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Netto: Sale of fruit and vegetables is up by more than 10% across its newly-reformatted stores

DIA: 7% fall in first-half sales

UK: Asda Group Limited publishes annual statutory accounts
Supermarket Asda has published its annual Statutory Accounts for the financial year to 31st December 2018 through Companies House. The accounts for Asda Group Limited, which includes the financial activities of all Asda stores, distribution centres and online operations including food, clothing, general merchandise and fuel, show that in the financial year from 1st January 2018 to 31st December 2018 the supermarket’s like for like sales excluding fuel and VAT increased by 1.6%, (compared to a 0.5% increase in 2017).

Kenya: Tuskys develops its business model
Kenya-based Tuskys has undertaken a number of initiatives as it prepares for an IPO in the short term. Tuskys is rumoured to be preparing to list on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, two years after initial proposals to do so were raised. As part of the listing plans, Tuskys is looking for a strategic investor to help it implement a new expansion strategy, develop an employee-ownership structure and invest in the business to enable these plans.

China: Lianhua Supermarkets highlights ‘togetherness’ in branding revamp
Chinese state-owned retailer Lianhua Supermarkets has undergone a complete brand refresh, after 28 years of trading. The new look, including a refreshed logo and instore signage and design, is being rolled out across the retailer’s 42 stores in China including Shanghai, Hangzhou, Anhui, Guangxi and Henan. Like many traditional Chinese retail brands, Lianhua’s efforts to attract and retain customers until now were focused on in-store promotion and pricing. However, Chinese consumers have become more sophisticated and the market is more competitive now, meaning brands have to stand out from the crowd and develop a connection with their customers.

Vietnam: Co.op Food opens four new stores, reaching over 400 points of sale
The Co.op Food store chain under Saigon Co.op opened four new stores in Cần Thơ, Bình Dương, Long An and Hà Nội, raising the total number of its stores to over 400 after more than 10 years in the Vietnamese consumer goods market. Co.op Food was one of the first Vietnamese mini supermarket models specializing in trading convenience foods, with proper investment and a clear long-term development strategy. After the success of Co.opmart's supermarket model, the Co.op Food store chain was warmly supported by consumers in HCM City and gradually expanded to other provinces and cities across the country.

Denmark: Netto sees fresh produce sales benefit from newly-designed stores
Danish retailer Netto has said that the sale of fruit and vegetables is up by more than 10% across its newly-reformatted stores, while sales of soft drinks and confectionery are down. The group measured sales in 50 of the stores that have been converted to the new Netto 3.0 format, which features 'more inviting' fruit and vegetable departments, as well as increased focus on food to go, such as ready-made salads, sliced vegetables and various juices.

Amazon India expands delivery network
Amazon has doubled its delivery network in India ahead of its flagship sales event, Amazon Great Indian Festival Sale. Amazon has significantly expanded its supply chain network throughout India to more than 1,400 delivery stations across 750 cities. The expansion aims to strengthen Amazon’s capacity ahead of the festive season. Amazon said over 100 delivery stations exclusively manage deliveries from its large appliances and furniture categories alone.

UK: Grocery supply chain leadership roles 'now more commercial'
Some 86% of food and consumer goods supply chain leaders believe their roles have increased in complexity over the last five years, particularly in terms of range and routes to market. The research from grocery research and training body IGD also found that 71% of supply chain leaders said their responsibilities are broader than they were five years ago - yet one-third of respondents had seen their people resource decrease. In addition, 62% of supply chain leaders claim the role of a supply chain leader is now more commercial, with more links to the overall business growth strategy.

Spain: DIA posts 7% fall in first-half sales
Spanish retailer DIA posted a 7% fall in first-half sales, but said a key indicator of its performance was starting to recover and promised to present an updated long-term business plan at the end of the year. Years of lagging behind peers who lured customers by investing more heavily in their stores had brought the retailer to the brink of insolvency just days after Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman’s LetterOne (L1 fund) raised its stake to 70% in May. The company said same-store sales, one of the sector’s most vital statistics, gradually started to pick up in July and August after posting a record fall of 15.5% in June. It posted a net loss for the first half of 418mln euros ($462.85mln).

