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Target announces plans to accelerate multiyear strategy

Costco reports Q2, operating fiscal 2018 and February sales results

US: SuperValu-owned CUB® store announces new store and new format
“This store brings a great new concept to the CUB portfolio, as it will be our first store embedded into a residential complex,” said Anne Dament, Executive Vice President of Retail, Marketing, and Private Brands, under which Cub resides. “We're evolving our look and feel while showcasing new shopping innovations for a better experience for our customers. We feel this new format CUB is a perfect fit for this neighborhood.”

US: Walmart is about to open a technology research center
Walmart is opening an emerging technologies office in Plano to work on new systems designed to improve store operations. The world's largest retailer already employs 2,000 technologists in Silicon Valley, but it believes there's plenty of talent to tap in Texas. The new office officially opens April 5 in a Common Desk shared space at 5830 Granite Park in Plano.

US: Target announces plans to accelerate multiyear strategy

Target Corporation announced several initiatives as part of its multiyear strategy, including significantly expanding its suite of fulfilment options and increasing the starting minimum wage to $12 in 2018. Free two-day shipping is now available on hundreds of thousands of items on when guests spend at least $35 or pay with a REDcard. In 2018, millions of additional guests will have access to Drive Up, Target Restock and same-day delivery of in-store purchases from select urban stores for a flat fee. "We're making Target America's easiest place to shop. That means blending the best of our physical and digital assets to create new experiences for our guests and reimagining our network of stores into hubs for commerce and community - inspiring showrooms, service centers and neighborhood-based fulfilment centers," said Brian Cornell, Target's chairman and CEO.

US: Costco reports Q2, operating fiscal 2018 and February sales results
Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Costco” or the “Company”) announced its operating results for the second quarter (twelve weeks) and the first 24 weeks of fiscal 2018, ended February 18, 2018. Net sales for the quarter increased 10.8%, to $32.28bln from $29.13bln last year. Net sales for the first 24 weeks of fiscal 2018 increased 12.0%, to $63.40bln from $56.60bln last year.

UK retail sales: two-speed market persists

The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium Retail Sales Monitor (BRC-RSM) shows that UK retail sales grew by 1.6% in February 2018 (0.6% like-for-like). However, this average disguises the fact that fortunes between the food and non-food sectors continue to diverge, with solid growth persisting in food and grocery, while non-food has seen sales declining in many categories. Food and grocery at +4.0% over three months: over the three months from December to February sales in food and grocery were well ahead of the total market average of 1.5%, with non-food restraining overall performance, falling by 0.5%. While inflation continues to play a part in boosting the food and grocery sector, volume sales are positive with growth, adjusted for the BRC Shop Price Index, standing at 2.2%.

Lidl opens “brick and mortar” supermarket in Romanian medieval city
German retailer Lidl, one of the biggest supermarket chains in Romania, will open its first store in the medieval city of Sighisoara, in central Romania. The store is one of a kind in Lidl’s portfolio as it is adapted to the town’s architecture. It has a brick façade and tile roof while also integrating sustainable building technologies.

UAE: Lulu expansion in India, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia

With the recent relaxation of international investment rules in India, Lulu has begun to increase its investment in the market. It opened its first mall in the country in 2013. So far in 2018 the retailer has invested US$300mln in a mall in the northern Indian city of Lucknow. Plans are to invest a further US$2bln by 2021 building malls, hotels and convention centres. When it builds a mall it is likely that LuLu will operate a hypermarket in it, using its brand as an anchor tenant for the centre. Lulu also plans to continue its investment in Indonesia. It opened its second hypermarket in 2017 as part of a US$500mln investment plan in the country over the next three years. Expansion within Saudi Arabia will also continue with a planned investment of US$133m by the end of 2019.
Ireland: Dunnes Stores restructures 40 companies in group reshuffle
Dunnes Stores has completed a major corporate restructuring process by assimilating 40 individual companies into a principal entity within the group via a merger process. Filings at the Companies Registration Office show that the operations of 40 companies controlled by the Dunnes Stores group have been merged with an unlimited firm called Dunnes Stores (George's Street). The retailer's headquarters is based on South Great George's Street in Dublin.

France: Retailer Casino eyes further profit growth in 2018
French retailer Casino said that it aimed to grow profits further in 2018 thanks to cost savings and improving sales in France and Brazil, as it posted a 20.1% rise in its 2017 operating profit. Casino, whose credit rating was cut to junk by Standard & Poor’s in March 2016, is under pressure to show it can revive profits in its main market of France at a time of slower growth in Brazil, its second-biggest market by revenue. Operating income rose 20.1% to 1.242bln euros ($1.54bln), in line with the company’s guidance for profits of 1.24bln euros given in January. Casino said its French operations achieved operating profits of 556mln euros in 2017, also in line with the company’s guidance for profits above 550mln euros.

Spar UK retailer rolls out payment and loyalty app across estate
After a successful launch in October 2017, Zapper - an all-in one mobile payment, loyalty and vouchering app - is now available in 20 Gillett-owned Spar sites in the south west of England. Phil Darch, Operations Director at Gillett’s said, “We are delighted to be the first convenience retailer in the South West to offer customers payment through Zapper. We have been looking for some time how we can reward our customers with a loyalty program that is easy to administer offers real value to consumers and is integrated into a simple payment process. We believe that Zapper fits the bill and early indications have been very positive”.

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