Costco: June sales results

Walmart plans to sell Japanese supermarket unit Seiyu

US: Albertsons launches Instacart-powered O Organics Market
Albertsons Cos. has teamed up with Instacart to launch its exclusive O Organics Market, a virtual grocery delivery store touting the retailer’s private brands as well as organic, natural and better-for-you products. Currently available in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., with plans to launch in additional markets in the future, the service expands Albertsons’ digital footprint as well as access to its natural and organic private label brands, targeting a wider footprint of health-conscious Instacart shoppers. “With nearly 3,800 items from O Organics, Open Nature and other organic and natural brands, O Organics Market is another important step in our strategy to deliver customers what they want, when they want it”, Shane Sampson, chief marketing and merchandising officer for Boise-based Albertsons, said in a statement.

US: Target expands click-and-collect to 200 more stores
Target Corp.'s kerbside pickup service has expanded to 200 stores across markets in the midwestern, southern and eastern United States, giving shoppers in the areas a new grocery ecommerce option. Drive up, the click-and-collect option, allows users to place an order in the mass-merchandiser's mobile app and have the order hand-delivered directly to their car by a store team member. The 200 locations now enabled for the service are in such markets as Chicago; Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; Lansing, Michigan; Louisville, Kentucky; Erie, Pennsylvania and South Charleston, West Virginia.

US: Costco Wholesale Corporation reports June sales results
Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Costco” or the “Company”) reported net sales of $13.55bln for the retail month of June, the five weeks ended July 8, 2018, an increase of 11.7% from $12.13bln last year. For the first forty-four weeks of fiscal 2018 the Company reported net sales of $116.81bln, an increase of 12.0% from $104.28bln last year.

US: Walmart to sell Japanese supermarket unit Seiyu
Walmart plans to unload its unit Seiyu, a major Japanese supermarket chain, Nikkei has learned, as the U.S. retail giant reviews its global operations amid intensifying competition from online retailers, particularly The unit is expected to fetch 300bln yen to 500bln yen ($2.7bln to $4.5bln) and would mark the largest shake-up in Japan's distribution industry since Uny Group Holdings merged with FamilyMart in 2016. Walmart will leave the Japanese market, following the exit of Carrefour in 2005 and Tesco in 2011.

South Korea: GS Retail to invest 33bln won in U.S. online grocer Thrive Market
GS Retail Co., a major South Korean retailer, has announced a 33bln won (US$29mln) equity investment in a United States online retailer in its first overseas investment. GS Retail said it signed an agreement with Thrive Market, Inc. to buy stock in the U.S. firm that mainly sells organic products to consumers who pay a $60 annual membership fee. GS Retail said the investment decision was made to secure a leading position in the organic food market, which is expected to post solid growth down the road. The Korean company plans to introduce Thrive Market's items through its retail channels, including the convenience store chain GS25 and the hypermarket chain GS Supermarket, within a year.

Spar Netherlands adds to delivery truck fleet
Spar Netherlands has announced that it will be adding double-decker trucks, as well as two 'super lorries', to its delivery truck fleet. The double-decker truck can transport 75 containers, as opposed to the 48 containers that a normal delivery truck can carry. The double-decker will be refrigerated on the top deck and non-refrigerated on the bottom deck. According to Spar Netherlands, 90% of its locations can be reached using the double-decker trucks. The new additions will cut down on mileage, fuel usage, and driver hours, as well as overall CO2 emissions, the retailer said.

German union calls for strike by workers at Metro's Real hypermarkets
Labour union Verdi has called on 34,000 workers at Metro's Real hypermarkets in Germany to strike on Friday in protest over a wage agreement that it said would result in 23% lower pay for new hires. "We are fighting for wages that you can live on," Verdi board member Stefanie Nutzenberger said.

UK: Morrisons trials plastic deposit return scheme in supermarkets
Supermarket chain Morrisons is trialling vending machines for the return of single-use plastic bottles to reduce their impact on the environment. The two reverse vending machines will be in the retailer’s stores in Skipton, North Yorkshire, and Lindsayfield, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, for six months and will allow customers to deposit bottles in return for points coupons. The machines accept all plastic bottles that have a barcode and Morrisons own-brand bottles that may not have one.

Kenya: growing ecommerce platform Kilimall
Kenya-based ecommerce platform Kilimall is looking to expand across Africa. Kilimall now operates in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria. The retailer plans to extend its operations across all African markets by 2022. With the continued growing demand for online shopping in the region it sees big opportunities in other markets. The CEO, Yang Tao, expects Africa to go through an ecommerce boom in the next five years. Many factors will contribute to this. Such as; the declining cost of internet access, the rise of mobile ownership and government investments in technology development.

Finland's S Group: +2.7% to €5.61bln in H1
Finland-based S Group said net sales in H1 2018 rose 2.7% to €5.61bln. The cooperative said that the pace of sales growth had been driven by its supermarkets and traffic and food shop divisions. S Group said its ecommerce channel had grown sales strongly. As part of the results announcement S Group said it had enjoyed growth ahead of the wider grocery market. Grocery sales rose 5.8% to €3.56bln, with S Group’s chief executive, Taavi Heikkilä, saying: “Our total sales continued to grow steadily during the first part of the year. Our performance benefited from the warm weather of early summer, which has driven footfall amongst our shoppers”.

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