Amazon: Private label range expansion to Europe

Sprouts: Strong comps as new stores excel

US shop giant Costco to land at Perth Airport
The American retail giant and Perth Airport have joined forces to build Perth’s first Costco warehouse in the airport precinct — a $55mln project that will generate up to 475 construction and retail jobs. The Sunday Times can reveal that pending planning approvals, construction of the sprawling 14,000sq m building — more than triple the size of a normal supermarket — will start next year and be open to members in 2020. The Perth Costco will also have a petrol station, optical centre, hearing aid centre and tyre centre.

US: Shoppers want more from supermarkets
Although Americans spend a substantial amount of time shopping in supermarkets, plenty of them say stores could stand to make some improvements, according to a survey from tech solutions company Phononic. A survey of 1,100 adults across the United States was done in January to better understand what shoppers - who visit a traditional supermarket 3.9 times a month - want from stores, per Phononic. Eighty-nine percent of grocery buyers want a grocery store that understands how to make food shopping easier and more efficient, according to a Chain Store Age report on the survey. Eighty-five percent said grocery stores should make it easier to find merchandise.

US: Big Y distribution center expansion is prelude to more supermarkets
A long-time Massachusetts-based company has big expansion plans. Big Y Foods announced a $35mln project to double the size of its distribution center in Springfield and create 32 new full-time jobs. The new 425,000-square foot warehouse – roughly the size of 10 football fields – will provide the capacity for the company to build 20 new supermarkets in the region over the next two decades, according to Big Y President Charles D’Amour.

US: Sprouts posts strong comps again as new stores excel
Sprouts Farmers Market reported net sales of $1.1bln for the fourth quarter ended December 31st, 2017, a 16% increase over the same period last year, according to a company release. Driving those gains was a comp-store sales increase of 4.6% — the latest in a string of strong comps for the natural and organic retailer. Sprouts officials see comps moderating in the next quarter, however, noting that a calendar shift in Q4 reporting period contributed to gains. In 2018, the company expects comp-store sales to fall between 2.5% and 3.5%, with earnings per share of $1.22 to $1.28. Sprouts will also gain a $30mln benefit from tax reform, and plans to use one third of those funds to increase wages and benefits for its workers. The company saw gross profits increase 17% in Q4, to $324mln. For the 2017 fiscal year, Sprouts reported net sales of $4.7bln, up 15% over 2016, and comp-store sales growth of 2.9%.

Amazon’s private label range expands to European markets
Amazon has launched three of its private label brands in Spain and other European markets. Happy Belly, Wickedly Prime and Mama Bear are private label Amazon brands that have been sold in Spain since the second half of 2017. The brands are also for sale in other markets such as Italy, France and Germany. No promotional plan accompanied the release of these products, as with the company’s quiet release of private label products in the US. This saves all the cost of advertising and allows the products to be sold for less. The description pages don’t mention Amazon’s link to the products either. The Happy Belly and Wickedly Prime brands focus on perishable foods, whilst Mama Bear specialises in baby products.

US: Central Market launches kerbside service

In the latest stroke of supermarket convenience, Central Market is debuting a kerbside service at select Texas stores. The first location for the service is in Fort Worth. Central Market will add it at select stores in Texas, including Houston. The date has not been announced, but construction is underway at the Houston store, at 3815 Westheimer Rd.

Walmart Argentina: Shopper interest in own brand products increasing
As a result Walmart will expand its range. Shoppers are becoming increasingly used to buying own brand products as overall quality has improved and prices remain low. Walmart targets prices 20% lower on own brand than on leading brands. These have been reported as accounting for 13% of overall company sales, but Walmart sees potential for this to grow significantly higher in the longer term. Clearly, the strength of DIA, and its own brand led offer, is changing the role of private label for many shoppers. Walmart, like other retailers, will look to strengthen its own penetration in private label off the back of this.

New Zealand retail sales rise in Q4, fueled by groceries

New Zealand retail sales picked up the pace in the fourth quarter, rising 1.7% as consumers splashed out on groceries and dining out, official data showed. That put sales 5.4% higher on the year, Statistics New Zealand reported. Food and beverage sales lifted 3.7%, supermarket shopping grew 1.4%, and car sales rose 2.1%.

South Africa: Woolworths Holdings' H1 profit falls
South African retailer Woolworths Holdings Ltd posted a 15% fall in half-year profit hurt by a hefty write-down charge on the value of its David Jones business in Australia and tough trading conditions in its home market and Australia. Woolworths paid a big premium to bulk up in Australia via David Jones as part of Chief Executive Ion Moir’s ambitions to turn the firm into a leading southern hemisphere retailer, but the delayed execution of certain initiatives aimed at transforming David Jones is threatening that ambition.

Conad launches online supermarket service in Italy
Italian supermarket chain Conad is introducing a new online grocery service, offering home delivery from customers' local stores. The service has been developed by Conad's largest cooperative Pac 2000A, which is based in the central Italian region of Umbria, alongside IT and retail logistics company Intema. The two partners have set up a new company called Eurecart, which has designed a proprietary e-commerce platform and payment solution, with logistics support for each store. The service will deliver fresh, frozen and grocery items directly to consumers' doors, for a fee that varies depending on the value of the order.

UK: Green-Door gets a warm welcome from top supermarkets
A new innovation which could spell the end of the unwieldy ‘night door’ for food retailers has been warmly welcomed by top supermarkets. The Green-Door – which is actually blue! - is available for both freezers and chillers, and is the latest innovation from the thermal insulation specialists at Seymour Manufacturing International (SMI). After years of painstaking research and nearly a decade of stringent tests at sites across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, it is now opening the door to significant financial savings for major retailers. Green-Door is a more lightweight and user-friendly replacement for the heavy sliding ‘night door’, with the potential to save a considerable amount of energy and physical effort for users.

Publication date :


Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

© 2018