Delhaize, Ahold shares advance as merger talks said to progress

CZ: Tesco possibly to be bought by Babis and Mid Europa

Poland: Aldi opening first store in Warsaw
On 10 June, Aldi Network is scheduled to open its first store in Warsaw, reports. The retailer's launch in Warsaw is an important step in the development of the German network in Poland, which has so far focused on opening stores in the west and south of the country. The opening of the first store in the capital indicates that Aldi plans to develop a network in northern and eastern Poland.

Czech Republic: Babis and Mid Europa may purchase Tesco
Czech and Finance Minister Andrej Babis, together with investment group Mid Europa Partners (MEP), wants to acquire part of the British retail chain Tesco, as reported by two independent sources from the financial community to Euro E15. Babis is cooperating with MEP through an investment fund, Hartenberg Holding. The value of the Czech part of Tesco could reach 55bn crowns (about €2bn). This year, Tesco announced a record full-year loss amounting to £ 5.7bn. The chain also has a gigantic debt of 21.7bn pounds (€ 30.15bn). Czech sales also achieved poor results. Last year, the company generated a loss of almost 4bn crowns (€ 145.8m). (

Delhaize, Ahold shares advance as merger talks said to progress
Delhaize Group and Royal Ahold NV rose in early European trading after Bloomberg reported that merger talks between the Belgian and Dutch grocers are progressing, with the goal of reaching an agreement by the end of the month, reports. Delhaize gained as much as 5.3% to 83.20 Euro in Brussels, extending its advance since talks were first reported last month to 15%. Ahold shares climbed as much as 2.4% to 18.67 Euro in Amsterdam.

UK: Record fall in fresh food prices drives retail deflation
Prices in British shops have moved into their third year of decline as a result of widespread supermarket discounting and cheaper fresh food, according to new industry figures, reports. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said shop prices in May were down 1.9% on last year’s levels, unchanged from April’s rate of decline and the 25th straight month of deflation. The fall will reinforce expectations that the broader official measure of inflation in the UK will remain low for some months to come after turning negative in April. The BRC found food prices again fell 0.9% in May while non-food deflation held at 2.5%. Within those categories, fresh food fell at a record pace of 1.9% thanks to meat, milk, cheese and eggs.

Discount supermarket Aldi to bulk buy warehouse space
According to the latest report from Barbour ABI, planning applications for proposed floorspace for UK supermarket warehousing is at 82,757 sq m for 2015 so far, of which 60,000 sq m has been proposed by Aldi, who are currently constructing a major distribution centre in Cardiff that is due to open in 2017, reports. This reflects the activity from 2014 with 94% of proposed warehousing floorspace coming from Aldi. In regards to the 'big four' supermarket retailers, Asda was the only one to seek any type of warehousing planning permission in 2014 with 10,695 sq m of floorspace, whereas Tesco have not solicited any planning permission for warehousing space over the last two years.

Netto Poland to open 20+ new stores yearly
According to Kent Petersen, General Director of Netto Poland, the retailer wants to invest around 200m złoty (€48.55m) annually and open between 20 and 30 new stores per year, reports. Netto Poland, owned by the Danish group Dansk Supermarked, currently has approximately 335 stores in Poland.

Auchan to introduce supermarket franchise in Portugal
French retailer Auchan is planning to boost its market presence in Portugal by opening supermarket franchises, reports. The chosen brand is Pão de Açúcar and two stores are already in operation in Ericeira. By the end of the year, there will be between eight and ten stores operating in this format. In an interview for daily Diário Económico, the director of franchising, partnership and exports of the Auchan Group, Jaime Lemos, revealed that the intention is to enter the "neighbourhood segment" where the retailer was not yet present in Portugal.

French Auchan is the most recommended banner on Internet
According to the Boston Consulting Group and Semiocast survey, Auchan is acclaimed for the quality of its private label products and its large promotional events, reports. 51 retail banners were analyzed through a little more than 2m verbatims. A ranking largely won by Auchan, with an almost perfect score of 98/100, thanks to the quality of its private label products and the success of its major commercial operations.

US: Weis Markets receives top honor for sustainability

Weis Markets announced today that it is the recipient of the 2015 Retail Sustainability Award from Produce Business magazine for its overall corporate sustainability initiatives according to a press release. The award is presented annually to the most progressive North American grocery retailer for exemplary environmental sustainability and social responsibility efforts.

SA: Massmart: 9.5% sales growth
South Africa-based Massmart’s chief executive, Guy Hayward, speaking before the retailer’s AGM, has said that it enjoyed total sales growth of 9.5% and comparable sales growth of 7.4% during the first 20 weeks of its 2015 financial year, reports. Sales inflation stood at 3.9% for the same timeframe.

Massmart marks entry into Kenya
After a number of years trying to enter the country, Massmart has opened its first store in Kenya, reports. Underlining the retailer’s wait to enter the country, the UK’s Financial Times quotes Massmart’s marketing director, Mark Turner, as saying ‘We should have been here a while ago but we just couldn’t get the deal right — unfortunately it’s taken us too long…’

Over half US grocery store purchases are highly processed foods
A new study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that almost two-thirds — 61% — of American grocery purchases are highly processed foods, reports. In addition, 77% of American grocery purchases consist of either moderately or highly processed foods. The word processed, according to USDA standards, is defined as “a retail item derived from a covered commodity that has undergone specific processing resulting in a change in the character of the covered commodity.” By this definition, pasteurized dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, as well as frozen vegetables, are processed foods.

Indian grocery giant inaugurate its 50th store in US
Patel Brothers, a US-based grocery retail chain that aims to reconnect people with the flavors of India, has opened its 50th store in the country, reports. Patel Brothers, a house hold name among Indian-Americans, offers a full line of groceries including dry goods, frozen items and fresh produce.

AU: Storm hits DC of Metcash and Costco
A damage bill of $302m has been racked up by insurers from the Anzac Day storms, which damaged a significant number of warehouses across Sydney's west, reports. Costco's NSW hub at Huntingwood Drive, Huntingwood was hard hit, leaving the retailer looking for temporary digs. Metcash confirmed its DC at Huntingwood site, which opened three years ago, had sustained significant damage. Metcash has signs at its supermarkets across NSW warning some stock is unavailable.

Interesting links on retail:

Walmart makes slow progress navigating Africa's challenges

When Walmart Stores Inc spent $2.4bn on a stake in South Africa's Massmart five years ago, the world's biggest retailer said it was buying a gateway to high-growth markets in sub-Saharan Africa. Click here to read the article.

Russian retail market still attractive to foreign investors, say experts
One of the leaders of world retail, French hypermarket chain Carrefour, announced its entry into the Russian market. According to experts, the retail sector in Russia is still attractive for its growth potential even though the population's purchasing power is falling. Click here to read the whole article.

The new global retail landscape: small and simple is beautiful right now.

Despite evidence that the rise of digital shopping has become an influential factor in the changing retail landscape, consumer shopping channel preferences continue to shift. Which channels are consumers shopping on most, and what are they buying there? Click here to read the article.

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