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Walmart Invests $50M In China’s Big Online Grocery Retailer

Just one day after Walmart and China’s revealed they would collaborate on three new online services, the U.S. retailer announced a $50 million investment in New Dada, the country's largest local on-demand logistics and grocery O2O e-commerce platform. The investment enables grocery delivery from certain Walmart stores. The earlier announcement focused on Sam’s Club and Global Imports stores on, and two-hour grocery delivery through New Dada, an independent joint venture of and Dada. New Dada has more than 25 million registered customers and provides local on-demand delivery in 300 cities in China. Walmart has 426 stores in 170 cities.

"Walmart Announces Strategic Investment in China’s largest on-demand logistics and O2O Grocery platform New Dada", News release, Walmart, October 21, 2016

Walgreens Customers Can Now Buy Online, Pick Up At Store, For Free

Pharmacy chain Walgreens is following the lead of other big retailers by unveiling program that allows customers to buy online or on the phone and then pick up the purchase at a store. The new Ship to Store program, available at 7,600 Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, features free shipping with no minimum order requirement. Orders can be picked within one to three days of purchase. Online purchases can also be delivered to the home for free with a minimum order of $35.

"Walgreens introduces Ship to Store program", Drug Store News, October 17, 2016

Gluten-Free Market Is Booming, For No Good Reason

U.S. sales of gluten-free foods hit $1.57 billion, in 2015, an increase of 11 percent from 2014. That’s a slower increase than the 81 percent in 2013, but still beats overall grocery sales growth of three percent. The explosion of gluten-free products is a “blessing” for celiac disease sufferers. The odd fact, however, is that only one percent of the U.S. population actually suffers from gluten intolerance. Surveys have found that the rest buy gluten-free foods because they believe they are “generally healthier” or will help them lose weight. About 25 percent of consumers think "gluten-free is good for everyone." Health professionals, however, say this is a misconception, and that those without a diagnosis of gluten intolerance don... More

"You Can Eat Gluten Again, America", Bloomberg, October 14, 2016

Unilever Posts Strong Sales Growth In 3Q 2016

Unilever reported sales grew 3.2 percent in the third quarter of 2016, compared with the same period in 2015. At constant exchange rates, sales increased 3.4 percent. For the first nine months of the year, sales grew 4.2 percent, with price up 2.8 percent and volume up 1.3 percent. Sales in emerging markets grew 7.2 percent, with price up 5.5 percent and volume up 1.6 percent. At constant exchange rates, sales rose 4.7 percent, while turnover, at current rates, dropped 1.8 percent.

"Unilever Trading Statement Third Quarter 2016", Unilever, October 13, 2016

National Advertisers Seek Multicultural Help In Improving Marketing

The trade group that represents companies that spend a total of $300 billion a year on national brand advertising announced an alliance of senior “thought leaders” from the African American, Hispanic, Asian, and LGBT communities to develop a blueprint for multicultural marketing in the U.S. The Association of National Advertisers says the new Alliance for Inclusive & Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) would facilitate brand marketing to diverse racial and cultural groups. Among the specific goals of the AIMM: share multicultural marketing examples; drive ROI, primarily through marketing effectiveness; disseminate best practices of multicultural and diverse demographic segments; and through a robust communications program; and create... More

"ANA Forms New Multicultural Marketing Alliance", News release, Association of National Advertisers, October 10, 2016

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