February 19, 2019 by Sujay Seetharaman

1. Amazon to cut down carbon footprint

Early this morning, Amazon announced that it plans to make 50% of all its shipments carbon neutral by 2030. In achieving that goal, Amazon said, it will use more renewable forms of energy, have more deliveries done via electric vans, and push suppliers to remake their packaging. It is calling the initiative “Shipment Zero”. Amazon also said that it has a long-term goal of powering its infrastructure using 100% renewable energy and that it will announce its company-wide carbon footprint, along with related goals and programs later this year.

2. Walmart Q4 Earnings Preview

Walmart is expected to announce its fourth-quarter results early tomorrow – Feb 19th before the market opens. Analysts are projecting an estimated EPS of $1.33. Revenue forecast for the same period is estimated at $138.7 Billion. Walmart has beat consensus EPS estimates 88% of the time and revenue estimates 50% of the time. It has also overtaken Apple to become the third largest internet retailer, next to Amazon and eBay. A few key things to watch out in the report would be its performance in India after the acquisition of 77% stake in Flipkart, performance in grocery and growth from its recent investment in digital-only brands like Art.com and Bare Necessities.

3. Toys R Us to make a comeback

The erstwhile global retailer of toys is planning to relaunch under the brand “TruKids”. Richard Barry, a former Toys R Us executive and President of TruKids told the Associated Press that he and his team were still working on the details but they’re exploring various options including freestanding stores and store-within-a-store. Speaking to InsideRetail, Barry said, “We will have an omnichannel approach that is tech immersive and experiential with a smaller footprint.” The new company will be the parent of “Toys R Us” and “Babies R Us” and is reportedly planning to open around 70 stores across Asia and Europe.

4. JD sports acquires stake in rival Footasylum

Across the Atlantic, into the UK’s High Street, JD sports has acquired an 8.3% stake in rival Footasylum. “This share purchase is a strategic investment for the group, which has confirmed today that it is not intending to make an offer for Footasylum,” a JD Sports spokesman said. The retailer’s profit margins have reportedly taken a beating given the holiday discounting and decreasing consumer confidence owing to Brexit.

5. Click-and-Collect driving grocery sales in Australia

Australian consumers are expected to spend $3.3 Billion in online grocery in 2018-19, according to research firm IBISWorld. Brick-and-Mortar supermarket sales are expected to be around $103.4 Billion. Although online grocery generates only 3% of total grocery sales, it is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 21.7% as opposed to brick-and-mortar whose growth hovers around 2%. eCommerce in grocery has been slow to pick up given the inclination of consumers to examine produce and meat before purchasing. The click-and-collect mode of delivery marries the convenience of online ordering and examining produce before collecting. The two major online grocery players, as in brick-and-mortar, are Woolworths and Coles which hold an estimated 45.3% and 30.9% of the Australian e-grocery market.

Sujay Seetharaman

Market Analyst @ PipeCandy

Currently donning the Researcher's hat. Talks to himself.