US: Meijer adds mobile checkout to Indiana stores
Meijer has expanded its Shop & Scan service to stores in the Indianapolis area, after successful rollouts in other regions. Customers download the Meijer app, log into their mPerks account and then start shopping. They can scan and bag items as they shop and then scan the bar code at the kiosk to pay before leaving. Meijer began testing Shop & Scan in Michigan stores last year and implemented it in 23 Chicago-area stores earlier this year. Now all Indianapolis stores, as well as those in Lafayette, Kokomo, Muncie and Anderson, Indiana, offer the technology.
US: Sprouts Farmers Market names Jack Sinclair new CEO
Sprouts Farmers Market named Jack Sinclair its new CEO and board member, effective June 24, 2019. The grocer has been conducting a search for a new CEO since Amin Maredia stepped down from the position on December 30, 2018. The company also announced that Brad Lukow, interim co-CEO and CFO has resigned. Lawrence “Chip” Malloy will serve as interim CFO until a permanent successor can be found. “We are extremely excited to have Jack Sinclair as our new chief executive officer following a thorough search and selection process by the board of directors”, said Joseph Fortunato, chairman of the board of Sprouts Farmers Market. “Jack is a proven chief executive officer with an outstanding track record in grocery and retail merchandising. On behalf of the board, we look forward to working with Jack as he leads Sprouts forward to continued success.”
US: Walmart to pay $282mln to settle seven-year global corruption probe
Walmart Inc said it will pay $282mln to settle a seven-year-long investigation into whether its overseas units in Mexico, Brazil, China and India violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The retailer will pay more than $144mln to settle charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission and about $138mln to resolve parallel criminal charges by the U.S. Department of Justice, according to court and regulatory filings. In a separate regulatory filing, Walmart said the $282mln was part of a “global settlement” and ended all FCPA-related investigations into the retailer and its overseas businesses.
US: Giant Food Stores makes local products easy to find on store shelves
Giant Food Stores will debut PA Preferred shelf tags in all 156 of its Pennsylvania stores on products that are made in the state, to make it easier for customers to find local products. PA Preferred is the official brand of food and agricultural products grown, produced or processed in Pennsylvania, and the grocer has been a supporter of the program since its inception in 2004. “Giant is grateful for its deep connection to Pennsylvania’s farmers, growers and suppliers, and for more than 95 years, we have been committed to sourcing locally grown and produced products”, said Matt Simon, VP and chief marketing officer of Giant, who introduced the program at a press conference with Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Our new PA Preferred shelf tags educate our customers and simplify their shopping experience, all while highlighting our unyielding passion for an industry that is, quite literally, the backbone of our business. We couldn’t be more excited to showcase these fantastic products in such a unique way.”
US: Urban shoppers drive growth in online grocery
Urban shoppers are 90% more likely than the average shopper to rank online grocery capabilities as one of the top three most important factors in their grocery shopping experience, according to Acosta’s new report, The Urban Grocery Shopper. One-quarter of urban grocery shoppers report buying groceries online at least once a week, and 60% report ordering groceries for delivery, compared to less than 30% of rural and suburban shoppers. About 56% of urban dwellers use online outlets to purchase bulk items such as diapers and paper towels versus only 34% of suburban dwellers and 24% of rural residents.
US: Ahold Delhaize launches new supply chain immersion program
Ahold Delhaize USA's Retail Business Services division has partnered with Boston-based nonprofit Venture Café to identify early-stage entrepreneurs and help them build next-generation products and services to solve problems in the retail supply chain. The Supply Chain Seed Program will consist of five entrepreneurs or teams - chosen from applications received by July 1 - who receive workshop training, industry mentorship and startup coaching over 10 weeks. Chosen participants will also have the opportunity to tour Retail Business Services' new tech office in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Jumbo confirms timing and location of first Belgian stores
Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo has confirmed it will open its first three Belgian stores before the end of the year. The three locations are Lanaken, Pelt and Rijkevorsel, unsurprisingly all near Belgium's northeastern border with the Netherlands. There had been previous rumours about both the timing and the location of Jumbo's first stores in Belgium, but now it has been confirmed: the first stores will be opening in the next few months in the provinces of Antwerp (Rijkevorsel) and Limburg (Lanaken and Pelt). The confirmation was part of the opening ceremony of the chain's Belgian headquarters in Brasschaat (near Antwerp). Jumbo was looking for some 200 employees for the three stores combined, but most of the vacancies have now been filled.
Shoplifting costs European retailers billions of euros
In most European countries the costs of shoplifting are stagnating, but in Belgium they are on the rise again. Especially supermarkets are a target. Belgian retailers lost 900mln in thefts, their Dutch colleagues saw double that amount disappear. Belgian and Dutch retailers both lost 1.9 % of their turnover to shoplifters last year, making them the second hardest-hit countries in Western Europe. Spain leads the charts with 2 % of turnover lost. That is the shocking result of the study "Retail Security in Europe".
Carrefour sells stake in China-based business
France-based Carrefour has signed an agreement to sell an 80% stake in its China-based operations to Suning.com. The deal will see Suning pay Carrefour €620.0mln in cash, valuing Carrefour China at an enterprise value of €1.4bln. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019, subject to regulatory approval. Carrefour will retain a 20% stake in the business and two out of seven seats on Carrefour China’s Supervisory Board. However, the agreement allows Carrefour to sell the remaining stake in two years’ time. Carrefour has been presence in China since 1995, but it has been struggling to grow in recent years amid fierce local competition and the rise of the ecommerce channel more widely. Carrefour has implemented several turnaround plans in recent years, but despite these, it has generated negative like-for-like sales since 2011. At the end of its 2018 financial year, the retailer operated 210 hypermarkets and 24 convenience stores and generated total net sales of about €3.6bln and EBITDA of €66mln.
Germany: Shares in wholesaler Metro jump after takeover offer
Shares in German wholesaler Metro jumped on Monday after EP Global Commerce, an acquisition vehicle owned by Czech and Slovak investors, made a takeover offer that values the company at 5.8bln euros ($6.6bln). EP, which already held a stake of nearly 11% in Metro, made the takeover offer late on Friday, with Metro’s biggest shareholder - investment firm Haniel - already agreeing to sell its 15.2% stake. EP exercised a call option on Monday to buy another 5.4% stake in Metro from Ceconomy, with the closing of the deal to happen in the next few days. EP Global Commerce first bought a 3.6% stake in Metro from Ceconomy last September.
Rakuten to test autonomous delivery robots in Japan
A Japanese collective including Yamato Transport and Rakuten will partner with the Japanese government in a road test of autonomous delivery robots. A government-appointed team will monitor the testing to identify potential issues, with a special focus on safety concerns, as well as considering new operating rules for inclusion in the Road Traffic Act. The team includes representatives from Mitsubishi Estate, Japan Post, Panasonic and self-driving tech firm ZMP, as well as officials from the National Police Agency, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and local governments.