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Spar plans expansion in southern Russia

Coop Sweden: increase in sales, but profits take a hit

Italy: Initiatives driving growth at Conad
Italy-based cooperative Conad has announced full year results for 2017. As part of a separate announcement, Conad said it ended 2017 with a turnover of €13bln, up 5% on 2016’s figure. Conad said the pace of growth was twice the national average and meant it gained share, especially in its core supermarket channel. Continued expansion of its store network and improvements to its private label ranges helped underpin turnover growth. To maintain this pace of growth, Conad said it will invest €1.101bln in the period between 2017 and 2019, with €413mln invested in 2017 and €402mln and €286mln planned for 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Germany: Aldi expanding organic private label
In Germany, Aldi Nord and Süd will add more than 60 new organic products to their private label ranges in 2018. This will be across a range of categories and will also be part of the special offers. Additionally, Aldi Süd is expanding its overall range, increasing its number of permanent SKU's to 1,500. This further improves its attractiveness as a main shop destination.

Spar to expand in southern Russia

Spar Russia’s franchisee in the southern federal district of Astrakhan plans to open 30 new Spar stores in the region before the end of 2019. This follows the launch of the first supermarket in the federal district at the end of 2017. Spar Russia’s entry into new regions, such as Astrakhan, is showing clear interest in expanding presence in Russia. Sergey Loktev, Managing Director of Spar Russia, commented: “Our new Spar Partner in Astrakhan is determined to expand the Spar network. We have invested in the training of new specialists and the modernisation of logistics and trade processes. In the coming months, we expect the opening of several new supermarkets in Astrakhan.”

Germany: Edeka to deliver groceries straight to customers' fridges
Edeka's online supermarket, Bringmeister, is launching a service which will enable groceries to be delivered straight into customers' fridges. A new Smart Lock system has been developed by Cary services, allowing time limited access to user's homes using electronic keys. The cost of the lock system is €9.99 a month. In partnership with this, Bringmeister will give customers the option to order groceries online and have them delivered to their house whilst they are out. The delivery drivers will be able to bring groceries into customers' fridges, hallways or cupboards as requested.

Coop Sweden sees increase in sales, but profits take a hit
Coop Sweden has posted net sales of SEK 32.18bln in 2017, representing growth of 2%, compared to the previous year. However, the Swedish retailer saw operating profit for the year fall from SEK 172mln to SEK 35mln, citing a weak start to 2017 with a declining sales trend, as well as increased investment. "It is gratifying that we have delivered a profit for the third consecutive year," said Magnus Johansson, CEO of Coop Sweden.

Botswana: Increase in revenues for Sefalana
Botswana-based retailer Sefalana has announced its results for the final six months of 2017. It has reported positive revenue results, but negative gross profit. Sefalana’s revenue for June to December 2017 was BWP2.0bln (US$205mln). This was an increase of 13%. Performance was driven by new stores as it expands into new countries, such as Lesotho. In its first six months of trading in 2017 its revenue was BWP155mln (US$15.9mln).

Russia: X5 Retail EDR signed up more than 1,000 new suppliers
X5 Retail Group N.V. announces that it strengthened its supply agreements with Russian producers in 2017, with the Group's offering enhanced by produce from 1,050 new manufacturers from 63 regions across Russia's seven Federal Districts. The Central Federal District showed the strongest activity, with X5 establishing partnerships with nearly 500 new suppliers (more than 50% of them from the Moscow region). The new suppliers helped expand the offering of staples such as dairy, meat and fish products, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, grocery, etc.

US: H-E-B is bringing curbside pickup to Central Markets
H-E-B is bringing a curbside service to its Central Market stores, starting with its Fort Worth store. Plano, Austin and Houston Central Market stores are also getting the curbside areas, which H-E-B has already added to about 100 of its namesake stores in Houston and other markets in Texas. The plan is to "aggressively roll out the feature" at H-E-B stores across the state, the company said.

Amazon says it will create 2,000 jobs in France in 2018
U.S. online retail giant Amazon said it will create 2,000 permanent contract positions this year in France, its largest market in Europe after Britain and Germany. The increase will bring Amazon’s total number of permanent French staff to 7,500 in 2018 and reflects confidence in the economy of a country where the Seattle-based retailer has invested over 2 billion euros since 2010, the company said in a statement.

U.S. Retail sales unexpectedly decrease in January
Retail sales in the U.S. unexpectedly decreased in the month of January, the Commerce Department revealed in a report. The Commerce Department said retail sales fell by 0.3% in January compared to economist estimates for a 0.2% uptick in sales. Revised data showed that retail sales were unchanged in December compared to the previously reported 0.4% increase.

US: Walmart is cutting management roles at some stores

Walmart is restructuring store management positions at some of its 4,700 stores. Many of the workers impacted by the cuts will be placed in other jobs at Walmart, including other management positions, Walmart said. “Retail is changing rapidly and over the past two years, we’ve been transforming too,” a Walmart spokesman said. “Our associates are fundamentally important to this effort, and success depends on having the right people in the right place at the right time.That means creating new roles while consolidating and redesigning others.”

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