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Kroger: click-and-collect service name changed to avoid confusion

Publix: expansion of HQ planned to help fuel growth

US: Banner Wholesale opens new facility
Banner Wholesale Grocers, a Chicago institution for 90 years, has opened a new 75,000-square-foot facility only a few blocks away from its previous location. While the new warehouse, which the company built from the ground up, isn't much larger than the previous facility, it offers a layout designed to be more like a store to make shopping easier for its cash-and-carry and independent grocery customers. Open to the public, the warehouse also features a taqueria for easy grab-and-go food. The new warehouse uses space vertically, rather than horizontally, allowing more product to be stored in about the same footprint to support Banner's business, which has nearly doubled in the past five years, according to Richard Saltzman, the company's third-generation owner. His children, Ryan and Carly Saltzman, are the fourth generation involved in the business.

US: Food Lion brings click-and-collect to 5 Raleigh-area Stores
Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic grocer Food Lion is expanding its click-and-collect service to five stores in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Powered by San Francisco-based third-party delivery service Instacart, Food Lion To-Go will become available October 1 at one store each in Clayton, Raleigh, Oxford, Morrisville and Wake Forest, where shoppers can get their first pickup free. Customers place their order online and pick up their orders in as little as an hour, seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

US: Keith Knopf succeeds Michael Teel as Raley’s President/CEO
Raley’s has promoted Keith Knopf to president and CEO of the company, succeeding Michael Teel. Knopf joined Raley’s as COO in 2015, adding the role of president more than a year ago. “Keith is a strong leader who has a passion for our people and our purpose,” said Teel, the owner of Raley’s, who will continue as chairman of the board. “He has proven success in moving our strategic priorities forward and growing our market share.”

US: Kroger changes name of click-and-collect service to avoid confusion
The Kroger Co. has changed the name of its grocery click-and-collect service, as well as other ecommerce services, to avoid confusing shoppers, according to a report in The Cincinnati Enquirer. Kroger ClickList is now Kroger Grocery Pickup, the Cincinnati-based grocery giant revealed on its website. Additionally, delivery of groceries by Instacart in as little as an hour now operates under Kroger Delivery, while shipped deliveries now operate under Kroger Ship.

US: Publix to expand headquarters to help fuel growth
To meet the needs of ongoing expansion, Publix Super Markets Inc. plans to expand its headquarters and bolster its workforce. The Southeastern grocer said it aims to enlarge its corporate office in Lakeland, Florida, and add 700 jobs by the end of 2027. Publix President and CEO Todd Jones announced the plan on Thursday with Florida Gov. Rick Scott and local officials and community leaders. “Publix’s growth is made possible by the hard work of our associates and the loyalty of our customers,” Jones said in a statement. “These additional jobs will help us support our store associates as they continue to provide the premier service our customers expect.”

Aldi sales exceed £10bln for first time in UK and Ireland
Aldi gained more than 1mln new customers last year, helping push sales at the discount grocer through £10bln for the first time. Profits at the UK and Irish arm of the German chain jumped by almost 30% to £265mln in 2017 as sales rose by 16.4% to £10.2bln, driven by the opening of 70 more stores. The chain, which overtook the Co-op last year to become Britain’s fifth biggest supermarket, has more than 775 stores in the UK and Ireland, pushing its share of the grocery market to 7.6%.

Australia: Woolworths backs new sustainability targets
Supermarket chain Woolworths has backed the recently revealed National Packaging Targets, which serve to see 100% of all Australia’s packaging become reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 or earlier. The new targets were announced earlier this week by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, and build on commitments made by Commonwealth, state and territory environmental ministers to set a sustainable path for Australia’s recyclable waste. “This will not only be a win for local jobs and industry, it’ll also be a more sustainable option for our customers,” Woolworths head of sustainability Adrian Cullen said.

Latvia retail sales growth at 22-month low
Latvia’s retail sales growth eased further in August to the lowest level in nearly two years, figures from the Central Statistical Bureau showed. Retail sales climbed 1.4% year-over-year in August, well below the 4.3% increase in July. Moreover, this was the weakest rate of growth since October 2016, when sales had risen only 0.3%.

Dunnes' UK unit suffers £23mln loss
Pre-tax losses at the main UK firm of retail giant Dunnes Stores rose more than four-fold to £23mln (€25.7mln) last year. The family-owned retailer shut down all of its stores in England and Scotland this year but continues to operate in Northern Ireland, where it has 16 stores. The Dunnes Stores (Bangor) Ltd firm covers the activities of Dunnes in the North, England and Scotland. The pre-tax loss at the business's last full year in England and Scotland is mainly due to an exceptional £18.2mln non-cash cost concerning a write-down in assets.

Germany: Netto Marken-Discount introduces shopping bag with replacement guarantee
German discounter Netto Marken-Discount has launched an eco-friendly tote bag with free exchange option. Once the bag becomes unusable, customers can replace it with a new bag, free of cost, in any Netto Marken outlet. The company claims that almost 80% of the bag is made of recycled material. The move is part of a pilot project undertaken by the discounter in collaboration with its sustainability partner, WWF Germany. "We want to motivate people to do without the one-time use of bags and the new recycling bag is a good alternative and should be used as a loyal shopping assistant,” said Christina Stylianou, the head of corporate communications at Netto Marken-Discount.

UAE: Carrefour launches new scan&go tech in Dubai supermarkets
A new "scan&go" scheme is being rolled out by Carrefour in its Dubai supermarkets in a bid to raise customer service levels. Hani Weiss, CEO, and Miguel Povedano, chief operating officer of Carrefour UAE, said the new technology at Carrefour in City Centre Mirdif allows customers to scan and bag the items they wish to purchase as they journey around the store. This eradicates the need to queue at checkout after completing their shopping.

Japan: Aeon ends partnership with Vietnam grocer Fivimart
Japanese retail giant Aeon has sold its stake in Hanoi-based grocery chain Fivimart after four years and a US$8mln loss. In a statement, Aeon said it has sold its 30% share of Fivimart, without disclosing the buyer. Local media have speculated Vietnamese retail giant Vingroup has bought the shares. Aeon said its divestment was due to poor performance of the chain, adding remaining a part owner “will not prove fruitful due to the stark differences in ... management strategies, including ways to open outlets”. Fivimart operates 23 grocery stores, a blend of convenience store and mini-supermarket in format. But it will maintain its larger stake in the Ho Chi Minh City-based Citimart, which it bought at the same time as the Fivimart investment.

Maxima Group's board member Zimnickas to head Polish retail chain Stokrotka
Arunas Zimnickas, a member of the management board at Vilnius-based Maxima Grupe (Maxima Group), the largest retail group in the Baltics, has been appointed as CEO of Emperia Holding, the operator of the Polish retail chain Stokrotka, informs LETA/BNS. Zimnickas will take up his new position on October 15, 2018. He will replace Dariusz Kalinowski, who is stepping down as chairman of the management board and CEO at Emperia Holding, but will be appointed to its supervisory board.

Germany: Hufnagel named new boss at Aldi Nord
Aldi Nord has appointed Torsten Hufnagel as it new chief executive, approximately a month after the surprise departure of previous CEO Marc Heussinger. Hufnagel, 45, has served as Heussinger's deputy at Aldi Nord since 2015, and was one of the leading figures in the group's modernisation programme, dubbed 'Aniko', which has been implemented across its estate over the past year.

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