US: Costco eyes Michigan for new store
According to reports circling the newswires, Costco could be laying down a new location in the state of Michigan. The Midland Daily News claims the retailer has submitted an application for a new 157,000-square-foot facility in Midland, Michigan; the only thing holding the retailer back at this point is approval from the city. “We’re excited that Costco’s interested in Midland”, said Midland’s Director of Planning and Community Development Grant Murschel. “We’re looking forward to working with them on insuring that they adhere to all the city standards and would love to see this be constructed and developed in the city.”
US: Kroger donates former store to a Memphis competitor
Food deserts are an unfortunate phenomenon, and one that retailers would be wise to monitor. Last year, Kroger closed its Orange Mound location, leaving residents without a full-service grocery store - the closest Kroger was 30 minutes away by bus. The Kroger void in the neighborhood left only Save-A-Lot and Aldi as shopping options for residents in the area. However, new reports reveal that Superlo Foods will take over the empty lot with the help of the community. "I'd never expect to be standing in the lobby of Kroger Delta Division headquarters with [a Kroger] sign behind me", Superlo President Randy Stepherson stated before continuing in a light-hearted manner. "I'd like to commend Kroger, this one time, for what they've done for the community."
US: UNFI ‘working diligently’ to sell Cub Foods, Shoppers
United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) said it’s making progress on efforts to divest former Supervalu Inc. supermarket chains Shoppers and Cub Foods. UNFI Chairman and CEO Steven Spinner said the Providence, Rhode Island-based distributor expects to sell the remaining Shoppers stores and unveil a deal to sell Cub early next year. UNFI aims to sell Cub in its entirety and close a potential agreement by the end of fiscal 2020. Combined, the two chains have 96 locations, including 52 Cub stores in Minnesota and Illinois and 44 Shoppers stores in Maryland and Virginia. A potential sale of Cub Foods would exclude 29 franchised Cub stores.
US: Weis Markets promotes Matt Burke to regional VP
Weis Markets Inc. has named Matt Burke to the role of regional VP, as which he'll oversee day-to-day operations of 67 stores in Binghamton, New York; northeastern Pennsylvania; the Poconos; northern New Jersey; the Central Susquehanna Valley, including the company’s hometown of Sunbury; and State College, Pennsylvania. Reporting to SVP of Operations David Gose, Burke succeeds Jimmy Daly, who has retired.
US: Kum & Go joins Partnership for a Healthier America
Kum & Go has joined Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and has committed to offering healthier foods at competitive prices at its 400 convenience stores. Kum & Go’s three-year commitment with PHA will result in healthier offerings in its fresh food program, including fresh fruits and vegetables, grab-and-go items, beverages and prepared items. The chain will also offer special price promotions on such items and will include those options in its &Rewards customer loyalty program.
Australia: Coles looks beyond price with first in-store food hall
Supermarket giant Coles is leveraging the power of independent foodie destinations to provide its very first in-store food hall experience. The retailer’s Tooronga Village store, in Melbourne’s south-east, has welcomed CBD-based café Earl Canteen and Australia’s leading sushi retailer, Sushi Sushi to the fold, alongside its largest fresh convenience range to date. The supermarket refurbishment is the first of more than 100 Coles stores to be converted to the Fresh Convenience format before the year ends, and is part of Coles’ strategy to offer a convenience and health-focused shopping destination tailored to the local community.
New Zealand: Pak’N’Save Henderson closure - workers await pay agreement
FIRST Union members at Pak’N’Save Henderson, which is due for closure by the coming weekend before being demolished and eventually rebuilt, are taking partial strike action this week in a last-ditch attempt to reach a fair Collective Agreement that was promised to them earlier in the year and then withdrawn, FIRST Union said. “It’s heart-breaking that in the last week of some of these workers’ jobs, they are still having to fight to ratify an agreement that was promised to them months ago”, said Tali Williams, FIRST Union Secretary for Retail and Finance.
UK: Tesco goes quiet for autism
Tesco reported: "This October, we’re joining the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour. From 9-10am on Saturday 5 and 12 October, we’ll be dimming the lights and lowering the noise in all of our stores to create a calmer atmosphere for our autistic customers. Autistic people can have sensory differences. Some feel, see and experience the world differently. This means that shop environments with strong smells, bright lights and loud noises may sometimes feel overwhelming. We want to help deliver the easiest shopping trip for everyone in our stores, whoever they are."
