US: Target raises hourly minimum wage to $13, further topping Walmart's $11
Target Corp will raise its U.S. minimum wage to $13 an hour in June, from $12, increasing its payroll costs and putting new pressure on rival Walmart Inc to follow suit, given a labor market that is among the tightest in half a century. Minneapolis-based Target, the eight largest U.S. retailer by sales and fifth largest by employee count, runs 1,845 stores and employs more than 300,000 workers in the United States. The discount chain is investing billions of dollars to improve its supply chain, expand online sales and improve delivery of merchandise to shoppers’ homes. Target previously raised minimum hourly pay to $12 in March 2018 from $11. In 2017, Target said it was committed to raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour by end of 2020. The wage increase will affect “tens of thousands” of employees, a Target spokeswoman said.
US: Sprouts to open 13 stores in second half of 2019
Sprouts Farmers Market revealed that it would open 13 stores during the second half of 2019, among them five Florida locations and its first-ever store in Virginia. By the end of the year, the Phoenix-based grocer will operate 340 stores across 22 states. The stores slated to open will be in Laveen, Arizona; Lake Forest, Vista, West Covina and West Hollywood, California; Deerfield Beach, Jacksonville, Jupiter, New Port Richey and Riverview, Florida; Bel Air, Maryland; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Herndon, Virginia.
US: Chicory and Wakefern Food Corp. launch shoppable recipe partnership
Chicory and Wakefern Food Corp. announced their shoppable recipe partnership initiative. The partnership between Wakefern, the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the U.S. and the merchandising and distribution arm for ShopRite stores, and technology company Chicory will make it easier for shoppers to send recipe ingredients directly into online shopping baskets on ShopRite’s ecommerce ordering site, shoprite.com. The new integration streamlines grocery ordering for consumers and makes it easier for shoppers to instantly save recipe ingredients via millions of Chicory-powered digital recipes. Instead of writing down a recipe list and searching store aisles for the ingredients, the same ingredients can be directly populated into an online shopping cart at ShopRite and picked up at the store or delivered, where available.
US: Hy-Vee providing free A1C screenings in April
In honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month, Hy-Vee, Inc. is providing free Hemoglobin A1C screenings throughout its eight-state region during the month of April. The free screenings will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis at the Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobiles in more than 150 Hy-Vee store parking lots. Hy-Vee registered dietitians will conduct a simple blood test, and review the results with individuals immediately following the test. Hemoglobin A1C is a blood test that individuals living with diabetes use to manage their blood glucose levels, and provides information about an individual’s average levels of blood glucose over a two-to-three-month period.
Amazon.com should share web domain name rights, Brazil says
Brazil has proposed a compromise to a seven-year battle that has quietly raged over the Amazon.com internet domain: let the nations bordering the world’s largest rainforest co-govern the digital address with the biggest online retailer. Amazon.com Inc has been seeking rights to the domain name since 2012. But Amazon basin countries Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname have argued that it refers to their geographic region and thus belongs to them and should not be “the monopoly of one company.” The global Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees internet addresses, has extended until this month a deadline for the parties to reach a deal.
Belgium: Ecommerce worth €7bln in 2018
Ecommerce in Belgium was worth slightly over 7bln euros last year. This is an increase of 20% compared to the situation one year before, when the Belgian ecommerce was worth 5.8bln euros. Last year, there was also an increase in the average basket size. It was worth almost 97 euros in 2017, but one year later it increased by 3.31% so it became worth 100 euros and five cents. Among the bigger online stores in Belgium, the average basket size is even worth 113.6 euros and this amount keeps on growing. These statistics are shown in the latest E-commerce Barometer from The House of Marketing and SafeShops. This study also shows that the number of online retailers in Belgium has increased by 18% last year, which means there are now over 24,000 online retailers active in Belgium.
Italy: Despar Aspiag Service reports turnover of €2.25bln in 2018
Aspiag Service, which operates the Despar banner in northern Italy, has reported a 2018 turnover of €2.25bln, representing growth of 4.2% on the previous year. Last year, the company hired 194 employees, opened 15 new stores, including seven direct branches and eight franchised outlets, and renovated 13 others, contributing to its positive performance. According to the retailer, Aspiag Service recorded a better performance than the Italian retail sector in general, which saw an increase of 0.8% in sales in 2018, with a 1.1% growth in the food retail segment.
Sweden: Hemköp and Östenssons begin cooperation
Hemköp welcomes nine new stores to the chain through the start of cooperation with Östenssons, an independent grocery store chain with nine successful stores in Sweden’s Östergötland region. The strong Östenssons brand will remain, and the stores will become independent retailers in Hemköp. The cooperation will start on 1 September and covers purchasing and logistics via Axfood’s logistics company Dagab, IT, Hemköp’s loyalty programme and marketing. The well known and established Östenssons brand will live on with a clear coupling to Hemköp. ”We are happy to welcome nine well-managed stores to the Hemköp family and our retailer association. Östenssons’ stores are a good fit with Hemköp’s concept. They feature a wide product assortment and an inspiring experience with an emphasis on fresh and local ingredients”, comments Thomas Gäreskog, President of Hemköp.
UK: Morrisons to introduce paper carrier bags in all stores
Morrisons is is to offer paper carrier bags to all customers as part of its continuing drive to remove unnecessary plastic from its stores. Welsh stores will be the first to offer paper carrier bags next week. They will then roll-out to Morrisons’ English and Scottish stores in May. The paper bags have been trialled in eight Morrisons stores since January and have proved popular with customers. They are made in Wales from paper from sustainably managed forests and are strong enough to carry heavy weights up to 16kg. They will be priced at 20p, which will be the same price as Morrisons standard plastic carrier bag. The paper grocery bags, which can be reused and ultimately recycled, are labelled 'Reusable Paper Bag'.
Japan: 7-Eleven to replace leader as firm considers changing 24-hour policy
Japan’s biggest retail group Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd said it is replacing the head of its 7-Eleven convenience store business, amid pressure to abandon its 24-hour store policy due to a shortage of workers. Seven-Eleven Japan Vice President Fumihiko Nagamatsu will replace President Kazuki Furuya, the company said. The company has come under pressure to change after complaints by franchise owners, some of whom were forced to keep working amid massive snowstorms or in the wake of a family death, attracted nationwide attention. The company’s franchise system has helped buffer the impact of Japan’s tightest labor market in 40 years, as store owners are on the hook to pay wages after handing over royalty fees. The group announced a 5% rise in operating profit in the year ended February, led by growth in the convenience store business, although its outlook for 2% growth in the current year was slightly weaker than market expectations. Faced with criticism from store owners and recent calls for change by politicians, the company recently began testing shorter hours at 10 of its more than 20,700 stores.