UK: Slow growth takes shine off Tesco budget chain Jack's a year on
When Tesco unveiled its discount chain Jack’s a year ago, hopes were high that it could pose a serious threat to Aldi and Lidl. A year on, fewer stores than expected have opened and recent job losses have raised questions about its success. At the media circus that greeted the first store in the small Cambridgeshire town of Chatteris in September 2018, the Tesco boss, Dave Lewis, said 10-15 Jack’s stores would open within six months. But ahead of its first anniversary, the figure is 10 and last month there were staff cuts at the store in Immingham, Lincolnshire, one of the first to open. At an investor event in June, Tesco revealed Jack’s had generated sales of £24mln - which experts think is disappointing.

UK: Asda workers stage protests against 'punitive' new contract
Asda workers have staged protests at stores across the country against a new “flexible” contract they say will leave about 3,000 shop-floor staff worse off. The GMB union said members would face the sack on 2 November if they did not sign the “punitive” contract, which it said removed pay for breaks and forced employees to work bank holidays. The supermarket chain, which is owned by the American retailer Walmart, said the overwhelming majority of its staff had signed the contract but appreciated some employees found the changes “unsettling”. Protests took place outside 12 Asda stores from Brighton to Glasgow on Monday as the GMB called on the supermarket chain to offer staff a better deal.

Ahold Delhaize remains ranked among sector leaders in Dow Jones Sustainability World Index
The 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) ranked Ahold Delhaize among the industry leaders in the Food and Staples Retailing sector for the fourth consecutive year. The DJSI World tracks the performance of the world’s leading companies against economic, environmental and social criteria. It is an important barometer to measure our performance and progress in these areas, not only in our own operations but also with customers and in our supply chain.

US: Walmart opens 1st Health center & pet clinic
Walmart has opened the first-ever Walmart Health center in Dallas, Georgia, and remodeled the adjacent supercenter with new features aimed at improving the customer experience. The Walmart Health center plans were announced last month, and it offers primary care, labs, X-ray and EKG, counseling, dental, optical, hearing, community health (nutritional services, fitness) and health insurance education and enrollment. It will be staffed with physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, behavioral health providers and optometrists. The center has an entrance separate from the store for patients. Customers can also bring their pets to Walmart for the new in-store Essentials PetCare clinic. Services are available for dogs and cats and include vaccinations, routine care, microchipping, lab work and treating minor illnesses.

US: FutureProof Retail and Halla provide personalized recommendations for mobile self-scanning and checkout
During the premier event for grocery innovation, Groceryshop, FutureProof Retail (FPR), the leading provider of line-free mobile checkout and service counter solutions, and Halla, the only software company that dynamically profiles human taste to help people make better food choices, announced a partnership. Together, the two companies will enable retailers to deploy FPR's mobile self-scanning checkout and service counter solutions fully integrated with Halla's Intelligent Ordering (I/O) engine to offer personalized recommendations.

US: Whole Foods beats Trader Joe's in ranking of most popular grocery stores
While retailers continue to invest in grocery delivery partnerships and program expansions, the in-store experience will always reign supreme. From big-name companies like Whole Foods to regional niche favorites like Hong Kong Supermarket, all retailers are subject to the often finicky opinions of Yelp reviewers. 24/7 Tempo has taken to the review site to determine the top 30 grocery stores in the nation, and Whole Foods Market rocketed to the top spot.

US: Liviri introduces reusable, insulated last-mile solution for grocers
The fastest-growing ecommerce segment is grocery, with some of the largest national grocers leading the charge. Brick-and-mortar stores weren't built to support this quick-turn, online grocery shopping trend, creating challenges to support in-store grocery pickup and "last-mile" delivery. Liviri announced Liviri Shuttle, a family of durable, reusable insulated boxes designed to solve the inefficiencies of today's ecommerce grocers. Liviri is currently using Shuttle products in active pilot programs with some of the largest national grocers.

US: Associated Wholesale Grocers announces partnership with Retail Software Solutions Group
Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG) announced it has established a preferred partnership with Retail Software Solutions Group (RSSG), a solutions provider to independent retailers. RSSG's DealW!se and PriceW!se products identify opportunities to improve sales, pricing, and profitability. The solutions are integrated with AWG and deliver highly-focused, actionable intelligence on critical aspects of store operations. "We strive to build long-term relationships with partners such as RSSG to assist our members in improving sales and profitability", said Stacy Bowen, vice president, sales and solutions, AWG. "Providing profitable business solutions for our members is at the core of AWG's mission, which is to provide our member-retailers all the tools, products, and services they need to compete favorably in all markets served. This includes top quality supermarket merchandise and support services, all at the lowest possible cost."

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