Financial Mail - - SHOP TALK -

1. Wal­mart rolls out ro­bots

Re­tailer Wal­mart, which has been test­ing ro­bots in a few stores in Arkansas and Cal­i­for­nia, will ex­pand the pro­gramme and have ro­bots in 50 stores by the end of Jan­uary. The ro­bots pa­trol store aisles and scan for out-of­s­tock items and in­cor­rect prices, as well as in­cor­rect or miss­ing la­bels.

2. The not-so-happy world of Haribo

In a dam­ag­ing rev­e­la­tion, Ger­man broad­caster ARD aired a doc­u­men­tary show­ing cruel labour and an­i­mal wel­fare prac­tices in the man­u­fac­tur­ing process of ma­jor in­gre­di­ents in Haribo Gummy Bears in Brazil. The Ger­man sweet com­pany says it is con­duct­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into its sup­ply chain. The fam­ily-owned Haribo group, founded in 1920, em­ploys more than 7,000 peo­ple in 10 coun­tries.

3. Ama­zon launches in-home de­liv­ery ser­vice

Ama­zon Key, a US$250 ser­vice, is be­ing tri­alled in some parts of the US. Us­ing a smart door lock, Ama­zon driv­ers will be able to leave parcels in­side a con­sumer’s house in­stead of on the doorstep. The ser­vice is paired with the Ama­zon-built Cloud Cam se­cu­rity cam­era, which records de­liv­er­ies, beam­ing ei­ther live or recorded video to a smart­phone app. Vis­its have to be paired with spe­cific or­ders.

4. Not much to smile about for Col­gate-pal­mo­live

Weighed down by its North Amer­i­can unit, con­sumer goods gi­ant Col­gatepal­mo­live re­ported or­ganic sales growth of just 1.5% for the third quar­ter to end­septem­ber. This rep­re­sents a sharp slow­down from the 4.5% in­crease recorded in the prior year pe­riod. Over­all, net sales rose 2.7% to $3.97bn.

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