Amazon's new drones to start delivering packages in months
Amazon.com Inc has new drones that will deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less in the coming months, a step toward a goal that has eluded the retailer for years. The new drone takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter, is more stable than prior models and can spot moving objects better than humans can, making it safe, Jeff Wilke, the chief executive of the company’s consumer business, said at the company’s “re:MARS” conference in Las Vegas.
Canada: Mercatus and ShopperKit partner to help grocers fulfill online orders
Mercatus, a leading provider in digital commerce solutions for grocery and other retail verticals, and ShopperKit, the first enterprise class software built specifically for in-store grocery fulfillment, announced a partnership to help grocers more efficiently execute click & collect and delivery fulfillment of online orders. ShopperKit’s in-store fulfillment solution enables Mercatus-equipped stores to quickly receive, prioritize and process orders from retailers’ websites, allowing grocers to offer enhanced in-store pickup or delivery services to their online shoppers. When an order is placed via the retailer’s eCommerce platform, powered by Mercatus’ online and mobile commerce engine, Mercatus routes the order to the store, where ShopperKit’s system drives efficient picking and packing methods. Once the order is fulfilled, Mercatus facilitates the systems behind click & collect orders and partner delivery services for white label delivery.
US: Costco Wholesale Corporation reports May sales results
Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Costco” or the “Company”) reported net sales of $11.67bln for the retail month of May, the four weeks ended June 2, 2019, an increase of 5.9% from $11.02bln last year. For the thirty-nine weeks ended June 2, 2019, the Company reported net sales of $111.56bln, an increase of 8.0% from $103.26bln during the similar period last year.
US: ALDI & Lidl ramping up grocery competition
The competition between international discount retailers ALDI and Lidl is just beginning in the U.S., according to Jan-Benedict Steenkamp, a marketing professor who has written a book about the two discounters. According to Steenkamp, those who suffer the aftermath of the rivalry between the two retailers are everyday U.S. supermarkets, such as The Kroger Co., and warns that these supermarkets must come up with new strategies to avoid becoming collateral damage. Although U.S. supermarkets may provide some competition for the two retailers, the only grocers that they fear is each other, Steenkamp explains in a PLMALive! interview. He believes this is because the supermarkets within the U.S. lack an efficient, sustainable strategy in combatting hardcore discounters, such as ALDI and Lidl. “To me it is very simple”, said Steenkamp. “ALDI and Lidl offer something that is unique, that the American market doesn’t really have, and they have a business model that makes them super efficient and second-to-none, including [when compared to a] Kroger and Walmart.”
US: No-checkout retail prepares for growth
The steady stream of Amazon Go store openings is whetting America’s appetite for checkout-free retail experiences and setting the stage for any number of competitive responses from retail and technology rivals. “When you look at how much traction Amazon Go is getting, we regard them as a great market enabler and encourage them to be fruitful and multiply”, said Andy Radlow, vice president of sales and marketing for Grabango, a Berkeley, California-based startup developing a similarly enabled solution - only one that is intended to be deployed in large retail stores with thousands of items.
US: United Natural Foods, Inc. reports third quarter fiscal 2019 results
United Natural Foods, Inc. (the "Company" or "UNFI") reported financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 ended April 27, 2019. Third Quarter Fiscal 2019 Highlights: Net sales increased to $5.96bln, including $3.24bln from SUPERVALU. Earnings Per Diluted Share (EPS) of $1.12; Adjusted EPS of $0.61. Integration of SUPERVALU progressing; UNFI now operating as one company with a national leadership team and structure.
US: Peapod champions personalization to meet diverse shopper needs
Peapod, the online grocery brand of Peapod Digital Labs, is more than just a convenient delivery service that allows U.S. shoppers to check off their grocery list anytime, anywhere - it also helps customers connect to and share their culture through food. At a recent presentation to the National Hispanic Corporate Council in Columbus, Ohio, Jan Ingraham, Non-Perishable Merchandising Lead for Peapod, detailed how the brand innovates to meet the needs of its diverse shopper base. Peapod gives customers a personal shopping experience paired with white-glove delivery service. Shoppers can use the brand’s website or app to fill a cart that includes traditional products, ethnic and specialty items, and local favorites, plus a large selection of meal kits. Customers can apply filters to help them navigate to product selections to meet their needs such as dairy free, organic, low sodium and vegan.
Australia: Woolworths restructures fresh food teams
Woolworths in Australia has announced a restructure of its in-store fresh food teams. The new structure will see the creation of two teams in each supermarket: the 'fresh service' team that will run the butchers, seafood and deli counters and the 'fresh convenience' team that will operate shelf-orientated fresh food such as dairy, packaged meat, eggs, bread and food-for-later meal solutions. The changes have been tested in-store in New South Wales and, having proven successful, will be gradually rolled out nationally in the coming months.
China: Alibaba upgrades Ele.me’s logistics network Hummingbird into a stand-alone unit
Hummingbirg, the logistics platform that powers Ele.me’s massive food delivery business, has been upgraded into a stand-alone business as it aims to provide services to more industries, 36Kr reports. The move should intensify competition in what is already a heated space, including JD Logistics and SF Group. Last month, Ele.me rival Meituan also launched its own logistics brand after forging partnerships with Carrefour, food franchise CFB Group, fruit distributor Pagoda, online supermarket Dmall, and online pharmacy Dangdang.
Switzerland: Spar celebrates 30th anniversary
Spar Switzerland celebrates its 30th anniversary this year with a series of promotions and activities planned throughout the year. According to a statement, the festivities began 24 May on National Neighbours Day, with an initiative focused on 'giving back' to local communities. Every Spar store in the country gave away tickets to three lucky families for Arosa Bärenland Family Park to mark the occasion. In addition to this, customers received a 30% discount on 30 selected products in-store on the day. In a statement, Spar Switzerland said that for the past three decades, the group, which now boasts some 180 stores located in neighbourhoods and villages, have met the varied needs of its customers.
Portugal: Sonae plans to grow Go Natural presence
Sonae’s director of the healthy nutrition area, Frederico Paiva, told Dinheiro Vivo, a business newspaper, it is aiming to double the number of Go Natural supermarkets it operates in Greater Lisbon and Greater Porto in 2019. In addition to the new stores Paiva said it was aiming to open a further seven restaurants under the brand. The pace of expansion will see Sonae operate 16 Go Natural supermarkets and 27 restaurants by the end of 2019.
Belgium: Delhaize and bol.com start collaboration
Delhaize and bol.com, two of our great local brands, are starting a collaboration to make the shopping experience of customers even more convenient. Bol.com, the largest online retailer in the Benelux, is opening pick-up points in Delhaize stores across the Antwerp province. Customers can have their orders from bol.com delivered to a Delhaize location of their choice at no extra cost, with delivery time the same as for home delivery. The new service is especially convenient for customers who want to pick up their bol.com orders and grocery shop during the same trip. Delhaize and bol.com will test the service during the summer and then roll it out to the rest of Flanders.
China: Alibaba to invest $100mln in Russian e-commerce JV
China’s Alibaba and Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund will each invest $100mln in a Russian joint venture, RDIF said in a statement. RDIF also has an option to buy a further $194mln worth of shares in the joint venture from Alibaba, it said after definitive documents for the joint venture were signed in Moscow.