US: Caper announces $10mln in Series A funding to scale AI checkout
Caper, the first AI-powered shopping cart that uses computer vision to enable a seamless grab-and-go retail experience, announces that it has closed a $10mln Series A round of funding led by Lux Capital. Following Caper's Seed funding, First Round Capital, Y Combinator, Hardware Club, Sidekick Fund, and FundersClub reinvested in the Series A - fortifying their confidence in Caper as builders of game-changing technologies for the grocery industry. Red Apple Group, a well-known New York supermarket chain that operates Gristedes and D'Agostino, as well as other undisclosed strategic investors, also participated in the round. The funding will be used to expand the team and fulfill its rollout pipelines with mega-retailers.
Whole Foods survey: US millennials willing to pay top dollar when grocery shopping
A new Whole Foods survey found when it comes to millennials going grocery shopping, 80% said quality is what they're looking for. Nearly 70% of those surveyed will spend more money if they can get high-quality foods. Another trend among millennials when grocery shopping is transparency. More than 65% of millennials emphasize the importance of food sourcing when they shop for food, especially when it comes to seafood and meat. Of those surveyed, a majority of millennials said they would gladly pay more money for products that have higher animal welfare standards and that are responsibly sourced. Much of that focus on sourcing may derive from the fact that many millennials are trying to eat healthier. In fact, 63% of millennials are starting or have already incorporated unprocessed or plant-based foods into their diets.
US: Albertsons names Geoff White as chief merchant
Geoff White has been promoted to executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Albertsons Cos. White, previously president of own brands, takes over the role formerly held by Shane Sampson, who left the company effective September 7 after serving as both chief merchant and chief marketing officer since January 2015.
Canada: Next-generation organics
“From what consumers are telling us, it’s a good news story for organics”, says Joel Gregoire, associate director of Food & Drink at Mintel, referring to the company’s Natural/Organic Shopper Canada 2018 report. “In the last year we saw that 28% of Canadians were buying more organic food and beverages.” That makes sense considering organics now comprise 2.6% of all grocery food and beverage sales, according to the Canada Organic Trade Association, and two-thirds of Canadian consumers now purchase organic products each week.
US: FutureProof Retail announces a new partnership with IT Retail, making it easier than ever for grocers to offer a line free checkout experience
FutureProof Retail (FPR), provider of the latest line-free mobile checkout technology, offers merchants a more powerful, efficient and modern alternative to self-checkouts. The technology, which allows shoppers to scan and pay for items using their smartphones, is now officially integrated with IT Retail's Retail Professional point of sale system. The integration makes FPR's already easy deployment even easier by automatically synchronizing prices, customers and transactions between the two systems - dramatically shortening the time to pilot: "I don't think there's any easier way to start offering a line-free checkout experience", FutureProof President Di Di Chan said, "These kinds of projects usually take weeks, often months - thanks to our partnership with IT Retail we can have a new store live in a matter of hours."
The 10 largest food retailers in the world by sales
E-commerce insights firm Edge by Ascential recently ranked international grocery chains by net sales as part of its Food and Beverage Sector Report. The findings are drawn from the firm’s Retail Market Monitor, which analyses how individual sectors are currently performing and how they are forecast to grow by 2024. The report also provided forward-looking estimates for in-store and, when applicable, online sales for 2024. The biggest global grocers by overall net sales (all figures US) and how they’re expected to grow: 10. Target: In-store net sales for 2019: $71bln, Online net sales for 2019: $7bln, Estimated in-store net sales for 2024: $79bln, Estimated online net sales for 2024: $18bln. 9. Tesco: In-store net sales for 2019: $82bln, Online net sales for 2019: $4bln, Estimated in-store net sales for 2024: $89bln, Estimated online net sales for 2024: $6bln. 8. Aeon: In-store net sales for 2019: $82bln, Estimated in-store net sales for 2024: $110bln. 7. Carrefour: In-store net sales for 2019: $106bln, Estimated in-store net sales for 2024: $124bln, Estimated online net sales for 2024: $6bln. 6. Aldi: In-store net sales for 2019: $108bln, Estimated in-store net sales for 2024: $135bln. 5. Schwartz Gruppe: In-store net sales for 2019: $117bln, Estimated in-store net sales for 2024: $145bln, Estimated online net sales for 2024: $3bln. 4. Kroger: In-store net sales for 2019: $119bln, Estimated in-store net sales for 2024: $135bln, Estimated online net sales for 2024: $9bln. 3. 7-Eleven Holdings: In-store net sales for 2019: $120bln, Estimated in-store net sales for 2024: $168bln. 2. Costco: In-store net sales for 2019: $151bln, Online net sales for 2019: $7bln, Estimated in-store net sales for 2024: $201bln, Estimated online net sales for 2024: $12bln. 1. Walmart: In-store net sales for 2019: $503bln, Online net sales for 2019: $49bln, Estimated in-store net sales for 2024: $568bln, Estimated online net sales for 2024: $110bln. “Walmart remains by far the world’s largest grocer. It is fast embracing grocery e-commerce, driving forward O2O integration in its vast store portfolio”.
