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The end of the retail employee
For the first time it’s safe to say that the future of work is really fabricated by futuristic events. People will need to become just as versatile as AI technologies and blockchain applications. Are you ready?
Dior exchanges Belgian CFO for British one
After eleven years as Dior Homme’s Chief Creative Officer, Belgian Kris Van Assche is to leave the fashion label to find new challenges. British designer Kim Jones will replace him.
Alibaba doubles Lazada investment
Chinese Alibaba will once again invest 2 billion dollars (1.6 billion euro) into e-commerce company Lazada, active in Southeast Asia. It invested a similar sum in the group about two years ago.
Made.com attracts 45 million euro
Online furniture shop Made.com has attracted 45 million euro in a new investment round, which will be used to strengthen its position in current markets and to expand to new European markets. 
Spar makes ambitious entry into Greece
Spar International has set its sights on Greece as the next country to conquer and lead as the foremost independent food retail chain. Spar Hellas will cooperate with Asteras and Mesis to develop more than 500 Spar stores over the next four years.
Dr. Oetker buys half of Freixenet
Henkell, which is Dr. Oetker’s drinks division, has acquired slightly more than half of cava brand Freixenet’s shares. Following two years of negotiations, both companies struck a deal, even though the German food giant will not reign supreme at Freixenet.
Suitcase brand Rimowa cancels all dealer contracts
Suitcase brand Rimowa, part of luxury group LVMH since 2016, has stopped all of its dealer contracts. It wants to initiate a new procedure soon and only a fraction of the current dealers will get a new contract.
Picnic confirms German arrival
There had been rumours that Dutch online supermarkets Picnic was trialing in Germany, news its co-founder Michiel Muller has now confirmed.
CK Hutchison owner steps down
Li Ka-shing, CK Hutchinson’s owner and CEO, will step aside mid-May. The 89-year old will then pass on the baton to his eldest son, Victor Li, who will then take control of chains like Kruidvat and ICI Paris XL.
H&M disappoints once again
Swedish fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz had to present less than favourable results for its new fiscal year: investor trust has dwindled, now that sales in its home territory have also dropped for the first time in decades.
Bureau of Competition approves Yoox Net-a-Porter bid
The Italian Bureau of Competition has approved Swiss Richemont’s acquisition of Italian fashion webshop Yoox Net-a-Porter. The full bid, yet to be accepted, values the company at 2.7 billion euro.
Donatella Versace stops using fur
Italian fashion brand Versace will no longer use fur: designer Donatella Versace no longer wants to kill animals for fashion, she explained in an interview with The Economist.
Délifrance joins FFC's portfolio
Dutch Franchise Friendly Concepts’ Délifrance Benelux acquisition is in full swing. The franchise organization will obtain the French sandwich chain’s Benelux master franchisee on 1 April.
IKEA has developed actual "bug burger"
SPACE10, furniture giant Ikea’s innovation lab, will present a healthy alternative to the classic hamburger, where the meat is replaced by red beets and mealworm. It is also working on a “dogless hotdog”;
Toys ‘R’ Us goes bankrupt
The definitive end is approaching for the former toy store giant, Toys “R” Us. After the death sentence was signed for its 100 British stores, its American store network will also shut down.
Unilever chooses Rotterdam
The long-standing rumour has now been confirmed: Unilever will have its main office in Rotterdam, rather than London. The food and detergent giant’s board has made the call after nearly a year of debate.
"Best year ever" for Danish shoe brand Ecco
Ecco can look back on 2017 as its best financial year ever. The Danish shoe brand, known for its “follow the foot” philosophy, exceeded its own expectations thanks to an 8 % growth.
Strong 2017 for Adidas
German sports brand Adidas achieved a 16 % turnover increase in 2017, if exchange rates had remained stable. Profit nearly grew a third and the company forecast a 10 % growth for 2018.
Strong growth for Inditex thanks to online turnover surge
Inditex, which owns fashion chains Zara and Massimo Dutti, managed decent growth in the past year, despite a strong euro. Its online clothing sales performed very well.
Zara targets young customers with augmented reality
Spanish fashion chain Zara, part of Inditex, will experiment with augmented reality in its windows, starting in April. The goal is to attract mainly younger customers to its stores again.
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