“This year has presented unexpected challenges for many of our colleagues and customers and we are committed to doing everything we can to help feed the nation and make sure that no family goes hungry over the festive season,” Sainsbury’s CEO, Simon Roberts, said.
Selfridges launches a Christmas Market in London
Department store Selfridges has reopened four of its UK stores after they were shut down due to the pandemic. Stores in London, Birmingham and Manchester are dressed to the nines in festive cheer, with the famous window dressings lighting up the sidewalk, and the shopping floors filled with gifts and displays.
The reopening coincides with Selfridges’ first outdoor Christmas Market on the Mews, where foodies can get their hands on the best food in town. The showcase of London’s best street food vendors was curated in partnership with the founder of Street Feast, Dominic Cools-Lartigue.
Kohl’s, Sephora collab on a new prestige beauty experience
Kohl’s, the US department store, and Sephora, the cosmetics brand and retailer, have inked a long-term strategic deal to combine the best of both worlds. By combining Kohl’s customer reach and Sephora’s prestige service, the two companies will begin to roll out Sephora at Kohl’s, a premium beauty destination, into Kohl stores nationwide.
Kohl’s customers will be able to experience the signature Sephora experience, with a range of makeup, skincare, hair and fragrance, as well as testing and discovery zones with new products. Each Sephora installation at Kohl’s will be staffed by Sephora-trained Beauty Advisors. The first 200 stores will open in late 2021, with the goal of 850 stores by 2023. The Kohl’s beauty range will also become exclusive to Sephora.
“The Kohl’s and Sephora partnership will bring a transformational, elevated beauty experience to Kohl’s from the top global name in beauty,” said Kohl’s CEO, Michelle Glass. “This new collaboration is an excellent example of two customer-centric, purpose-driven companies leveraging each other’s strengths to make aspirational beauty far more accessible to millions of customers all across the country.”
Starbucks South Korea unveils inclusive design
Starbucks has reaffirmed its commitment to inclusivity and diversity, with the unveiling of its new cafe in South Korea. Situated at Seoul National University Dental Hospital, the cafe has been designed for customers and staff who have disabilities.
“Opening a store focused on inclusive design marks an important moment for Starbucks in South Korea and around the world,” said David Song, CEO of Starbucks Coffee Korea. “We are excited to have this opportunity to bring Starbucks’ mission and values to life in our community and expand opportunities for our partners to develop their careers at Starbucks. Through our partnerships with organisations like the Korea Employment Promotion Agency for the Disabled, we hope to lead the way for other businesses in South Korea to create an inclusive environment for all.”
The cafe features a range of initiatives including digital tablets, speech-to-text voice recognition, a Braille menu, tactile maps and signs, automatic doors and space on the store floor, staff room and below the bar for wheelchairs. Staff are also trained to understand basic Korean Sign Language.
Nike Japan’s anti-bullying, racism ad sparks debate online
A two-minute film by Nike Japan has sparked debate online, with some saying the anti-bullying and anti-racism campaign is “powerful”, and others calling for a boycott of the company because they believe the video showed a false impression of Japan.
The commercial, titled “The Future Isn’t Waiting,” shows three teenage female footballers from different backgrounds — Japanese, Korean and one girl who has a Black father and Japanese mother — are united through their love of the sport. The video, which depicts different experiences of bullying and racism the girls are subjected to, went viral, with 14.1 million views on Nike Japan’s Twitter feed. A scroll through the comments shows some supporters declaring the ad “beautiful”, “powerful” and “amazing”, while others claimed it incorrectly depicted Japan as a discriminatory society.
Nike hasn’t commented on the backlash, though its website says the company has “long listened to minority voices, supported and spoken for causes that fit our values. We believe sports have the power to show what a better world looks like, to bring people together and encourage action in their respective communities”.