Kroger: organic produce sales achieved $1bln

Amazon: biggest quarterly profit of $1.9bln

US: Whole Foods not giving up on 365 Banner
Despite reports that the banner isn't doing well, Whole Foods actually is planning to open more than a dozen additional 365 by Whole Foods Market stores, Bloomberg has reported. The news comes after the Austin, Texas-based natural grocer opened its first location in Brooklyn, N.Y., which also marks the banner’s premiere on the East Coast (a second East Coast location is set to open in Weehawken, N.J.). While the new location is the first to open in 2018, Whole Foods has at least five more planned this year, the news outlet said. The company has roughly 16 more signed leases for 365 sites.

US: Kroger's organic produce sales achieve $1bln

The Kroger Co. announced today its organic produce business has achieved $1bln in annual sales. "Kroger offers one of the largest organic produce departments in America, and we are proud to have led the way in making this category more mainstream, accessible and affordable," said Robert Clark, Kroger's senior vice president of merchandising. "We have a dedicated procurement team that partners with more than 300 organic produce growers and suppliers every year to bring our customers an exciting selection of organic fruits and vegetables."

Amazon reports biggest quarterly profit of $1.9bln
In the last three months of 2017, Amazon saw its profit more than double to reach a record of $1.9bln. The company's sales continued to soar during the holiday quarter as more people signed up for its fast-delivery Prime program and bought its voice-activated device Echo. Amazon said its profits also got a boost from a tax benefit of about $789mln thanks to the new tax law passed in December. And the company noted big contributions from its advertising business and the cloud-computing service known as Amazon Web Services.

Dansk Supermarked Group introduces digital parcel lockers

Dansk Supermarked Group has installed new Send&Hent ('send and download') digital parcel lockers at 365 of its Netto and Bilka stores across Denmark. In partnership with system supplier SwipBox and logistics company Bring, Dansk Supermarked Group says that the new service will provide its customers with a convenient way of sending parcels, without the need for queuing. The new digital solution allows consumers to organise postage online, before bringing their package to an in-store terminal. The package is then delivered to another terminal of choice, where the recipient can pick it up.

UK: Morrisons to cut jobs in latest UK supermarket shake-up

UK supermarket chain Morrisons has announced that it is cutting around 1,500 store management jobs, and creating 1,700 more junior positions. Morrisons' move will see the position of warehouse manager removed from all of its stores, while adding more checkout staff and shelf-stackers. “Our aim is to serve customers better with more front-line colleagues in stores improving product availability and helping customers at the checkouts," said Gary Mills, Morrisons' retail director.

Aldi Suisse tests parcel delivery service
Aldi Suisse, together with Swiss Post and other retailers, is testing a new model that aims to simplify package delivery and collection by customers. In the Bern region, the retailer is carrying out operational tests on parcel delivery and collection stations at three of its branches. The pilot phase takes place from 29 January to 30 June 2018, after which an evaluation report will be drawn up, and a decision will be made on whether to extend the service nationally.

Finland: Kesko sales rise 5% after 'strong' transformation year

Finnish retail group Kesko has announced that net sales from January to December 2017 rose 4.9% to €10.67bln, representing like-for-like growth of 1.8%. Operating profit rose to €324.6mln from €146.8mln in the previous year, while diluted earnings per share grew from €0.99 to €2.59. Looking at the group's grocery business, net sales increased by 2.4% during the year. However, in comparable terms, sales were up by 0.9%, affected by the acquisition of Suomen Lähikauppa in April 2016, as well as the divestment of Russian business operations in November 2016.

Carrefour exits Slovakian market, closing final Bratislava store

French retail group Carrefour has pulled out of the Slovakian market, after 17 years of operation in the country. HN Online reports that the last remaining Carrefour hypermarket in the country, located in Bratislava's Danubia Shopping Centre, was closed last week. Retail Value Stores, which franchises the Carrefour retail brand in Slovakia, has been in danger of collapse for some time, according to local media. Last year, the company gradually closed four of its five Carrefour stores, shutting hypermarkets in Trnava, Žilina, Košice, and Bratislava's Polus City Centre.

Mexico: Convenience expansion for Chedraui
Mexican based Chedraui has announced its store expansion plans in 2018. It will be mainly focusing on its smaller format, as a response to the increasing demand for convenience. Chedraui has said it will open 42 new stores in Mexico in 2018. This will boost selling space by between 5 and 6%, up from 3.3% in 2017. Most of these stores (c. 70%) will be in the retailer’s small format. They will be around 250 sqm, and won’t have either bakery or meat preparation in-store. CEO Antonio Chedraui Eguía sees potential for at least 5,000 of these smaller stores in the country.

Germany: Aldi’s ‘Le Coq de France’ TM application dismissed
Supermarket chain Aldi has been unsuccessful in registering and appealing an opposition to its ‘Le Coq de France’ trademark. The decision was handed down by the European General Court on February 1. Germany-based Aldi applied for the trademark, covering food items such as milk, meat, fruit and vegetables, and jam in May 2012.

Carrefour Taiwan appoints Taiwanese national as CEO
Carrefour Taiwan has appointed a new CEO. The position has never before been held by a Taiwanese citizen, until now. Wang Chun-chao officially started his new position as CEO of Carrefour Taiwan on Feb. 1., reports UDN. Wang began working at Carrefour in 1993 and has over 25 years of Carrefour experience. Wang has held a variety of management positions within the company, such as store manager, national produce director, and merchandise supervisor.

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