Italy: First supermarket managed entirely by customers

Sainsbury’s sales increase in Q3

Vietnam retail sales hit record $130bln in 2017
Vietnam's retail sales grew 10.9% in 2017 over the previous year to a highest-ever $129.6bln, spurred by a rising middle class and an influx of overseas retailers. Supermarkets and convenience stores are selling meat and vegetables at 20-30% higher prices than traditional markets, and the number of specialty shops offering organic vegetables is growing.

Billa expanding in Austria
Austrian retailer Billa, which is owned by Germany's Rewe Group, has opened 31 new stores in 2017, with a further 48 being renovated. At the end of 2017, Billa operated a total of 1,069 stores across Austria. The retailer wants to become the all round provider of Austrian households so continues to expand its stores and services in order to achieve this.

Italy to get first supermarket managed entirely by customers

Bologna is set to become the first city in Italy to have a supermarket managed and run entirely by its customers. The Camilla community emporium will be run by volunteers who will also act as the business' partners, customers, producers, cashiers and warehouse workers, reports Italy's Corriere di Bologna. The new supermarket will distribute food through a closed-loop cooperative management.

Japan's Aeon posts higher Q3 profit on restructuring boost
Aeon Co Ltd, Japan’s largest retailer by sales, reported a 37% jump in third-quarter operating profit, helped by restructuring efforts that drove up business at its struggling general merchandising stores. The supermarket and shopping mall operator has been taking measures such as redesigning and rebranding to boost traffic at its general merchandise stores, which have lost customers to discount stores and specialists in products such as clothing and electronics.

UK: Online and convenience key growth areas for Sainsbury’s in Q3
UK retailer Sainsbury’s has posted a like-for-like sales increase of 1.1% (excluding fuel) for the third quarter of its financial year, the 15 weeks to 6 January. The group said that grocery sales were up 2.3% during the period, however its online grocery (+8.2%) and convenience (+7.2%) posted impressive sales increases. Total grocery sales growth was ahead of that of Q2 (1.4%), however marginally behind that of Q1 (3.0%).

Brazil: Retail sales rise more than expected in November
Retail sales in Brazil rose 0.7% in November from October, the country's statistics office said. Annually, five of the eight retail sectors posted higher sales, with hypermarkets, supermarkets, food products, beverages and tobacco (+ 5.2%) and furniture and appliances (+ 15.6%) posting the best results.

Amazon to start selling locally made food in India
After receiving government approval to invest $500mln in a wholly owned subsidiary in India, Amazon is preparing to start selling locally made food from March. Amazon won approval in July to invest $500mln in India over the next five years to sell third-party and its own private-label food products, sourced and packaged locally, both online and through bricks and mortar stores. Food is the only segment where it's allowed to sell directly to consumers. And it can sell only locally produced and packaged food products.

US: Bargain retailer Grocery Outlet will open 25 stores this year

Grocery Outlet plans to open 25 new stores in 2018, primarily in existing markets of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and Pennsylvania, reports Winsight Grocery Business. Fourteen of the discount grocer's new locations will be in Los Angeles. The bargain retailer, which is independently owned and operated, acquires most of its food by purchasing overstock and foods that have had packaging changes from food manufacturers at a discount. By purchasing food at a discount, Grocery Outlet passes on the savings to consumers, at prices 40-70% less than those of traditional retailers.

US: Target lifts profit forecast after holiday sales jump
Target Corp raised its quarterly profit and sales forecasts on the back of surging online sales and customer visits in November and December, putting the U.S. retailer on track for the best quarter in five years. The company said same-store sales rose 3.4% in November and December and that its online sales growth was on track to report its fourth straight year of more than 25% gains.

US: Sprouts expands home delivery through partnership with Instacart

Sprouts Farmers Market announced it will expand home delivery service to its major markets across the country through a new partnership with Instacart. Customers will be able to enjoy quick, convenient delivery of thousands of fresh, natural and organic products from Sprouts by simply visiting, the Instacart website or mobile app, where they can choose to have their groceries delivered same-day within one or two hours, or schedule a delivery for later in the week.

US: Walmart expands ‘Scan & Go’ to 100 more stores
Walmart is expanding its Scan & Go technology to 100 additional U.S. stores this year. The technology lets customers scan items as they shop and pay using their mobile phones, allowing them to skip checkout lines. Similar technology is already in place at the company’s Sam’s Club membership warehouse locations, and has also been piloted in select markets where Walmart has a dominant presence, including Dallas-Fort Worth; Orlando, Fla.; and northwest Arkansas.

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