March 27, 2019 by Sujay Seetharaman

1. Alibaba launches two initiatives for sellers

Alibaba has launched two important initiatives aimed at winning more foreign sellers and bringing more international products on its marketplaces and into its stores. The Centralized Import Program (CIP) initiative will procure imports from around the world that can later be sold in Alibaba’s marketplaces or its retail stores such as Freshippo Grocery. The Tmall Overseas Fulfillment (TOF) is an experimental program that will allow international merchants to forward a “test batch” of their products to a designated TOF center from where it’ll be sold on Tmall Global.

2. Wayfair to open the first brick-and-mortar store

Wayfair is opening its first full-service brick-and-mortar store at the Natick Mall, in Natick, Massachusetts early fall this year. The digitally native furniture retailer experimented with a couple of pop-up stores last year and plans to do four more pop-ups this summer. In February this year, it opened a 20,000 sq.ft outlet store connected to its warehouse. The upcoming store at Natick will offer design consultations and allow home delivery orders.

3. Ocado signs deal with Coles Group

British online grocer Ocado has signed a deal with Coles Group in which it will supply its Ocado smart platform to help Coles further develop its online grocery business in Australia. Coles Online currently generates annual sales of more than A$1 billion through 818 supermarkets, 911 liquor stores, and 712 Coles Express petrol stations across Australia.

4. Galeries Lafayette to open a concept store

High-end French department store Galeries Lafayette is reportedly opening a new concept store on Paris’s Champs Elysées this week, aiming to lure trendy Parisians back to the store. The opening comes as top-tier department stores are increasingly trying to pitch themselves as day-trip destinations to counter competition from online rivals such as Amazon and Net-a-Porter.

5. Adobe launches Commerce Cloud

Adobe today announced the launch of its Commerce Cloud, nearly a year after its $1.68 billion acquisition of Magento. With this launch, Adobe is extending the platform by adding new features like dashboards for keeping an eye on a company’s eCommerce strategy and, for the first time, an integration with the Amazon marketplace from which users will be able to directly manage within the Commerce Cloud interface.

Sujay Seetharaman

Market Analyst @ PipeCandy

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