Freshly Squeezed: 12.09.19

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 12 Sep 2019

RM Williams is venturing to the US and UK, and IKEA launches a world-first ‘Slow TV Channel’. Get a healthy dose of news as we uncover the day’s top stories in e-commerce and retail.

Alibaba Launches E-Commerce Undergrad Program for African Students

Alibaba is launching an undergrad e-commerce program for African students. Twenty-two students from Rwanda travelled to the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the tech giant. “You came at the right time and to the right place,” said Zeng Ming, the President of Alibaba’s Business School with the Hangzhou Normal University. “Foreign students can take courses related to the internet, global trade and cross-border e-commerce and also gain firsthand experience of the development of China’s digital economy.”

The Hangzhou Normal University focusses heavily on the online economy, and this new program will help connect the African countries to the online platforms. “With four-year systematic learning, we hope Rwandan students can integrate into China’s digital economy and become a backbone for Rwanda after graduation,” said Huang Mingwei, the Vice President at Alibaba.

IKEA Unveils 1st Slow TV Channel

IKEA has launched the first-ever ‘Slow TV Channel’ – a ‘way for Aussies to switch off’ after a long day at work. The content itself ‘does not aim to excite’; instead, put you to sleep. Viewable on YouTube, the material features a 14-day journey of following a ship, which will then ‘arrive into port where the shipping containers filled with the newest IKEA products are unloaded and transported stores’.

“We’re very excited to launch what could be the least exciting TV channel Aussie’s have ever seen! We know that 1 in 4 Aussies struggle with their sleep, so we hope that the rhythmic, monotonous content of the Slow TV channel helps quieten the day, and get the mind and body ready for bed,” said Ryan Burman, Country Commercial Activity Leader for IKEA Australia. “For all the night owls and Slow TV fans, tune in, kick back and let the dulcet Swedish voices put you in the mood for a great sleep. Here at IKEA, we understand that sleep is so important in living a better everyday life. As experts in life at home, we want to inspire the many Australians to create the best sleep environment so they can feel refreshed and recharged to get ready for life.” The Slow TV Channel launches on September 14th.

R.M Williams Expands into the UK and USA

Australian outback retailer, RM Williams, is set to open 18 retail stores across the U.K. and U.S., with aims to double its revenue to $300 million within the next five years. “While everyone else is restructuring and laying off people, we are hiring,” said Raju Vuppalapati, the CEO of RM Williams to Financial Times. “The brand is ready to take its next big leap.” RM Williams was founded in 1932 in South Australia and has become one of the country’s most prominent bootmakers.

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