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X5: 25.5% sales growth in 2017
Carrefour: e-commerce push and deal chase in ChinaUK: Costcutter replaces own-brand with Co-op range
Costcutter has confirmed that its Independent own-brand range will be replaced by Co-op’s own-label products after the two retailers agreed a wholesale deal last year. The arrangement, signed at the end of November, will see Co-op become the exclusive wholesale supplier to Costcutter Supermarket Group from Spring 2018. A spokesperson for Costcutter Supermarkets Group told Talking Retail: “One of the many advantages of our new wholesale partnership with the Co-op is access to their broad range of own-brand categories, particularly in fresh and chilled, which will drive footfall and frequency of spend.
Robot fired from Scottish grocery store for poor performance
A shop robot named Fabio was recently fired from Scottish supermarket chain Margiotta after failing to perform in a helpful manner and confusing some customers, as originally reported by The Telegraph. Despite its programming, the robot was unable to assist customers in finding the products they were looking for, and many customers ended up going out of their way to avoid it, The Telegraph reported. The incident could be evidence that certain industries or cultures aren't yet ready for artificial intelligence (AI) or robotics-based customer service.
Organic food sales up 16% in Italy
Organic food sales in Italian supermarkets and hypermarkets amounted to €1.45bln in the 12 months ending 30 November 2017. This is according to the annual report by Italy's organic association AssoBio, in collaboration with Nomisma. These figures represent 16.6% growth compared to the previous year, with a €166mln increase in value sales, higher than the overall food market, which saw 4.1% growth. Additionally, 21% of Italian households now purchase organic products at least once a week.
France: Carrefour steps up e-commerce push, chases deal in China
Carrefour’s new chief executive promised to slash costs, step up e-commerce investment in the face of competition from Amazon and open up Carrefour China to local investors, sending its shares higher. Alexandre Bompard, at the helm only since July and tasked with boosting cash flow, promised to invest 2.8bln euros ($3.4bln) in digital commerce by 2022, six times its current investment, as Carrefour plays catch-up in online retail.
Russian retailer X5 reports 25.5% sales growth in 2017
Russia’s biggest food retailer X5 Retail Group reported a 25.5% jump in 2017 sales, having opened almost 3,000 mostly low-cost stores in a bid to draw in cash-strapped consumers. Part of billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s business empire, X5 said sales rose to 1.29tln roubles ($22.86bln) from 1.03tln. It added a record 2,934 stores last year, its most ever, and achieved 5.4% growth in like-for-like sales. It had 12,121 stores as of Dec. 31.
Denmark retail sales fall in December
Denmark's retail sales decreased in December after rebounding in the previous month, preliminary figures from Statistics Denmark showed. Retail trade turnover dropped a seasonally and price-adjusted 0.3% month-over-month in December, in contrast to a 1.3% increase in November. Clothing and related sales decreased 0.1% monthly in November and sales of other consumables declined by 0.9%. At the same time, sales of food and other groceries grew 0.4%.
Japan: 7-Eleven to divest 26 stores to make $3.3bln Sunoco acquisition
Seven & i Holdings Co., the Tokyo-based parent company of the 7-Eleven network of convenience stores, has agreed to sell and divest some of its stores in its proposed $3.3bln acquisition of approximately 1,100 retail fuel outlets from Sunoco, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Under the terms of the consent agreement, 7-Eleven is required to sell 26 retail fuel outlets that it owns to Sunoco, and Sunoco is required to retain 33 fuel outlets that 7-Eleven otherwise would have acquired. Sunoco intends to convert the acquired or retained stations from company-operated sites to commission agent sites.
Carrefour makes Sh1.5bln after 7 months in Kenya
The French retailer Carrefour is expected to grow rapidly in the future as it makes 54.8mln UAE Dirham’s (Sh. 1.5bln) just seven months after it launched its Karen store in the country. The store whose exclusive franchise rights are held by a UAE investor Majid Al Futaim which joined the Kenyan market with an intention to provide premium services at high end places has capitalized on the dwindling fortunes of Nakumatt.
US: Overstock climbs on report that Kroger might be eyeing deal
Overstock.com Inc. gained as much as 4.5% on speculation that supermarket giant Kroger Co. might acquire the e-commerce company. The New York Post reported that the grocery chain may be eyeing a deal with Overstock, citing unidentified sources. Overstock Chief Executive Officer Patrick Byrne said in December that selling the e-commerce business to a brick-and-mortar retailer was a possibility. He aims to refocus on the burgeoning field of blockchain technology.
US: Acosta reveals shopper behavior by age group
Acosta shed light on the five distinct generations of shoppers, and their distinct shopping characteristics, in the recently released 14th edition of its The Why Behind the Buy report. According to Colin Stewart, SVP at Acosta, Gen X is on top for now spending-wise, but millennials will likely take over that spot within the next decade, while Gen Z is also emerging as an influencer in grocery spending. "As we kick off 2018, it is vital that brands and retailers not only understand what influences each generation’s shopping habits now, but how demand will change as generations move into different phases of life," Stewart said in a news release.
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