first click-and-collect location in Auderghem, with plans for another 50 sites. Albert Heijn Belgium recently opened its first click-and-collect as well.

Belgian retailers are catching up. Supermarket chain Colruyt’s Collect&Go service is expanding, and grocer Delhaize has seen a 48 percent increase in online sales as it has invested heavily in its e-commerce platforms. Vanden Borre has embraced multichannel engagement, allowing customers to easily make and track orders across channels.

The country’s already-strong logistics are seeing some interesting investments. In 2012, UPS acquired Belgian logistics and e-commerce player Kiala, whose Access Points initiative provides more than 900 secure places for online shoppers to collect goods.

Mexico (17th). Unranked in 2013, Mexico jumps to 17th place this year as the country’s e-commerce market grows rapidly thanks to a young, connected population that is increasingly willing to shop online. Almost half of Mexicans are connected to the Internet, and of these users, roughly two-thirds make purchases online. Total online sales increased 32 percent year-over-year to $6.6 billion in 2014, and similar growth is expected over the next five years.

Research has shown that Mexican online shoppers today are looking primarily for bargains or doing information gathering. Services such as travel make up a large portion of online sales in Mexico, a sign of a market early in its development as consumers appear more comfortable spending money online for intangible items rather than physical goods. Online shoppers are still wary of delivery, as most Mexican retailers still use independent contractors for last-mile delivery and product return and refund policies are limited.

These signs and others, however, indicate that this market is primed for growth. Only 17 percent of mobile phone users were shopping on their smartphones as of 2012, a percentage that will certainly increase in coming years. Higher-income consumers in Mexico’s three largest cities—Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey—accounted for more than half of all online sales in 2013, so as the rest of the country catches up there will be an opportunity for online retailers.

Mexico’s proximity to the United States makes it a prime location for cross-border e-commerce. Roughly half of the country’s online shoppers make purchases on foreign websites; the e-commerce leaders in Mexico are international giants such as U.S.-based Amazon and Walmart, Argentine leader MercadoLibre, German-owned Linio, and Brazil-based Dafiti and Netshoes. Walmart, under a variety of banners, has led the way for international retailers, thanks to an assortment that is much larger than that of Amazon or any other local retailer and a localized channel that offers same-day delivery.

Among Mexican brands, Soriana offers same-day delivery, which appeals to online shoppers specifically interested in purchasing fresh food from their devices. Mexican department store chains Liverpool and Coppel offer free shipping for price-conscious Mexican consumers; other websites typically base delivery rates on product weight and distance.

Spain (18th). Spain’s leap from unranked in 2013 to 18th this year may be a surprise to some; after all, the country’s economic woes and high unemployment rate have been making headlines since the economic downturn hit in 2008. However, green shoots are visible: The country—which has the fourth largest economy in the eurozone—recorded full-year growth in 2014 for the first time in six years, and recent statistics show the growth is continuing. As for e-commerce retailers, the country has connected shoppers and strong infrastructure, and annual online sales growth of 16 percent is expected over the next five years.

Amazon, El Corte Inglés, and FNAC Spain are the largest online retailers in Spain. Amazon has 7 percent share of e-commerce, dominating the electronics and books and CDs categories. It has also strengthened its standing in fashion in the wake of its purchase of Spanish company BuyVIP, a members-only club that sells high-end fashion brands at discounted prices. Amazon also operates a 32,000-square-meter distribution center in San Fernando de Henares, in Madrid’s eastern suburbs, and has deals with more than 1,200 businesses to allow for customer pickup.

Madrid-based department store chain El Corte Inglés has expanded in e-commerce with an app, in-store collection, and free delivery on bigger orders. During the 2014 Christmas buying season, the company’s online sales increased 60 percent over the previous year, thanks in large part to a click-and-collect service that allowed shoppers to pick up items in store.

About 44 percent of Spanish Internet users between 16 and 55 buy online frequently, and they focus on fashion, electronics, books, and music. Online grocery is underdeveloped, but the major players (including Mercadona, Carrefour, Eroski, and El Corte Inglés) are expanding. Spanish consumers are price-sensitive, perhaps not surprising given the long-term economic malaise. This has driven the popularity of price comparison websites such as German-based Ciao and Spain’s Carritus (focused on groceries).

