Spar International sales top 30bn | Tesco closes all non-food stores

Trader Joe's, Publix, Aldi ranked highest by consumers

Spar International sales top 30bn
SPAR International has announced that its global retail sales reached €31.9bn, driven by the retailer’s entry into 10 new markets, reports. It said that its like-for-like sales rose by 1.2% during 2014, while total sales were aided by the brand’s expansion into 10 new territories including Indonesia, its re-entry into India, Angola, Malawi, Georgia, as well as adding new partners in Russia and China. SPAR Austria enjoyed retail sales growth of 1.9%, to reach €5.91bn. SPAR China’s growth accelerated in 2014 with retail sales rising 25% to €1.78bn. In Russia, SPAR’s sales rose 33% in local currency terms to RUB75bn (US$1.5bn). SPAR South Africa saw continued strong growth, benefiting from a 7.8% increase in sales in local currency terms. It also announced that after 22 years as managing director Dr Gordon Campbell would be stepping down from the role.

US: Trader Joe's, Publix, Aldi top grocery chains
For the third year in a row, Trader Joe’s has emerged as the people’s choice for groceries, reports. Market Force Information’s annual grocery study, based on 7,200 consumers nationwide, ranks Publix second, followed by Aldi, Hy-Vee and H-E-B. And it also finds that in choosing their favorites, consumers in the $600bn category are paying even closer attention to organics, with 48% of shoppers saying they prefer these foods when given a choice. For shoppers looking for organic purchases, fruits and vegetables are the main focus, with 90% saying they had purchased them within the last month.

Ireland: Dunnes Stores workers in line for 3% pay increase

Despite ongoing tensions between management and staff which saw a one-day stoppage last month, Dunnes Stores is understood to have signed off on a 3% pay rise for its workers, reports.

Walmex top retailer in Latin-America
According to the Latinvex 500, Mexico-based Walmex, a unit of Walmart, has replaced France-based Groupe Casino as Latin America's top retailer, reports. Walmex had long held that position, but Casino in 2013 posted higher Latin America revenues than its Mexican rival. However, the difference between the two is small, with Walmex sales only slightly higher. Meanwhile, France-based Carrefour -- which long had ranked second behind Walmex in Latin America -- slipped from fourth place in last year's Latinvex 500 ranking to fifth place this year.

UK: Food sales edge up in the 3 months to April

According to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor for April, total food sales showed an annual rise of 0.4% in the three months to April, reports. Like-for-like retail sales saw a 2.4% decline on the same period last year, although the timing of Easter this year distorted April’s figures. On a total basis, sales were down 1.3%.

Metro AG plans to invest in India Rs 4b in India

German retailer Metro AG plans to invest Rs 400 crore to increase the number of its wholesale stores in India as part of a strategy to make the country a key focus market, reports. In a submission to the Registrar of Companies last week following a board resolution, Metro said it will raise the amount from its parent company through equity infusion, without specifying any time frame.

US Study: Shoppers like curbside pickup

According to Market Force Information, a small %age of shoppers have used a supermarket’s click-and-collect service, but the majority of those who have tried it, like it, reports. Just 5% of respondents said they have used click-and-collect, which involves ordering online and picking up curbside. But 75% of those said they were highly satisfied with the experience, and more than half are repeat users.

UK: Tesco closes all non-food stores
Tesco is to close its last six Homeplus stores in the UK with the potential loss of about 450 jobs, bringing the curtain down on a business it had hoped to build into a new chain selling non-food goods, reports.

Botswana’s Choppies to enter Kenya in 2015

Choppies Supermarket is set to enter the Kenyan market by end of 2015, reports. The retail chain intends to enter the market through acquisitions when expanding as its management has hinted at the possibility of an acquisition in order to establish a footprint in Kenya. “Choppies has entered into a joint venture agreement with a strong local partner for expansion into East Africa,” the firm said.
Grupo Éxito concentrates on Carulla
Grupo Éxito, Casino's Colombian business, is investing COP100bn (USD42m) over three years with the Carulla banner at the heart of its expansion plans, which includes opening 10 Carulla supermarkets in 2015, reports.

Dia sees sales rise 17% in Q1

Spanish supermarket chain Dia saw its sales rise by 17% in Q1 to hit €2.5bn, according to results issued this morning, reports. Organic gross sales growth, excluding the El Arbol acquisition, was 6.9%. Adjusted EBITDA was €118.4m, up 8.3%.

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