A weekly round up of the hottest international retail and consumer news.

1. Unilever using AI for hiring

Instead of sending representatives to top-notch universities to collect CVs and arrange follow-up interviews, Unilever is using artificial intelligence and algorithms to hire entry-level employees. The consumer goods group says the process has increased diversity and cost efficiency.

2. New deal for Walgreens

Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid have called off their deal after competition authorities indicated they were unlikely to approve the merger of two of the US’s biggest drugstore chains. Walgreens will instead buy nearly half (2,186) of Rite Aid’s stores for US$5.18bn. Walgreens expects about $400m in cost savings from the tie-up.

3. Tesco in job-cutting spree

Tesco is to shed 1,200 head office and 1,000 call-centre jobs, it was revealed last week. The retailer, in the midst of a turnaround, has made a series of cutbacks under CEO Dave Lewis. In their attempts to cut costs, rivals Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons have shut stores, while Asda has cut jobs. This comes as German discounters Aldi and Lidl gain popularity among UK consumers for their price cuts and deals.

4. L’Oréal to sell Body Shop

French beauty group L’Oréal has agreed to sell the Body Shop to Brazil’s Natura Cosméticos. L’Oréal has owned the chain, founded by the late Anita Roddick, for more than a decade. The Body Shop’s products are sold in 66 countries. Though financial details have not been disclosed, L’Oréal previously said the brand was worth about €1bn. Natura, which also owns the Australian brand Aesop, has been looking to expand outside Latin America.

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