CHECKOUT COUNTER: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
A weekly round up of the hottest international retail and consumer news.
1. Unilever on the prowl
Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group Unilever is working with executive search company Egon Zehnder to find a successor to CEO Paul Polman. While no date has formally been set for Polman’s retirement, he is widely expected to step down in 18 months. Polman, who is best remembered for rebuffing Kraft Heinz’s takeover bid, has been at the helm of the multinational since 2009.
2.Black Friday boost
In the US, Amazon is estimated to have been responsible for nearly half of all online sales on Black Friday. The retail behemoth says its bestselling items on the day were the Amazon Echo Dot, the Fire TV Stick with Alexa voice remote, the TP-Link smart plug, the Instant Pot Duo80 eight-quart seven-in-one multi-use programmable pressure cooker, and the 23andMe DNA test.
3. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Tiffany & Co has opened a café on the fourth floor of its flagship store in New York City, with the aim of making its retail offering more experiential. Chairman and interim CEO Michael J Kowalski recently said: "We remain determined to drive comparable store sales growth and stronger, sustainable earnings growth through a continued focus on product design innovation in jewellery and luxury accessories, further optimisation of our store base, more [effective] marketing communications and highly effective customer engagement both in-store and online."
4. New look for an old dame
Harrods, which is owned by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, has begun a three-year, £200m refurbishment programme to increase its appeal to wealthy overseas shoppers.