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$200mln financing round closed by Instacart
Kowalski's Markets: mobile self-checkoutUS: Instacart closes $200mln financing round
Third-party delivery service Instacart has closed a $200mln Series E financing led by Coatue Management and Glade Brook Capital Partners, valuing the company at about $4.2bln, Instacart CEO, Apoorva Mehta, said in a memo. With the new funding, Instacart plans to invest in building more robust shopper support teams and software in the next few years, understanding that shoppers need better tools and processes to offer quality customer service.
US: Kowalski's adds mobile self-checkout
Kowalski’s Markets, which operates 11 stores in the Twin Cities area, is expanding its current ecommerce program to include mobile self-checkout capabilities, allowing shoppers to scan and pay from their personal devices in-store. Made possible through a partnership with Madison, Wisconsin-based ecommerce technology provider GrocerKey, the new self-checkout option expands the choices for shoppers who use Kowalski’s On-the-Go program, which currently allows for online ordering, curbside pickup and home delivery. Mobile self-checkout will be announced on the grocer’s website when it becomes available.
Italy’s MD invests €80mln in logistics hub
Italian discount supermarket chain MD is investing €80mln in a new logistics centre, located in Cortenuova, near Bergamo. The new facility will be based in an industrial area that formerly housed a steelworks plant, which the retailer purchased at an auction for €13.8mln. The intention, according to group founder and president Patrizio Podini, is to create a new logistics hub that "will be the largest in the discount channel in Italy".
Korea: GS Supermarkets increase store numbers
GS Retail's supermarket division posted a 2.7% increase in revenue to KRW344.2bln. Store numbers also increased to 289 from 277 last year. Last October, the retailer opened its third GS Supermarket in Indonesia, offering standard food & grocery products as well as original items from Korea. The public reception has been generally positive, but operations will need to scale-up much more significantly if it were to support overall supermarket sales for the Group.
Co-op store named the best in England
Bourton-on-the-water’s local Co-op has been named one of the top stores in Europe and the best in England by leading retail experts, following its £4.9mln investment last year. The Midcounties Co-operative Food store in Bourton-on-the-Water, which opened its doors to shoppers in October 2017, was the only supermarket in England to make it into grocery research organisation IGD’s ‘Top 14 stores to see in Europe’ report.
Spain: Eroski extends franchise network with 55 openings in 2017
Spanish retailer Eroski saw sales in its franchise network grow by 7% last year, with partners opening 55 new stores across the country in 2017. These openings involved an investment of €12.95mln, and created over 500 new jobs. Catalonia saw the highest number of new stores, with 18 franchised outlets opening in the region last year. This was followed by the Basque Country, with seven new stores, and the Balearic Islands with five.
Germany: Metro reports flat Q1 profits despite Russia fall
German retailer Metro managed to make up for a drop in quarterly profits at its Russia business by an absence of restructuring expenses at its Real hypermarkets and other one-off income, confirming its full-year forecasts. Metro said earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for its fiscal first quarter was flat at 608mln euros ($749mln), although the figure for its Russia unit fell 11% to 108mln euros.
Singapore: Retail sales up 4.6% in December
Retail sales rose 4.6% in December from the previous year, according to figures released by the Department of Statistics (Singstat). Sales of computer and telecommunications equipment rose 15.2% year-on-year, while sales of supermarkets, department stores, food retailers, petrol service stations, recreational goods, wearing apparel and footwear rose between 1% and 8.2%.
UK: Morrisons agrees Channel Islands wholesale deal with Sandpiper
Morrisons has struck a long-term commercial agreement with the leading operator of retail outlets in the Channel Islands. Morrisons and Sandpiper have agreed to rebrand most of the islanders' 43 small 'food hall' supermarkets and convenience stores as Morrison Daily outlets, supplying fresh foods, Morrisons own-brand and branded goods.
Spain: DIA and Amazon strengthen partnership
DIA and Amazon have extended the reach of their partnership, adding Prime Now delivery of La Plaza de DIA’s range in Valencia. The DIA-Amazon alliance began in September 2016, when the two companies reached an agreement that saw DIA launch an online store on Amazon. Orders from the store were fulfilled from a single La Plaza de DIA store in Madrid, with orders completed and delivered via Amazon’s Prime Now service. The Prime Now service offers Prime customers deliveries within a one or two-hour window between 10:00 and 00:00, seven days a week.
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