This week in Retail & Consumer goods: Pivot to retail-tech gains steam as investments pour into AI startups.

Latest Industry Insights from Draup Braindesk

With Customer Experience playing a significant role in retaining customers amongst the growing competition, organizations are tapping every possible source to offer a unique experience to their customers.

  • JCPenney partnered with Checkpoint’s InterACT Fitting Room to provide an interactive in-store experience to customers. 

  • Under Armour has launched “The Virtual Brand House”, a virtual showroom and letting the consumer take a tour of a new space before its built through the power of Virtual Reality 

  • P&G Family Care is engaged with the development of futuristic offerings through the development of automated vending machines, service robots, and sensor monitoring systems to enhance their customer engagements. 

  • Lidl launched lidlplus app, a digital customer card that offers digital scratch cards, coupons, receipts, and partnered companies offers and tested a digital customer counting system that automatically enables a predefined number of customers to access the branch keeping hygiene requirements during a pandemic in mind. 

The global pandemic has offered a vast opportunity to both buyers and customers to fully optimize and tap the unrealized potential of Digital Technologies & Smart Manufacturing to its fullest capacity. 

  • L’Oreal partnered with Bot Hello, Snapchat, launched the Perso application, and expanded its partnership with Amazon for ModiFace technology for the enhancement of its business through digital technologies. 

  • Kimberly Clarke’s digital focus is inclined towards the areas of IoT, Artificial Intelligence Cloud Base, Machine Learning, and Analytics. 

  • P&G Family Care Unit is actively engaged in increasing their production rates by smart manufacturing techniques due to the surge in sales due to the COVID outbreak.

Latest Reports Published in Draup

Contact Center Industry Report – Feb 2021: This report analyzed the contact center industry market and estimated the market size and CAGR from authentic sources. The market growth factors, services, and solutions offered by the contact centers and the key players are identified. Read More>>
Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG Account Intelligence Report – Feb 2021: Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG embraces its presence through center expansion that enhances its market strategy and leverages digital technologies to promote business solutions and improve efficiency by delivering an amazing customer experience. Read More>>

Key Funding Alert

Retail-tech startup Shoopy bags USD 250,000 in seed funding 

Shoopy offers a free-of-cost business app that aims to help retailers and local business owners go online. The seed funding was raised from US-based Campanile Investments LLC and Delhi-based investment firm Redcliffe Capital. The funds would be used to accelerate the optimisation of its existing products, scaling its platform and business activities to reach more customers. 
Read More>>

Startup Spotlight

Company – Cosmose
HQ Location – Shanghai Area, China 
Total Funding – USD 27 Mn
About: Cosmose is a developer of a data analytics platform to predict consumers’ shopping behavior with regards to offline purchases. Its platform helps offline retailers sell more of their products by connecting offline stores with online advertisements to predict where, when, and who will go shopping. This enables retail brands to track and target offline audiences through online advertisements and measure the impact of their online marketing campaigns. 
Read More>>

Key Insights and Signals in Draup

Mergers and Acquisitions
Alibaba-owned Daraz acquires Bangladeshi food tech startup HungryNaki 
The acquisition aims to expand Daraz’s service offerings across more South Asian markets. Hungry Naki will continue functioning as an independent brand under the group. Read More>>
Jardine minority shareholders oppose USD 1 Bn ‘discount’ in buyout plan 
The mounting opposition poses a challenge to a plan aimed at helping shore up Jardine Group’s finances after the Covid-19 pandemic hammered the 188-year-old conglomerate’s retail and tourism businesses. Read More>>
Smart Glass Startup View to begin trading on the Nasdaq 
View’s smart glass panels use artificial intelligence and machine learning to tint a building’s glass to optimize for light, heat and glare. Following the company’s official public debut, View will turn to building out its sales and marketing team, its support capabilities in the field, and hiring more people in its manufacturing facilities. Read More>>
Panasonic set to buy US supply chain software company for USD 6.5 Bn 
Acquisition of Blue Yonder would bolster Panasonic’s supply chain management services as the Covid-19 pandemic focuses the attention of companies on their resilience to disruption. Read More>>

Deals & Deal Renewals 
Albertsons taps Tortoise for remote-controlled grocery delivery robots 
Safeway-branded delivery carts equipped with Tortoise’s sensors and the software will be able to deliver goods to customers up to three miles from the store location. Remote-control operators located thousands of miles away will guide the delivery cart to its destination. Read More>>
Executive Movement
Ulta Beauty names Dave Kimbell as new CEO 
Kimbell joined Ulta as a Chief Marketing Officer in 2014 and held other executive positions before becoming the president in 2019. Mary Dillon will become the executive chair of the company’s board of directors. Read More>>
American Express elects Lisa W. Wardell to Board of Directors 
Lisa has extensive experience leading large-scale business transformations and successfully executing portfolio repositionings in the financial services sector through strategic partnerships, business development and mergers and acquisitions. Read More>>
Walmart adds retired AT&T CEO to Board 
Stephenson, who retired from his role as AT&T’s chief in July 2020, becomes the 12th member of Walmart’s board. His 38-year tenure at AT&T included stints as CFO and COO as well. Read More>>
Nike names successor for Senior Executive  
The company has tapped Sarah Mensah as vice president and general manager of North America. She previously served as the company’s vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific and Latin America. Read More>>
Pick n Pay veteran Richard van Rensburg to step down 
Pick n Pay executive director Richard van Rensburg will be retiring at the end of March. He is currently the group’s Chief Information Officer. Read More>>
Center setup and expansion
Autonomous robots deployed in Carrefour fulfillment center in Dubai 
The company has collaborated with e-grocery innovator Takeoff Technologies to launch the center. The center utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to pick customers’ orders from the storage facility, which also includes a chilled section. Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) assist staff at the facility to retrieve items and maintain stock levels as products leave the facility. Read More>>
Smart contract audit firm OpenZeppelin launches new app to help prevent DeFi attacks 
The app, called Sentinels, helps DeFi projects detect abnormal behavior and automatically respond to mitigate it. OpenZeppelin is also discussing a partnership with Blocknative for mempool monitoring. Read More>>
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