US: Fairway Market officially debuts mobile self-scanning checkout
New York-area grocer Fairway Market has officially launched mobile self-scanning checkout in all of its stores, reportedly making it the first grocer with such an option in the region. Partnering with FutureProof Retail to introduce the grocery technology, Fairway now lets shoppers use the Fairway-branded mobile checkout app to scan products via their phone cameras. Weighted items - such as produce and products from the olive bar or hot bar - can be weighed at digital scales.
US: Tops wraps up financial restructuring
Tops Markets LLC has revealed the successful completion of its financial restructuring and emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company reorganized on a fully consensual basis, with the support of its secured creditors and the official committee of unsecured creditors. According to Tops, it’s emerging from bankruptcy “with a substantially stronger balance sheet, reducing its debt by approximately $445mln, and with over $100mln in liquidity.” As a result of its “significantly enhanced financial flexibility”, the grocer will be able to invest in its stores to create an enhanced shopping experience. The company also noted that it has resolved ongoing labor and pension issues.
US: Blue Apron halts retail program with Costco
Back in May, Blue Apron made news with its first foray into retail store distribution in a highly publicized partnership with Costco. Now, six months later, the meal kit company is putting the brakes on the relationship - at least temporarily. During its earnings report last week, Blue Apron announced that its pilot program with Costco will shut down indefinitely as the holidays approach. Costco needs shelf space for holiday offerings, and Blue Apron customers are typically less engaged during the holiday season, Blue Apron CEO Brad Dickerson said on the earnings call.
US: SpartanNash announces plans to acquire Martin's Super Markets
Expanding into northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan, SpartanNash has announced plans to acquire Martin’s Super Markets, a 21-store chain. These acquisition plans will expand its corporate retail footprint. “We are excited to welcome Martin's Super Markets to the SpartanNash family”, said David Staples, SpartanNash President and Chief Executive Officer. “Martin's has been a valued independent retail customer since 2005, and we have the greatest respect for the Martin's management team and its commitment to their associates, customers, and the communities they serve. We look forward to working with members of the team to continue to deliver the quality shopping experience and high level of customer service to Martin's customers. Our long-standing relationship has built the foundation for our future success and will enable us to grow our corporate retail business in Indiana and Michigan consistent with our long-term strategic growth strategy. We also believe this investment in our corporate retail business will help us take full advantage of our opportunities to generate value for all SpartanNash stakeholders.”
US: Target Q3 comparable sales, earnings fall, shares drop 11%
Target Corp reported third-quarter earnings and comparable sales below estimates, at a time when a strong economy has boosted consumer spending at rival retailers, sending its shares down 11% in premarket trade. Sales at stores open at least a year rose 5.1%, short of analysts' estimates of a 5.2% increase, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Excluding items, Target earned $1.09 per share, below the average estimate of $1.12 per share. Total sales amounted to $17.59bln (€15.4bln), below the average estimate of $17.8bln.
Brazil's GPA: Cheftime partnership to create meal kits
GPA has announced a partnership with start-up Cheftime, which offers an online meal kit subscription service. The partnership entitles GPA to acquire a controlling interest in Cheftime within 18 months, which could be extended to two years. The financial details of the partnership have not been disclosed. The retailer has also started marketing an exclusive line of meal kits, ‘Cheftime by Pão de Açúcar’, on a trial basis. The line will be available in a store in São Paulo and through its website. GPA will extend the partnership to 15 to 20 Pão de Açúcar and Minuto Pão de Açúcar stores in Q1 2019. The partnership is also aimed at creating an omnichannel experience through integrating online and in-store sales. The retailer intends to expand its ‘express’ home delivery service using store inventory to delivery orders within two hours. The service currently operates in 60 stores but will be expanded in 2019.
India: Bigbasket in talks to raise $150-200mln in next few months
India’s largest online grocer Bigbasket, which raised $300mln from Alibaba earlier this year, is gearing up for a fresh round of fundraising in the next few months. The company is in last-stage talks to raise $150-200mln, according to Hari Menon, Co-Founder, and Chief Executive Officer of Bigbasket.
Viva Bahrain extends contactless payments to Carrefour
Viva Bahrain has partnered with Carrefour Bahrain franchisee Majid Al Futtaim to implement its digital wallet, offering cashless payments for customers of the supermarket in Bahrain. Adding to its network of merchants, the Viva-Carrefour collaboration is in line with the telecom operator’s objective of accelerating Bahrain’s move towards a cashless society. With Viva Cash, which can be downloaded free on the Apple App store and Google Play Store, shoppers will receive an instant 10% cash back on any purchase at any of the 12 Carrefour branches in the country, up to BHD 5. The offer is valid until end-November.
France: Casino buys 5% stake in fintech firm Lyf Pay
Casino said it had bought a 5% stake in fintech company Lyf Pay as part of the French retailer’s bid to gain a foothold in the European mobile payments business. Lyf Pay aims to build a mobile payments system in Europe to rival Apple Pay, which has been developed by U.S. firm Apple, and Alipay, which is offered by China’s Alibaba. Casino did not say how much it paid for the stake.
Spain: Glovo's rapid global expansion
Spain-based food delivery start-up Glovo, whose app connects customers to independent couriers, has been expanding rapidly around the world. It has launched in 17 countries in one year, and now offers 20 minute grocery deliveries, challenging the likes of Amazon and Mercadona in Spain. Glovo's CEO, Oscar Pierre, spoke about the company at a recent event. It operates a logistics marketplace platform with hundreds of stores in each city it operates it. It charges commission, accounting for 70% to 75% of the business. Its aim is to build a super app, connecting people to the city.
South Africa: Steinhoff promotes commercial director to CEO
Steinhoff has appointed commercial director Louis du Preez, a key figure in its attempts to recover from a financial crisis, as its permanent chief executive, sending shares in the South African retailer as much as 15% higher on Monday. Du Preez will replace acting CEO Danie van der Merwe, who will step down at the end of December, a year after the retailer revealed a multibillion-dollar hole in its finances. “It is not too surprising who they have gone for given his role in driving the restructuring and this would be seen as a positive,” said Mark Hodgson, equities trader at Avoir Capital Markets.