Shufersal: pilot store in Tel Aviv with no checkouts

Metcash: new deal with Drakes Supermarkets

France: Carrefour says blockchain tracking boosting sales of some products
French retailer Carrefour SA has seen sales boosted by the use of blockchain ledger technology to track meat, milk and fruit from farms to stores and will extend it to more products to increase shopper trust, an executive said. Blockchain’s digital tracking technology allows customers to see detailed information on products like when it was harvested or packed - reassuring them on the quality of items they buy and allowing them to avoid products with genetically modified organisms, antibiotics or pesticides if they want. Carrefour has launched blockchain information for 20 items including chicken, eggs, raw milk, oranges, pork and cheese, and will add 100 more this year with a focus on areas where consumers want reassurance, like baby and organic products.

Philippines & Vietnam lead FMCG sales growth in Southeast Asia
The Philippines and Vietnam led Southeast Asian FMCG sales growth last year, according to a report by market research company Nielsen. In What’s Next for Southeast Asia, Nielsen reported that Vietnam’s FMCG sales growth reached 5.2%, second in Southeast Asia behind the Philippines’ 8.7%. Global FMCG sales growth was only 3.4%, but Asian markets benefited from buoyant economic factors and strong consumer confidence. In Vietnam, consumers are making more frequent shopping trips for everyday needs, with Nielsen’s data showing the average shopper visited a convenience store 4.5 times per month last year - that’s three times the frequency of 2010. “We’ve been seeing solid growth in the convenience and mini-market channels across Southeast Asia for some time now, but over the past year or so that growth has really hit fever pitch”, said Vaughan Ryan, Nielsen’s MD Southeast Asia. “Consumers throughout the region are living increasingly fast-paced lives, and this lifestyle shift is driving increasing demand for on-the-go offerings.”

Israel: Shufersal tests no-checkout store
The largest supermarket chain in Israel Shufersal Ltd. has set up an initial pilot store in Tel Aviv with no checkouts, in which customers take products from the shelves and leave the store without pulling out any means of payment. The pilot is the product of a strategic collaboration between Shufersal and Israeli startup company Trigo Vision, which was founded in 2017 by brothers Michael and Daniel Gabay.

UK: SmartShop to launch at Sainsbury's Dulwich store next month
Sainsbury’s SmartShop offering is heading to the retailer’s Dulwich, London store. Shoppers can download an app and use their mobiles or grab a handset to scan and bag as they go, paying at a dedicated SmartShop checkout. The service will launch at Dulwich next month. It is currently available at over 100 Sainsbury’s stores across the UK.

South Africa’s fastest growing convenience retail brand, FreshStop, turns 10
FreshStop, which has opened 302 stores across the country, is celebrating its 10th anniversary and the team is confident of continued business growth. “We have experienced excellent growth in the past 10 years and we are working closely with our partners, retailers and suppliers to guarantee further innovation and business success in the coming years. With our larger national footprint, we are focusing more on logistics and distribution, and support services such as IT; alongside developing technologies and keeping the relationships we have with our suppliers strong”, says Joe Boyle, Director at FreshStop, the largest and fastest growing convenience retail brand in South Africa.

India: Amazon Pantry grocery box service expands to 110 cities
Amazon Pantry grocery box service is now available in 110 cities in India, the company announced. The service can be used by the Amazon customers in cities like Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Indore, Kanpur, Lucknow, Nagpur, Panjim, Ranchi, and Vijayawada. Amazon has been gradually expanding the Amazon Pantry support to different Indian cities over the last few months. Amazon Pantry offers 5,000 everyday essentials, including groceries, household products, packaged food, pet products, personal care, and baby care products. In its press statement announcing the expansion, Amazon said Pantry users in select cities of Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Pune can also choose from convenient time slots to schedule their order deliveries.

Australia: Metcash secures new deal with Drakes Supermarkets
Metcash has secured a new deal to supply Drakes Supermarkets’ Foodland stores in South Australia, following uncertainty over its supply agreement with the chain last year. The wholesale distribution company announced that it will supply Foodland Supermarkets in the state until September 30 2019, in a deal which may be extended by Drakes Supermarkets to September 30, 2020 if desired. Metcash also secured a deal to supply Drakes Supermarkets in Queensland for a further five years following on from its supply agreement which expired on June 2.

Zambia: Stock more local products, Wina urges supermarkets
Vice-President Inonge Wina has directed relevant authorities to ensure supermarket chain stores countrywide stock more locally produced goods to empower struggling local producers and enterprises. Ms Wina expressed concern that chain stores were stocking more foreign products than local goods and directed that the situation should be reversed to empower local producers that thrived on agriculture but had no market.

Walmart expects doing business in India to get easier
Walmart India, the local unit of the world’s biggest retailer, said it is upbeat on the regulatory progress in India’s retail market and continuity in the government could accelerate ease of doing business further. “With the government getting the second mandate, our (ease of doing business) rankings will improve significantly further”, Krish Iyer, president, and chief executive of Walmart India, told ET. “I have no doubt in my mind that cash-and-carry businesses and even businesses as a whole, retail companies and foreign investors will find it easier to set up stores in India.”

The Melqart fund sells its stake in Spanish Dia after Fridman’s takeover
Fund manager Melqart Asset Management comes out of the capital of the Dia supermarket chain, while the Irish fund BG Master, Credit Suisse and Barclays have reduced their stake in the company after the bid launched by LetterOne, investment firm of the Russian millionaire Mikhail Fridman, who has taken almost 70% of the company’s capital. Specifically, Melqart has lost 3.108% of the share capital it had in the supermarket chain, while both Credit Suisse and Barclays have reduced their presence in the company, to only have 0.3% of the capital. For its part, the Irish fund BG Master, which landed in Dia in full period of acceptance of the OPA, has also detached much of its shares of the company in recent weeks. Thus, LetterOne, the investment arm of Fridman, remains the largest shareholder with 69.7% after the result of the takeover, followed only by the French Grégory Bontoux-Halley, a former reference partner of Carrefour, which has expanded its presence in the Spanish supermarket chain, from 3,261% to reach the current 3.39%.

US: Walmart's grocery delivery outranks Amazon, survey says
Walmart is gaining on industry leader Amazon when it comes to the online grocery space, according to a survey from financial firm Citi. The firm surveyed 2,000 consumers, more than 200 supermarket managers and its own analysts. Based on responses, 29% of consumers ranked Walmart the best for delivery, followed by Amazon at 25%. Local grocers, Kroger and Target rounded out the top five. The two retail giants are also getting closer when it comes to market share. About 23% of those surveyed said they buy groceries online at Walmart and 25% purchase from Amazon, the survey found. Results show that though Amazon and Walmart dominate, there are some key players lining up to challenge them. Kroger has the highest click-and-collect penetration, while Costco leads the way for online growth potential, according to Citi.

Amazon expands 1-day delivery option
Amazon has revealed that its Prime Free One Day delivery is now available on 10mln products, with no minimum purchase amount, as the ecommerce giant continues to compete in the race to get products to consumers fastest. One-day delivery items include everything from Echo devices to household items and cleaning supplies. According to a blog post from the company about the service expansion, some of the most popular one-day items include baby wipes, dish detergent and books. Amazon said that it plans to expand the reach of its grocery delivery and grocery pickup services in 2019 as well. The company currently offers Prime Now delivery from Whole Foods Market stores in 90 metro areas, and grocery pickup in 30 others.

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