Global Retail Intelligence – January

To follow is a brief review of retail news from around the world:

January 4 – Future Group partners with Cognizant for FMCG arm FCL
IT major Cognizant has entered into a strategic partnership with Kishore Biyani-led Future Group to transform its FMCG arm Future Consumer Ltd (FCL) into a connected enterprise. Under the pact, the New Jersey-based firm will build a platform for FCL to simplify, automate and secure business processes, speed up collaboration and maximise synergies across all lines of business, the companies said in a joint statement. The platform will enable FCL to optimise its supply chain and improve business throughput, it added. Read more at India Times.

January 4 – Aeon Vietnam Launches Online Store
Aeon Vietnam has launched an online store, AeonEshop.com, offering discounted Japanese goods and local brands. The Japanese-headquartered retailer says its AeonEshop.com B2C platform in Vietnam will stock a majority of Japanese and imported products, along with Aeon’s own brand Topvalu which has been available at its physical stores nationwide. Products span various categories, including fashion, cosmetics, furniture, electronics, household items, food and office stationery. Similar to Aeon’s other eCommerce sites in the region, AeonEshop will provide discounts up to 50 per cent for specific product types. Ho Chi Minh City is the first market for AeonEshop with other Vietnamese cities to follow in the near future. The company plans to develop an English-language version and mobile app by mid-2017. See Retail News Asia.

January 5 – Carrefour to open major Middle East DC
Carrefour will open a major new distribution center for Carrefour at the National Industries Park (NIP) in Dubai, UAE, according to a Majid Al Futtaim company statement. The center, once operational, will be the largest and most advanced distribution hub of its kind for Carrefour in the region, said a statement from the company. The facility is constructed on a land area of 1.5 million sq. ft. and offers a built-up area of over 800,000 sq. ft., almost four times the size of Carrefour’s current largest distribution center building in the region, it said. For additional details, read ME Construction News.

The International Business Council is a special interest group of IHA members, dedicated to helping its membership market and sell their products internationally by sharing information, providing networking opportunities and offering programs to assist, support, and educate. Membership is free to all regular, IHA members – visit the IBC website to learn more.

Taiwan Flag

Taiwan Market Visit

IHA Staff recently made a market visit to Taiwan in preparation for a potential trade mission to that island country in 2018.  The visit included meeting with key importers and distributors, meeting with relevant key major chain retailers and touring multi-chain retailers and malls to better understand the market.

Distributors met with included Farcent Enterprises, a well-respected FMCG vendor to major department stores and representative for World Kitchen in Taiwan; as well as Holy Ocean International, a bakeware specialist representing many international brands including Wilton Brands.

Retailers met with included Testrite Retail Group, Far Eastern Department Stores, Carrefour, Costco Taiwan, Mitsukoshi Department Stores and Jason’s/Wellcome Taiwan.  Testrite, a publicly traded company, is both a retailer and distributor in Taiwan.  They own House of Living Arts (HOLA), the soft furnishings chain with 25 stores in Taiwan and another 38 in mainland China.  As a brand agent, they represent brands such as KitchenAid, OXO, and Joseph Joseph.  As a channel agent, they operate two Crate & Barrel stores in Taiwan.  As a distributor, they supply the Hypermarkets and Costco.  Besides its 11 department stores, Far Eastern also owns the Sogo department stores (both in Taiwan and mainland China), the City Super stores in Taiwan, and 16 hypermarkets.

IHA staff came away with a good understanding of the major sales channels and players in the Taiwan market, which include:

Brick & Mortar:

  • Department Stores – Far Eastern, Mitsukoshi, Sogo, Pacific
  • Hypermarkets – Costco, Carrefour, Geant, RT-Mart, Far East Mart
  • Supermarkets – City Super, Jason’s, Wellcome
  • Home Specialty Stores – HOLA, TLW
  • Flagship/Road Shops – World Kitchen, Crate & Barrel


  • Internet Shopping Malls – PC Home, Momo Shop, Go Happy, Yahoo Kimo, UDN

Currently, department stores in Taiwan do not buy from homewares vendors or overseas sellers. They are simply acting as “landlords”, renting out space in the home and appliance areas of the store to their local wholesale vendors. These vendors are responsible for supplying the products, staffing, branding and sales.  Therefore, these wholesalers/vendors play an important role in homewares sales in Taiwan.  One retailer that does purchase directly from international brands is Testrite.

