Romania: Carrefour to sell the former Billa headquarters in Bucharest for EUR15-18mln
French retail group Carrefour is seeking a buyer for the former headquarters of supermarket chain Billa Romania, on Barbu Văcărescu Boulevard in northwestern Bucharest, and has set an asking price of between EUR15mln (USD16.5mln) and EUR18mln (USD19.8mln), unofficial sources told Profit.ro. Carrefour took over the Billa supermarket chain from German group Rewe in December 2015.
Supermarket rooftop brings commercial solar - and silicon carbide inverters - to Norway
The modest, largely residential Norwegian solar sector may be about to enter a new, commercial installation phase. Siemens-owned inverter manufacturer Kaco has announced it will ship its ‘blueplanet 92.0 TL3 string inverter’ to a 2 MW commercial rooftop project just south of Oslo, in Vinterbro. The array will be installed on a cold storage facility belonging to supermarket chain Rema 1000. The project is under construction and will be completed this year, according to Kaco. The roof is the first in Norway to use 1500 V technology which, according to consultant engineer Multiconsult, permitted a 10-15% cost reduction.
UAE: Dubai's MAF explores partial credit card business sale in review - sources
Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim, which operates the Middle East franchise of French retailer Carrefour, is exploring options for its credit card business including enlisting partners to manage unsecured credit risk, two banking sources told Reuters. MAF, a holding company which also owns and operates shopping centres in the Middle East and North Africa, hired U.S. investment bank Moelis & Co at the start of the summer to advise and manage the partial sale of its Najm credit cards, said the sources, who declined to be named.
Aldi plans to expand operations in Italy and Switzerland
Aldi Süd plans to open 80 new stores in Italy and a new distribution centre in Landriano, near Pavia, to offer better services in the north west of the country, media reports suggest. The discounter will mainly target cities and metropolitan areas beginning with Milan, reports daily Il Sole 24 Ore. New stores are scheduled to open by 2020, and will include 600 square-metre and 800 square-metre outlets, with dedicated sections for fruit and vegetable, wine, food, and bakery. Elsewhere, in Switzerland, the retailer is planning to open 300 stores over the next decade, reports Corriere del Ticino. Since its launch in the country in 2015, Aldi has invested around CHF 1.5 billion in expanding its sales network.
Super low price competition among Korean retail companies
The Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced early this year that the nation’s major retailers saw their combined sales increase by 6.8% in 2018, with offline sales rising 1.9% and online 15.9%. Online sales accounted for 37.9% in the entire sales in the retail industry, up by 2.9% points from a year ago. As Korean consumers find it more convenient to do shopping online than offline due to fast delivery and simple payment service, the super supermarkets (SSMs) are suffering from poor performance. The SSMs operated by retail conglomerates have begun therefore low price competition by promoting super cheap products to attract more customers, for example “10won (about 0.008euro) super cheap war” by Lotte mart and “Everyday people’s price” by E-mart.
Spain: Carrefour now has more than 2,000 bioproducts
Carrefour is already the distributor with the largest number of bio and vegetarian products in Spain, with more than 2,000 items, and the only one to facilitate a comprehensive purchase with these products. The company, with its Carrefour Bio brand, constantly incorporates novelties such as the assortment of creams made with fresh vegetables, gluten-free and 100% Spanish origin.
Belgium: Delhaize opens shop for sailors
Just dock at the supermarket during your boat trip? A Dutch Spar was the world’s first to do it, but from March, it is also possible at Delhaize in Hasselt. The new establishment on the Kanaalkom, in the brand-new Quartier Bleu district, will be located on a stretch of quay where sailors can moor. The 2,000 m² supermarket will be right next to the public car park being built for the new district, and will have no less than 1,800 spaces. Delhaize will be joined by big chains like Fnac, AS Adventure and Juttu. The official opening is due to happen at the start of next year.
UK: Lidl opens giant distribution centre at Eurocentral
Supermarket chain Lidl has officially opened its new £70mln Scottish distribution centre in North Lanarkshire. The 58,500 sq m (630,000 sq ft) warehouse, which is Lidl's largest in Great Britain, will service the company's 99 stores in Scotland. About 600 employees have relocated from Livingston to the Eurocentral-based centre. Lidl said there was "scope for a further 250 jobs" following the launch. It added that the new centre represented "a pivotal moment in our ambitious growth plans across Scotland".
