Dollar Tree: same-store sales miss estimates

Albertsons' Safeway repurchased notes to end default claim

US: Walmart's NYC delivery push suffers loss of Division Chief
The chief executive officer of Parcel, the New York City delivery company owned by Walmart Inc., has departed, dealing a potential blow to the retailer’s push into the grocery business in the Big Apple. Jesse Kaplan, who sold his last-mile delivery startup to Walmart last year, “has decided this was a natural point for him to step down,” Alyssa Ciambriello, spokeswoman for Walmart unit Jet, said in an emailed statement. Chief Operating Officer Jackson Fratesi will now lead Parcel and its more than 200 employees, she said. He’ll report to Hany Elkordy, a one-time Inc. executive who just joined Walmart’s e-commerce arm as vice president of logistics and last-mile delivery.

US: Dollar Tree same-store sales miss estimates
Dollar Tree Inc missed analysts' estimates for quarterly same-store sales, hit by a surprise drop in sales at its Family Dollar stores. The the discount store operator also cut its full-year sales forecast to a range of $22.72bln to $22.83bln from $22.75bln to $22.97bln. Dollar stores have taken a hit as shoppers spend more on premium products from retailers like Target Corp and Trader Joe's, as a strong job market and lower taxes put more money in their hands. The company has also been struggling to turn around its Family Dollar business since its acquisition in 2015.

US: Albertsons' Safeway buys back notes to end default claim
Albertsons Cos.’ Safeway unit repurchased more than $330mln of bonds in a deal with holders that resolves allegations of a debt default triggered by Safeway’s takeover. The company bought back the bonds at par plus accrued and unpaid interest, covering notes due in 2031 and 2027, according to a regulatory filing. They were repurchased from a group holding just over 50% of the Safeway notes, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The transaction results in the release of claims by both sides, the people said. A representative from Safeway didn’t provide a comment on the matter.

Poland: Carrefour forms coalition to promote sustainable food production
Carrefour Polska has joined forces with the Polish Chamber of Organic Food, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, and the EKOŁAN association to form a coalition that will promote organic farming in the country. The measure is supported by Poland’s minister of agriculture and rural development, Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski, and has been named ‘the coalition for the development of the bio-food market.’ President of Carrefour Polska, Christophe Rabatel, said: “As a member of the coalition, Carrefour wants to support farmers through direct cooperation, our know-how, logistics and extensive infrastructure of almost 900 stores. We will also continue to educate Polish clients in the field of healthy nutrition.”

Supermarket, discounter presence growing in Czech Republic and Slovakia
Increased numbers of consumers are shopping at supermarkets and discounters in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, according to figures from GfK. The data for the Czech Republic shows that hypermarkets account for the largest share in the grocery marketplace, with 31.6% (MAT 06/18), this is down from 32.5% the previous year, and 33.1% in 2014. At the same time, supermarkets have grown their share to 17.0% (2014: 15.4%) and discounters have seen their share rise to 21.5% (2014: 17.3%). In Slovakia, hypermarkets have largely been able to hold their own, with the sector accounting for 26.5% share in 2018, compared to 26.7% in 2017 and 26.2% in 2014. Here too, however, supermarkets have seen growth, accounting for 25.5% share this year (22.6% in 2014), while discounters are on 15.9% (2014: 12.8%).

UK: Sainsbury's launches wellness hubs in key stores
Sainsbury's is stepping up its focus on healthy living with the introduction of new hubs at selected supermarkets. The hubs will bring together Sainsbury's entire wellness and sports nutrition ranges in-store for the first time and help position the retailer as an alternative to specialist heath food shops such as Holland & Barrett and Planet Organic. With new fixtures, in-aisle chiller cabinets for ready to drink products and an expanded range, the hubs will enable Sainsbury's to accelerate its sales in wellness, a market which could be worth £12.4bln by 2020 (source: Statista) in the UK.

Vietnam: Retail sales & services earn 172bln USD in 11 months
Vietnam’s total revenue from retail sales and services has continued to grow strongly, reaching 4 quadrillion VND (172bln USD) in the first 11 months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 11.5%, according to the Statistics Office of Vietnam. Vietnam’s consumers spent 3 quadrillion VND (129bln USD) on retail goods, accounting for three-fourths of the total revenue and up 12.3% from the same period last year. Several products enjoyed strong growth, including food and foodstuff (12.7%), clothing (12.3%) and home appliances (12.1%). In November, consumers in the country purchased 385 trillion VND (16.54bln USD) worth of retail goods and services, up 1.1% from October and 12.2% year on year.

Germany: Metro Group partners with Spryker
Germany-based Metro Group’s IT division Metro-Nom has partnered with Berlin-based technology provider Spryker Systems to strengthen its IT location in Berlin. The partnership also aims to grow Metro’s range of services for B2B ecommerce. The first project of the partnership is a three-month trial of an online shop for small independent retailers in Romania. The online store is tailor-made and will be launched before the end of 2018. It is focused on catering to the needs of Metro’s small independent retailer customers, such as food stores and kiosks. The online store was developed by Metro-Nom using a solution from Spryker. Commenting on the project in Romania, Metro-Nom’s chief information and solution officer, Timo Salzsieder, said: “Romania is a country with a strong trader focus, and the needs of these customers differ from those of our HoReCa customers in such areas as product range, price groups, and marketing”.

Malaysia: 7-Eleven’s Q3 earnings rise 4.1%
7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2018 rose 4.1% to RM16.76mln from RM16.10mln a year ago on the back of higher revenue, gross margin improvement and other operating income. The group said in a statement that revenue for the quarter rose 1% to RM568.52mln from RM563.12mln a year ago, driven by the growth in new stores, higher average spend per customer and better consumer promotion activity. Gross profit for the quarter rose 3% year-on-year to RM184.1mln mainly due to the increase in revenue and improvement in gross margin by 0.7% points. “The improvement in gross margin was attributed to higher gross profit margins across most categories,” it said.

UK: Tesco and VW plan free electric car charging points
Tesco, in partnership with Volkswagen, plans to install almost 2,500 charging bays at up to 600 stores by 2020. A standard 7kW charger will be available for free, but drivers will have to pay for a faster service. Customers will be able to leave their cars to charge while doing their shopping, which should give time for a "substantial" free charge, VW said. How long it will take to fully replenish the battery will depend on the type of car. A company called Podpoint will build the charging facilities for VW and Tesco. Volkswagen has two electric vehicles on the market in the UK, the e-Golf and the e-Up. It has sold about 1,350 of the cars since they went on sale four years ago, but has plans for a massive expansion. By 2020 it wants to offer an electric version of all its models.

German retail sales rise at strongest rate in almost 1.5 years
German annual retail sales rose at their strongest rate in almost 1.5 years in October but monthly sales dropped for the fourth consecutive month, sending mixed signals about the state of household spending in Europe’s largest economy. Spending by German shoppers rose by 5.0% on the year in real terms in October, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed. That was the highest rise since May 2017 and compared with a Reuters consensus forecast for an increase of 2.7%.

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