Mother’s Market: 1st LA store

Walmart plans to expand in Florida, Texas

CAN: Sobeys keeps some B.C. Safeway stores open longer than planned
After planning to close as many as nine B.C. Safeway stores by May 5, Sobeys must now keep them open until July, according to a government-appointed labour mediator. Sobeys first announced in January that it could close as many as 10 underperforming stores in total in the Lower Mainland (nine in May and one in July), but said it would convert five of those stores to the FreshCo discount banner if it could negotiate new terms and conditions in a collective agreement with the unions representing its employees. Sobeys’ CEO Michael Medline revealed plans to take the company’s discount banner into Western Canada late last year by converting 60 underperforming Safeway and Sobeys stores.

US: Mother’s Market debuts 1st LA store
Mother’s Market & Kitchen recently debuted its first Los Angeles location in Signal Hill. Located at 2475 Cherry Avenue, the 13,000-square-foot store will serve as the anchor for the developing Heritage Square Retail Center, boasting a contemporary format as well as organic, local and non-GMO produce and groceries. The new location was designed to reflect the community and its values, featuring interior and exterior graphics that memorialize the origins of oil production and architecture in Signal Hill, according to Deborah Rubino, chief integration officer for Mother’s Market, based in Costa Mesa, Calif. “Mother’s Market & Kitchen in Signal Hill celebrates a fresh, contemporary style while embracing the history and legacy of Mother’s,” Rubino tells WGB.

US: Walmart to focus new store openings on Florida, Texas
Walmart expects to build no more than 25 new U.S. stores this fiscal year as its $11bln capital budget tilts even more heavily toward renovations and e-commerce. In a series of local announcements detailing plans for spending, Walmart expressed its intention to expand its reach in Florida and Texas, with nearly $500mln in investments and 10 of its planned new stores headed to those states.

India’s retail inflation eases further in March as food prices fall

Retail inflation moderated in March as vegetable prices eased further on fresh supplies. However core inflation, that strips out the impact of food and fuel prices, continued to rise hitting a 43-month high. The index of consumer price inflation in India stood at 4.28% in March, slowing for the third straight month from a 17-month high, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office. Economists polled by Bloomberg had forecast retail inflation at 4.1%. It stood at 4.4% in February and 5.07% in January. “The dip in inflation for food and beverages in March 2018 was primarily led by vegetables, egg and milk,” Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ratings agency ICRA, said in an emailed note. “A continued easing in prices of pulses, sugar and some vegetables would dampen the impact of the seasonal uptick in prices of various perishable items in the ongoing month.”

Switzerland: Coop to acquire Swisscom's 50% stake in Siroop jv

Swiss retailer Coop has agreed to fully acquire internet store Siroop. Coop will buy Swisscom's 50% stake in the joint venture. Siroop will be consolidated into Coop's Microspot sales channel. Coop and Swisscom established Siroop jointly in May 2016 and since then have gained experience in online marketplace. Now, to further exploit its growth potential, Siroop and Microspot will proceed towards a single brand. Duplication will be eliminated and synergies are expected.

Ireland: Musgrave secures €5mln export deal with Bahrain supermarket
Musgrave has announced an export deal worth €5mln with Alosra, Bahrain’s leading high-end supermarket. Under the terms of the agreement, Musgrave will supply a selection of products from its SuperValu and Musgrave Excellence own brand range, as well as a number of Irish brands including products from its Food Academy programme, which is run in partnership with Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices.

Japan: Aeon expands its retail business in Malaysia
Aeon is a prominent Japanese retail group that is already operating 34 stores and 5 supermarkets in Malaysia. Recently, the company added a new supermarket to its crown of stores under the name "MaxValu Prime". This store is located in a business area where around 15 thousand employees work and it is already attracting around 3 thousand customers a day.

Portugal: Sonae MC to open 70 proximity stores by 2020
Portuguese grocery retailer Sonae MC plans to open 70 new Continente Modelo proximity stores by 2020, as part of an investment estimated at €200mln. Speaking to daily Dinheiro Vivo, Continente’s director of operations, Amaro Amaral, said that the ambitious expansion plan will allow the creation of around 3,000 new jobs in the sector in Portugal. Last week, the company inaugurated its 100th Continente Bom Dia store, located in Lisbon, investing €3mln. With more than 1,000 square metres of retail space, the new store has a cafeteria and offers a wide range of essential products.

Holland: Ahold Delhaize CEO: “Stores still matter”
Ahold Delhaize is prospering in a fast-changing grocery arena by blending the right mix of local appeal, personalization and innovation into its shopping experiences, chief executive officer Dick Boer said at the global supermarket retailer’s annual general meeting. “Some people say that they do not see a future for physical stores. I totally disagree with this. Because stores still matter, and that will be the case in the future, too,” Boer told shareholders at the company’s headquarters in Zaandam, the Netherlands. “The more virtual the world becomes, the more need there is for the real world.”

Coop Danmark reports flat 2017 results as operating profit doubles
Coop Danmark has reported that its 2017 turnover was DKK 44,796mln (€6.0bln) excluding VAT, in line with its results in 2016. Operating profit during this period increased by 92.7% to DKK 528mln (€70.9mln). The retailer attributed around DKK 100mln (€13.4mln) of the increased profit to ‘non-recurring disposals and increased rental income’. Commenting on the results, chairman Lasse Bolander said, ‘2017 became another challenging year for the grocery industry in Denmark. Competition in a market with massive overcapacity, structural changes and changes in consumer behaviour is intense - and in this light we are pleased with the year's earnings’.

Brazil retail sales unexpectedly declined in February
Brazilian retail sales unexpectedly contracted in February, underscoring an uneven recovery of the nation's dominant services sector following the deepest recession in decades. Retail sales fell 0.2% from January, government statistics agency IBGE said, compared with a median estimate of a 0.8% increase in a Reuters poll of economists. The reading undershot even the most pessimistic forecast in the survey, a 0.3% increase.

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