UK: Asda to stop offering plastic carrier bags with online grocery shopping, in latest plastic-saving initiative
Asda is to stop providing single-use plastic carrier bags with its online grocery orders, in a move that will remove around 85mln plastic bags from production each year. Following a successful trial period in South-West England and from its Dartford Home Shopping Centre, Asda will remove the option to have a ‘bagged’ delivery on all grocery home shopping and click & collect orders nationwide from 31st July, resulting in a saving of over 500 tonnes of plastic. The decision makes Asda the first supermarket to eliminate single-use carrier bags (for health and safety reasons, any fresh meat or fish items will still need to be placed inside a small plastic flow bag, but Asda will be training staff to keep these to a minimum) from its operations, having stopped offering single use bags in its stores in 2018. In total Asda will now produce 375mln fewer plastic bags each year.
France: Lidl and Leclerc big winners
Lidl and Leclerc keep growing their market share in the hyper-competitive French food market, which has barely seen any growth as a whole. Most of their success comes at the cost of Carrefour, Casino and Auchan, which are all in a state of decline. The French are increasingly eschewing the stock market. In a barely growing market, Lidl continues to thrive. In the period from May 13th to June 9th, the German fresh food discounter made a little sprint: Lidl won half a percent of marketshare and so ended at 5.9%. Market research agency Kantar considers two explanations: 460,000 new families joined the chain's customer base in the past year and "Lidl customers spent 9% more in that period than they did in the same period a year before." With that, Lidl is comparatively doing a tad better than the Leclerc group, which has gained 0.3 percentage points, ending at 21.7%. Two thirds of that growth comes from the stores and one third is due to the drive pickup points.
Peru: Retail sales exceed US$5bln in 1H 2019
Peru's retail sector totaled S/19.576bln (around US$5.93bln) in the first half of 2019, thus increasing 5.3% compared to the same period last year, the Production Ministry (Produce) informed. This outcome was mainly due to the good performance of supermarkets and department, hardware, as well as drug stores and pharmacies. In this sense, supermarkets and department stores' deals rose 4%, driven by sales of food, garment, beverages, tobacco, and personal care goods.
Unilever buys 75% stake in Romanian FruFru healthy food producer and retailer
Anglo-Dutch fast moving consumer goods group Unilever will take over the majority stake (75%) in the frufru brand owned by Good People, a company specialising in healthy food production, distribution and retail along multiple channels. The founder of the business, Mihai Simiuc, disclosed that Unilever will buy 75% of the shares, and that he will keep his entire stake of 25% while remaining in control of the business, Profit.ro reported. The deal awaits the Competition Council’s green light.
Two new Interspar outlets launched in Italy
Spar concessionaire Maiora has opened two new Interspar hypermarkets in Venoza and Salento in Italy. The first launch is a 1,150 square-metre Interspar outlet in Venoza in the Basilicata Region. The new store has incorporated several innovative features that were recently rolled out at its other Spar outlets in Nardò in Puglia and Cosenza in Calabria. The fruit and vegetables department has been designed with innovative layout solutions including refrigerated counters with vertical exposure.
Malaysia: HappyFresh to expand from online sales to physical retail market
Indonesia-based online grocery platform HappyFresh will enter the physical retail market segment in Malaysia through a partnership with an international supermarket brand. HappyFresh is looking to expand and strengthen its foothold in a country that is deemed as being a “very significant market”. Its group chief operating officer, Ronald Chan, said the international supermarket brand wants to set up in Malaysia, with HappyFresh offering groceries through its platform. He, however, declined to reveal the identity of the international player.
Egypt: Carrefour to open 4 branches in coordination with ITDA in investments
Majid Al Futtaim Retail, operator of the Carrefour brand in Egypt, aims to open four new Carrefour branches, in coordination with the ministry of supply and internal trading, represented by the Internal Trade Development Authority (ITDA), within the next two years, Jean Luc Graziato, country manager of Carrefour Egypt told Daily News Egypt. He added that the four branches include two supermarkets and two hypermarkets with total investments worth EGP 230mln (USD13,83mln). Each super market will cost about EGP15mln (USD0,9mln), while the investment of each hypermarket is EGP 100mln (USD6,01mln). According to the ITDA, the space of any hypermarket in Egypt ranges between 10,000 and 15,000m, while the supermarket area ranges between 1,600 and 4,000m.
