Publix: set to reopen Safeway stores

Sprouts plans to launch 30 new stores in 2019

US: Publix sets Safeway reopenings
Publix Super Markets is set to reopen the three Safeway stores it acquired from Albertsons Cos. under the Publix banner on November 1. The three stores were the last vestige of Albertsons’ 43-year stay in the Sunshine State. Publix a decade ago bought the vast majority of Albertsons stores in Florida and converted them to the Publix banner. Albertsons held on to three locations, only to remodel them to the Safeway banner two years ago, leading to speculation those could be used as a base to acquire additional stores. Instead, the stores in Altamonte Springs, Largo and Oakland Park, which closed shortly after the deal was announced, will reopen as Publix units. A purchase price was not disclosed, although published reports indicated the Largo unit went for $13mln.

US: Sprouts to open 30 new stores in 2019
Continuing its rapid coast-to-coast expansion, Sprouts Farmers Market has announced plans to launch approximately 30 new stores next year, with seven scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019. Among those seven stores includes a Lynnwood, Washington location, marking the health-focused grocer’s second site in Washington state after entering the market in August with its Mill Creek Sprouts store. Additional locations opening in the first quarter of 2019 include Carlsbad and Fontana, California; Las Vegas; Clearwater and Naples, Florida; and Sugar Land, Texas.

Mexico: El Puerto de Liverpool Q3 net profit rises on firmer sales
Mexican retailer El Puerto de Liverpool reported a 52.3% jump in third-quarter net profit compared with the year-earlier period, boosted by both higher traffic and larger transactions at its core department store chain. The company said net profit was 1.9bln pesos ($102mln) between July and September this year, while revenue was 29.2bln pesos. Same-store sales at Liverpool department stores rose 6.3% compared with the year-earlier quarter. The company’s clothing chain Suburbia saw an even stronger performance, with same-store sales rising 11.7%.

UK: Targeted discounting can have 'substantial effect' on consumer spend
New research from Go Inspire Group has revealed that targeted discounting, in the form of personalised pricing, can have a substantial effect on where people focus their supermarket shopping. The research revealed that approximately one in four shoppers say that they would seriously consider moving the main volume of their supermarket shopping to a competitor brand if they were offered targeted discounting.

Malaysia: E-Wallet for Aeon
Aeon has introduced its own e-wallet so you can use it to pay at its stores and seamlessly earn points. Once users add their credit card to the Aeon E-Wallet, they can use the app to pay by scanning the QR code at the point of purchase. Purchases made with the app will earn users points which can be converted to cash using the app. The e-wallet can be topped up with no extra charge, while the balance and transaction history can be monitored in real-time. Aeon claims that it has taken steps to secure the app by including a biometric login feature and multi-factor authentication.

One of Russia’s largest chains of hard-discount stores enters Romanian market
Svetofor, one of the largest chains of hard-discount stores in Russia, will open Friday, October 26 its first store in Romania, in Snagov. The new supermarket will operate under the Mere brand. The company also eyes a fast local expansion, targeting the opening of five units nationwide by the end of the year, Daniel Vasile, director of food purchases, told local The next store is to be opened in the mountain resort of Brasov, with others to be opened later in Piatra Neamt, Suceava and Tecuci. The retailer hopes to reach a network of 50 stores in Romania in 4-5 years.

Holland: Sligro Food Group Q3 trading update
Sligro Food Group N.V.’s sales for the first three quarters (39 weeks) of 2018 were €1,722mln, an increase of 11.1% (Q3: 11.4%) compared with the figure of €1,550mln in 2017. Excluding the effect of acquisitions, sales rose 1.0% (Q3: 3.3%). The warm summer months of July and August resulted in a relatively strong quarter. Since the middle of this year, ISPC and Tintelingen have been part of the organic development, whereas Heineken will contribute to growth non-organically until the end of November.

South Korea: Lotte Group to invest $44bln over five years
South Korean chemicals-to-retail conglomerate Lotte Group will invest a total of 50tln won ($44.05bln) over the next five years, its holding firm said. The group plans to invest about 12tln won in 2019, partly to expand facilities at chemical plants in South Korea, Indonesia and the United States, Lotte Corp said in a statement.

Carrefour Poland completes modernisation of eight outlets
Retail giant Carrefour has announced that it has completed the modernisation of eight outlets in Poland since the beginning of 2018. Stores in Płock, Olkusz, Starachowice, Ostrowiec, and Toruń have been remodelled to provide customers with a better shopping experience. By the end of this year, Carrefour Polska is planning to commence remodelling stores in Biała Podlaska and Zamość. In most outlets, the entrances and avenues have been widened along with changes in lighting, the height of shelves, and furniture arrangement. Special zones have been created with specific product offers in stores in Ostrowiec, Starachowice, and Płock. These include zones for craft beers, healthy food, the world kitchen zone, and the Carrefour smokehouse concept.

7-Eleven & Guardian stores in Singapore to accept WeChat Pay
Customers of 7-Eleven, Cold Storage and Guardian stores in Singapore will soon be able to pay for purchases using WeChat Pay. The owner of the two retail chains, Dairy Farm Group, has worked with NETS to enable visitors from China and Chinese nationals based in Singapore to use the service from November 1. WeChat Pay is currently being trialled at the 7-Eleven and Guardian stores at Changi International Airport and some stores in key tourist destinations in the Orchard and Chinatown districts.

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