US: H-E-B CEO Charles Butt named a Top CEO
H-E-B’s Chairman and CEO Charles Butt was ranked second out of 100 for Glassdoor’s Top CEO list for 2019. In an anonymous employee feedback ranking, Charles Butt received an astounding 99% approval rating! Charles Butt took on competing retailers such as Costco, whose CEO, Craig Jelinek, placed at 42 with a 95% approval rating, and Trader Joe’s, whose CEO, Dan Bane, placed at 93, with a 91% approval rating. His appointment to the number two spot is an improvement on last year's list, where he was ranked number seven.
US: Affluent food shoppers more likely to purchase natural and organic products
The belief that natural and organic practices produce foods that are tastier, more nutritious, and healthier continues to germinate in the minds of key consumer demographics. The result has created a pervasive and enduring trend that spreads to virtually every corner of the food and beverage industry. Wealthy Americans are among the most influential and active participants in the natural and organic food market, according to Affluent Food Shoppers, a new report by market research firm Packaged Facts. Packaged Facts’ consumer survey data found that affluent food shoppers are increasingly moving in the direction of eating more organic and natural foods. They are more likely than non-affluent food shoppers to respond that they are eating more natural foods or organic certified foods compared to a few years ago. They also have a somewhat higher likelihood of more carefully avoiding foods with artificial ingredients.
US: Kroger is testing 30-minute delivery
Kroger is testing a service that delivers meals and groceries to customers in as little as 30 minutes, the Cincinnati Business Courier reported. Kroger Rush launched earlier this spring and is currently available to a limited number of customers who live within a three-mile radius of two stores near its Cincinnati headquarters - one in Oakley, Ohio, the other in Newport, Kentucky. Kroger Rush offers a limited assortment "quickly needed" products, Kristal Howard, the company's head of corporate communications and media relations, told Grocery Dive, including heat-and-eat meals, produce and beverages. She declined to say how many products are available through the service and whether Kroger employees or third-party workers are fulfilling the orders. Deliveries cost $5.95 each, with the first order free. Customers are required to download the Kroger Rush app to order products.
US: Target expands curbside to over 1,400 stores
Target announced an expansion of its curbside or “Drive Up” service to over 1,400 stores. “We’re well on our way to making Drive Up available in most Target stores by the end of the year”, said Dawn Block, senior vice president, digital at Target. “We know guests want same-day services, and we’re eager for even more guests to be able to try Drive Up - our fast, top-rated service.” Customers using Drive Up can order via the Target app and select Drive Up at checkout. Target notifies customers when the order is ready for pickup and the store is alerted when customers are on the way. There are designated spots for Drive Up customers. Drive Up is available for the first time in New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut.
US: Here’s how technology could change supermarkets in the next 10 years
Grocery ecommerce won’t make the big splash that many anticipate over the next five years, according to the latest grocery-focused report from CBRE’s 2019 US Food In Demand research project, but technology will still play a key role in redefining customers’ grocery shopping experience, transforming back-end operations and providing a much different front-end experience for shoppers. Supermarket sales totaled $743bln in 2018, marking a 3.5% jump compared to 2017. Despite the buzz around grocery delivery, consumers are showing a continued preference for picking up their items in-store. During 2018, e-commerce grocery sales totaled $58.9bln according to IRI, representing a 35.4% increase over 2017.
Tesco could open 750 new convenience stores in Thailand over medium term
Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, said it could grow its business in Thailand by opening 750 new convenience stores in the medium term. The group currently trades from 1,583 convenience stores in the Asian country. The possible store expansion was detailed at the group’s Capital Markets Day presentation to analysts and investors, which is focusing on “untapped value opportunities”.
Finland: Kesko posts 0.4% increase in comparable sales in May
Kesko Group has posted a 0.4% increase in comparable sales to €974.2mln in May 2019. Reported sales from continuing operations grew by 2.3%, the company said. Sales in its grocery division amounted to €481.0mln, up 2.5% in comparable terms during the period. The company saw a 1.9% decline in sales in Finland, whereas it grew by 6.6% elsewhere. Outside of Finland, Kesko operates in Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Belarus.
China's JD.com: Consumers "trading up" and seeking quality drives record-breaking 6.18
Total sales transaction volume during JD.com’s June 18 Anniversary Sale (“6.18”) reached new heights this year of $29.2bln. Key drivers leading to breakthrough results with China’s largest retailer were new products as well as Chinese consumers’ continued interest in and pursuit of higher quality. New products were a laser focus of JD’s retail strategy overall this year. JD has launched an exclusive channel within its platform to socialize and promote these products as well as bring them to market, making them easy for consumers to find, and helping brands strategically reach new consumers. Consumers are also “trading up” from lower tier cities, showing greater interest in brands similar to consumers in higher tier cities.