Improvements in logistics could help push e-commerce sales in Spain. Many Spanish online shopping carts are abandoned, and consumers say it’s because of overly expensive delivery costs or long delivery times. Same-day logistics companies in urban centers are helping to fill this void and are being used by companies including FNAC, Pull & Bear (owned by Inditex), and Zubi, a Spanish design company.

Brazil (21st). Brazil has one of the world’s most connected populations—more than half of the population uses the Internet, and those who do are connected nearly all the time. The country’s online market grew about 18 percent year-over-year to about $13 billion in 2014. Even as the country drops 13 spots in this year’s Index due to weak infrastructure and e-commerce growth that is somewhat slower than global rates, online retailers still find Brazil to be a growing e-commerce market that is impossible to ignore. In particular, Brazil is highly connected, with heavy use of mobile phones and broadband Internet, attributes that will drive future growth.

Brazil’s macroeconomic conditions have been a concern across all industries, as the country is expecting economic contraction of 1 percent for 2015. Still, some companies—primarily those that play across categories—have managed to succeed despite the conditions. One such firm is Argentina-based MercadoLibre, whose Brazilian site accounts for about half of its revenue. It has defied the downturn with strong revenue growth, thanks to a strong and growing payment service (MercadoPago) and efforts to improve the shipping experience.

Some structural challenges have also stymied Brazil’s e-commerce growth, starting with burdensome regulations and taxes. The country’s shipping network is not as developed as in other markets; it is well developed in the regions with the highest demand, but there is still progress to be made in the more remote areas. Additionally, Brazil’s history of payment by installments can create working capital challenges for e-commerce retailers.

Government and business are trying to take steps to improve this. The government has built more than 1 million miles of roads and highways, and plans to invest $30 billion more in infrastructure. eBay has begun allowing shoppers to fund their PayPal accounts using Boleto Bancario; shoppers are invoiced at checkout and can pay bills at banks, post offices, lottery agents, and some supermarkets.

Meanwhile, Rio de Janeiro-based B2W, Brazil’s largest online retailer, acquired Direct, a local logistics provider, part of a year’s worth of investment in logistics and technology. Walmart, one of the most active international players in Brazilian e-commerce, is investing in distribution, part of a push to capture a larger share of Brazil’s online retail market. In 2014 the company redesigned its Brazilian website; it also has plans to increase inventory and hire more employees.

Social media is particularly popular in Brazil, whose population ranks third in the world in terms of total users of Facebook. Kanui.com is one e-commerce site that has been particularly adept at tapping into social media; its Facebook page (with more than 2.8 million followers) includes not only promotions, but also content marketing such as educational videos for using sports gear and apparel.

The Opportunity Is Here

The Global Retail E-Commerce Index reflects some trends that global retailers and brand-builders cannot overlook.

Global retailers and global brands are global for a reason—their brands, systems, scale, or intimacy in regions allow them and compel them to push their boundaries further, but it is never easy. Determining where to put the chess pieces is the only way to tap into today’s sales and earnings growth possibilities.

The truth is, the global population today is almost completely connected. The big questions now: What do we do with this powerful technology, and how do we get the most out of it?


The authors wish to thank Bridget Murphy, Jung-Yi Yoo, Liang Wu, Chong Feng, Ceyda Atay, and Jithan Varma as well as all of our global subject matter experts for their valuable contributions to this report.

Source: atkearney.com

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Un géant chinois de l’e-commerce se met à vendre du made in France

Le numéro 2 chinois de l’e-commerce ouvre sur son portail web un “espace France”. Une vraie cyber-opportunité pour nos producteurs de l’agro-alimentaire, de la mode ou du luxe, d’exporter sur le premier marché d’Asie.


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Ding talk, la nouvelle application de messagerie instantanée d’Alibaba

Ding talk, la nouvelle application de messagerie instantanée d’Alibaba

La Chine comptait plus de 632 millions d’internautes en Juin 2014, ceux-ci passaient en moyenne 26,1 heures par semaine à surfer sur le net. En Chine 90% des internautes utilisent au moins un  réseau social. Le Groupe Alibaba, géant du commerce en ligne chinois se lance sur le marché des réseaux sociaux avec Ding Talk, sa propre application de messagerie instantanée.

