Brookshire grocery explores sale | Brightfarms to supply Ahold

Walmart forecasts flat sales and lower profits

Dutch Aldi offers more organic fresh produce
Aldi has further expanded its range of fresh organic produce and Fairtrade products. Aldi aims to enrich the assortment in the future with more sustainable products. The organic range at Aldi has expanded in recent months. The customer can now choose from a wide range of organic products, which includes fresh organic cucumbers and peppers. All organic products have an organic label under the name Mama Nature, Aldi's own exclusive brand for organics.

US: BrightFarms announces new Virginia greenhouse to supply Ahold stores

Ahold USA’s Giant and Martin’s stores, as well as its Peapod delivery service, will soon offer produce from a BrightFarms greenhouse in Culpeper County, Va., the produce supplier announced. The BrightFarms Capitol Greenhouse — slated for completion in December — will exclusively supply Ahold stores in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Delaware. The 150,000-square-foot greenhouse is expected to grow 1m pounds of produce, including spinach, arugula, Asian greens, spring mix, kale and baby greens blends, as well as vine, cocktail and grape tomatoes. (supermarketnews.com)

US: Walmart forecasts flat sales and lower profits
Walmart Stores Inc. expects its profit to take a hit as the world’s biggest retailer works to fend off intensifying competition by perking up customer service and adapting to changing shopping habits. The company, also forecast sales for its full fiscal year to be flat, hurt by unfavorable currency exchange rates. Walmart had previously forecast sales growth of 1 to 2%. For its next fiscal year, it said profit could fall by as much as 12%. Its shares tumbled 10% to $60.03, their steepest one-day fall since January 1988. (bostonglobe.com)

Walmart’s online grocery shopping service expands
Walmart is expanding its online grocery shopping service to ten additional markets across the U.S., the company announced this morning, including several cities in Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma. (techcrunch.com)

UK: Free fruit for children while parents shop at Tesco
An initiative offering free fruit to children whilst their parents shop has been introduced at Tesco in Wolverton. Apples, bananas, pears and oranges have been made available near the store’s entrance in an extension of the company’s nationwide Farm to Fork scheme. The store in Wolverton is the first to introduce the initiative in Milton Keynes, although it has been successfully trialled in Bedford, Flitwick and Tring. (onemk.co.uk)

US: Supermarket chain Brookshire Grocery explores sale
Brookshire Grocery Company is exploring a sale that could value the family-owned operator of supermarket stores in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas at as much as $1bn, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter. The move underscores a trend toward consolidation in the fragmented U.S. supermarket sector, as companies respond to low profit margins by seeking economies of scale through acquisitions. Brookshire is working with investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co on an auction that has attracted larger peers, including Albertsons Companies Inc, the people said this week. Albertsons, which is on the verge of going public in an IPO, in 2013 acquired United Supermarkets, which operates 54 stores throughout Texas. (Reuters)

Couche-Tard to buy 18 convenience stores
Alimentation Couche-Tard is expanding its reach in the southern United States with a deal to buy 18 convenience stores operating under the Texas Star brand. The deal also includes two Subway stores and a dealer fuel supply network in the southern part of Texas. The purchase price isn’t being disclosed. The convenience stores will be converted to the Circle K brand and will continue to sell Shell and CITGO-branded fuel. The deal is expected to close by next April. With this deal, Couche-Tard’s U.S. Southwest division will include 513 corporate and franchised stores. (lethbridgeherald.com)

Dutch PLUS to invest in e-commerce
PLUS’s CEO, Jan Brouwer, has said that despite the channel not being profitable, the retailer would continue to invest in its online operations to meet shopper demand for a multichannel offer. Brouwer said that he saw opportunities in selling to businesses as a way to grow scale, drive sales and aid efficiency of the supply chain. He also noted that it was up to PLUS’s franchisees to opt in or out of the e-commerce service, thus making it easier to manage from a corporate point of view.  Click here to read more about PLUS. (igd.com)

Dutch Coop to break 250 store mark
Coop Supermarkt is set to break through the 250 store mark, with the rebranding of five stores in November set to take it close to the number. (igd.com)

M&S reappraises its international strategy
Marks & Spencer has announced plans to close 12 stores across five Eastern European countries amidst challenging macroeconomic and political conditions. The 12 closures will begin in January 2016 and will see the retailer leave Croatia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia by May 2016. China remains a strategic priority for M&S, although its faltering economy has necessitated a change in M&S's strategy. M&S will soon open its new flagship store in Beijing, as part of a new approach which will see it focus expansion in first-tier cities in mainland China. (igd.com)

Dutch Albert Heijn launches ‘Community’ site

As part of its initiative to engage with shoppers Albert Heijn has launched an online site ‘AH Community’. The retailer has said the site will combine a number of ways it interacts with shoppers and provide them with a 'meeting place where all our tips, recipes and suppliers come together with opinions and ideas’. (igd.com)

Tesco CEO shuns more quick fixes to retailer's debt woes
Tesco Plc's plan to cut debt without selling any more major assets is raising questions over the UK supermarket leader's ability to recapture investment-grade status if it doesn't sell shares first. "They can get there in about four years, but they'd be running a risk that markets could turn down," Rob Orman, a credit analyst at Henderson Global Investors, said by phone. "If they did a rights issue, they could get there in a year or so." Because of price cuts to win back customers, Tesco's UK same-store sales are falling and its operating margins are being squeezed. Yet CEO Dave Lewis has ruled out further major divestments to help the retailer cut its £17.7bn (US$27bn) debt burden, following September's £4bn disposal of its Korean operations. The planned sale of the Dunnhumby data-analytics unit was abandoned this month. (Bloomberg)



Tesco should recompense suppliers: readers’ poll
Tesco should recompense suppliers who lost out through the supermarket’s self-confessed past mistakes, according to most Food Manufacture Group readers. Please, click here to read more at foodmanufacture.co.uk.