Blackstone Hotel Lobby

Enjoy Rich History Paired with Contemporary Styling at the Renaissance Blackstone Chicago

Book now and enjoy these additional incentives:

  • – Low $195 rate for housewares guests
  • – Earn Marriott points by booking your stay at the Blackstone Hotel
  • Complimentary access to Fitness Center
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi in guest rooms*
  • Complimentary Signature Sangria Cocktail*

*Housewares Incentives offered to guests booking rooms at the Standard Rate

Book Your Discounted Room at the Renaissance Blackstone Chicago

Filled with rich history and intrigue, the Renaissance Blackstone Chicago remains one of the most fascinating history hotels in Chicago. Since its opening on April 16, 1910, the Blackstone has attracted celebrities, socialites, political powerhouses and infamous icons – such as Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, and Al Capone. Known as “The Hotel of Presidents,” the hotel has hosted 12 chief executives from Teddy Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter.

With 332 rooms, guests have a chance to book two historic suites that have a prominent place in American history and have been restored in “period style”. The Blackstone provides a unique experience that allows you to travel through time while enjoying the contemporary amenities and styling.

Located in the South Loop, guests are just a walk away from Chicago destinations, like The Magnificent Mile and Millennium Park, and are conveniently surrounded by public transportation. Get immersed in the unique culture of Chicago then retire to your room to relax and enjoy your complimentary Wi-Fi.


Stay on Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile at the Westin Michigan Avenue

Book now and enjoy these additional incentives:

  • – Low rate starting at $199
  • Complimentary WiFi/Wired internet in guest rooms
  • Complimentary access to WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio

Book Your Discounted Room at the Westin Michigan Avenue

The Westin Michigan Avenue has 752 guest rooms including 32 suites, each with a marble foyer and large marble bathroom.  Dive into 10 layers of comfort on our Westin Heavenly Bed® and feel refreshed with the soothing elements of our Heavenly Bath®.  Westin has partnered with New Balance to provide athletic shoes and apparel during your stay, for a fee. Simply dial Service Express® and request your shoe and clothing size and they will be conveniently delivered to your guest room. Upon departure, simply leave the items in your room in their carryall.

Set on Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile, Westin Michigan Avenue offers guests a wide array of options to satisfy even the most avid shopper. There are countless Michigan Avenue restaurants, and numerous things to do in Chicago for families, couples, and friends alike to enjoy. One such attraction in the Midwest’s most popular tourist and leisure destination, The Hancock Tower, where you can go up to the 95th floor and enjoy the best views of the city. Get immersed in the unique culture of Chicago and let the Westin Michigan Avenue transcend your next visit to the Windy City.


Rick Bayless, Paula Deen, Ming Tsai Among the Celeb Chefs at the 2017 Show

Celebrity chefs Rick Bayless, Paula Deen, Lorena Garcia, Stephanie Izard, Ming Tsai and Fabio Viviani are returning to prepare their favorite recipes in the Cooking Theater at the 2017 International Home + Housewares Show, March 18-21 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. Also appearing will be YouTube personality Rosanna Pansino.


The chef demonstrations will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 18 and continue through Tuesday, March 21. During the four Show days, 25 national and local celebrity chefs will be demonstrating their culinary talents using products that can be found throughout the Show. The Cooking Theater, located in the Dine + Décor Expo in the South Building, is jointly sponsored by KitchenAid, Oneida®, Wilton and WellnessMats.

Rick Bayless is best known for winning the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters. His highly rated Public Television Series, Mexico – One Plate at a Time, is in its 10th season and is broadcast coast to coast. Paula Deen, the Queen of Southern Cuisine, is an American cooking and lifestyle icon. She is the author of 14 cookbooks that sold more than 11 million copies and in October launched her first nationally syndicated cooking and lifestyle show, Positively Paula. Lorena Garcia, the Venezuelan-born restaurateur, TV personality, TV producer, philanthropist and published author is well-known for numerous TV series, a successful chain of restaurants and cookbooks. She has taken her love of cooking to the next level by creating the Lorena Bella Kitchen Collection for HSN.


Stephanie Izard was the first woman to win Bravo’s Top Chef (Season 4/2008) and the only winner of the original version of the show to take the title of “Fan Favorite.” She is a James Beard “Best Chef: Great Lakes” recipient in 2013 and the owner of three Chicago restaurants. Ming Tsai, a James Beard Award-winning chef, has won an Emmy Award for his TV show Simply Ming, now in its 13th season on PBS and is the author of five cookbooks. Fabio Viviani, best known for his television debut on Bravo’s Top Chef, currently owns 15 restaurants across the country, has his own wine collection, Fabio Viviani Wines, and is the author of three successful cookbooks with the fourth due out next May. Rosanna Pansino is a producer, actress, baker, YouTube personality and New York Times Best-Selling author. She is the founder and face of the Nerdy Nummies franchise, which currently has over 7.3 million subscribers and 1.7 billion lifetime views on YouTube.


To view the most up-to-date participating chefs along with the scheduled dates and times, visit the Show’s website.