Power Retail Sparks | Weekly Global News Roundup | 15.03.21

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By Published On: March 15, 20210 Comments

IKEA is swapping out its iconic catalogue for a four-hour-long podcast, and Adidas plans to expand its DTC offering to more than 50 percent of total sales. Welcome to Power Retail Sparks, a roundup of the global e-commerce news that happened this week.


IKEA is Turning its Catalogue into a Podcast

IKEA will be turning its recently-axed catalogue into a four-hour-long podcast. The audio version of the much-loved catalogue aims to inspire those who are still at home due to the pandemic. “We know that by now, you’ve probably binged through every possible podcast, audiobook and ‘Best of 2020’ playlist there is, so maybe you could use some new soothing sounds to put on while we all continue for normal life to get back to … normal,” explained the narrator.

It’s considered a ‘tour for your ears’, and every chapter will focus on a different furnished house, and includes how-to-tips for furnishing and decorating. The podcast will be a part of the retailer’s digital strategy, which is available on Youtube, Spotify and


Amazon Is Opening More Fresh Stores

Amazon will be opening 28 more Fresh stores in the US as it ‘quietly [builds] a national grocery chain’. These stores will open “from Philadelphia to the Sacramento suburbs”, reported Bloomberg.  These Fresh stores are expected to be cost-effective to start and run. They feature Amazon Dash Cart, an intelligent shopping cart that allows customers to skip the checkout and use Alexa to better navigate their shopping lists online. The first Amazon Fresh store opened in August 2020.


Printemps has Plans for Multichannel Expansion

Printemps, the French department store chain, is planning to re-brand itself with a bold multichannel strategy. After its acquisition in 2013 by Divine Investments SA, the retailer will expanding its current digital offering and designing a new concept store. The retailer launched its online platform last year, and has further plans to expand it.

“We have a fairly ambitious agenda that will begin with the progressive expansion of— it was launched with a lot of success, but a limited offer,” he said. The project kicked off with strong branding — that was the objective — but now the idea is to expand the offer so it better reflects what’s in the store,” said Jean-Marc Bellaiche, the CEO of Printemps.

“We can see a lot of pure players who, at a certain moment, realize they need to open a physical sales point — we have fantastic space, well-placed, and I think we can really leverage these sales floors as real assets to develop real complementarity between the digital realm and physical stores,” he said.


Adidas to Increase DTC Offering by 2025

Adidas is planning to expand its digital offering and aims for its DTC to make up 50 percent of its total sales by 2025. The sporting retailer has announced a four-year plan, which has been dubbed ‘Own the Game’. This new transformation announced the change-up for a DTC-led business model. In 2019, DTC made up 30 percent of total sales, and in 2020 it was 40 percent.

“Moving from a largely wholesale-driven to a DTC-led business model is a tremendous opportunity from a strategic and from a financial perspective,” said Harm Ohlmeyer, the CFO at Adidas. “ut it also means that an increasing share of sales is realized by shipping individual parcels to consumers instead of large bulks of products to wholesale partners. Individual product returns need to be handled, omnichannel offerings are becoming more important. All of this increases the complexity in our supply chain and we hold onto inventory longer. That said, we have a clear understanding of all of those moving parts and have a proven ability to mitigate them.”

Adidas plans to prioritise its membership program and optimise its app to deepen its current ecosystem. Currently, Adidas has more than 150 million members but plans to expand that number to 500 million as part of its four-year plan.

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