US: Whole Foods makes big bet on tech
Whole Foods Market is announcing a partnership with business enterprise software company Infor to build out a cloud-based platform for Whole Foods to help with its merchandising and supply chain. It’s the latest move by Whole Foods to use technology as a differentiator as it faces growing competition in the natural and organic categories from chains as varied as Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Sprouts “The word on the street is everyone is selling the same food. Well, they ain’t,” says Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb. “I know there’s a difference. I want to communicate the difference and sell the difference, and we’re partnering with technology to do it.” (fortune.com)

Safeway parent to delay IPO

Albertsons Cos., the parent of Safeway, delayed its initial public offering, according to several reports. The IPO, which would be one of this year's largest, might still happen in the next day or two, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the plan. But Reuters reported that the delay will extend far longer as the company waits for market conditions to improve. (bizjournals.com)

UK: Spar distributor recruiting forecourts
Appleby Westward, the regional distribution company for Spar stores in the south west, is reporting increasing interest from forecourt retailers impressed by the experience of Top 50 Indies the Chartman Group and Euro Garages. The news came as the company announced its highest new store recruitment figures in over five years. It has recruited 24 independent stores this year from a wide selection of competitors, including the securing of four Co-op disposals. In addition, the company has been integrating 32 Euro Garage forecourt sites throughout its territory this autumn, re-fitting and merchandising stores under the Spar fascia. “We have enjoyed tremendous success with new store recruitment this year, and are budgeting to bring in a further 24 stores in 2016,” said Nick Kenworthy, Appleby Westward’s sales director. (forecourttrader.co.uk)

UK: Sainsbury’s quits its mobile phone business
Sainsbury’s is axing its mobile phone venture after two years – hitting 150,000 customers. The supermarket blamed a ¬breakdown in talks with industry giant Vodafone for the move. Mobile by Sainsbury’s is known as a “mobile virtual network operator” – or MVNO – because it piggybacks Vodafone’s network. (mirror.co.uk)

Lidl Hungary invests HUF 800M to modernize disposal

German retail chain Lidl has invested HUF 800M in Hungary to modernize waste disposal processes at its stores in the country, in order to ensure that 95% of its waste is reusable, Lidl said in an announcement today, according to news agency MTI. (bbj.hu)

US: AmazonFresh & hungryroot partner to deliver healthy meals

Amazon.com 's online grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh, recently partnered with Hungryroot to distribute ready-to-eat meals in continental U.S. (nasdaq.com)

Scotmid reports £2m operating profit
Scotmid reports £2m operating profit for the first half of the year. Scotmid Co-operative has reported an operating profit of £2m for the 26 weeks ended 1 August. While this is down from last year’s first-half £2.1m operating profit, the society said the interim results confirm a positive performance in a difficult year for the retail sector. (thenews.coop)

Casino sales beat estimates, LatAm exposure weighs

Groupe Casino has today published its Q3 results, with the group posting a 2.4% increase in same store sales in its core France market in the quarter. Its Géant hypermarket business saw sales rise 3.9%, while Leader Price was up 2.3% on a same-store sales basis. Monoprix rose 2.2% on a same-store sales basis. The group added that food sales in Latin America rose +2.4%, and dipped slightly in Asia (-0.8%) on a same store sales basis. Total group sales stood at a €10.684bn for the quarter, a same store sales decline of 2.1%. (esmmagazine.com)

Big C Thailand: sluggish Q3
Big C Thailand has reported a 4.4% decrease in sales to BHT28.4bn (US$0.8b) in Q3. Big C was committed to offering the best value to its customers this quarter. Although this led to a lower average basket spend, the number of products sold increased by 1.9%, along with improvements in transaction numbers. In addition, trading was heavily impacted by the bombing of the Erawan shrine in August. Stores in greater Bangkok and tourist areas were most affected, leading to a like-for-like sales drop of 5.2%. The retailer continues to strengthen its store network by investing in existing hypermarkets and opened 32 new stores this quarter. (igd.com)

Eataly expands to Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Eataly Distribuzione and Signa Retail have set up a joint venture to launch the Eataly food concept store in Germany, Austria and in German-speaking Switzerland. The first outlet in Germany, to be opened by the end of the year, will be a store in the historic Schrannenhalle building near the Viktualienmarkt in the centre of Munich. At least five more stores will be opened by 2021 in other locations. (esmmagazine.com)

UK: Winners and losers in the convenience sector
Please, click here to read the article.


UK: SPAR retail show takes a ‘Fresh Look’
Please, click here to read the article.



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