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South African Bidcorp to sell Best Food Logistics unit in Britain to Booker Group

Sainsbury's: Google Cloud Platform

UK: Booths FY2018: return to growth
Booths reports 0.5% growth in sales to £259.33mln in the year ending 30 March 2019, in a report filed to Companies House. The business experienced a trading loss of £1.2mln, an improvement on last years result of £2.2mln. Booths reports 0.5% growth in sales to £259.33mln in the year ending 30 March 2019, in a report filed to Companies House. The result marks a return to growth for the north-west based regional UK supermarket after five years of negative sales. Last year the retailer reported a -2% decline in sales to £258.1mln for FY2017. The business experienced a trading loss of £1.2mln, an improvement on last years result of £2.2mln, driven principally by growth and good cost control.

UK: Tesco interim results 2019/20
Tesco reported cash profitability: Group operating profit before exceptional items and amortisation of acquired intangibles £1,406mln, +25.4%, margin 4.41%, up 87 bps. Significant improvement driven by space right-sizing, cost savings and improved product mix: UK & ROI £1,085mln +28.4%, Central Europe £63mln (16.0)% (+1.3% excl. £13mln provision re. potential historic VAT liabilities), Asia £171mln +54.1%. Bank £87mln, (3.3)%: invested in competitiveness of insurance offer. Group margin target (pre-IFRS 16 excl. Booker) delivered six months early: 12-month margin 3.73% incl. 1H 3.67%. Cost savings to date £1.6bln, already ahead of £1.5bln FY 19/20 target. EBITDA13 up 15.3% to £2.3bln. Innovation Product: new seasonal ‘Fresh 5’ offer driving additional 2% sales volumes in fruit and vegetables. 

UK: Sainsbury's takes Nectar fully digital
Sainsbury's has launched the full digitisation of its Nectar loyalty scheme, following successful trials - with a new website, app and personalised offers. From October 2nd, customers will be able to access new weekly offers using an enhanced app and website. Personalised bonus Nectar points will also be available on products they buy regularly at Sainsbury’s, based on their spending patterns, in addition to the standard 1 point for every £1 spent.

Romania’s largest online retailer focuses on deliveries by lockers
Dante International, which operates Romania’s largest online retailer eMAG, plans to reach 1,000 lockers installed across the country by the end of next year, up from only 147 now and 300 by this year's Black Friday event, said Iulian Stanciu, the company’s CEO. Staring February 2020, the lockers will also be used by clients who want to return the products purchased, he announced, reported. In Bucharest, which accounts for 30% of eMAG’s sales, the lockers account for 16% of deliveries and the delivery points, including those ran in partnership with state postal company Posta Romana, represent another 35%.

UK: Sainsbury's taps Google Cloud for trends insights
Sainsbury’s commercial and technology teams are working with Accenture to implement machine learning processes that they say are providing the retailer with better insights into consumer behaviour. Using the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), the key aim of the collaboration is to generate new insights on what consumers want and the trends driving their eating habits. By tapping into data from multiple structured and unstructured sources, the supermarket chain has developed predictive analytics models that it uses to adjust inventory based on the trends it spots.

South Africa: Bidcorp to sell unit to Tesco's Booker
South African food services company Bid Corp Ltd (Bidcorp) said it would sell its Best Food Logistics unit in Britain to Tesco Plc’s unit, Booker Group. Bidcorp, which operates in Europe, United Kingdom, Australasia and emerging markets, said as a result of the deal there will be no material financial impact on its net assets or profits for the full year ending June 30, 2020.

UK: Thousands of Tesco staff could get £10,000 payout in row over equal pay
Tesco staff could be in line for a huge payout in a legal row over equal pay. A group of current and former employees who make up the Tesco Action Group are suing the UK’s biggest supermarket on behalf of staff they argue are owed money. According to The Mirror, the group estimates that as many as 250,000 Tesco workers could be owed a slice of £2.5bln in back pay. The action group have accused Tesco of paying female staff less than their male counterparts and say if they win the case, the employees affected could get £10,000 each.

US: Save Mart to feature fast-casual restaurant in new flagship store
The Save Mart Cos.’ flagship Save Mart store, which opened October 2 in the grocer’s hometown of Modesto, includes a fast-casual restaurant, The Tipping Point. “We have a strong identification with how good food brings people together - and tri-tip is a staple in the Central Valley”, noted The Save Mart Cos. CEO Nicole Pesco. “The Tipping Point gives the community a new gathering spot to enjoy this amazing food in a comfortable atmosphere - and you won’t have to clean the grill at the end of the evening!”

Amazon is in talks to bring its cashierless Go technology to airports and movie theaters
Amazon is in talks to bring the cashierless technology that runs its Go stores to other retailers like airport shops and movie theaters, according to people familiar with the matter. The effort would help Amazon grow its retail presence so the company can lower its reliance on online shopping, but at a faster pace and at lower cost than building its own stores. Simultaneously it might help Amazon form bonds with companies that would ordinarily consider Amazon the competition. That type of collaboration could lead to further growth of Amazon’s cloud business.

US: Delivery tech startup Deliverr raises $23mln in new funding
Deliverr, a startup that helps merchants fulfill two-day and same-day orders on platforms like Amazon, eBay and Shopify, has raised $23mln in new funding, bringing its total to $30mln as it looks to hire new staff and expand its network of third-party logistics partners. The company said it will also use the funding to launch new fast-shipping programs across major sales channels and build out its core features. It’s one of a raft of tech startups helping to enable faster and faster ecommerce fulfillment. At the same time, Deliverr announced the expansion of its Shopify program, offering two-day shipping across the U.S. and next-day delivery to one-quarter of the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal. Sellers can get dynamic badging on Shopify product listings, showing shoppers an urgency-inducing countdown clock until two-day shipping expires.

Walmart to test programs for U.S. workers to cut its healthcare costs
Walmart Inc said it will begin several healthcare pilot programs for its U.S. employees starting January 1 as it looks for ways to cut healthcare costs - one of the largest expenses for the retailer after wages. Walmart will pilot a program that will connect patients with local doctors in an effort to cut down on its workers relying on word of mouth or social media to find a doctor. The pilot programs will be held in parts of Arkansas, Florida and Texas. The company is the largest U.S. private-sector employer with a 1.4mln workforce.

US: Kroger to lay off hundreds, as questions about its turnaround plan linger
Kroger is laying off hundreds of employees across the family of grocery stores it owns, a person familiar with the situation tells CNBC. The unionized grocer, which also owns Harris Teeter, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, has 443,000 full-time and part-time employees. A spokeswoman for Kroger told CNBC in a statement that “As part of ongoing talent management, many store operating divisions are evaluating middle management roles and team structures with an eye toward keeping resources close to the customer”.

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