Voici l’histoire du buzz qu’a provoqué la sortie de Ding Talk:


Les réseaux sociaux font partie intégrante de la vie des Chinois, qui les consultent pour rechercher tout type d’informations. Les leaders d’opinion et avis de consommateurs présents sur les réseaux sociaux influencent grandement les décisions d’achat des chinois. Les chinois se connectent aussi massivement à internet depuis leurs téléphones et tablettes, ce qui fait d’eux de vrais fans d’applications. On dénombre des milliers d’applications dans le pays avec des fonctionnalités différentes.


tourism China
Pour une entreprise ou une marque étrangère, qui entre sur le marché chinois, rien de mieux que d’avoir une présence sur les médias sociaux tels Wechat, Weibo, ou encore QQ  pour se faire connaître et attirer les consommateurs chinois.


Alibaba a bien compris que pour attirer encore plus de consommateurs chinois, il se devait d’être présent sur le marché des réseaux sociaux. Et comme le géant de l’e-commerce ne fait jamais les choses à moitié, il a lancé sa propre application à mi-chemin entre réseau social professionnel et messagerie instantanée. L’application permet de passer des appels en conférence et des chats en groupes, sa cible principale est les petites et moyennes entreprises chinoises qui ont plus tendance à utiliser WeChat pour communiquer. Fin Janvier 2015, Alibaba lance l’application Ding Talk, en même temps qu’une campagne de communication digitale, notamment sur le site de micro-blogging Weibo.


La publicité mise en ligne par Alibaba reprend avec humour les différents moyens de communication à travers les âges:

Pendant la préhistoire, les moyens de communication se faisaient de manière orale. Dans certaines situations comme celle ci-dessous, l’inefficacité de la communication va entraîner la mort du jeune homme1

Pendant les périodes de conflits, la communication passait par le feu. Toutefois, comme démontré ci-dessous, la technique pouvait être impuissante et entraîner des décès.


Plus tard, la communication par les animaux est apparue. Toutefois, leur efficacité n’était pas toujours présente.



A l’époque des nobles, les domestiques communiquaient par le biais de cloches. Là encore, une efficacité pas toujours au rendez-vous.


En 1989, l’arrivée de la radio a révolutionné le monde de la communication, toutefois, elle n’était pas toujours efficiente non plus.


Dans les années 70, l’utilisation du téléphone pour communiquer finissait par décourager les gens, qui devaient faire face à de multiples transferts avant d’avoir la personne voulue.


Les années 80 ont vu arriver l’apogée des BB call toutefois inefficaces en cas d’urgence. En effet, une personne recevait juste une notification d’appel et devait alors se diriger vers une cabine pour prendre l’appel.


L’arrivée du téléphone sans fil dans les années 90 n’a pas permis de pouvoir communiquer à beaucoup de personnes car son prix élevé le réservait à l’élite.


Le téléphone portable est l’un des meilleurs moyens jamais inventé pour communiquer, encore faut-il que la personne contactée veuille bien répondre.


Les groupes de chat professionnels en ligne permettent aux dirigeants d’entreprises de pouvoir communiquer avec leurs salariés et de leur communiquer des informations. Cependant, dans certains cas, les salariées peuvent s’en servir pour communiquer entre eux de sujets personnels.11

A la fin de sa publicité, Alibaba promet une révolution dans le monde de la communication en cette année 2015, grâce à sa nouvelle application Ding Talk qui aurait pu sauver ces personnes.



Alibaba a signé une belle campagne de communication digitale de diffusion sur les réseaux sociaux, combinée avec des relations presses pour son entrée sur le marché. L’application a fait parler d’elle sur Weibo, notamment grâce au ton léger de la campagne qui a su parler à la cible d’utilisateur des plateformes de réseaux sociaux chinoises visée par Alibaba.

dinding weibo

On s’étonne pourtant que la page Weibo de Dingtalk, lancée le 21 Janvier dernier, compte seulement un peu plus de 2000 fans, un chiffre qu’Alibaba espère sûrement augmenter dans les mois qui viennent…

Créer et diffuser des campagnes de communication auprès du public chinois n’est pas une chose aisée. Notre agence et son équipe chinoise à la pointe des tendances sur les réseaux sociaux et experts dans les opérations de Relations Presses auprès des médias chinois peut vous aider à faire connaître votre marque en Chine.  N’hésitez pas à nous contacter pour plus de renseignements!

Source: marketing-chine.com

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