The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 28th August 2020

The need to know from Reuters global network of journalists

Fearing shipping crunch, retailers set earliest-ever holiday sale plans

The coronavirus pandemic is upending the way U.S. consumers shop and the holidays will be no exception as major retailers and shippers roll out their earliest-ever shopping season.

Exclusive: Alibaba in talks to hike stake in Chinese courier YTO Express

Alibaba is in talks with YTO Express Group’s founders to raise its stake in the Chinese courier company with an aim to become the top shareholder, two people told Reuters, as it accelerates consolidation in the world’s largest express delivery market.

Amazon's latest grocery store concept opens, with high-tech carts Inc on Thursday said it is opening a supermarket in Los Angeles with shopping carts that let customers skip checkout lines, as the e-commerce company builds out its offline presence.

Amazon faces new antitrust challenge from Indian online sellers: legal documents

A group of more than 2,000 online sellers has filed an antitrust case against Amazon in India, alleging the U.S. company favours some retailers whose online discounts drive independent vendors out of business, a legal filing seen by Reuters showed.

Exclusive: Foxconn, other Asian firms consider Mexico factories as China risks grow

Taiwan-based electronics manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron are among companies eyeing new factories in Mexico, people with direct knowledge of the matter said, as the U.S.-China trade war and coronavirus pandemic prompt firms to reexamine global supply chains.

Hormel Foods warns of supply shortages on COVID-19 hit

Spam-maker Hormel Foods Corp on Tuesday warned that it would have a hard time meeting high demand for certain products because of supply chain, staffing and production problems brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. business activity surges to early 2019 levels: Markit flash PMI

U.S. business activity snapped back to the highest since early 2019 this month as companies in both the manufacturing and services sectors saw a resurgence in new orders even as new COVID-19 cases remain stubbornly high across the country, a purchasing managers’ survey showed on Friday.

French retailer Carrefour to buy 172 stores in Spain

French supermarket retailer Carrefour (CARR.PA) has agreed to buy 172 stores under the Supersol banner in Spain, in a deal worth an enterprise value of 78 million euros ($92.3 million) which would strengthen Carrefour’s number two position in Spain.

Electric vehicle chassis provider Motiv announces fresh funding

Motiv Power Systems, which provides chassis and software systems for medium-duty trucks and buses, said on Monday it had secured $15 million in additional funding from GMAG Holdings Corp to fund technology and scaling up its manufacturing operations.

UK plans law to force big companies to clean up their supply chains

Britain said on Monday it would start a consultation process on a potential new law which would force big companies to clean up their supply chains by fining them if they used products grown on illegally deforested land.

Chile truckdrivers call for country-wide strike after 9-year old girl shot

Truckdrivers in Chile late on Sunday called for a countrywide strike to begin Thursday if President Sebastian Pinera and Congress do not act immediately to stem a rising tide of attacks against their number in Chile´s Araucania region.

Brazil mall operators sign food e-commerce deal with Google

Two major Brazilian mall operators announced a deal with Alphabet Inc unit Google on Monday that will allow food merchants operating in their properties to take delivery orders online.

Amazon's consumer CEO Jeff Wilke to retire early next year Inc (AMZN.O) on Friday said its longtime executive and consumer chief Jeff Wilke plans to retire after more than two decades with the company, a decision that appeared to take him out of line to succeed CEO and founder Jeff Bezos.

China says no need for panic buying of food and oil

China’s food supplies remain stable and consumers should not be “overly anxious” or even resort to “panic buying”, a senior agriculture ministry official said on Wednesday, following recent uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

From elsewhere around the web

How Sephora flexed its warehouse network to prep for an e-commerce onslaught. [SupplyChainDive]

Report: Amazon Wants to Turn Closed Department Stores Into Fulfillment Centers. [pcmAG.COM]

Warehousing, manufacturing employment below pre-pandemic levels as peak nears. [SupplyChainDive]

Intermodal volumes prop up US rail traffic. [FreightWaves]

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