Mercadona launches new ecommerce in Barcelona powered by new Distribution Centre
Spanish grocery retailer Mercadona launches new mobile and web interface for customers in Barcelona following its new distribution centre in the city. The new online shopping service is designed to be user-friendly and includes additional product information which will be available across four postcodes in Barcelona and will expand to the rest of the city in the upcoming months. The service is built around a 7 million logistics centre in the Zona France industrial estate called Colmenia, which will create a significant increase in productivity and efficiency in production. The centre is 10,500 square meters and will have 92 staff members who are set to expand to 350. The centre also includes solar panels and special insulation for cold storage areas.
Majestic Wines Transitions Business Online
Majestic Wine, the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, is considering selling its shops and operating as an online business under the Naked Wines brand. Majestic Wine retail arm made sales of £263.8m in the year to April 2018. However, sales growth straggled far behind Naked Wines, which also operates in the US and Australia. Majestic Wines states that that online website has greater growth prospects than the high street arm which is the company’s largest business.
Group Chief Executive Rowan Gormely says “it is clear that naked Wine has the potential for strong, sustainable growth and we will deliver the best results for our shareholders, customers, people and suppliers by focusing all our energies on delivering that potential”.
VAT Carousel Fraudsters Jailed with Assistance from Eurojust
A joint action day conducted by Eurojust and Judicial authorities from Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria and Romania took down an organised crime group who were suspected of large-scale VAT fraud in the EU Drinks market. Following several house warrants in Italy Germany, Austria and Romania, mobile phones and relevant documents were seized, including bank details, records and other criminal assets were identified. Seven suspects residing in Italy, Austria and Romania, were arrested following the pre-trial arrest warrants. The overall tax evasion amount is estimated to be around €2 million. Eurojust’also uncovered another case of VAT fraud relating to alcoholic drinks where eighteen people were arrested.
E-Commerce: Study Finds Differences between Delivery Experiences in UK & Germany
After carrying out an in-depth study to compare the top 100 largest online retailers in the United Kingdom and Germany, delivery research organisation ParcelLab has discovered that there are differences in the e-Commerce experiences in these countries. For example, it was found that 27% of retailers in the UK don’t communicate with customers during the delivery journey, whereas it is 53% of German retailers who do not communicate. It was also discovered that 65% of UK retailers offer free shipping, with Germany having only 38%. Founder and CEO of ParcelLab Tobias Buxhoidt believes that customer experience needs to be improved in these countries, and has said “This means they are potentially losing loyal customers as a result of sub-par aftersales support.”
Technology: Huawei Plans To Introduce Self-Driving Cars in China and Europe
Telecoms giant Huawei is partnering with European and Chinese car manufacturers to work towards launching self-driving cars in China and Europe by 2021. Corporate giants such as Google, Uber and Apple have already launched self-driving car projects, and this is partly what has pushed Huawei to do the same. The business has also been under pressure to generate revenue through other sources after the US banned sales of components to the company and its 68 non-US affiliates. Dang Wenshuan, Huawei’s chief strategy architect, has said that although Huawei’s first self-driving cars are likely to come from Chinese manufacturers, they will be available in both Europe and China.
E-Commerce: Europe’s Largest E-Logistics Event to Take Place in Amsterdam Next Year
Europe’s Largest E-Logistics Rendezvous, Deliver, is an elite e-logistics event which takes place annually. This month the 4th edition of the Deliver series took place, and over a thousand decision makers and logistic vendors from online retail platforms attended this year to showcase and discuss business plans. It has been revealed that the 5th edition of the Deliver series will be taking place in Amsterdam across the dates June 10th and 11th next year, and 1500 businesses have been invited to this event.
Payment Service Providers are Urged to Collaborate with VAT Authorities to Combat E-commerce VAT Fraud
The EU Commissions recently proposed a new EU regulation where payment services providers are required to help tax authorities to combat e-commerce VAT Fraud. Nowadays, it is easy for fraudsters to hide their identity online by operating behind a domain name which is often difficult for tax authorities to trace its real business name, location and its actual turnover amount. The new VAT legislation for e-commerce heavily relies on third parties to voluntarily share data with EU member states which will help tax authorities identify the payee, its service transaction,amount, origin of payment, and also the time and date of when the purchase was made
Klarna Discontinues Wavy App
Just two years after its release, the Swedish company Klarna announced that its peer to peer payment app ‘Wavy’ will no longer be available from 6th August. However, some of its functions will be integrated into the Klarna app. Existing users are currently being informed that they can no longer use this service after this date, and any credit remaining on their account can be withdrawn until the deadline. Uncollected credit after the deadline will automatically be transferred to the customer’s deposit account.