Aldi Süd opens 'largest outlet ever' at German music festival
Aldi Süd has announced the opening of its largest store to date, which will only be open for five days. The 2,000 square metre pop-up outlet is located at the Southside Festival in Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany, which runs from 21 to 23 June, and features artists such as The Cure, Foo Fighters and Mumford & Sons. The temporary store will cater for more than 60,000 festival attendees, and will be open from 20 to 24 June.
Holland: Jumbo turns to recycled plastic for fresh juices
Dutch retailer Jumbo is switching to the use of more sustainable bottles for all its fresh juice SKUs. The retailer made the announcement as it launched a 1 litre bottle of fresh orange juice in environmentally friendly packaging. The new bottle is comprised of three-quarters recycled plastic and one quarter recyclable, bio-based plastic. The bottle cap is made from 100% transparent HDPE, which is also recyclable form of plastic. The measure will save around 100,000 kilos of new plastic every year, the retailer said.
Russia: X5 partners with Unitrade to provide services to foreign online retailers
X5 Retail Group has announced that its subsidiary Omni has entered into a partnership with customs broker Unitrade to provide transportation, customs clearance, and delivery services for goods ordered from international e-commerce businesses. The collaboration with Unitrade will result in cutting the time required for customs clearance of goods shipped from the online stores of partner companies. X5 will transport goods from customs to consumers through its existing network of distribution centres.
UK: Prezzemolo & Vitale to open two new stores in London
Sicilian family-owned food store Prezzemolo & Vitale will expand its presence in London by opening two new stores. The outlets will be launched in Notting Hill and Borough Market in London. The chain has seven stores in Palermo and one in Chelsea in London, which opened a year and a half ago. The company, which has an annual turnover of €35mln, was founded more than 30 years ago in Palermo by Giuseppe Prezzemolo and Giusi Vitale. It aimed to combine the grocery store experience and artisanal attention to food. The store assortment features high-quality products, ranging from food to wine, sourced from all over Italy. The assortment includes cheese, charcuterie, freshly baked bread with natural leavening, meat from Sicilian farms, seafood and fresh fish selected by local fishermen, olive oil, preserves, fresh fruit, vegetables, as well as organic products.
Northern Ireland: Musgrave unveils £28mln expansion plans
Convenience retailer Musgrave NI, which owns the SuperValu, Centra, Mace and MarketPlace brands, plans to open up to 20 new stores in Northern Ireland in 2019. The £28mln investment plans, which will create around 500 new jobs, also include revamping an additional 40 stores. The 20 new store openings will be made up of a mix of brand new store developments and acquisitions, as Musgrave seeks to convert retailers and buy new sites.
UK: Tesco trialling delivery robot in technology push
Tesco has revealed that it is testing a delivery robot, as it detailed a raft of new ideas for the supermarket’s future development. In a Capital Markets Day for analysts, the supermarket said it was looking to save costs and serve customers better by working with technology companies on the shopping experience. One collaboration is with Starship, a US-based company which makes autonomous delivery devices which can carry items within a four-mile radius. Tesco is testing the use of the devices at its Milton Keynes stores which allow local customers to place an order via an app.
Belgium: Colruyt expands market share again
Belgian Colruyt Group has largely managed to meet expectations for its financial year 2018/19, but operational margins are under pressure from rising costs. The leader in the Belgian supermarket branch has managed to expand its market share, despite tough competition. Colruyt's turnover went up 2.1% on a comparable base - official turnover growth is 4.5% to 9.4bln euros, the extra growth coming from an extended financial year in the group's French components. Net profit went up 2.5% to 384mln euros, but analysts point out that operational margins are under pressure due to rising investments and operational costs. Organic growth, a growing store surface and rising prices all contributed to the progress. Belgian market share of the eponymous chain plus OKay and Spar went up from 31.8% to 32.2%, meaning the group once again succeeded in taking more market share away from its competitors. The chain Colruyt grew 2%, higher-end chains Bio-Planet and Cru added 4.9% and the wholesale division (including Spar) 3.6%. Dreamland and Dreambaby suffered from the competition and the closing of two French stores and saw their turnover decrease 7.1%.
Aldi & Lidl join fight against plastics in Portugal
Aldi Portugal has published its strategy for reducing packaging and plastics which is governed by the three main guidelines - reduce, reuse, and recycle. According to the company’s corporate responsibility manager, Elke Muranyi, the aim is to reduce the materials used in packaging and to improve the sustainability of private-label packaging, including its recyclability. Lidl Portugal started phasing out plastic bags in all its stores last month, a process which it aims to complete by the end of the year. It move is expected to result in the elimination of around 25mln plastic bags annually.
Spain: Coviran sees sales up 5% in full-year 2018
Spanish cooperative and supermarket chain Coviran has reported gross sales of €1.37bln in 2018, representing annual growth of 5.6%. Of the total, sales in Portugal amounted to €134mln, with the rest achieved in the group's home market. Pre-tax profit stood at €1.42mln (+13.6%) for the year, while net profit was in line with the figure for the previous year, reaching €950.000. EBITDA grew 2.41% to €8.06mln, while cash flow was €635mln (+8% higher than in 2017).