Albert Heijn: partnership with KNVB

Amazon: pop-up shops in UK high street for the first time

Portugal: Sonae to open 40 Meu Super stores in 2019
Portuguese retail group Sonae MC plans to launch 40 new Meu Super outlets in 2019 in the districts of Braga, Coimbra, Setúbal, and Faro in Portugal. In 2018, the retailer opened more than 40 Meu Super stores throughout the country, taking the total store count to 310. The new stores will add 8,500 square metres of sales area and result in a net sales increase of around €18mln.

Germany: Ver.di extends strikes in Baden-Württemberg retail sector
Trade union 'Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft' (ver.di) has announced that it is expanding strike action in the Baden-Württemberg retail sector, in order to achieve higher wages and training allowances for the state's retailers. The previous collective agreement was terminated by ver.di on March 31, and the group is now negotiating with the Baden-Württemberg trade association. These measures are part of an ongoing collective bargaining round, ver.di said. In the Stuttgart area, the fourth consecutive week of warning strikes is taking place, and strikers from several cities will travel there for a joint demonstration and rally. Other affected cities include Heidelberg and Mannheim, as well as Heilbronn and Karlsruhe. Additionally, employees from more than 40 companies like H&M, Zara, Kaufland and Primark are involved, with strikes set to affect the shopping on the long weekend. Among others, ver.di is seeking an increase in average wages of 6.5% and an increase of training allowances by €100 per month, as well as a minimum wage of €2,100.

'Auchan of the future' star of new shopping centre in Luxembourg
Luxembourg saw the opening of shopping centre Cloche d’Or, featuring 130 stores including an Arket (an H&M subsidiary) and the Auchan 'hypermarket of the future'. The new shopping centre offers its customers a choice between no fewer than 130 stores and 20 bars and restaurants over its 75,000 sqm floor surface. French retailer Auchan, which owns the shopping centre through its real estate branch Ceetrus, will take the largest part of that space for its 12,000 sqm 'life store': a pilot store that aims to offer a new shopping experience - including food and drinks, events and the services of dietitians, personal shoppers and sports coaches.

Amazon brings online sellers to UK high street in pop-up stores
Online retail giant Amazon said it would open pop-up shops in Britain to give more than 100 small online businesses an opportunity to sell on the high street for the first time. The first of the 10 stores, which are branded “Clicks and Mortar” and will sell homeware, health and beauty, food and drink and electronics, opened in Manchester, north England, on Monday, Amazon said. “Small businesses are one of our most important customer groups, and we’re thrilled to work with Enterprise Nation to design a comprehensive package to help entrepreneurs across the UK grow their businesses, both in-store and online”, said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon.

Holland: Albert Heijn announces partnership with KNVB
Albert Heijn has announced a partnership with the Dutch football association - KNVB - a week ahead of the women's football World Cup in France. The retailer and the football association will collaborate for a period of three years starting 1 September 2019 to 31 December 2022. As a part of the deal, Albert Heijn will partner with OranjeLeeuwinnen - the Dutch women's football team. Albert Heijn chief executive, Marit Van Egmond, commented: "The OranjeLeeuwinnen get the Netherlands moving. We are not only a fan of the team but also a great supporter of women's football in the Netherlands."

Aeon Malaysia records higher Q1 net profit, revenue
AEON Co (M) Bhd’s (AEON Malaysia) net profit rose to RM32.64mln (USD7.49mln) in the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 from RM27.94mln in the same period a year earlier, mainly driven by higher retail revenue and margin. Revenue for the quarter increased to RM1.21bln compared with RM1.11bln previously, mainly due to the impact of the Malaysian Financial Reporting Standards (MFRS) 16 accounting changes relating to lease rental and right-of-use asset amortisation, the company said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

US: Dollar General Corporation reports 3.8% same-store sales growth for first quarter 2019
Dollar General Corporation reported financial results for its fiscal year 2019 first quarter (13 weeks) ended May 3, 2019. Net sales increased 8.3%; Same-store sales increased 3.8%. Operating profit increased 4.5% to $512.2mln. Diluted earnings per share (“EPS”) of $1.48. Cash flows from operations increased 4.7% to $574mln. $283mln returned to shareholders through share repurchases and cash dividends. Board of Directors declares second quarter 2019 cash dividend of $0.32 per share.

US: Costco Wholesale Corporation reports third quarter and year-to-date operating results for fiscal 2019
Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Costco” or the “Company”) announced its operating results for the third quarter (twelve weeks) and the first thirty-six weeks of fiscal 2019, ended May 12, 2019. Net sales for the quarter increased 7.4%, to $33.96bln, from $31.62bln last year. Net sales for the first thirty-six weeks increased 8.3%, to $102.90bln, from $95.02bln last year. Net income for the quarter was $906mln, or $2.05 per diluted share, compared to $750mln, or $1.70 per diluted share, last year. Net income for the thirty-six weeks was $2.56bln, or $5.79 per diluted share, compared to $2.09bln, or $4.74 per diluted share, last year. This year’s third quarter benefited from a non-recurring tax item of $73mln, or 16 cents per diluted share.

Walmart Canada debuts urban supercenter format
Food, e-commerce and store-within-a-store concepts take center stage in a new “urban supercenter” format from Walmart Canada. Unveiled at Walmart’s 139,000-square-foot store in Toronto’s Stockyards neighborhood, the new supercenter blends an omnichannel shopping experience with enhanced grocery and foodservice offerings, third-party licensed shops, a new quick checkout service called Fast Lane, an updated product assortment, and a store design and layout geared toward urban consumers. "With our new urban supercenter concept, we're continuing to position ourselves as a leader in store design and retail innovation", Walmart Canada President and CEO Lee Tappenden said in a statement. "We're introducing new partners, testing new and innovative technologies, integrating e-commerce with bricks-and-mortar and updating our assortment to improve the customer shopping experience and to appeal more to young families in urban markets."

US: Dollar stores make more grocery moves
Dollar stores have been continuing their inroads into the grocery space, accelerating competition with traditional supermarket operators. Two examples of this: Dollar Tree is expanding freezer and cooler doors in its new-model Family Dollar stores, as well as adding adult beverages and more frozen/refrigerated capacity in existing stores, while Dollar General has embarked on DG Fresh, its strategic multiphase shift to self-distribution of frozen and refrigerated goods such as dairy and deli.

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