US: SpartanNash introduces mobile self-checkout technology in 2 Michigan Family Fare stores
SpartanNash has launched a mobile app that speeds up grocery shopping trips by allowing patrons to use their mobile devices for scanning, bagging and paying for groceries. Currently available at two Michigan Family Fare stores - one each in Hudsonville and Wyoming - the app will expand to additional retail stores in 2019. To use the app, store guests: download it from either the iTunes or Google Play store, then log into it with their Yes loyalty account; connect to the store's Wi-Fi, scan barcodes on products as they shop - or visit electronic produce scales to add items - and bag the items; check out at the exclusive Check Out Now kiosks, and then exit the store.
US: Harris Teeter opens 1st converted Farm Fresh
On the heels of opening the largest store in its portfolio in New Bern, North Carolina, earlier this month, Harris Teeter debuts with the first of its former Farm Fresh conversion stores in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Wednesday. The former 38-unit Farm Fresh, which was once the biggest regional grocery chain in Virginia’s Hampton Roads area, was divested by Supervalu last spring. The Kroger Co. in May acquired 18 of the units, with 11 going to its Harris Teeter division and eight to its Roanoke, Virginia-based Mid-Atlantic division. The first of Harris Teeter’s former Farm Fresh conversions at the Strawbridge Marketplace, at 2129 General Booth Blvd., will feature the retailer’s familiar signature amenities, highlights of which include hot foods and salad bars, a sub shop, fresh sushi, full-service meat and seafood departments, fresh lobster rolls and fresh steamed seafood, a full-service floral department, international cheeses, beer and wine, and an in-store pharmacy.
US: Hy-Vee unveils innovative new concept store
Customers are beginning to expect more from their local grocery store. No longer will the old standards suffice, consumers want prepared food, specialty items, organics, and other innovative products and services. In response to consumer needs, grocery chain Hy-Vee is looking to jump on board with a new and improved Fast & Fresh location in Davenport. Operating on a smaller scale, Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh stores standard fare offer selections of fresh produce, meat, dairy, bakery items, as well as pantry and frozen items. The new location will feature these options and more, serving up sushi, wood-oven pizzas, a craft beer station, wine and spirits, along with services like a gas station and Hy-Vee Aisles Online Pickup. Customers will also get to peruse made-to-order meals for carrying out or dining in, Hy-Vee Mealtime Kits, and a Starbucks. According to the company, the new store will be the first-of-its-kind in the country.
Italy: Supermarket chain Conad to deploy Tracxpoint AiC solution in 2019
Israel-based self-checkout solutions provider Tracxpoint is to deploy its new Artificial Intelligence Cart (AiC) at supermarket chain Conad’s stores in Italy. The solution will be deployed at Conad Del Tirreno that is one of the seven cooperatives of Conad’s with more than 3,000 supermarket stores in the country. AiC platform will identify items added to and removed from the cart and then automatically processes on-cart transactions and payment while leaving the store. It uses on-cart cameras coupled with built-in weight sensors and powerful GPUs.
Belgium: Turnover, profit and market share higher for Colruyt Group
Colruyt Group’s turnover grew by 3% to more than 4.5bln euros in the first half of the fiscal year 2018/19. Gross profit margin increased from 25.7% to 26.3%. Market share increased from 31.9% a year ago to 32.4% now. Turnover at Colruyt Lowest Prices stores grew by 1.7%, thanks in part to the opening of three new stores. By 2029, 171 Colruyt stores will be converted into low-energy stores. OKay, Bio-Planet and Cru realized a combined sales growth of 6.9%. Wholesale sales rose by 4.8% to 410mln euros. This increase can largely be attributed to Retail Partners Colruyt Group (Spar, Alvo), partly thanks to good summer months. Dreamland and Dreambaby had to hand in 7.1% turnover, partly due to the growth of online. Colruyt's turnover in France grew by 11.6%.
Half of UK shoppers prefer app over website
In the United Kingdom, 53% of consumers prefer to shop online using a brand’s app over its website. This is mostly because they experience complex processes for signing in and setting up accounts on the website. Still, 40% get frustrated when shopping or paying on a mobile. This is one of many conclusions from the study “Pocket Shoppers: eCommerce on the Move”, research conducted by Elavon. It questions 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom on their mobile shopping experience. It turns out that two-thirds will abandon a transaction “out of principle” if the order process is too difficult. Customers nowadays have increasing expectations that payment should be simple and secure.
