Finland: Kesko posts operating profit of €113mln in third quarter
Finnish retail giant Kesko has reported an all-time-high comparable operating profit of €113mln in the third quarter of its financial year. This performance was driven by improved results in its grocery, building and technical trade divisions. Net sales from the group’s continuing operations for Q3 2018 amounted to €2.64bln, up 1.8% on the corresponding period of the previous year (€2.59bln). Kesko’s president and CEO, Mikko Helander, said, “Kesko’s net sales continued to grow in the third quarter, in line with our growth strategy. Our operating profit also improved and we delivered our best quarterly result ever. “Our cash flow development was also good and our financial position remained strong. Return on capital employed nearly met our target level.” The boost in net sales has been attributed to the acquisitions made by the company in Finland and Norway in June and July of 2018.
Russia: X5 posts 17.6% revenue growth in third quarter
Russia’s X5 Retail Group has reported revenue growth of 17.6% year-on-year in the third quarter of its financial year. Growth was driven by a 0.5% increase in like-for-like sales, and strong selling space expansion. The retailer’s gross profit margin rose to 24.6% in the third quarter 2018, despite a tough external environment, the retailer said. This performance has been attributed to a number of factors, including higher sales at its Perekrestok banner, and measures taken by the management to control shrinkage levels. EBITDA amounted to RUB 27,689mln (€4mln) for the quarter, while the EBITDA margin grew by 36 basis points to 7.4% year-on-year.
Germany: Rewe Bio achieves higher quality standards than EU organic requirements
German retailer REWE has said that its REWE Bio range of products has achieved higher quality sustainability standards than most products associated with EU organic labelling. "Our REWE organic products meet far stricter organic criteria than those required by EU Eco-Regulation, which we now also make clear on our packaging,” commented Johannes Steegmann, head of marketing at REWE. “Our products are characterised by a high quality of ingredients and are partly verified by the organic association Naturland. This goes hand-in-hand with ensuring greater animal welfare, environmentally friendly agriculture, as well as mandatory social standards.”
UK: supermarket Asda to consult on up to 2,500 possible job losses
British supermarket Asda, which is subject to a proposed takeover by rival Sainsbury’s, said it would start consulting with staff over the potential loss of up to 2,500 jobs next year. The move by Asda, which is owned by U.S. giant Walmart, was first reported by Press Association, and a spokeswoman for the supermarket group said no decisions had been taken yet. “We need to consider changing the roles we need our colleagues to do or the hours needed in particular parts of our stores,” Asda said in a statement. “We believe the proposed changes we are consulting on would allow us to do a better job for our customers.”
Spar South Africa introduces eco-friendly shopping bags
Spar South Africa has launched a new range of eco-friendly shopping bags to step up the fight against plastic pollution. The move is a part of its #RethinkTheBag initiative. The new shopping bags have been introduced in the South Rand, North Rand and Lowveld regions. Spar's South Rand divisional marketing director, Martin Webber, said, “We want to encourage our shoppers to buy plastic-alternative bags, which are biodegradable, recyclable and reusable.” The range comprises brown paper bags, woven bags, and a larger carrier bag.
UAE: Emirates Cooperative Society launches 1st new concept supermarket at Al Muteena, Dubai
Emirates Cooperative Society UAE's leading grocer with a chain of supermarkets and hypermarkets in the UAE, announced their expansion plans with the launch of their new look community supermarket branded ‘Market Street' near to Fish Roundabout, Al Muteena, Deria, Dubai. The store is operational and currently offering great deals to boost early customers.
Sweden: ICA posts like-for-like sales growth of 2.8% in Q3
Swedish retailer ICA has posted a 2.8% growth in like-for-like sales for the third quarter of its financial year. The group’s consolidated net sales increased by 6.2% from SEK 27.2bln (€2.6bln) in the third-quarter of 2017 to SEK 28.8bln (€2.8bln) in the third-quarter of 2018. According to the company, sales growth was driven by increased customer footfall along with a higher average spend. Product categories that performed strongly during the period include beverages, salads and prepared foods, seafood, dairy, frozen products, bakery, and fruit and vegetables.
