US: Sears reportedly preparing for bankruptcy filing as soon as this week
Sears Holdings is readying a bankruptcy filing that could come as soon as this week, the Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the situation. The Journal reported that the company has hired M-III Partners to help with the bankruptcy proceedings. M-III has been working with Sears for more than two years, a source familiar with the situation told CNBC. The source requested anonymity because information is confidential. Sears has enlisted an array of advisors over the past few years, including Lazard, as it grapples with its debt-load, CNBC has previously reported.
Canada's first near net-zero supermarket leads the way for a clean energy future
The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for Markham–Stouffville, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, announced a $1.44mln investment to help build Canada's first near net-zero supermarket, creating approximately 165 new jobs in the Stouffville area. Funded through Natural Resources Canada's Energy Innovation Program, Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc.'s 40,000 sq. ft. store will use 35% less energy than other supermarkets and produce 65% of its own energy through renewable technologies. In partnership with Neelands Group Limited and s2e Technologies Inc., this first-of-its-kind supermarket in Canada aims to reduce between 1,500–2,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year by integrating energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy systems and other sustainable technologies.
US: Food Lion unveils new shopping experience with completion of $91.7mln investment in 63 Roanoke, Virginia stores
Ahold Delhaize-owned Food Lion has officially completed remodeling 63 of its Virginia-based stores and unveiled its new, easier shopping experience at its Roanoke locations on October 10. The remodels, which also included hiring 2,000 new associates, were the product of a $91.7mln investment. “Roanoke is very special to Food Lion,” said Meg Ham, President of Food Lion. “We’ve been part of the fabric of this community for 40 years, opening our first store in Martinsville, Virginia. A lot has changed since we opened our first store in this market. We’ve created a new grocery shopping experience through significant investments in our stores, customers, associates, and communities. From our expanded variety and product assortment, newly reorganized stores, new signage to more efficient check-out experience, every change we’ve made will make it easier for our customers to find fresh, quality products at affordable prices every day.”
US: 7-Eleven races to open store at Texas Motor Speedway
7-Eleven, Inc. is off to the races! The world's largest convenience retailer announces its first location at a professional sports venue. The store will open at Texas Motor Speedway in time for the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Playoff weekend beginning October 27 until November 5. The tripleheader features the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series. The 7-Eleven store will operate 24 hours a day during race weeks beginning at 8 a.m. on the Saturday before the race and ending the following Monday at 4 p.m.
Amazon Go stores are likely coming to the UK
It’s being reported that Amazon Go stores will be coming to the UK and Amazon is already looking for suitable premises as sites for the innovative retail concept. As it stands at the moment, Amazon has declined to comment on the rumours. According to a report in the Sunday Times newspaper, Amazon is looking to purchase dozens of small shops across the UK sized between 4000sq ft and 5000sq ft. The company trademarked Amazon Go in the UK in 2016.
Belgium: Lidl launches home delivery by bicycle in Ghent
Lidl Belgium has announced the launch of Lidl Simpl - a pop-up webshop that will allow users to order fresh products online and have them delivered to their homes on a bicycle. Filip Watteeuw of Vessels of Mobility and Public Works in Ghent said, "We are pleased that supermarket chains now also follow our logic of a cycle-friendly city." Presently, the service is only available to customers residing within a radius of around 3.75 kilometres in the Sint-Niklaaskerk area in Ghent.
Aldi to expand UK distribution network
Aldi plans to open 130 new stores between 2019 and 2020, along with three new regional distribution centres. Giles Hurley, chief executive at Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “Our future investment plans underline our continued commitment to growing responsibly in the UK.” Aldi is expanding quickly. Last year, Matthew Barnes, the UK and Ireland chief executive of the German grocer, told the Grocer magazine: “If you look at the population, we think not only could we have a store in every town and city, but for every 25,000 to 30,000 people.”
Coop Denmark signs cooperation agreement with pharmacy group
Coop Denmark has signed a framework agreement with Apotekeren A.m.b.a. on the rollout of a number of pharmacy stores in its Kvickly store network. The agreement, which has been hailed as the 'first of its kind between a pharmacy chain and a grocery chain', will see the pharmacy group operate special departments within Kvickly stores, of around 80 to 100 square metres in size, offering its range of healthcare services. The first stores are expected to open within the next six months, followed by a further tranche of openings next year.
E.Leclerc partners with Amazon in Spain
E.Leclerc and Amazon have partnered and will install Amazon lockers across the grocery retailer’s hypermarket network in Spain. The lockers are already installed in many stores, and installations will be completed across the rest of the network soon. In 2017, Amazon partnered with DIA to install lockers across selected stores in its network. For DIA and E.Leclerc the move helps to make their physical outlets more attractive and convenient for shoppers. According to Amazon, there are over 120 lockers in Spanish cities and towns. Some of these are open 24 hours, whilst other share the times of the buildings they are located in.
Ireland: BWG to add 45 new stores to its Spar network over next two years
BWG is reportedly planning to add 45 new Spar and Eurospar stores to its portfolio over the next two years. It is believed that the Irish wholesaler and retail grocery franchise operator is planning to invest €25mln in store refurbishments as part of a new strategy for BWG’s Spar network, and its larger-format Eurospar brand. The wholesaler said that examples of consumer facing technologies are being rolled out as part of the strategy include electronic shelf-edge labels, digital-only signage throughout stores, digital menu boards and high-speed wifi connectivity.
France: Carrefour acquires Planeta Huerto
Carrefour has acquired Planeta Huerto, an online store for organics products, through its subsidiary Greenweez. Planeta Huerto will maintain its brand, staff and management team. Planeta Huerto was founded in 2011 by Pablo and Alfonso Sanchez and now has a team of 50 people. It serves over 250,000 customers and offers 35,000 products. Its range includes, organic foods and cosmetics, gardening products, eco-friendly cleaning products and DIY tools. The company generated a turnover of €8mln in 2017 and forecasts a turnover of €10mln in 2018. The purchase is complemented by Carrefour’s previous acquisition of So.bio, which it made in July 2018. Both acquisitions highlight Carrefour’s continued commitment to promoting the organic sector.
UK: Retail sales growth slows to weakest in five months - BRC
Growth in retail sales has slowed to its lowest rate in five months, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC). For the five weeks between 26 August and 29 September, total sales increased by 0.7% compared with 2.3% for September 2017, the lowest since Easter. On a like-for-like basis, UK retail sales decreased by 0.2% from September 2017, when they increased by 1.9% from the preceding year. Over the three-months to September, non-food retail sales in the UK decreased 0.6% in total, which is in line with the 12-month average decrease of 0.5%. Food sales increased 3.4% in total, below the 12-month total average growth of 3.7%.
New Zealand: Planned new Pak'n Save supermarket would have emergency facilities
Foodstuffs wants to build a big new Pak'n Save supermarket with facilities for disaster response and emergency. The supermarket operator has applied for resource consent to build the new supermarket on its north Christchurch property, next to its head offices and former distribution centre. The new supermarket would be designed to function as a lifeline hub in an emergency, distributing goods including food, fuel and drinking water and accommodating Civil Defence.