China: JD.com and Intel launch new research lab for smart retail
JD.com and Intel have launched a joint lab that will explore the use of Internet of Things (IoT) in smart retail solutions. The Digitized Retail Joint Lab will develop next-generation vending machines, media and advertising solutions, and technologies to be used in the stores of the future, based on Intel architecture. The new lab marks the extension of the robust existing partnership between Intel and China’s largest retailer. So far, scientists have successfully merged Intel’s RRI edge computing and OpenVINO computer vision architecture with JD’s computer vision algorithms to analyze customer traffic and in-store purchasing habits, a solution that helps store owners to provide a more personalized and convenient experience to their customers.
Coop Norway offers exclusive electricity deal to members
Coop Norway has announced that it has teamed up with power-provider LOS to offer its members an exclusive electricity deal. Coop members will pay NOK 9 (€0.93) per month along with NOK 3.45 (€0.36) per kWh in commission to use the company's services, a cheaper rate than the industry standard. They will also receive a 2% membership bonus on the power consumption, and a welcome bonus of 200 kroner (€20.70).
Supermarket group Dia drops out of Spain's blue-chip index
Spanish supermarket chain Dia dropped out of Spain’s blue-chip stock market index, the latest hit to the company that is facing a shrinking market share and a sliding stock price. The company has issued three profit warnings in 12 months and shares have lost nearly 90% of their market value since January. Its market share in Spain has steadily fallen over the past five years as economic recovery reduced its low-cost appeal.
Majid Al Futtaim Retail selects Flexible SD-WAN to power its smart retail transformation across the Middle East
Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim Retail, which holds the exclusive franchise rights to operate Carrefour in 38 markets across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, is deploying Flexible SD-WAN from Orange Business Services throughout its Middle Eastern operations to connect cloud applications, improve customer experience and digitally transform its regional retail offerings. Operating over 250 Carrefour stores in the region, Majid Al Futtaim Retail recognized the need for a new type of connectivity to provide robust, reliable networking for its retail sites, with end-users across 15 countries. The managed SD-WAN solution from Orange will enable Majid Al Futtaim Retail to strengthen its omnichannel strategy, designed to provide a seamless shopper experience. It will also support its launch of Carrefour’s online e-commerce offering that it is gradually rolling out across the countries in which it operates.
Google’s new marketplace to compete with Amazon in France
Google Shopping will soon be more than just a simple price comparison engine. Early 2019, Google will introduce its own marketplace in France. With the new Google Shopping platform, the tech company will compete directly with Amazon. LSA published the exclusive news, saying Google beta launched its Google Shopping Actions program a few days ago. “This will result in the transformation of Google Shopping into a marketplace, which makes Google an ecommerce competitor of Amazon and Cdiscount.” The official launch of Google Shopping Actions in France will take place in early 2019. Google is now testing the platform with third party retailers, such as Auchan, Boulanger, Carrefour and Fnac Darty.
Japan gets its first digital Walmart store
Walmart has announced the opening of its first e-commerce store in Japan in partnership with Tokyo-based online shopping platform Rakuten. The Walmart Rakuten Ichiba store will offer a new shopping experience for consumers by amalgamating Walmart’s expertise in delivering high-quality products from the US at affordable prices, and Rakuten’s proficiency in online commerce. Senior vice-president at Walmart International, Nathan Kring, said: “The digital Walmart store on Rakuten Ichiba is part of a strategic alliance between Walmart and Rakuten announced in January this year. The two companies are leveraging their unique strengths and assets to expand consumer reach and enhance the way customers are served in Japan and the US.”
Amazon Go eyes London’s West End for first UK store
Amazon has reportedly set its sights on a location near Oxford Circus in central London for its first cashierless grocery store in the UK. According to The Sunday Telegraph, the new Amazon Go store located in what is regarded as Europe’s busiest shopping district would not only be the UK flagship, but it would also be the first Amazon Go to open outside the US. Industry sources speaking to the newspaper said the new store was being orchestrated by Amazon’s US team, and not by its staff in the UK.