China: Alibaba promises US$200bln global sourcing plan
Alibaba has committed to help import US$200bln worth of goods from more than 120 countries over the next five years. The company says the move underscores its long-term commitment to globalisation and boosting its efforts to meet the rising demand of Chinese consumers for high-quality international products. However, it could also be construed as a move to shore up alternative supply chains in the wake of growing trade tensions between the US Trump administration and China. “Globalisation is one of Alibaba’s most critical long-term growth strategies,” said Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang in a statement. “We are building the future infrastructure of commerce to realize a globalised digital economy where trade is possible for every country around the world.”
Ahold Delhaize: Q3 sales beat market forecast
Ahold Delhaize, the Dutch-Belgian operator of grocery stores in Europe and the United States, posted third-quarter sales that were slightly better than analysts’ forecasts and raised its free cash flow guidance. Sales increased 3.6% to 15.8bln euros ($18.09bln) in the three-month period, Ahold said. Analysts polled by the company had forecast sales of 15.5bln on average. The supermarket company said its free cash flow rose 112mln euros to 538mln euros, and increased its full-year guidance to 2bln euros from 1.9bln.
Germany: 10 start-ups selected for Metro’s accelerator programme in Berlin
German wholesaler Metro has selected 10 start-ups from eight countries for the fourth edition of its accelerator programme in Berlin. The participants were selected from tech start-ups in Germany, France, UK, India, Israel, Italy, Croatia, and South Korea by a jury of more than 20 members comprising investors, Metro executives, and other partners. Programme director of Metro Accelerator, Sylvia Dudek, said, “The direct exchange with innovative start-ups enables us to change perspectives, which we expect will give new impetus to the hospitality sector. “In return, we offer the teams potential access to our roughly 21mln wholesale customers and to an extensive network of contacts in the hospitality sector that start-ups hardly get anywhere else.”
Spar South Africa transforms digital strategy
Spar South Africa has announced that it is transforming its digital strategy to streamline IT operations, and maintain a competitive edge in the local retail market. As a part of the strategy, the retailer has deployed Microsoft Office 365, and the cloud computing service Microsoft Azure, to reduce its server footprint by a third. It also aims to cut its virtual machine count by half in just two years.
Malaysia: Aeon announces plans to go paperless in 2019
Aeon Group, which is mainly known for its retail chain and financial services, is targeting to go paperless by rolling out its e-wallet to consumers by the second half of 2019, said Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd Managing Director Kenji Fujita. He said this would enable the transactions using Aeon e-wallet to be viewed in real time on the application as the transaction is completed. “With this, there will be no need for papers anymore, hence, we could cut down our costs,” he said in an interview.
UK: Morrisons' sales growth slows over last three months
Shares in Morrisons dipped after Britain’s fourth largest supermarket group reported growth had slowed from the previous quarter and came in below analysts’ forecasts. The Bradford, northern England, based grocer said total like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose 5.6% in the 13 weeks to November 4, its fiscal third quarter. That undershot analysts’ average forecast of growth of 6.1% and growth in the previous quarter of 6.3%, which (helped by hot weather and the soccer World Cup) was its best sales performance in nine years.
Japan: FamilyMart UNY and Don Quijote deal confirmed
FamilyMart UNY has released a statement to confirm a deeper partnership with Don Quijote in Japan. FamilyMart UNY will acquire 20.17% stake in Don Quijote in exchange of its 60% stake in UNY hypermarkets. This will mean Don Quijote will wholly own and operate UNY, after acquiring 40% stake of the business last year.
US: Harris Teeter grows partnership with Shipt
Harris Teeter has broadened same-day grocery delivery with Shipt in three states and the District of Columbia. The Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern supermarket chain has launched or expanded Shipt online grocery delivery in the metropolitan markets of Millsboro and Selbyville, Delaware; Baltimore and the St. Mary’s Peninsula in Maryland; Charlottesville and Hampton Roads, Virginia; and Washington, D.C.
Amazon drops free shipping minimum in tussle for holiday sales
Amazon.com Inc said it would offer free shipping with no purchase minimum for the first time this holiday season, heating up the competition with Walmart Inc and other rivals vying for customers' Christmas shopping sprees. The US-only promotion, effective from 5 November, waives the $25 (€21.9) minimum that customers outside Amazon's loyalty club Prime must hit for free shipping. The deal lasts until Amazon can no longer promise items in time for Christmas with free delivery, which typically takes five to eight business days.
US: 7-Eleven piloting mobile self-checkout
7-Eleven is piloting a new mobile self-checkout feature, Scan & Pay, at stores in Dallas, US. The retailer has launched the pilot at 14 stores in the Dallas area. This enables shoppers to scan their own products with their smartphone and check-out without having to queue. The technology is integrated into the 7-Eleven app and the retailer’s 7Rewards loyalty programme. Customers will be alerted to the option to Scan & Pay once they are within the geo-fenced area in or around the pilot stores. Once all items have been added to the basket, customers can pay using Apple Pay, Google Pay or a traditional debit or credit card. Following payment, customers scan a QR code at a Scan & Pay confirmation station.
US: Giant Food Stores to acquire 5 Shop ‘n Save locations
Giant Food Stores LLC has entered into an agreement with Supervalu Inc., a newly acquired subsidiary of United Natural Foods (UNFI), to purchase five corporately owned Shop ‘n Save locations. Upon completion of the sale, Giant Food Stores will convert the acquired stores to the Martin's Food Markets banner. The stores to be sold are located in Smithsburg, Maryland; Greencastle, Pennsylvania; Berryville, Virginia; and Hedgesville and Martinsburg, West Virginia.
US: Lucky’s Market continues to expand
As part of its ongoing expansion plans, natural and organic food retailer Lucky’s Market has revealed signed leases for additional store locations in Florida. The grocer is slated to open stores in the next 18 to 24 months in Boca Raton (two locations), Kendall, Bradenton, Brandon and Clearwater. Boulder, Colorado-based Lucky’s also recently said it will open two new stores in its home state, as well locations in the following Florida cities: Oakleaf, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Naples, Fort Myers, Port Charlotte, Venice, Dania Beach, downtown Orlando, Vineland, Colonial Landing, Lake Mary, Port St. Lucie, Pensacola and Ormond Beach.