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Co-op: new 'On the go' concept store

Alibaba: Q2 revenue rises 54%

UAE supermarket retailer Grandiose appoints new CEO
Supermarket retailer Grandiose, which operates stores across Abu Dhabi and Dubai, has announced the appointment of a new CEO. Ghassan Aboud Group’s retail arm - Grandiose Supermarkets - said it has hired Franck Rouquet, who has served as vice president of Carrefour Supermarkets in the GCC, as its CEO. Rouquet was previously the CEO of Orchestra Premaman, a European childcare and maternity textile marque, with stores spanning Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

France: Intermarché lowers prices and develops formats
France-based Intermarché has lowered its prices to encourage healthier eating. The retailer is also growing its presence in Paris, as reported in France-based trade publication Lineaires. Intermarché has lowered the price of 250 products to encourage healthier eating. Some of the selected products have a quality label (organic) or a nutritional improvement (made without palm oil). Other products have been produced using sustainable methods. One commercial advertises price drops of around 9% to 10%. However, individual stores will be in control of their own price cuts. The reductions follow the recent development of Intermarché’s loyalty programme in May 2018. The retailer extended the offer to include 5% daily discounts off organic fruit and vegetables and private label products.

China: Alibaba’s second-quarter revenue rises 54%
Alibaba’s second-quarter revenue grew 54% year on year, reaching RMB 85.1bln ($US12.3bln). Net income attributable to shareholders was RMB 20bln ($2.9bln), a 13% year-on-year increase. “Alibaba had another strong quarter of rapid growth,” said Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang. “Annual active customers increased by 25mln to reach 601mln in the year ended September 30.” Alibaba’s cloud-computing arm saw 90% year-on-year growth to RMB 5.6bln, launching more than 600 products and features during the quarter ranging from big data analytics, AI application innovation, security and internet-of-things enhancements.

UK: Co-op unveils new 'On the go' concept store
Co-op has opened a new concept store in Manchester Piccadilly station to cater for the growing trend in shoppers buying food 'on the go'. The new-look 'On the go' store places increased focus on food ranges suitable for shoppers who want to grab breakfast, lunch or dinner on the go. It features extended food ranges to appeal to health conscious consumers including more vegetarian and vegan products, as well as free water taps for customers to refill their own bottles, and self-serve hot soup and porridge. The new store is designed for a more convenient, quicker shopping experience. It includes fast self-serve tills and areas within the store are clearly defined by shopping mission as 'food for now' and 'food for later' for shopper ease and to improve the speed of shop.

Spain: Eroski improving profits in H1 2018
Eroski Group has closed H1 2018 with sales of €2,314mln, 16.7% less than H1 2017. Net profit was €14.8mln, €11.6mln more than the same period last year. The retailer highlighted 2.9% sales growth in its strategic regions: Basque Country, Navarra, Galicia and the Balearic Islands. Eroski has upgraded most stores in its strategic regions. Across its estate, 65% of sales come from new generation stores. Eroski invested €38mln in H1 2018, for franchised and own stores. This investment covered the remodelling of 52 supermarkets, and 26 new openings. Caprabo, a banner of Eroski’s in Catalonia and Navarra, has started a plan to improve competitiveness and will construct a new logistics platform in Barcelona.

Auchan Vietnam launches on Lazada
Auchan Vietnam has launched its store on LazMall, a branded shopping mall from Lazada, allowing customers to purchase French products online with rapid delivery. Despite having its own online store, Auchan believes it can expand its reach and boost sales by working with Lazada Vietnam. Customers will be able to choose from Lazada’s same-day delivery, next-day delivery or low-cost delivery options. Free delivery applies to customers in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Danang, Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong and Long An with orders worth VND99,000 (US$4.24) or more.

Kaufland Bulgaria continues betting on domestic production
In Bulgaria, retailer Kaufland continues betting on domestic production. In 2018, it reports a 10% growth in the number of Bulgarian producers it is partnered with, compared to 2017. The company said to be also committed to supplying this production nationally and to helping improve the production processes. "The company helped me qualify for Global GAP, which is why I've been able to significantly reduce my use of fertilizers and plant protection chemicals and optimize my production costs. This has had a direct impact on the quality of my production, which has improved," said Ivaylo Maldzhanski, a Bulgarian producer of the village of Zlatitrap, which has been partnered with Kaufland Bulgaria for more than 10 years.

Online retail purchases up by 42% in Brazil, study finds
The number of Brazilians making grocery purchases online has increased by 42%, claims a new Food Retail study by CVA Solutions. The Extra hypermarket banner boasts the highest level of online penetration, of 4.8%, followed by Carrefour (3.4%) and Walmart (3.2%), the study found. The survey was conducted in September 2018 and was based on a sample of 7,800 consumers. The number of Brazilian consumers who use an app for home shopping has almost doubled, going from 9.9% to 18.3%, with the most popular channel being supermarkets’ own apps (76.7%). In addition, Brazilian consumers also use a range of dedicated online shopping sites, including Superlist (9.2%), Supermercado Now (7.3%), Home Refil (5.6%) and Meu Mordomo Online (5.4%).

US: Shipt expands same-day delivery with Lowes Foods in the Carolinas
Shipt, a leading same-day delivery marketplace, announced it will expand same-day delivery of an assortment of groceries and household essentials with Lowes Foods across the following North and South Carolina markets starting November 1. North Carolina: Charlotte, The Triad, The Triangle, Wilmington. South Carolina: Charleston, Columbia, Greenville. Building on years of growth and momentum across North and South Carolina, this expansion gives nearly 3mln households across the region access to products delivered by Shipt in as little as one hour.

US: Walmart teams with Ochsner Health Network
The Ochsner Accountable Care Plan (ACP), through Ochsner Health Network (OHN), will be available to Walmart and Sam’s Club associates working in select facilities in the New Orleans Metro, North Shore and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, areas this coming January. Under the new ACP, Walmart associates at 41 locations will be able to receive care from more than 200 primary care physicians and 1,300 specialists affiliated with OHN in the participating regions.

US: Sprouts sees double-digit revenue growth for Q3
Sales climbed by double digits in the third quarter at Sprouts Farmers Market Inc., which also topped Wall Street’s earnings expectations. Sprouts said that for the 13-week quarter ended September 30, revenue came in at $1.33bln, up 10.2% from nearly $1.21bln a year earlier. The Phoenix, Arizona-based fresh, natural and organic grocer attributed the gain to a healthy performance at new stores and a 1.5% uptick in same-store sales. Two-year comparable-store sales are up 6.1%, the company noted. Third-quarter gross profit rose 10% to $382mln, lifting the gross profit margin five points year over year to 28.8%. Sprouts said the gain stems mainly from higher merchandise margins, partially offset by increased occupancy costs.

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