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FamilyMart considers to sell all of Uny unit to Don Quijote: Nikkei Business

ICA: September sales figures

Russia: X5 opens lab store to boost efficiency of innovation pipeline
X5 Retail Group ("X5" or the "Company"), a leading Russian food retailer, has launched a lab store in order to fast-track testing of new technologies. Located in Moscow's Central administrative district, the lab shares a building with a Pyaterochka store. "We have created a lab store to search for the best technical solutions in a quick and effective way. It is equipped with everything necessary for lab engineers to take innovations from shed to shelf right then and there. The actual store serves as a platform for checking new technologies' compatibility with the IT landscape of X5 and assessing customer experience. This is very important because we place customer convenience above all else. If a technology works out in the lab, it easily moves on for pilot testing, which is the next step in evaluating new solutions," said Fabricio Granja, X5 Retail Group's Chief Information Officer.

Spain: Eroski’s nutritional labelling scheme rolled out in-store
Eroski’s new traffic light system to nutritionally profile foods is being rolled out across its Spanish stores. The ‘Nutri-Score’ label aims to make it easier for shoppers to find healthier foods. The system classifies foods into five levels, from a green A, to a red E, based on calories, nutrients and ingredients. A-rated foods have a healthier nutritional profile compared to E-rated foods. All Eroski’s private label products should include the Nutri-Score label by the end of the year. The system has been validated by the EU and approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Belgium: Colruyt Group opens first green public hydrogen filling station
Colruyt Group opens its first public hydrogen filling station. From now on, customers can buy conventional and green fuels at the DATS 24 filling station in Halle (Dassenveld), as well as 100% green hydrogen that is produced using renewable electricity from energy specialist Eoly. The integration of a hydrogen pump in a 'traditional' filling station is unique in Europe. Colruyt Group believes that hydrogen can play an important role in making our mobility and energy supplies more sustainable. That is why it has been investing in this green energy carrier for years. Opening a filling station for hydrogen is an important next step and brings hydrogen one step closer to the consumer. Colruyt Group explicitly calls on other companies to also fully opt for an energy transition, with hydrogen as the important lever.

Fastned partners with large German supermarket chain
Dutch charging infrastructure provider Fastned has struck a new deal. Together with grocery retailer Rewe, they will trial fast-charging at four large supermarkets in Germany. If the pilot is a success, they will expand their cooperation to other locations and we asked more details. The partnership serves to understand both their customers better. Rewe wants to find out whether clients use the opportunity to charge their electric cars when shopping groceries. For Fastned, the partnership with Rewe is a great addition to their growing partner network.

Hungary: Penny Market achieves sustainability certification
German-owned supermarket chain Penny Market Hungary has achieved the ISO 50001 certification as a recognition of its efforts in energy saving and sustainability, and is set to use the international standard in all of its shops, warehouses, and offices in Hungary, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal. Investing a significant amount of money into sustainability measures, according to the press release, the company now has 216 shops completing ISO 50001 certification, as well as three logistical warehouses. Penny Market has become one of the largest retail chains in Hungary to achieve the certification.

Mega Image tests smart supermarket in Romania with Vodafone technology
Supermarket chain Mega Image launched the first “smart supermarket” in Romania, using Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provided by telecom group Vodafone Romania. The smart store is located on Barbu Văcărescu Boulevard, near one of the biggest office hubs in Bucharest. The shop has nine fully-functional IoT retail solutions that help Mega Image identify customers’ needs and understand their behavior in order to increase efficiency, customers’ satisfaction and offer an improved shopping experience.

Japanese FamilyMart in talks to sell all of Uny unit to Don Quijote: Nikkei Business
FamilyMart Uny Holdings Co is considering selling the rest of its Uny general merchandise store unit to discount retailer Don Quijote Holdings Co, Nikkei Business magazine reported. The Japanese convenience store operator plans to make a final decision on the sale as early as the middle of this month, the report said. It may also be considering an investment of around 20% in Don Quijote, the report said, without citing sources.

Sweden: ICA stores - September sales figures
Sales in ICA stores increased by 1.6% in September 2018 compared with the corresponding month last year. Sales in like-for-like stores increased by 1.0%. In September 2018, sales in ICA stores totalled SEK 9,294mln excluding VAT, which is an increase of 1.6% compared with the same month in the previous year. Sales in January - September 2018 amounted to SEK 88,068mln, an increase of 3.6% compared with the previous year. ICA Gruppen estimates the calendar effect for September to be -1.6%.

