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JD.com: first steps to enter the U.S. market
Woolworths: new-look flagship store featuring ‘living’ lettuceLidl Belgium increases market share, with further growth planned
Discount retailer Lidl has increased its market position in Belgium, ending 2017 with a record share of 8.6%. The latest figures from GfK show that the retailer's growth is steadily continuing, with it experiencing a 0.4% increase in market share in the last year. Market penetration increased from 61.9% to 63.4%, meaning that two thirds of Belgian shoppers now visit Lidl at least once a year.
Poland limits Sunday shopping to benefit family life
Poland's president signed into law a bill that largely limits trade on Sundays, saying it would benefit employees' family life. The legislation, worked out by the conservative government and the Solidarity trade union, is expected to draw protests from large Western supermarket chains that are the main target of the law. A large part of their profit is earned on weekends, when many consumers do their big weekly shopping trips. Critics say some of the supermarkets make employees work long hours for modest pay.
China: JD.com takes first steps to enter the U.S. market in Los Angeles
After announcing in December that it is looking to begin online sales in the second half of 2018, JD.com, worth a reported $68bln, is looking for funds to bankroll a logistics build-up to support an international expansion into Los Angeles, California. The company is seeking to raise $2bln to make the expansion happen, according to Investors Business Daily (IBD).
AUS: Woolworths unveils new-look flagship store
Woolworths has unveiled its new flagship store at the Marrickville Metro in Sydney’s inner-west, featuring expanded fresh food, ready-to-go meals and health offerings, overhauled bakery, deli, butcher and seafood areas, and a dedicated front-of-store pick-up area for online shopping orders. In the expanded fresh food section, jets of mist keep the produce cool while the “Living Lettuce” hydroponic growing set up “means the lettuce continues to grow until you place it in your shopping trolley”.
BAssets moving to privatise 7-Eleven Malaysia
After rumblings that 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings is being targeted for privatisation, diversified group Berjaya Assets (BAssets) has taken steps to achieve this. BAssets is owned by businessman/investor Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, who has started mopping up 7-Eleven shares on the open market, reports The Edge. “Something is brewing between 7-Eleven Malaysia and BAssets – a corporate exercise is being contemplated,” the newspaper says, quoting an unnamed source.
CA: Metro off to a strong start in Q1
Metro Canada’s first quarter sales increased by 4.7% to $3.1bln, with same-store sales up 3.4%. The strong performance was impacted by a shift of the week before Christmas which fell into the first quarter this year, while last year was included in Q2. Excluding this impact, same-store sales increased 1.2%. Adjusted net earnings increased by 11.1% to $153.4mln.
US: Boxed.com rejects Kroger offer
Online retailer Boxed.com has spurned an acquisition bid from The Kroger Co. and is instead sending out feelers to Amazon, according to news reports. Kroger’s bid was believed to be in the neighborhood of $300mln to $400mln. Industry observers said the Cincinnati-based chain was interested in Boxed to help it boost delivery capabilities, attract more Millennial customers and better compete against Costco.
US: A new, cheaper Whole Foods opens in Brooklyn tomorrow
Whole Foods Market 365 is coming to the East Coast for the first time. Although it's the the seventh location in the country, the 30,000 square foot space will be unlike other Whole Foods in the city due to being smaller, “value and convenience-driven” and more tailored to location - essentially more like a "neighborhood grocery store." It officially opens at 9am on January 31.
US: Albertsons announces closing of sale of 49% interest in Casa Ley
Albertsons Companies announced today that it has completed the sale of its 49% interest in Mexico-based food and general merchandise retailer Casa Ley, S.A. de C. V. (Casa Ley) for a purchase price of MEX$6.5bln (approximately US$348.5mln). Albertsons anticipates that the final distribution will be made by the paying agent in approximately four weeks.
CA: Metro grocery chain to run scan-and-go pilot project
Metro Inc. will soon test scan-and-go technology and increase the number of self-checkout machines in its grocery stores as it looks to offset higher minimum wages in Ontario and Quebec. The scan-and-go system - still at the experimental stage - allows customers to scan items as they put them in their shopping cart and pay as they leave the store. Metro says it will run a scan-and-go pilot project at an undisclosed Quebec store, despite some past reliability problems.
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