France: Carrefour to open its own registerless store
French distributor Carrefour will be testing its own registerless store concept next year. Just like pioneer Amazon Go, Carrefour will rely on cameras and facial recognition to achieve a fully automated checkout system. According to French trade magazine Linéaires, the first experiment will be a small test store in Massy (near Paris). The store will measure 56 square metres and will only be open for Carrefour's own employees. Cameras will register which items visitors pick up and charge them using facial recognition. Carrefour has already some experience with the technology as a result of a collaboration with Tencent in China: a test store, located in the harbour city of Shanghai, uses a facial recognition system for payment. The Chinese store operates on a very different scale, though: its surface measures 4,000 square metres.
Netto hits a milestone with 500th store in Denmark
Salling Group's Netto banner has hit the 500-store milestone, with the opening this week of a store in CarlsbergByen, in Copenhagen. Commenting on the milestone, Brian Seemann Broe, the head of Netto said that the group was "very proud" of reaching the 500 store mark, "mostly because we have achieved this by virtue of the same values we and our customers have shared since 1981 - quality goods at reasonable prices."
Finland: S Group launches new start-up programme
S Group has partnered with start-up accelerator the Founder Institute to create a new start-up programme based in Helsinki. More widely, the Founder Institute has created over 3,300 start-ups in 180 different cities, although this is the first time it will focus on the food chain specifically. The new programme will start at the beginning of 2019 and last 13 weeks with applications open until the 16th December this year. The programme will specialise in developing the food chain and involves leading Finnish and international entrepreneurs and researchers. Participating start-ups will receive support from several successful start-up entrepreneurs and experts from leading companies. They will also have access to the Founder Institute’s network of global investors and advisors. The programme is part of the Global Centre of Excellence for Food Start-ups, which aims to build up 20 start-ups in 2019.
UAE: Carrefour launches the world’s first sail-thru supermarket in Dubai
Carrefour UAE has gone off shore with its latest product innovation, the world’s first sail-thru supermarket, which was unveiled at Dubai Marina by Hani Weiss, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Retail. Carrefour Bites and More by the Shore will be operational six days a week, from 10am to 6pm (subject to weather conditions) and will be capable of serving super yacht tenders, jet skiers and even beach goers. The floating supermarket is expected to see the greatest demand from its order-for-delivery model, with yachts, sun bathers, jet skiers and any other people on the shore able to call the supermarket (056 400 3659) and have their order delivered via a skiff that is towed behind the floating mini mart. There is also an Aqua Pod app that customers can download to order online. The custom-built Aqua Pod will be able to serve yachts, jet skiers and beach goes at Kite Beach, Jumeirah Public Beach and Al Sufouh Beach within a 45-minute delivery window.
Italy: Gruppo Selex planning to invest €320mln in network next year
Italian retailer Gruppo Selex is planning to invest around €320mln in its network next year, as it implements a store refurbishment programme as well as open a number of new stores. According to GDO Week, the retailer expects to post turnover of €11bln in 2018, a 4.3% increase on the previous year, with the retailer performing ahead of the rest of the market. The retailer has also improved its productivity per square metre, by around 1.2%. The third largest player in the grocery sector, Selex is aiming to generate turnover of €11.4bln in 2019.
Belgium: Colruyt starts night shifts in supermarkets
Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt is introducing night shifts in its stores early next tear, in order to prepare orders for its click and collect service Collect & Go. The management hopes to get the unions' agreement as soon as possible. Starting from January, Colruyt wants to extend the working period from 7h-20h30 to 5h-24h in nine test stores. Employees would have to use these extra 5.5 hours to prepare online orders, as this service is growing so fast that there is no room any more to accommodate that service in the current working hours. The introduction of home deliveries, also planned next year, would create too much of a strain on store employees, the chain fears.
Brazil: Carrefour sees Christmas sales up 5%, to invest $496mln in 2019
Carrefour Brasil, one of Brazil’s largest retailers owned by Carrefour SA, sees an increase of up 5%in Christmas shopping sales compared to last year, the chief executive officer said. Noël Prioux told reporters that Carrefour plans to invest 1.9bln reais ($496mln) in 2019, the same amount as this year. He said the company sees potential for partnerships with start-ups in Brazil and could study acquisitions if good opportunities arise.
US: Convenience store operator goes digital with surveillance
Sprint Food Stores has taken its anti-theft efforts to the next level with an advanced digital security-camera and recorder system. The cameras provide easily retrievable and emailable surveillance video evidence (with clearer images) that help deter theft and fraud and enable the retailer to efficiently monitor store conditions from home, headquarters, or anywhere with an Internet connection. “With an advanced surveillance camera system, a convenience store chain could achieve ROI within a year through better prevention of theft, fraud, and unjustified claims as well as improved operational oversight”, said Todd Harrison, IT director, Sprint Food Stores, which operates 20 convenience stores in Georgia and South Carolina. Harrison also oversees loss prevention camera surveillance for the company.
US: Harris Teeter opens its biggest store yet
Harris Teeter officially opened the doors for its largest store to date. The Matthews, North Carolina-based supermarket chain, part of The Kroger Co., held a grand opening event for its nearly 100,000-square-foot store in New Bern, a community on the North Carolina coast. Harris Teeter spokeswoman Danna Robinson said the grocer’s largest stores previously were locations in Pinehurst and Charlotte, North Carolina, that measured almost 80,000 square feet.
US: Giant Food investing $175mln in expansion, store improvement
Giant Food will invest $175mln capital in expansion and improvement of its store base over the next two years. The investment, which will cover one new store and 24 store remodels across the banner’s market area, is in addition to its recently revealed $21mln investment in a new store set to open this spring in Olney, Maryland. “As the region’s leading grocer, this announcement is part of our long-term commitment to deliver a consistently exceptional experience for our shoppers,” noted Gordon Reid, president of Landover, Maryland-based Giant Food. “We look forward to updating and enhancing our existing stores and constructing both new and replacement locations to give our shoppers a fresh and imaginative selection, unique in-store experiences, and superior customer service.”
US: Frank’s Supermarkets to sell three stores to Rouses
David LeBoeuf, owner and president of Frank’s Supermarkets, announced that he is selling three of his four locations to Thibodaux-based Rouses Markets. “We are happy to sell to another local family,” LeBoeuf said. “Their model of doing business aligns with ours. I am proud of what we have built over the years and have total confidence that Rouses will continue to serve these communities well.” The Frank’s locations in Larose and Golden Meadow will transition to Rouses stores by late January, and the Lockport location, from which Rouses will purchase the inventory, will close on December 15. The remaining store in Des Allemands will remain under the ownership of Frank’s.
US: Dollar General plans for produce in more stores in 2019
Fresh produce will be added to 200 Dollar General stores being remodeled next year. Overall, Dollar General plans to remodel 1,000 stores and open 975 new ones in 2019, according to a news release. CEO Todd Vasos said on the third-quarter earnings call December 4 that recent remodels have been performing well and sales growth is particularly strong when produce is present. Diversifying the product offering of the stores depending on the location is a strategy that Dollar General expects to continue to build sales in the coming years.