Wavy allows users across Europe to send money between themselves without any fees, and it was also a method of payment for shopping online.
Amazon Introduces New Finance Option, and Builds 5th Distribution Centre In Spain
Amazon has introduced a new financial service in Spain called “Pay in 4” which will allow Prime members to spread the cost of their purchases into four installments over the course of three months. The first installment will need to be made immediately, and the price of the goods has to be priced between €75 - €1000. This option is available to select at checkout. In the meantime, Amazon is also launching its 5th distribution centre in Spain, which will be located in the Bilbao area, and will have over 50 workers operating the distribution centre. Amazon will also be collaborating with local drivers to help out with the logistics.
E-Commerce: European E-Commerce Market Will Be Worth €621 Billion by End Of 2019
A new report on E-Commerce in Europe has predicted that the business-to-consumer turnover in European Ecommerce will be worth 621 Billion Euros by the end of this year. This is an increase of 13.6% in comparison to the situation last year. The report indicates that most of the turnover is concentrated in Western Europe (66%), and also that Scandinavian countries in particular have played a very important role in this increase in turnover - Denmark is the highest-ranked country in Europe when it comes to the ease of doing business, and along with Sweden and Finland Denmark also features in the Top 10 Global Logistics Performance Index.
VAT: Romania to Become 9th European Country to Implement SAF-
In April, J&P reported that Poland plan to replace Polish VAT returns with an extended Standard Audit File for Tax, known as SAF-T, in 2020. The Romanian tax authority, Agenția Națională de Administrare Fiscală, has announced that Romania is going to follow in the footsteps of Poland and seven other European countries who have adopted the regime, as SAF-T VAT transactional reporting is set to be introduced in Romania by the end of 2020. The transactional data exchange regime will be mandatory for all businesses that are registered for VAT in Romania, resident or non-resident. Romania will be the ninth European country to adopt the regime.
VAT: Lithuania Introduces Optional Quarterly VAT Filing for Small Businesses
From 1 July 2019, smaller businesses in Lithuania will have the option to file VAT returns on a quarterly basis if they wish to. This option has been made available for businesses whose turnover in the previous year did not exceed €300,000. Currently in Lithuania, the VAT regulations that are followed mean that businesses file VAT returns on a monthly basis. The rule of filing returns on a monthly basis will still apply if businesses choose not to file their returns on a quarterly basis.
E-Commerce: Belgium Introduces Customs Portal to Boost E-Commerce Market
A new digital customs platform, Be-Gate, has been launched by Belgium’s logistics community. Be-Gate is designed to speed up the growth of Belgium’s E-Commerce Market by processing large amounts of data at an exceptional rate and rapidly clearing customs applications. Werner Rens, head of marketing at Belgium Customs & Excise, has explained further how the platform will benefit Belgian E-Commerce: “With Be-Gate, we have developed an efficient and effective e-commerce tool. It prevents delays in the supply chain caused by lack of transparency and communication and is a win-win solution that also facilitates our work as a customs authority.”
VAT: Polish People’s Party Calls For Zero VAT Rate on Organic Food Products
The leader and MP of the Polish People’s Party (PSL) in Poland, Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, has announced that the Polish People’s Party will be pushing for the introduction of a zero Value-Added Tax rate on organic food products. Currently, there is a reduced VAT rate on all foodstuffs in Poland and there is only a Zero VAT rate on Intra-community and international passenger transport. A draft bill on the proposal is expected to be submitted shortly.
Business: Amazon Is Now World’s Most Valuable Brand, Ahead of Google and Appl
A trusted annual global brand list has been released this week “BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2019”, and for the first time ever Amazon has been crowned the most valuable company ahead of Google and Apple. The current value of Amazon totals at $315.5 billion, a 52% increase from 2018. Google and Apple had spent a combined 12 years at the top of the list before Amazon took over. The global head of BrandZ, Doreen Wang, has stated “Amazon’s phenomenal brand value growth of almost $108 billion in the last year demonstrates how brands are now less anchored to individual categories and regions.”