Thailand: Central Group readies IPO for retail division
Central Retail Corporation Plc, the retail arm of Central Group, the country's biggest mall operator, is offering a combined 2.23bln shares, 1.62bln of which will be new ordinary shares, as part of an initial public offering (IPO). According to the company's filings submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 1.62bln IPO shares will be offered by Central Retail Corporation to the public, cornerstone investors, company executives and management and/or the company's employees, as well as to related persons and via share swaps with Robinson Plc, another SET-listed retail unit of Central Group.
Europe: Volume of retail trade up by 0.3% in euro area
In August 2019 compared with July 2019, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade increased by 0.3% in the euro area (EA19) and by 0.2% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In July 2019, the retail trade volume fell by 0.5% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU28. In August 2019 compared with August 2018, the calendar adjusted retail sales index increased by 2.1% in the euro area and by 2.5% in the EU28.
First Belgian Jumbo to open on 6 November
The first Belgian store of Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo is to open on Wednesday 6 November in Pelt, near the Belgian-Dutch border. Expectations are running high, as the municipality is already supersaturated when it comes to supermarkets. The place of the first store opening has been known for a while, but the date was announced just now. After that, stores will open in Rijkevorsel and Lanaken (also near the border), followed by Deurne and Beveren in a third phase.
Unilever buys 75% of Romanian ready-to-eat food producer FruFru
British-Dutch group Unilever, one of the biggest players on the local FMCG market, has bought a 75% stake in Romanian company Good People, which owns the ready-to-eat food brand FruFru. The company’s founder Mihai Simiuc has kept a 25% stake in the company and will continue as general manager, according to a report on the Bucharest Stock Exchange. The value of the transaction was not disclosed but the company presented the formula based on which the price was determined.
Germany: Aldi enters the online trading
The chain calls their online shop “Aldi supplies”. There, customers can “buy selected promotional items of the discounter on the Internet”, according to a press release from the company. However, the usual weekly shopping at Aldi can not be done on the website. Because “Aldi delivers” includes only individual action items. Food is not distributed through the online trade “Aldi supplies”. Aldi Süd already discovered the business on the Internet with promotional items in 2017. Two years later, Aldi Nord moves in and offers “Aldi supplies”.
India: Udaan raises $585mln to expand its B2B e-commerce platform
Udaan, a three-year-old business-to-business e-commerce platform in India, has raised more than half a billion dollars in a new financing round as it looks to bring more kirana stores (neighborhood stores), chemists and other small businesses online through its marketplace. The startup said it has raised $585mln in a Series D round from Tencent, Altimeter, Footpath Ventures, Hillhouse, GGV Capital and Citi Ventures. Existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, which wrote its first check to the startup back in 2016, and DST Global also invested in the round. The new round - the largest for any B2B e-commerce platform in India - valued the startup between $2.3bln and $2.7bln, a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. Co-founders of Udaan, which reached the unicorn status in the shortest period of time among Indian startups, declined to comment on the valuation. Udaan operates an eponymous B2B marketplace that connects small retailers with wholesalers and traders. The platform supports a wide-range of categories from lifestyle, electronics, home and kitchen, staples and toys, to fruits and vegetables.
Tesco the first retailer in Malaysia to publish food waste data
Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd is taking a firm stance against the global issue that is food waste by becoming the first retailer in Malaysia to publish its food waste data. To date, Malaysia food waste data is mostly derived from household food waste which is estimated at some 16,688 tonnes daily, according to a report by the Khazanah Research Institute (KRI). “As a retailer we know that perfectly matching supply and demand is particularly challenging leading to some unsold surplus food. Therefore, transparency and measurement are essential for identifying hotspots and in tackling the causes of food waste, because what gets measured gets managed”, said Tesco Malaysia chief executive officer Paul Ritchie. Tesco Malaysia said its journey in reducing food waste had begun long before it became the first local retailer to publish its food waste data.
UK: Asda to launch low price warehouse concept
Asda is set to trial a new bulk buy warehouse concept at one of its leading store locations, according to reports in The Grocer, confirmed with Asda by IGD. The new format will share similarities with Sam’s Club, the warehouse club format also owned by Walmart. While details have yet to be finalised, it is likely that format will target independent retailers but unlike Costco will not charge a membership fee. The concept will be tested at Asda’s Patchway store outside Bristol, which was extensively remodelled late last year to broaden its appeal to more customer missions.