US: Publix eyes its first East Nashville Market
Florida-based grocer Publix may be gearing up to enter a new market in the coming months. According to reports by the Nashville Business Journal, the retailer has its eye on the Athens of the South—and will soon expand into Nashville, Tennessee. According to the Journal, Publix is currently working with H.G. Hill Realty Co. and plans to anchor the developer’s new Hill Center Greenwood. Planning documents filed by the developer shows an image of a trash compactor with a Publix label on it, and a source familiar with the development separately confirmed the retailer’s involvement to the news source. Publix has also finalized plans for two additional Nashville locations, in recent months—one in the Melrose neighborhood and one in Capitol View.
US: Walmart to test new retail technology at Sam’s Club innovation lab in Dallas
Walmart Inc. will seek to “define the future of retail” at an innovation lab for its Sam’s Club unit scheduled to open soon in Dallas. Sam’s Club members will use a smartphone app to streamline their shopping experience at the new Sam’s Club Now store, Walmart announced, using technologies such as machine learning to compile smart shopping lists and augmented reality to “bring items to life.” Jamie Iannone, CEO of SamsClub.com and executive vice president of membership and technology said in a statement: “We’ll use all available technologies - including computer vision, augmented reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, just to name a few - to redefine the retail experience”.
Amazon’s sales jump in Q3, but not at physical stores
Amazon.com Inc. topped Wall Street’s earnings forecast for the third quarter but fell short of analysts’ revenue projections, even as sales surged nearly 30%. Meanwhile, the e-tail giant saw a quarter-to-quarter decline in sales at physical stores, which include Whole Foods Market. That marked the second time in the past three quarters (including a full contribution from Whole Foods) that physical stores had a sequential decrease. For the third quarter ended September 30, Amazon totaled sales of $56.58bln, up 29% from $43.74bln a year earlier. Sales in North America rose 35% to $34.35bln from $25.45bln. Online sales climbed 10% year over year to $29.06bln from $26.39bln. At physical stores in the third quarter, Amazon recorded its lowest sales total so far this fiscal year, with revenue of nearly $4.25bln, down 1.5% from just over $4.31bln in the previous quarter. No direct year-over-year comparison was available for physical stores since the Whole Foods acquisition closed during the latter half of 2017 third quarter (on August 28) and only included a partial sales contribution from the grocery chain.
US: Wakefern closes out fiscal year on an up note
Retail sales climbed for the 2018 fiscal year at grocery cooperative Wakefern Food Corp. The 50-member, retailer-owned co-op said that sales for its ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite Marketplace and Dearborn Market supermarket banners totaled $16.5bln, a gain of 1.6% year over year. During the 52-week period, Wakefern opened four new ShopRite stores and two Price Rite Marketplace stores. The locations included ShopRite stores in Philadelphia and the Bronx, Lake Ronkonkoma and Rensselaer, New York, and Price Rite stores in Paterson, New Jersey, and Amherst, New York. The Keasbey, New Jersey-based company finished the year with 352 stores in 10 states: New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Virginia.
US: Jet partners with Blue Apron in NYC market
Blue Apron Holdings is teaming up with Jet's new urban City Grocery rebrand in the meal kit delivery service's first partnership with an e-tailer. An assortment of Blue Apron meal kits will now be available for next-day delivery through City Grocery, a Walmart Inc.-driven rebrand catering to metropolitan customers and currently available in New York City, Jersey City and Hoboken, New Jersey. Jet's City Grocery experience offers most New York City-area consumers a three-hour scheduled delivery window for groceries and other merchandise, and it will now feature a rotating selection of two-serving recipes specifically designed by Blue Apron for its customer base.