US: First Supply Chain Training Academy at Walmart Distribution Center in Sanger
The Walmart Distribution Center in Sanger, TX, became home to the first-of-its-kind Walmart Supply Chain Academy, created specifically to train the retailer’s supply chain associates and provide them with a clear path to advancement. The retailer celebrated the first graduating class of this new Academy during a ceremony on Friday, September 27 at 10:30 a.m. The Walmart Supply Chain Academy in Sanger is patterned after the 200 Walmart Academies that train all store associates around the U.S. All Academies follow the retailer’s belief that growing and succeeding as associates and as a company in today’s changing world requires new skills and the ability to meet the needs of customers who have more shopping choices than ever before.
Amazon launches Amazon Care, a virtual medical clinic for employees
Amazon has launched a virtual health clinic with in-home follow-ups for employees in Seattle, dubbed Amazon Care. The company announced the program on a web site, Amazon.care, that is currently publicly accessible but did not formally announce the news outside the company. “Amazon Care is a benefit being piloted for Amazon employees and their families in the Seattle area”, the website reads.
US: Portable produce brands at retail draw consumers
Snacks used to be only candy or chips, but advances in the marketing of fresh produce have helped to break down that sugary, salty wall. Many fruits and vegetables are easily eaten as snacks; many are packaged and sold for that purpose. Branded snack packages of produce may be small, but the sales boom is huge. Snackable fruits and vegetables accounted for sales of $16.3bln in the year ended May 27, 2017, according to Nielsen. When iffy items that could be used as ingredients and not just snacks, such as bananas, were subtracted and an “on the go” subcategory was developed, sales over the same period were $1.1bln. On-the-go snacks posted a compound annual growth rate of more than 10 percent every year between 2012 and 2016.
US: Walmart's text-based personal shopping service has interest from potential buyers
Walmart’s JetBlack has garnered interest from possible buyers, according to a new report. The service allows customers to text shopping requests "day or night", and the items don't even necessarily come from Walmart. However, it does not currently fill orders that include perishable items, alcohol, CBD products, large furniture or prescriptions. The preliminary talks were started by outside parties, Bloomberg reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. If there is a deal, it could turn into a partnership, spin-off or sale of JetBlack, according to the outlet. However, there’s no guarantee anything will happen.
Global food retailers join coalition to slash rate of food waste
Some of the world’s biggest food retailers announced their participation in 10x20x30, a global effort to halve food loss and waste by 2030. Under the initiative, founding partners Walmart, Kroger, Ahold Delhaize, Metro AG, Tesco, Pick n Pay, The Savola Group, Sodexo, IKEA Food and Aeon will each engage with 20 of their top suppliers to cut down on food waste. Participants include five of the globe’s 10 largest food retailers, the world’s second-largest foodservice provider, and leading food retailers in regions such as southern Africa and the Middle East. Combined, the participants operate in more than 80 countries. Launched by Champions 12.3, a coalition of industry executives and government and civic leaders, 10x20x30 is expected to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.3, which seeks a 50% reduction in food loss and waste by 2030 worldwide, according the World Resources Institute (WRI), co-secretariat of the group.
Spain: Mercadona expands its market share
Mercadona has expanded its market share in Spain to 25.8%, 0.6 points more than a year ago. By contrast, in Catalonia, the best-selling supermarket was Bon Preu, according to a report on the supermarket sector published by the Kantar consultancy. In this way, then, one in four euros spent on consumption in the State went to Mercadona. The Valencian chain led the Spanish sector once again, followed by French Carrefour, which increased 0.3 points of market share to 8.7%. In the third place was Dia, who blamed the bad financial and business situation in recent months. The Madrid company, now controlled by the Luxembourg fund LetterOne, launched an employment record last March. Its share of the state market fell to 6.6% from 7.7% in 2018.
UK: Booths director steps down
Booths has announced that Simon Booth, supply chain director, will leave the business after 44 years. Booth became a non-executive director in 2018. Booth has been with the business for the past 44 years, first joining the retailer in 1975 before becoming a member of the family board of directors in 1984. His role has focused on overseeing the development of fresh, and later in his tenure taking responsibility for development of this area and central distribution as a member of the operating board.
Australia: Coles announces partnership with eBay in fresh food delivery deal
Coles has bolstered its partnership with online marketplace eBay, allowing shoppers to get a wide range of fresh and frozen food delivered to their door. The supermarket giant already sells pantry, beauty and household items on the site, which will give eBay Plus Members a $49 discount on their first purchase and 5% off every shop. Grocery shoppers will also be able to decide when their goods arrive with the inclusion of a delivery window option. “We’re thrilled to enter the next phase of our partnership with Coles”, eBay senior director Kristian Haigh said. He said shopping needs were leaning on online delivery options as Australians prioritise convenience.
Kaufland launches delivery service in Romania's Cluj-Napoca in partnership with Glovo
German group Kaufland, the largest retailer in Romania, extended its fast delivery service in partnership with app-based delivery firm Glovo in Cluj-Napoca. The service was first available in Bucharest. In Cluj-Napoca, Glovo couriers provide fast home delivery from two Kaufland stores in the city. Kaufland has entered the Romanian market in 2005 and is part of the German group Schwarz, which also owns the Lidl retail network in Romania.
Belgium's Colruyt: "Give Jumbo a warm welcome"
Belgium's biggest supermarket chain Colruyt expects a slightly higher net profit for this year. The retailer also said at its general meeting that it was not afraid of the increasing competition and that it would instead give Dutch Jumbo, which is expanding to Belgium soon, a "warm welcome". Quite a few analysts and investors had expected a pessimistic forecast at Colruyt's general meeting, but nothing of the kind was shown. Instead, the retailer expects a slightly higher net profit for the current financial year - which ends in March. Last year, net profit amounted to 372mln euros. Colruyt did not give a forecast of gross profit. According to operational director Marc Hofman, Jumbo is not a long-term threat to his chain, but says it may be a threat to some of his competitors. "We see the similarities with the arrival of Albert Heijn in Belgium a few years ago", he says in local business newspaper De Tijd. "At that time we saw a brief impact on our stores near Albert Heijn stores, but in the long run it did not hurt us."
Sainsbury's: Removing plastic bags from our UK bakery and fruit & veg aisles
Sainsbury's reported: One of the many steps we’re taking to meet our 2025 target is to remove all plastic bags from our bakery and fruit and veg aisles. This will save a combined 515 tonnes of plastic each year. Following a successful trial in our Lincoln and Kidlington stores in which customer feedback was resoundingly positive, we’re rolling this out to all stores across the UK. When shopping for loose fruit and veg our customers can now purchase a reusable drawstring bag or bring in their own containers. These bags are each made from one recycled plastic bottle and are available in stores for 30p. So far we’ve removed all plastic bags and replaced them with reusable bags in all our convenience stores and almost 500 supermarkets with all final stores to follow by the end of October – saving 489 tonnes of plastic per year.