Financial Mail - - SHOP TALK -

1. New ca­su­al­ties in UK gro­cery wars

Iconic UK gro­cery chain Sains­bury’s will slash 2,000 jobs. The group and its Bri­tish peers are en­gaged in a price war with Ger­man in­ter­lop­ers Aldi and Lidl, and are be­ing forced to take dras­tic mea­sures. Tesco has re­trenched more than 2,000 staff and Asda is look­ing to cut ei­ther staff or work­ing hours.

2. Co­gnac co­nun­drum

The suc­cess of brown spir­its glob­ally means co­gnac’s pop­u­lar­ity is soar­ing. This sounds good for the cen­tury-old spirit — ex­cept there’s a snag. Last week, lux­ury em­pire LVMH an­nounced its Hen­nessy co­gnac brand is run­ning short. The firm is mak­ing plans that in­clude plant­ing new vine­yards, but the prob­lem is that vines take a few years to grow.

3. Girls are a diamond’s best friend

The global mar­riage rate is drop­ping, which has put the diamond in­dus­try in a bind. Af­ter all, what will it sell if not en­gage­ment rings? The an­swer: sparkly gifts from women to them­selves. At least that’s what the De Beers “2017 Diamond In­sight Re­port” says. Be­cause of a strong fe­male work­force, more women are buy­ing their own di­a­monds than ever, says the re­port. In 2016, 31% of all women’s diamond jew­ellery in the US was bought by women them­selves.

4. Adi­das sprints ahead

From tiny ro­botic hands to your feet in six days — that’s the new adi­das Speed­fac­tory. The group’s hi-tech Ger­man out­fit is able to pro­duce and ship par­tic­u­lar brands of its trainers in less than a week. The com­pany still makes the bulk of its 600m prod­ucts in the East, but this mi­cro-plant will al­low it to be more on-trend.

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