FINANCE

Emerging markets drive global multichannel grocery growth

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cincinnati – Multichannel grocery shopping is surging across the globe, with the birth of a new child being a primary driver of an increased propensity to buy online. In addition, according to findings of a new study from customer service company dunnhumby, emerging and nascent markets are seeing the most growth with 97% and 89% year-on-year growth, respectively.

Meanwhile, established markets have grown by more than 30%. Furthermore, even the most established online grocery categories are seeing significant growth. The three categories with the highest share of online sales – frozen meat, baby food and baby care, and canned food – have an average annual online growth rate of 21%.

Across established, emerging and nascent markets, baby food and baby care products appear in the top three sales categories, while baby milk is by far the leading product for new online shoppers, indexing at almost twice the rate as the second most popular product among new shoppers, water.

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FINANCE

Icahn increases investment in EBay

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has increased his investment holding in EBay Inc. In his regulatory filing for fourth quarter 2014, Icahn disclosed that he purchased about 446,000 shares of EBay.

This boosted his EBay holding by 1% to 46 million shares, currently worth about $2.6 billion. Icahn was an early and vocal proponent of the EBay-PayPal split which is expected to occur by the middle of this year. In January 2015, Icahn reached an agreement with EBay to obtain board representation and have a say in how the new spun-off PayPal company will be structured.

As an investor who manages more than $100 million, Icahn is required to file quarterly reports.

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News

Express trying to capitalize on Kate Upton

BY CSA STAFF

Express Inc. is turning to Kate Upton again as an integral part of the company’s turnaround strategy.

The retailer, which has seen stunted growth in recent years, hired the trendy supermodel last fall, the company's first time featuring a celebrity in an ad campaign in over a decade. Now Upton is back for spring promotions.

"Visionary photographer Mario Sorrenti and fashion icon Kate Upton were the perfect combination to channel the new spring campaign in South Beach. Sorrenti brings an innate sexiness to his images, and we love how he captured Kate's beauty and confidence too," said Elizabeth Crystal, CMO at Express.

Available in-store and online at express.com beginning this month, the spring collection features tropical florals, nautical stripes and bold colors, heating up classic warm weather silhouettes for the season.

"After a long winter, I'm excited to slip into the new Express collection. I'm a Florida girl at heart and feel most confident wearing sundresses, breezy tops and of course, my go-to classic shorts and camis," Upton said.

Express operates in a challenging retail environment. The retailer was hurt by decreased traffic, e-commerce declines and dismal same store sales in 2014. To compete in an increasingly promotional retail environment, Express has invested in its marketing strategies this past fiscal year.

The company currently operates more than 600 retail and factory outlet stores, located primarily in high-traffic shopping malls, lifestyle centers, and street locations across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

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