Consumer and retail news: 10 things you need to know today

Woman Shopping at Grocery Store

Flickr / Anthony Albright

1. Walmart expects virtually no sales growth this year

In its fourth-quarter earnings results released Thursday morning, the retail giant said it expected “relatively flat” net sales growth for fiscal 2017 (calendar year 2016).

2. Google wants you to use its delivery service to buy your fruits and veggies

Google is testing the expansion of its speedy delivery service, Express, to include perishable foods like fruits and veggies or frozen pizza. The addition of these goods make Express much more competitive with startups like Instacart as well as Amazon’s grocery shopping service, Prime Fresh.

3. Walmart is working to fix a huge weakness, and now it’s becoming a threat to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s

Walmart’s store of the future — The Neighbourhood Markets — are smaller, closer to city centres, and carry only groceries and consumables. The stores are an attempt to elevate Walmart’s reputation in the fresh grocery world.

4. Supermarket design is terrible, and it’s spurring a major change in the industry

As competition increases, stores are increasingly focused on making shopping more convenient for consumers. Retailers like Walmart and Target are building smaller-format locations over huge warehouses that make shopping more efficient.

5. Kroger has a game-changing new grocery service, and mums are freaking out about it

ClickList, Kroger’s new online-grocery ordering service, allows customers to order and purchase from a selection of 40,000 groceries online and then pick them up at a Kroger. It costs $4.95 for regular orders and $7.99 for expedited ones.

6. KFC executive describes a seismic shift in young people that is big trouble for the brand

KFC is desperate to reach millennials. The company’s solution has been to majorly invest in marketing starring Colonel Sanders.

7. Many parents are terrified to feed their kids Nutella

Blog posts being shared by thousands on Facebook claim that the artificial ingredient vanillin, which Nutella contains, is a neurotoxin that kills brain cells. Vanillin is safe to consume, and there is no evidence it kills brain cells, according to the United Nations’ Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

8. McDonald’s all-day breakfast is hurting Jack in the Box

Shares of fast food chain Jack in the Box are getting smashed after the company posted lower than expected earnings Wednesday afternoon. According to CEO Lenny Comma, Jack in the Box sales were weaker than expected due to competitors value offerings.

9. Craft brewers are teaming up to take on Big Beer

Two major craft brewers, Victory Brewing Company and Southern Tier Brewing, joined forces under parent company Artisanal Brewing Ventures (ABV) to better compete in a category Big Beer is determined to dominate. The merger makes ABV one of the top 15 largest craft brewing companies in the US.

10. Athletic brands are spending millions on fitness apps

Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas have already invested in developing running and fitness apps to help customers connect with daily exercise routines. Asics is the most recent to join the fitness app war by acquiring Runkeeper for $85 million, according to Bloomberg.

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