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Wesfarmers posted the slowest earnings growth in six years

Green light for to acquire Carrefour China

Holland: Price gap between supermarket own-label and branded products hits 40%
The price gap between branded goods and supermarkets own-brand food and household products has increased again, according to new research by Dutch consumers association Consumentenbond. The watchdog says households which switch to supermarket labels can save up to 40% on their weekly shop. A supermarket trolley with 90 every day own-brand products costs around €105, but branded goods would bring a bill of €177. In 2018, the price gap was 36% and in 2017 just 31%. The increase is due to more than the rise in value added tax from 6% to 9% at the beginning of this year, the organisation said.

Kenya: Naivas Supermarkets chairman Simon Mukuha passed away
Naivas supermarkets chairman Simon Gashwe Mukuha has died. Mr Mukuha died on Monday evening at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi where he has been undergoing treatment since last week. Naivas supermarket Chief Operations Officer Willy Kimani confirmed the death. Naivas supermarket directors include Mr David Kimani who owns 25% stake, the late Simon Gashwe who owned 25% stake, Linet Wairimu who owns 15% stake, Grace Wambui 15% and their late father Peter Mukuha Kago who owned 20% stake.

Australia: Wesfarmers's profit resilient despite hardware's woes
Australian retail conglomerate Wesfarmers Ltd posted the slowest earnings growth in six years in its hardware unit but still met forecasts for overall annual profit, raising hopes it can withstand a spending slump thanks to diversification. Wesfarmers’s first annual earnings update since demerging from grocery chain Coles last year shows its biggest earner, home improvement chain Bunnings, is impacted by consumer sentiment but is still largely resilient to broader economic headwinds. A sharp decline in home prices and tepid wage growth have discouraged consumer spending in Australia for non-essential items, hitting retailers in recent months. Pre-tax profit from Bunnings grew 8% for the year to end-June, its slowest pace since 2013. Same-store sales growth halved from the previous year. But overall net profit from continuing operations for Wesfarmers, which also has discount department stores Kmart and Target, still rose 13.5% to A$1.94bln ($1.3bln), in line with analyst forecasts, according to Refinitiv data.

UK: Shop prices see 0.4% decline in August 2019: BRC-Nielsen data
Shop prices in the UK fell 0.4% in August 2019, recording the fastest rate of decline since June 2018, the latest BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index has revealed. In the food category, inflation eased marginally to 1.6% in August from 1.7% in July. The fresh food segment saw inflation accelerate to 1.4% in this period, from 1.2% last month. Ambient Food inflation slowed significantly to 1.8% in August from 2.4% in July, the study found. The shop prices of non-food items, down 1.5%, declined at the fastest monthly rate since June of last year.

Costco forced to shut first China store early due to crowds
US retailer Costco was forced to close early on its opening day in China, after the store was swamped with shoppers. Buyers battled long queues and traffic chaos, before the Shanghai store was shut hours early due to "overcrowding". Costco's push into China comes as other foreign retailers have struggled to compete with local rivals. It also comes at a time of rising tensions between the US and China over trade. Costco is a discount warehouse store that sells a range of goods, from fresh foods to household electronics. Some customers spent two hours lining up to pay for their purchases, while some had to wait three hours for parking, state news agency Xinhua reported.
Source: gets green light to buy Carrefour China
China's State Administration for Market Regulation gave the green light to to acquire Carrefour China Holdings NV, according to a statement from Suning. Earlier on June 23, home appliances retailer Suning announced it was buying an 80% stake in French supermarket giant Carrefour China in an all-cash deal worth 4.8bln yuan ($670mln). A report from China International Capital Corp Ltd said the acquisition marks a new step for Suning to develop its offline retail business and smart-retailing.

Groupe Casino makes progress on Latin America simplification process
Groupe Casino has said that it has 'taken note' of the positive recommendation by the board of Colombia's Éxito, to facilitate the French group acquiring Éxito's 50% stake in Segisor, one of its subsidiaries. The recommendation precedes an extraordinary general meeting of Éxito shareholders on 12 September, at which Groupe Casino's plans to acquire the stake will be authorised. The move is seen as a milestone in Groupe Casino's bid to simplify its Latin American operations.

US: Hy-Vee Supermarket breach led to sale of 5 mln card details
Sources from the Hy-Vee Supermarket breach story, including one at a major US financial institution, has informed the card data stolen from Hy-Vee is currently being sold. Hy-Vee said it believes the breach does not affect payment card terminals used at its grocery store checkout lanes, pharmacies or convenience stores, as these systems rely on a security technology designed to defeat card-skimming malware. According to two sources who asked not to be identified for this story, including one at a major US financial institution, the card data stolen from Hy-Vee is now being sold under the code name “Solar Energy,” at the infamous Joker’s Stash carding bazaar. An ad at the Joker’s Stash carding site for “Solar Energy,” a batch of more than 5mln credit and debit cards sources say was stolen from customers of supermarket chain Hy-Vee. Hy-Vee said the company’s investigation is continuing.

Japanese supercenter retailer has big plans for the U.S.
Japanese supercenter retailer Don Quijote plans to expand in the U.S., according to the Nikkei Asia Review. The retailer's parent company, Pan Pacific International Holdings, currently operates Marukai supermarkets in the U.S. and three Don Quijote stores in Hawaii. Don Quijote stores are known in Japan for their wide-ranging assortment and cluttered "jungle displays." Pan Pacific CEO Koji Ohara told the Review the company will develop a new format for the U.S. that will have "Don Quijote-ism at the core." Ohara will resign from his position as CEO next month to take control of U.S. operations. Through acquisitions, Pan Pacific now operates 38 stores in the U.S. but hopes to increase its store count to 100 long-term.

Amazon is the second company to report Tesla solar panel fire
Amazon is joining Walmart in pointing the finger at Tesla solar panels for fires on the roofs of their facilities in what is yet another hiccup for Tesla’s embattled solar business. Amazon said Tesla solar panels caught fire in June 2018 at one of its warehouses in Redlands, California. Amazon’s disclosure comes days after Walmart sued Tesla for breach of contract and gross negligence after seven stores experienced roof fires allegedly caused by faulty Tesla solar panels. Both companies later said they are working together to “addressing all issues.” Amazon said it would not install any more Tesla panels. In a statement to Forbes, a Tesla spokesperson said in an email that the Amazon fire was an “isolated event” at one of 11 Amazon sites with solar panels.

US: Big Y associates gain access to higher education via internet
Independent grocer Big Y Foods Inc. has joined Champlain College Online’s truED Alliance Program, enabling the retailer’s more than 12,000 employees to have access to 60-plus degree and certificate programs offered by the regionally accredited online college, at a reduced cost. According to the grocer and the nonprofit private college, the academic programs will help the associates advance their knowledge and careers, and aid Big Y’s ongoing regional growth. “We’re thrilled to work with Big Y on the professional development of their employees”, said Melissa Marcello, associate VP of Burlington, Vermont-based Champlain College Online. “We’re excited to see the success of their students as they participate in our programs and apply their knowledge to the workforce, strengthening the business as a whole.”

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