Costco to continue expanding in Spain
infoRETAIL reports that Costco Wholesale plans to open a third store in Spain in 2019. James Cheesemore, Costco Europe's real estate director said that “Spain has a highly developed retail market and offers good opportunities for expansion and scalability”. Once the urban planning license has been obtained, the US-based group plans to open its third store in Madrid, in 2019. Costco’s two current stores are in Seville and Madrid, opened in 2013 and 2016 respectively. The wholesaler is also reportedly looking to expand into more Spanish cities during 2020 and 2021. It will use Broadway Malyan’s architectural services in Spain over the next 15 years.

Soriana: the first supermarket chain to offer free Wi-Fi in its 824 stores across Mexico
Soriana, the first Mexican chain of supermarkets in the country, is the pioneer in providing free Wi-Fi connection in its 824 stores for its more than 714mln annual customers. The Mexican chain of supermarkets, Soriana, is the first store to offer Wi-Fi for free in its 824 stores. In order to have data on customer purchases as well as the arrival of promotions and direct offers on items to consumers’ smartphones. The wireless internet connection service is supplied by WaveMAX, who are leaders in shared WiFi network service. Under its patented SharedFi technology, which takes advantage of artificial intelligence and automatic learning of buyers’ purchasing data, Soriana will be able to have meaningful and intelligent interactions with its customers, while at the same time increasing service levels.

US: Grocery co-op’s big plans for expansion
GreenStar Natural Foods Market co-op in Ithaca, New York State, is offering its members the chance to invest in its future as it plans a huge expansion that will create 40 jobs and offer customers a more culturally diverse product line, with more local, organic, and Fair Trade products. The food retailer is planning a move to a new site almost three times larger than existing premises - promising a better shopping experience with wider, accessible aisles and more space, as well as a larger deli, produce department and car park. GreenStar has launched an Owner Investment Programme, inviting members to buy investment shares to raise $2.5mln towards the cost of moving and expanding the business. Shares are non-voting, preferred stock that provide owners the opportunity to invest in a community-owned, local business while earning a fair return on their investment.

US: Deutsche Bank upgrades Walmart to buy, citing growing online grocery business
Walmart's online grocery business will thrive and compete well against Amazon, according to Deutsche Bank. The firm raised its rating to buy from hold for Walmart shares, predicting the retailer will report sales above expectations in its third quarter. "We believe the company is now in position to accelerate market share gains in grocery while also growing EBIT [earnings before interest and taxes] dollars (ex. Flipkart)," analyst Paul Trussell said in a research note entitled "Flexing Its Muscles." Trussell: "Given the pace of disruption in the food retail landscape and our framework that the top players will reap the benefits of industry consolidation and increasing adoption of online grocery, we believe WMT is best positioned to continue to take both mind and market share going forward."

US: Meijer awarded for sustainability moves as both supplier and carrier
Midwestern mass-merchandiser Meijer Inc. is being honored as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's first SmartWay partner to be awarded as both a shipper and a supplier simultaneously, in the 2018 SmartWay Excellence Awards program. Said to be the EPA's highest recognition, the SmartWay Excellence Award recognizes the top retail and manufacturing carriers and shippers that demonstrate how their logistical operations make a measurable difference in reducing carbon emissions, while also effectively managing fuel costs as they move goods around the country. Meijer has received the award twice in the past: as a shipping partner in 2017 and as a carrier partner in 2007.

US: Sales up, comps dip for Village in Q4
While sales and margins increased, higher expenses and competitive openings hurt profits and same-store sales in the fiscal fourth quarter for Village Super Market Inc., a ShopRite operator based in Springfield, New Jersey. Village’s new store in the Bronx, which opened in June, helped to increase the company’s overall sales by 0.7% to $413.6mln for the quarter, which ended July 28. Comparable-store sales in the period dipped by 0.3%, owing to competitive openings against two of Village’s other stores. Net income of $6mln, adjusted for one-time items, dipped by 6% primarily due to higher operating and administrative expenses, partially offset by decreased taxes, Village said.

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