Lithuania: Maxima Grupė acknowledged for investments in Polish market
Maxima Grupė won a prize for successful acquisition of retail chain Stokrotka and further growth of the company during one of the biggest retail events “Food Market and Retail Forum” (Forum Rynku Spożywczego i Handlu) that was held on 5-6 November in Warsaw. “For us, this award is significant acknowledgement, keeping in mind that we are investing and expanding in much bigger market than Lithuania. Positive assessment from Polish colleagues motivates us to continue developing business in this country. We find Poland attractive for its size, growth and consolidation potential. Thus, we are planning further ambitious expansion in this market,” says the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Maxima Grupė Dalius Misiūnas. According to the company, having completed the acquisition deal Maxima Grupė has become the largest Lithuanian capital investor in Poland.
German regulator approves Kaufhof-Karstadt merger
Germany's antitrust regulator on approved the planned merger of department store chains Kaufhof and Karstadt, owned by Canada's Hudson's Bay Co (HBC) and Austria's Signa Holding. The deal will create a group with 243 department stores in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands and annual sales of €5.4bln ($6.13bln).
China: Alibaba Singles Day sales frenzy surpasses records
Internet giant Alibaba has set new sales records on Sunday for its biggest shopping day, the annual Singles Day. The Chinese company hit a record $1bln (£774mln; €883mln) in sales in 85 seconds, and then just shy of $10bln in the first hour of the 24-hour spree. In total, customers spent $30.8bln, up 27% on last year, but the lowest annual increase in the history of Singles Day. Online discounts have been offered on 11 November, Alibaba's informal holiday for singles, since 2009. Alibaba Group chief executive Daniel Zhang said the spending bonanza demonstrated "customers' continued pursuit to upgrade their everyday lifestyles".
South Africa: Spar develops its digital strategy
Spar South Africa has revealed plans to develop its digital strategy. The retailer hopes it will “streamline its IT operations and maintain its competitive edge in the local retail market”. The retailer has adopted Microsoft Office 365 and the cloud computing service Microsoft Azure. Greg Hay, group technology and operations executive at the Spar Group, explained: “The cloud gives us the flexibility and scalability we need to expand operations at will... At a tactical level, we’re using the Microsoft Cloud to implement practical steps that drastically reduce IT overhead and make us a nimbler company”.
Germany: Edeka opens campus in Berlin
Edeka has opened a food technology campus next to one of its supermarkets in the centre of Berlin. The campus is a space for start-ups to develop and test their products and technologies. Edeka hopes the campus will shape the ‘assortment of tomorrow’ by supporting start-ups. There is a co-working room, a kitchen studio and an event space on the campus. The retailer also provides start-ups with support from a network of experts and will allow them to test their products in-stores soon.
Carrefour Brazil acquires digital platform E-Media
Carrefour Brazil has purchased E-Media, which operates the Cyber Cook, Mais Equilíbrio and Vila Mulher sites, for an undisclosed sum. Following the acquisition Carrefour will integrate the sites into its wider ecommerce offer “to increase traffic and improve customers’ shopping experience”. Carrefour has said the transaction is aimed at driving its digital transformation and underpinning its ‘Act for Food’ initiative in Brazil. The integration will allow shoppers to purchase Carrefour products online directly from CyberCook’s recipes. Shoppers will also be able to locate appropriate recipes, for the ingredients they have bought, using a search engine. Noël Prioux, Carrefour Brazil’s president, said: “This operation represents another important step in our strategy, which includes investing in innovation to provide all-round services that will further facilitate the lives of our customers”.
Metro Canada partners with UberEats
Metro Canada is piloting hot food delivery in downtown Montreal in partnership with UberEats. Metro has established a strong food-to-go program within the business over several years. It has become an area of strength for the retailer, with its ‘Wow’ innovation stores expanding the offer into a range of cuisines, including artisanal flatbreads and stir fry. The partnership with UberEats will see Metro compete more directly with established foodservice chains, reflecting the larger food market that many retailers are now competing within.
US: Publix named one of Fortune’s best workplaces in retail
Publix Super Markets has once again been named one of the Best Workplaces in Retail by Fortune, moving up to No. 2 from the No. 3 spot in 2017. More than 631,000 retail employees across the United States were surveyed by Great Place to Work on their experiences with their companies, including effectiveness among leaders, experiences with innovation and trust, and ability to reach their full potential within the company. With more than 1,200 stores across seven states, Publix retail associates named the great atmosphere, bosses and pride as reasons they enjoyed working for our company.
US: SpartanNash reports mixed results for third quarter
SpartanNash Co. edged past Wall Street’s earnings forecast for its fiscal 2018 third quarter, even as declined sales in its retail grocery and military businesses shaved revenue growth. In reporting quarterly results, the food wholesaler and retailer also said it has retained Harvest Earnings, a third-party advisory firm, to help “transform our culture” to engage employees at all levels and field ideas on how to operate more efficiently and better serve customers to spur sales and profits. For the 12-week quarter ended October 6, SpartanNash tallied sales of $1.89bln, up 1% from $1.87bln a year earlier. Driving the gain was the food distribution segment, which saw sales climb 4.6% to $940.2mln from $899.2mln a year ago. The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company attributed the increase mainly to sales growth from existing and new customer programs.
US: Harps launches same-day delivery with Instacart
Harps Food Stores has announced a partnership with Instacart, which will bring grocery delivery to select Harps Foods trade markets in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. Beginning today, Harps customers who visit these select stores can order their favorite groceries and everyday essentials to be delivered by Instacart straight to their door in as little as two hours. “We are a customer-focused company and are always looking for new ways to make shopping more convenient,” said David Ganoung, vice president, marketing, Harps. “The option of home delivery complements our dedication to providing our customers with convenience and quality, making it even easier to shop with us.”
US: Giant Food launches new marketing campaign
Giant Food has rolled out a new campaign highlighting the retailer's new strategies when it comes to assortment and store experience. The regional grocery chain unveiled a new marketing campaign with a new tagline, "The Little Things Are Giant," highlighting the connections shared over great food and how these moments between family and friends are made even more special with the help of Giant's product assortment, ease of shopping and store experience. The campaign will kick off with a holiday focus over the next two months and continue through 2019 with fresh creative executions. Giant Food is headquartered in Landover, Maryland and operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. Giant Food employs approximately 20,000 associates. Included within the 164 stores are 154 full-service pharmacies.
US: Tops readies for Chapter 11 exit
Tops Markets LLC has gained court approval for its reorganization plan and said it “shortly” expects to come out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Williamsville, New York-based supermarket chain, which operates under the name Tops Friendly Markets, said that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has confirmed its restructuring plan, which is slated to be completed soon. “We are pleased to receive the court’s approval of our plan and are poised to emerge from this process an even stronger and more competitive company,” Tops CEO Frank Curci said in a statement.