E-Commerce: United Kingdom’s Online Market Turnover Expected To Reach €200 Billion by End of 2019
A new report has shown that the business-to-consumer E-Commerce turnover in the UK is expected to reach over 200 billion Euros by the end of this year (£178 billion). If this expected amount is reached, this turnover is a 14.6% increase in comparison to last year, as in 2018 UK e-commerce was worth almost 175 billion Euros. If the total turnover this year reaches €200 billion this means that almost 8% of the UK’s gross domestic product will be made up of E-commerce sales. The share of the British population using the internet is currently at 95%, but the report has stated that this year this will also rise to 96%.
VAT: Bulgaria to Raise VAT Registration Threshold to BGN 100,000
European traders who sell products cross-border to Bulgaria will know that the current threshold for VAT registration in the country is BGN 50,000. These merchants will have registered for Value-Added Tax in Bulgaria if their sales to the country exceeded BGN 50,000. However, The Bulgarian government has recently announced that the current threshold of BGN 50,000 will be raised to BGN 100,000. This new threshold applies from 1 January 2019. In addition to this change, a new reduced VAT rate of 5% will be introduced, which will apply to basic food stuffs.
E-Commerce: JP Morgan Named Number One E-Commerce Acquirer in Europe
Data news source The Nilson Report, which provides analysis of the global payment industry, has named JP Morgan, the multinational investment bank, as the number one e-commerce acquirer in Europe by web transaction volume. In regards to its place as a merchant acquirer, JP Morgan is now in fourth place this year after moving up from sixth place. According to the report, JP Morgan processes almost 30% of all online transactions in Europe. Catherine Moore, President of Europe for J.P. Morgan Merchant Services, has said that “As a pure-play ecommerce acquirer in Europe, we help merchants optimize their overall cost of payments and maximize business profitability.”
E-Commerce: Amazon to Start Using Delivery Drones in Coming Months
At a conference in Las Vegas that took place this week, Amazon announced that they will start using drones to deliver packages to customers “within months.” Amazon executive Jeff Wilke introduced the drone that Amazon will be using, which is able to travel 15 miles and carry packages weighing 5 pounds or less. Amazon have been granted a permit by the US Federal Aviation Administration to operate the drone in the US, and the permit will allow them to fly the drone in authorized flight areas. In previous years Amazon has been accused of falsely promising drone delivery in order to gain publicity, however the drone they plan on using has proven to be successful after it underwent a trial in the UK in 2016 and delivered a package in 13 minutes.
VAT: Poland to Launch ‘White List’ of VAT Payers in September
Poland’s Ministry of Finance has made plans to introduce a ‘white list’ in September which will include information on VAT registered businesses. From 1 September, Poland will publish a list of businesses registered for VAT and their information on a daily basis. Users of the database will be able to search tax payer records from the last five years, and obtain return confirmation on checks. As well as information on all VAT-registered businesses, the list will include businesses who have been refused a VAT number or had their VAT number deregistered, and business bank details due to Poland introducing split payments in September also.
E-Commerce: PayPal is Expanding Its E-Commerce Platform to Small and Medium Businesses
PayPal is currently in the process of rolling out their e-Commerce platform to small businesses in order to give them the edge over their competitors. Although PayPal already currently runs an e-Commerce platform which is used by large social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram, the same platform will soon be available for small and medium sized enterprises to use. The platform will allow merchants to accept payments online through their customers via PayPal, but small and medium businesses will also get access to integrated features such as fraud protection, compliance and account authentication. The platform is due to extend to more than 40 markets by the end of the year.
Micolet Expands Further Into Europe
Micolet is a unique Spanish marketplace that deals with second-hand clothing, and due to its success, they're extending its operations to two additional EU countries: Poland and Netherlands. The company began its operations last year in France, Spain, Germany, Italy, US and Portugal, and although it's a relatively new marketplace they have caught a foothold thanks to the unique good that they sell. Micolet has achieved a growth rate of 50K new customer each month and brings in 1000 new listings each day.
