CHECKOUT COUNTER: Walmart rolls out robots
A weekly round up of the hottest international retail and consumer news.
1. Walmart rolls out robots
Retailer Walmart, which has been testing robots in a few stores in Arkansas and California, will expand the programme and have robots in 50 stores by the end of January. The robots patrol store aisles and scan for out-of-stock items and incorrect prices, as well as incorrect or missing labels.
2. The not-so-happy world of Haribo
In a damaging revelation, German broadcaster ARD aired a documentary showing cruel labour and animal welfare practices in the manufacturing process of major ingredients in Haribo Gummy Bears in Brazil. The German sweet company says it is conducting an investigation into its supply chain. The family-owned Haribo group, founded in 1920, employs more than 7,000 people in 10 countries.
3. Amazon launches in-home delivery service
Amazon Key, a US$250 service, is being trialled in some parts of the US. Using a smart door lock, Amazon drivers will be able to leave parcels inside a consumer’s house instead of on the doorstep. The service is paired with the Amazon-built Cloud Cam security camera, which records deliveries, beaming either live or recorded video to a smartphone app. Visits have to be paired with specific orders.
4. Not much to smile about for Colgate-Palmolive
Weighed down by its North American unit, consumer goods giant Colgate-Palmolive reported organic sales growth of just 1.5% for the third quarter to end-September. This represents a sharp slowdown from the 4.5% increase recorded in the prior year period. Overall, net sales rose 2.7% to $3.97bn.