Zimbabwe: OK addresses customers over its high prices
OK, Zimbabwe has responded to an outcry over its prices. In a statement, the giant retail chain said: "OK, Zimbabwe is grateful for the support and patronage of all our customers. Your support and patronage, particularly in these difficult times, is especially appreciated. We are proud to be the leading Zimbabwean retail and supermarket chain and we will strive to ensure that you, our customers, will continue to get value from our stores. The last month of June has been turbulent as we received numerous price increases from our supplier base as they chased the exchange rate movement. We welcome the new SI142, which we believe will stabilise prices and allow us to deliver the good prices and value you have always expected and enjoyed from us."
Hungary retail tax compatible with EU rules, says CJEU official
Hungary’s progressive tax on retailers in Hungary is compatible with European Union rules, a Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) advocate general has said. The opinion was issued in response to a request for a preliminary ruling from the Budapest Administrative and Labour Court in a case involving the local unit of UK supermarket chain Tesco. Advocate General Juliane Kokott said that the tax, which has a progressive rate based on turnover, neither restricts freedom of establishment for retailers with high sales nor gives an unfair advantage to businesses with lower turnover.
UK: Ocado Technology opens first London development centre
Ocado Technology announced the opening of its first London development centre, based in Old Street, to support the company’s rapid growth and the accelerated global adoption of the Ocado Smart Platform (OSP). OSP is the unique end-to-end platform that allows retailers across the world to do online grocery profitably, sustainably and scalably. This new London development centre will give a wide range of tech talent the opportunity to get hands-on with Ocado’s state-of-the-art technology in areas like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Big Data, Simulation, and Cloud Platforms.
Australia: Woolworths to spin off Endeavour Drinks and ALH
Woolworths Group has announced plans to spin off its drinks and hospitality operations, Endeavour Drinks and the ALH Group. Woolworths Group will combine Endeavour and ALH to form Endeavour Group Ltd. The new entity will combine the 1,500+ BWS and Dan Murphy’s drinks outlets and 327 ALH pubs and hotels, as well as the Pinnacle Drinks, Cellarmasters, and Langton’s businesses. Woolworths is expected to retain minority ownership of the new business. Woolworths’ joint venture partner in ALH, Bruce Mathieson Group, will receive a 14.6% stake in Endeavour Group. As part of the changes, David Marr, Chief Financial Officer of Woolworths Group, will move to the new role of Chief Operating Officer. Marr will mainly be responsible for overseeing the merger and spinoff. While Stephen Harrison, currently Finance Director of Australian Food, will take over as Woolworths Group CFO from 1 August.
Walmart says Mexico same-store sales rise 4.7% in June
Walmart de Mexico, Mexico’s biggest retailer, said that sales at stores open more than a year in Mexico rose 4.7% in June compared to the same month last year. Walmex, as the company is known, said total sales in Mexico rose 6% in June.
Canada: Conquering the last mile
With the desire for convenience growing among millennials and gen-Zers, the number of Canadians ordering their groceries online has nowhere to go but up, say experts. “You’re seeing more retailers going after our money online rather than waiting for foot traffic to show”, says Sylvain Charlebois, professor of food distribution and policy and senior director of the Agrifood Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax. While grocers used to believe e-commerce would cannibalize their sales, he says: “I don’t think that’s the case anymore.”
US: Wade's Supermarket to downsize after more than 60 years
It's the end of an era for a family-owned New River Valley grocery store. Wade's Supermarket in Christiansburg will soon shrink to a third of its size after more than 60 years. Third-generation owner Greg Wade says he made the decision because the competition from larger supermarkets became too much to bear. "The inventory and expenses of being a full-scale, full-size grocery store no longer works for us," Wade said.