Amazon Forms Alliance with Spanish Parcel Delivery Service Correos
Amazon has signed a three year contract with Correos the national postal service of Spain, to enable Amazon customers in Spain to receive an even faster and reliable delivery service. Correos’s network includes 2,400 post offices, 5,000 Lockers, and over 30,000 postmen who deliver goods to customer’s homes and businesses in Spain. It’s evident that Correos has the capability to cover huge volumes of shipments, since they delivered over 24 million shipments between November and December 2018.
Outfittery & Modomoto Join Forces
German fashion start-up Outfittery and Modomotto have formed a partnership, where the new business will operate only under the Outfittery brand in German-speaking countries including Benelux, Sweden and Denmark. Both Berlin-based companies specialize in menswear fashion and have been competing with each other for nearly a decade. However, the competition now draws to an end thanks to their alliance.
With their new business venture, the company wants to stimulate growth in Europe and become a stronger competitor to challenge Zalando, which provides a similar shopping service.
E-Commerce: Ikea Launches E-Commerce App With Augmented Reality Feature
Swedish furniture giant Ikea is making it possible for customers to see the way the company’s products look in their home before buying – through their new E-commerce App. Although Ikea previously released an augmented reality app in 2017 which allowed customers to see how items of furniture would fit into their homes, users could not purchase items through the app. The new app allows shoppers to see where products could fit in their home as well as purchase them. This app will first be launched in France, the Netherlands, and by the end of the year it will be released in Ikea’s top eight markets, including Germany and China. Ikea’s chief digital officer, Barbara Coppola, has said, “It is a completely new experience. The app is combined with the store experience, with the online experience.”
E-Commerce: New Amazon Logistics Centre Opening in Bremen
The director of Amazon Logistics in Germany, Bernd Gschaider, has announced that Amazon are opening a new distribution centre in Bremen. The property group Goodman is currently building the logistics centre and it is due to be completed this Autumn. Mr Gschaider has said “More than 20 years of logistical competence, technological progress and investment in transport infrastructure have gone into this building. This enables Amazon to offer customers faster and more flexible delivery options.” The logistics building will house 277 delivery vans and the centre is expected to create about 130 new jobs.
VAT: France To Implement Scheme Similar to UK’s Fulfilment House Due Diligence Scheme
From 2020, the French government are looking to implement a scheme that is similar to the Fulfilment House Due Diligence Scheme in the UK. The Fulfilment House Due Diligence Scheme was put into effect in the UK in June 2018, and the scheme requires fulfilment houses (warehouses) who are storing goods from non-EU businesses to undertake basic checks on these businesses and report this information back to HMRC, the UK tax authority. This is to prevent VAT fraud from being committed, as these businesses can avoid paying tax by not including UK import duties and VAT on their selling prices. France wants to replicate this scheme in order to ensure that non-EU businesses storing goods in French warehouses are correctly complying with VAT regulations.
British Supermarket Morrisons partners up with Amazon and Deliveroo
British Supermarket Morrisons has partnered up with Amazon and Deliveroo to fulfil their deliveries after loosening ties with Ocado. Deliveroo has partnered with Co-Op and other smaller convenience stores in the past, but competition remains high amongst its competitors, including Uber Eats and Just One, which are continuously adding new features to its services. Amazon will offer one-hour delivery slots for groceries from selected postcodes in London and Hertfordshire. However, one-hour delivery slots will be charged at £6.99, but two-hour delivery slots will be free of charge.
Amazon may fulfil Morrison’s big shopping orders, while Deliveroo solely focuses on delivering smaller orders.
DHL Introduces Drone Deliveries in China
International express delivery service DHL has partnered up with an autonomous aerial vehicle firm to launch an automated smart drone delivery service in China. The new intelligent drone delivery solution will operate in urban areas and overcome complex road conditions and congestion. Furthermore, it will reduce delivery time from forty minutes to eight minutes; minimize energy consumption and carbon footprint compared to vehicles and save up to 80 per cent per delivery.
Italy Rises Simplified Invoice Threshold
Italy has increased the threshold for the issuance of simplified VAT invoices from €100 to € 400 per transaction. A simplified transaction may still only be used for domestic sales. The Italian Invoices must include the following information; unique VAT number, date of invoice, vendor’s Vat number, customer’s VAT number (B2B), name and address of vendor customer, description of goods and price including sufficient information to verify the VAT calculation.