The retail tech space in June: good month/bad month

The retail tech space in June: good month/bad month

Retail Technology Innovation Hub takes a look at the retail technology space during June and rounds up the winners and losers.

Good month for…

JD.com made $29.2 billion in sales during its annual 6.18 shopping festival, a record high for the Chinese e-commerce giant.

StockX has joined the unicorn club after a $110 million funding round puts it valuation at over $1 billion.

China will overtake the US to become the world’s largest grocery market by 2023 (in value terms), according to IGD Asia. The country’s total market size will reach CNY11.0tn ($1.8 trillion), more than Asia’s next four largest grocery markets (India, Japan, Indonesia and South Korea) combined.

The number of people using digital wallets will increase from 2.3 billion this year to nearly 4 billion by 2024, according to Juniper Research.

Amazon’s UK retail revenue is set to rise 58.2% over the next five years to reach £15.7 billion by 2024, according to GlobalData. And the Jeff Bezos-driven juggernaut will account for one fifth of UK online spend by that date.

The Entertainer says that it has improved online sales by 32% since the introduction of its new website, developed by LiveArea. Website speed has increased by 18%, while conversion rates are up by 13%. 

Online food and grocery sales will grow by 163% by 2023 across major global markets, and digital technologies will feature prominently, according to IGD and The Consumer Goods Forum.

Global retail technology spending will top $203 billion in 2019, according to research conducted by Tech., a collaboration between Retail Week and World Retail Congress. 

Amazon is to open 10 pop-up shops in UK town centres, enabling people to buy from over 100 small businesses, selling everything from food and drink to electronics, beauty products and homewares. These include Swifty Scooters, Torro Cases and Altr for Men.

Aura Vision, a UK startup that provides in-store data analytics to retailers, has closed a $1.1 million seed round, involving a mix of angel investors, angel funds and corporate venture funds.

Google is to acquire analytics startup Looker for $2.6 billion and add it to Google Cloud.

Black Sheep Coffee has raised £13 million from private investors, bringing the indie retailer’s total funding to £25 million since launching in 2013. 

RetailEXPO 2019 pulled in record numbers of senior level retail decision makers, with 81% of attendees authorising or influencing buying decisions for retail solutions.

Supplement brand The Nue Co. has raised $9 million in Series A funding led by Waldencast, the venture capital firm founded by ex-L’Oreal President of Consumer Products, Michel Brousett. The company will use the cash to grow its direct-to-consumer subscription offering.

Bad month for…

Software at cash registers in Target US stores crashed on Saturday, 15th June, leading to huge lines of customers and abandoned shopping carts.

Tesco was left red faced this month as hackers took over its Twitter account to push a Bitcoin scam.

53% of UK shoppers are worried that the shift to biometrics to authenticate online payments will dramatically increase the amount of identity fraud, according to research by Paysafe.

Just 31% of Brits feel positive about drones, compared to 56% of business leaders, according to new research from PwC. 

April may have provided UK retailers with some light reprieve, thanks to Easter, but May brought a stark reminder of the sector’s ongoing issues.

According to research by BRC and KPMG, UK retail sales decreased by 3% on a like-for-like basis from a year earlier, when they had increased 2.8% from the preceding year. This was the steepest like-for-like decline since December 2008, excluding Easter distortions.

The UK experienced its worst footfall figures in six years during May, with declines in every region, and across High Streets, retail parks and shopping centres.

A mother of five has been banned from every Asda store in the country due to what she describes as faulty scan-as-you-go technology. Beth Robinson, 31, claims the scanner failed to pick up £16 of items.

The jury’s out on…

John Lewis Partnership has pulled off a surprise by announcing Ofcom boss Sharon White as its next Chair.

Justin King, former Sainsbury’s CEO, has taken an undisclosed stake in mobile commerce venture Rezolve and will also serve as Senior International Advisor. 

Rezolve is the brainchild of Dan Wagner who, you might remember, headed up another mobile retail outfit, Powa. This was once feted as one of the UK’s great tech hopes, but collapsed three years ago after burning through millions of pounds of investors’ money.

Coles, Australia’s second-biggest grocery chain, is looking to technology to help it achieve A$1 billion ($685.40 million) in cost savings by financial year 2023.

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