France: Carrefour denies weighing bid for French retail rival Casino
Carrefour denied it was examining a potential bid for debt-laden Casino, after BFM TV reported the French retailer was weighing up an all-share offer for its rival. “There is no offer, or any draft of an offer, on the table”, a spokeswoman for Carrefour said. Casino declined to comment.
Amazon Europe received €241mln in tax credits in 2018
Amazon received €241mln in tax credits last year that it can deduct from future bills for its European business, despite efforts by authorities in Brussels to ensure the company pays more tax. Amazon Europe, which is based in Luxembourg and aggregates the billions of pounds of sales the retailer makes from individual countries across the continent, received the credits after reporting a pre-tax loss of €493mln in 2018. Sales rose 11.6% to €28bln.
Singapore: CASE launches new app to compare prices of groceries, household items and hawker food
A new crowdsourcing mobile application will allow shoppers to get more bang for their buck by comparing retail prices and promotions of groceries, household items and hawker food being sold at some outlets. Price Kaki, launched by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) on September 10, will also allow users to track price changes and earn cash vouchers by contributing information on prices and promotions. It can be downloaded on Apple’s App Store and Google Play during a pilot run from September 28, before being launched island-wide in early 2020.
UK: Why are people shopping online late at night?
More consumers seem to be shopping online late at night and in the early hours of the morning, say retailers. New data from the John Lewis Partnership Card shows that one in 15 purchases are now made between the hours of midnight and 06:00. The research shows that the number of purchases made in this period rose by 23% in 2018, compared with 2017. Retail analyst Chris Field told the BBC that technology improvements have prompted this new trend. "It's partly to do with the more recent generations of mobile phones, and the retailers are becoming much more sophisticated", he says. "They've realised that if you go to the website and you don't buy, they have to spend money trying to get you back on to the website, so they're investing a lot on the websites and software."
Thailand: Central & China's JD.com launch financial services app
Thailand’s largest retailer, Central Group, and China’s JD.com launched a financial services app to expand services with local banks in the latest move by the mall operator to increase its digital presence. The app, called Dolfin, will include an e-wallet function, digital lending platform, as well as insurance and wealth management, the joint venture, JD Central Fintech, said. “We aim to have 400,000 users by the end of the year and 1.5mln next year”, Chief Executive Rungruang Sukkirdkijpiboon, said in an interview.
Saudi Arabia: Souq.com adds same day delivery offer
Amazon-owned Souq.com has launched the Fulfilled by Souq service, which will enable shoppers in Riyadh and Jeddah who purchase goods before midday to receive their orders on the same day. The company said it was the first ecommerce firm to offer the service, which costs SAR24 (about US$6.40), in the country. To benefit from the service Souq said there was no minimum order requirement. Commenting on the service’s launch, Souq.com’s general manager for Saudi Arabia, Saleem Hammad, said: “We believe that deploying innovation that allows for same day delivery is a significant step forward for the region, allowing customers to choose from a large assortment of products and categories at the quickest turnaround.”
UK: AmazonFresh launches on demand deliveries
AmazonFresh has launched an on demand delivery option in the UK. The news was shared by Russell Jones, Country Manager, AmazonFresh UK, at IGD Amazon Vendor Leadership day 2019. Amazon Prime members in eligible areas are now able to use AmazonFresh by paying £2.99 per delivery, with a minimum order value of £40. Members are still able to choose the monthly subscription option and pay £3.99 per month for unlimited deliveries, but Amazon aims to cater to more occasional and first-time users through adding this more flexible option.