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Subway Closes Hundreds of US Locations
Sandwich chain Subway closed hundreds of locations last year. According to Bloomberg, the company lost 359 US locations in 2016. Overall, Subway’s store count dropped 1.3% to 26,744 from 2015’s 27,103.
Fake News Finds a Home on WeChat
Writing for Backchannel, Ellen Guo broke down how WeChat has been co-opted by parties looking to spread fake news. Guo noted that social media platforms like WeChat have gained a unique level of trust in China, a market where the dominance of state-run media leaves many people with high levels of distrust in official news channels.
Ecommerce Defies Retail Sales Slump in Great Britain
Ecommerce was a bright spot in a less than stellar March for retail sales in Great Britain, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – UK. Online sales increased 0.5% vs. February, and rose 19.5% compared with March 2016, to account for 15.5% of all retail spending—up from 13.6% a year earlier. By comparison, total retail sales (excluding automotive fuel) dipped 1.5% vs. the previous month, but grew 2.6% from March 2016. Average weekly online spending was £1.0 billion ($1.35 billion), an increase of 19.5% year over year.
iflix Moves into Original Content
Malaysia-headquartered subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service iflix announced its first original content, a drama series called “Magic Hour.” iflix competes with Netflix and other local SVOD platforms like Hooq, and is now available in 10 markets in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Netflix has been aggressively pursuing international expansion recently, and is pouring money into both original content and streaming rights for local content in many markets.
Amazon Locker Now in 230 Cities in France
Ecommerce giant Amazon says its self-service lockers have been rolled out to 230 cities across France (article in French). The service, which complements an existing collection point program featuring a network of more than 20,000 pickup locations in the country, allows customers to choose a locker near home, work or on their daily commute, with most available for access 24 hours a day. The vast majority of products shipped by Amazon are eligible for delivery to an Amazon Locker, with Amazon Premium subscribers in particular benefitting from free shipping within a working day to a locker.
oBike Brings Its Bike-Sharing to Malaysia
Singapore’s oBike rolled out its bike-sharing services in Malaysia—specifically in the country’s Klang Valley region. oBike managed to get to Malaysia before its major bike-sharing competitors, Mobike and Ofo, could launch in the market. oBike works by requiring a one-time deposit from users, who then use QR codes to rent the company’s bicycles.
—Cliff Annicelli, Rahul Chadha, Rimma Kats
As programmatic advertising matures, buyers and sellers no longer see it merely as a means of automating processes, but rather as an advanced method of controlling ad campaigns—and better targeting the audiences that come with them.
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