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Target: record ecommerce sales growth continues

Costco: December sales results

US: Roche Bros. upgrades POS systems to increase speed, efficiency
Massachusetts grocer Roche Bros. is modernizing its stores by implementing point-of-sale (POS) systems that improve speed and efficiency at the front end. The retailer has teamed with Durham, North Carolina-based Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions to adopt the latter's TCx 300 POS systems, which produce faster, seamless transactions. The technology offers intuitive, responsive touchscreens to enhance associates' ability to provide a more satisfying shopping experience. Roche Bros. currently is installing the first 100 of the systems and their accompanying TCx displays in seven of its stores. It will deploy 200 additional lanes throughout Roche Bros.' other 13 stores by March.

US: Trader Joe’s, Costco & Amazon lead dunnhumby retail rankings
13 U.S. retail food banners - many representing so-called “alternative formats” to traditional U.S. supermarkets - scored in the top quartile of dunnhumby’s annual Retailer Preference Index (RPI), which examines companies based on consumer perceptions in seven drivers of customer preference. For the second straight year, Trader Joe’s took the top spot in dunnhumby’s RPI rankings, followed by Costco Wholesale (No. 2), Amazon (No. 3), H-E-B (No. 4), Wegmans Food Markets (No.5), Market Basket (No. 6), Sam’s Club (No. 7), Sprouts Farmers Markets (No. 8), WinCo Foods (No. 9), Walmart (No. 10), Aldi (No. 11), Peapod (No. 12) and The Fresh Market (No. 13).

Canada: Cornwall grocery store employees strike over pay
Nearly 100 employees of Baxtrom's Independent Grocer in Cornwall remain on strike. Picketing day and night and demanding a fair and living wage, the striking employees are asking owner John Baxtrom to return to the bargaining table. "These are unionized workers. They should expect to be making something that is not hovering around minimum wage" said union leader Roland Lapins of UFCW Local 1006A.

US: Costco Wholesale Corporation reports December sales results
Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Costco” or the “Company”) reported net sales of $15.42bln for the retail month of December, the five weeks ended January 6, 2019, an increase of 7.8% from $14.30bln last year. For the 18 weeks ended January 6, 2019, the Company reported net sales of $52.99bln, an increase of 9.5% from $48.39bln during the similar period last year.

US: Target's record ecommerce sales growth continues
After reporting strong traffic and positive comparable sales during last year's holiday season, mass-merchandiser Target Corp. said that it's expecting to record 2018 as its fifth consecutive year in which digital sales grew more than 25%. During the combined November-December period, comps grew 5.7% on top of the 3.4% growth during the same period a year prior. These results reflected strong traffic, positive store comps and digital comps growth of 29%. "Given our fourth-quarter outlook, we are on track to deliver Target's strongest full-year comparable-sales growth since 2005, market-share gains across all of our core merchandising categories, and double-digit growth in adjusted EPS", said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target Corp. "In 2019, we expect to build on this momentum as we gain further scale in our fulfillment capabilities and deliver profitable growth throughout the year."

Switzerland: Aldi opens a store to target on-the-go shoppers
Aldi Suisse has opened its first ever store in a train station, in Lausanne. This is a new concept and location for Aldi Suisse. It shows how the retailer is becoming more flexible with its formats and locations. With an area of only 240 sq m this is the smallest ever Aldi store built to fit with its environment and the shoppers’ needs. Its main target are commuters looking for coffee and fresh bakery products. The store is also built in a new environment for Aldi, a city centre, and will act as a way to attract shoppers not familiar with the retailer or its concept.

Carrefour tests automatic product recognition in its French hypermarkets
The Carrefour hypermarket in Claye-Souilly serves as a pilot for the brand in a project for the automatic recognition of products on the shelves. A first test has already been conducted in Portet-sur-Garonne. The distributor chose the solution developed by French start-up Qopius, a specialist in image recognition and artificial intelligence. By relying on a network of cameras, the system is able, automatically, to identify breaks on the shelves and check compliance with merchandising plans. Store staff are alerted in real time of detected anomalies. The information collected, moreover, makes it possible to precisely locate each reference. It is therefore possible to offer precise guidance of employees or customers to the desired product (Pricer partner, Qopius is even able to blink the electronic tags concerned by a request).

Holland: Albert Heijn strengthens foodservice foothold with launch of delivery of hot meals
Albert Heijn is further strengthening its foothold in foodservice. Starting tomorrow, the brand will offer home delivery of hot meals in a large part of Amsterdam. The dishes will be prepared fresh, based on recipes from its leading omnichannel cooking platform “Allerhande”. Delivery services Deliveroo and, both widely used in the Netherlands for ordering food, will ensure customers receive their meals within 30 minutes. “We are seeing an increasing demand among our customers for good home-cooked meals as they would prepare them, without actually having to do it”, said Marit van Egmond, EVP of Commerce at Albert Heijn. “This is exactly what we are offering with our new service called ‘Allerhande Kookt’: the dishes that you would normally cook yourself, we can now make for you and you will get them nice and warm on the dinner table within half an hour."

UK retailers suffer worst Christmas in a decade - BRC
British retailers failed to increase their Christmas sales for the first time since the depths of the global financial crisis a decade ago, adding to signs of an economic slowdown ahead of Brexit. Consumer spending appears to be fading fast after a summer surge as concerns among shoppers about the outlook for 2019 outweigh the benefit from weaker inflation and a modest pick-up in wages. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said its members reported zero year-on-year total sales growth in December, the worst performance for the month since 2008.

Sweden: ICA sees sales up 2.3% in December 2018
Swedish retailer ICA has seen its sales rise 2.3% in December 2018, compared with the corresponding month the previous year. Sales on a like-for-like basis increased by 2.0%, the retailer said. The group said that for the month of December, sales in ICA stores totalled SEK 11.2bln, excluding VAT, which is an increase of 2.3% compared to the same month the previous year. Sales in January - December 2018 amounted to SEK 118.3bln, an increase of 3.5%.

Spain: startup Glovo to raise funds for new Latam tech center
Spanish delivery startup Glovo is planning a new fundraising round in the first quarter to fuel a Latin American expansion that will include a second technological center in the region, its Brazilian country manager said. Bruno Raposo said Brazil is likely to overtake Spain in terms of Glovo’s deliveries this year, as the startup spreads to some 50 cities across Latin America’s largest economy from 21 urban centers there. “The use of grocery deliveries in Latin American is broad compared to European countries where Glovo operates,” Raposo told Reuters in an interview. “Here they already have the habit of ordering pharmaceutical products and groceries for delivery.”

UK and Ireland: Tesco sees like-for-like group sales up 0.5% in third quarter
Retail giant Tesco has posted group like-for-like sales growth of 0.5% in the third quarter of its financial year, and +1.5% growth over the Christmas period. In a statement the group said that UK and Republic of Ireland sales were up 1.9% in the third quarter, and 2.6% over Christmas. If broken out into that division’s constituent parts, UK sales were up 0.7% in Q3 (+2.2% at Christmas), Republic of Ireland was down 0.2% in Q3 (+0.3% at Christmas) and its Booker wholesale division was up 11.0% (+6.7% at Christmas). The group said that in the UK and Ireland, Tesco ‘outperformed’ the market in food, clothing and general merchandise, with quality and value perceptions up by 3.5 pts and 4.5 pts respectively.

UK retailer B&M's quarterly sales rise
B&M European Value Retail SA said sales rose 12.1% in the third quarter on robust demand in December. The British discounter said that the positive momentum in December continued into early January and that it was on track for higher sales and earnings this financial year and the next.

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