Thanksgiving weekend shoppers in US top 165mln
More than 165mln Americans shopped either in stores or online over Thanksgiving weekend (from November 22 to 26), surpassing the 164mln that said that they were planning on shopping in advance of the holiday. The average shopper spent $313.29 (€277.69) on gifts and other holiday items over the five-day period, down from $335.47 during the same period last year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). The biggest spenders were older millennials and 'Generation Xers' (those aged 35-44 years old), which averaged $413.05 worth of spend.
US: Sears secures court approval for an additional $350mln loan
Sears won court approval on Tuesday for $350mln in critical bankruptcy financing that will keep the 125-year-old retailer operating through the holidays while it attempts to reorganize. Sears reached the deal with Cyrus Capital Partners for the financing just before a hearing began in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on the retailer's so-called debtor-in-possession financing arrangements, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Canada: Couche-Tard Q2 earnings beat estimates
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. beat expectations as its net earnings rose 9% in its most recent quarter thanks in part to acquisitions and lower taxes. The Quebec-based retailer, which reports in U.S. dollars, says its net earnings attributable to shareholders were US$473.1 or 84 cents per diluted share for its second quarter of its 2019 financial year. That’s up from $432.5mln or 76 cents per share from the same period the previous year. Adjusted profits that exclude one-time items in both periods increased to 84 cents a share for the quarter, up 5% from 80 cents in the second quarter of 2018. Revenues rose 21% to $14.7bln, up from $12.1bln as same-store merchandise revenues - a key retail metric - rose by 5.1% in Canada, 4.4% in the U.S. and 4.6% in Europe. The company was expected to earn 82 cents per share in adjusted profits on $13.9bln of revenues, according to analysts polled by Refinitiv.
UK: Booths trialling John Lewis click & collect
Booths, the north-west based regional UK supermarket operator, is trialling John Lewis click & collect in five of its stores. John Lewis shoppers can now place orders on johnlewis.com by 8pm and their orders will be ready for collection at the stores customer service desk by 2pm the next day. The order will be held in-store for seven days before being returned to John Lewis. Stores involved in the trial include Ilkley, Settle, St Annes, Media City, Salford and Garstang.
Lidl France to expand online offer in 2020
Lidl France’s CEO, Friedrich Fuchs, has outlined the retailer’s medium-term development plans in an interview with the French newspaper Le Parisien. He discussed the retailer’s outlook for its online store and the strategy to make Lidl one of the key fresh produce sellers in the country. Following the success of both the travel website and the dedicated online wine shop, with home delivery launched in September 2018, Fuchs confirmed Lidl’s intention to offer new online services. Lidl France will launch a non-food ecommerce site in 2020, mirroring the development it has made in Belgium and Germany. By 2022 Fuchs said that Lidl France will have increased its assortment to 2,000 SKUs, from 1,600 now. Most of the new products will be in the fresh category, helping it to continue its strategy to offer a better choice to its customers. Meanwhile, 300 new stores will be added by 2030, to the 1,500 existing today, while a further 800 will be updated. To support this pace of store growth the 25 warehouses Lidl operates will have their size doubled, with half of the total area to be dedicated to fresh produce.
Germany: EDEKA Nord expands logistics centre with WITRON
EDEKA Handelsgesellschaft Nord GmbH is underlining its positive business development by expanding its state-of-the-art logistics centre in Zarrentin in Germany by installing two additional Case Order Machines (COM) during ongoing operations. The general contractor from Parkstein in Upper Palatinate in Germany, who designed the distribution centre, was also awarded a new expansion contract thanks to its proven technology. The modular expandability has been one of the most important aspects of the joint design of WITRON and EDEKA Nord when the project originally started.
Spar China to focus on strengthening its supply chain
Spar China has announced that it will focus on strengthening its supply chain by supporting its partners in developing their distribution and retail businesses. It will help the partners in expanding Spar’s own brand offerings, and improve the collaboration between other Spar members for better export and import operations.
France: Carrefour deploys hydrogen fuel cell forklifts in new distribution center
In its new distribution center in Vendin-le-Vieil, France, Carrefour deployed 137 new hydrogen fuel-cell powered electric forklifts, adding to the company's existing fleet of 80 fuel-cell powered lift trucks. Carrefour's fleet is the largest number of hydrogen forklifts in use in a single facility in Europe, according to Air Liquide, the hydrogen charging station supplier. The lift trucks will work two to three shifts in the distribution center for Carrefour, the second largest retailer in the world. Carrefour installed an outdoor hydrogen storage station and three indoor distribution stations to support the fuel-cell fleet. The fuel cells can be recharged with hydrogen in three to four minutes compared to 15 minutes to change a battery. The only emission from a fuel cell vehicle is water vapor.
South Korea: retail sales rise in October on brisk online sales
Retail sales in South Korea rose last month on brisk sales among online retailers, a government report showed. Revenue by online and offline retailers increased 6.7% in October from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Offline sales reduced 3.6%, but revenue by online retailers jumped 28.3% as consumers increasingly preferred shopping in the cyberspace using smartphones. Among offline retailers, sales by convenient stores and department stores grew 4.7% and 1.2% each, but discount outlet sales tumbled 14.3% last month. Online sales continued to expand on demand for online booking of travel and art performance as well as the online purchase of food.
European Private Label Awards 2019 - finalists announced
Leading grocery operators in Germany, Italy, Spain, France, the UK, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Sweden, Norway and Portugal are among close to 50 finalists announced for the European Private Label Awards 2019, organised by ESM: European Supermarket Magazine in association with M.A.D.E. (Marques Associées Distribution Event). Now in their second year, the European Private Label Awards are fast-becoming a barometer for private label excellence, with participating retailers and suppliers from right across the European grocery landscape. Entries to this year’s competition were double that of the previous year, and the 48 finalists named across 12 Awards categories include some of the biggest names in European retail: Lidl, REWE Group, Carrefour, ASDA, Dunnes Stores, SPAR, Coop Norge, Consum, Sainsbury’s, ICA, Franprix, Real and more.
Spain: El Corte Ingles and Alibaba forge global distribution deal
Spanish department store operator El Corte Ingles is to open a flagship store on Alibaba’s Tmall as part of a broad collaborative approach to reaching Chinese consumers. In a wide-ranging agreement, El Corte Ingles and Alibaba will enable a raft of Spanish and international brands commonly sold in El Corte Ingles department stores, to be sold worldwide via both AliExpress and Tmall. AliExpress will consider opening a number of physical stores at El Corte Ingles shopping centres in Spain to create a unique and engaging shopping experience while promoting some of its latest products available to Spanish shoppers. This follows a trial pop-up store in the El Corte Ingles Sanchinarro shopping centre in Madrid earlier this month during Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.