France: Carrefour adds Aubert shop-in-shop concept
France-based trade publication Linéaires has reported that Aubert, a specialist retailer focused on baby and products for children, will open a shop-in-shop concept in Carrefour Claye Souilly hypermarket, in Seine-et-Marne. The 297 sq. m concession will be placed near the store’s wider non-food offer and will be managed by Aubert staff. Discussing the concession, Aubert’s president and chief executive, Philippe Zeugmann, was looking to benefit from the store’s traffic, while it was able to offer Carrefour the chance to have a childcare expert in store to provide advice for young parents and families. Zeugmann said Carrefour would retain a childcare department, with Aubert offering a differentiated range from specialist brands and under its own private label ranges. If successful, the concept could be rolled out at further Carrefour hypermarkets in future.
Why Brazil’s biggest retailers are evolving their supermarket propositions
The fastest growing channel in Brazil recently has been the atacarejo (cash and carry). A growing number of customers are migrating to it from supermarkets and hypermarkets. As a result, the major retail players are having to re-think their strategies for these channels to remain relevant. The atacarejo channel is unique compared to other markets as the stores are predominantly non-membership and are designed to serve both B2B and B2C customers alike. They offer a wide assortment of predominantly branded products at competitively low prices.
Walmart U.S. CEO Foran to exit and be replaced by Sam's Club boss Furner
Walmart Inc said its chief executive for U.S. operations, Greg Foran, will leave the company early next year and be replaced by the head of its Sam’s Club warehouse chain unit, John Furner. Foran’s departure is likely to be considered a blow for Walmart given the New Zealand native is credited with turning around Walmart’s U.S. business by focusing on improving existing stores. Walmart reported 20 quarters of comparable sales growth under his leadership. Foran, who has held the job since 2014, will stay with Walmart until January 31 and then take on the role of chief executive at Air New Zealand Ltd, an appointment that was also announced separately by the airline.
US: GreenWise Market announces St. Augustine location
GreenWise Market is pleased to announce St. Augustine, Florida, will be home to a new-concept store located near the intersection of State Road 16 and International Golf Parkway at World Commerce Center. This is the second GreenWise Market announced for St. Johns County. GreenWise Market at Nocatee Town Center in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, which is planned to open in 2020, was the first. “GreenWise Market is a place for customers to find products to support their evolving lifestyles”, said Publix President Kevin Murphy. “It’s an easy gathering place for a meal with friends or to explore unique and local finds. We look forward to sharing this experience with the St. Augustine community.”
US report: Publix, Costco and Kroger drive sales for Instacart
Following the end of its partnership with Whole Foods in May, Instacart’s sales showed an uptick between July and September, according to new research from tech company Edison Trends. Publix is Instacart’s top-selling grocer, providing 37% of its sales. The grocer also had 69% more Instacart orders than the next closest competitor, Costco, which makes up 24% of Instacart's sales. The other top grocers are Kroger (16%), Wegmans (12%) and H-E-B (12%). Costco's online sales via Instacart grew 99% since last year, according to the report, while Kroger's grew 86%.
US: The Fresh Market revitalizes customer experience strategy
The Fresh Market has teamed with Service Management Group (SMG) on a new customer experience management (CEM) program, with the aim of uncovering and activating insights. “One of our core values is hospitality - creating a welcoming and friendly shopping environment, and to delight our guests and make their time with us memorable”, noted The Fresh Market spokeswoman Meghan Flynn. “Our guest services team plays a critical role in developing guest relationships, and SMG is an extension of this team to help us deliver valuable insights that will ultimately benefit our customers.”
US: H-E-B opens 1st grocery in mixed-use development
H-E-B has opened its newest store in Houston, the first in a mixed-use development, as the anchor of the Buffalo Heights mid-rise project. The 96,000-square-foot location also marks another first for the grocer: a gold-level award from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) GreenChill Partnership for refrigeration technology. “H-E-B is proud to join this cutting-edge initiative, which further signifies our commitment to be strong environmental stewards, providing our customers with more than just a great place to shop. We want them to know we’re actively protecting the state we proudly call home”, said Winell Herron, H-E-B group VP of public affairs, diversity and environmental affairs.
Walmart Canada first official Canadian retailer to partner with Cornershop on-demand grocery delivery
Walmart Canada is expanding its official partnership with Cornershop, growing its offering from five to 14 stores in the Greater Toronto Area GTA). Cornershop is an express delivery service that customers can use to order groceries on-demand in as quick as 60-minutes, and its popularity and convenience influenced Walmart's decision to expand the partnership. Walmart Canada is also Cornershop's first official partner outside of Latin America as the retailer works to reinforce its commitment to bringing the latest technology and services to customers.
US: Dollar General to test click & collect
Dollar General Corp. plans to introduce a grocery pickup service for online orders, according to a published report. “We’ve always tried to be at the leading edge of value and convenience, and we hear our customers talking about [click and collect] a lot”, the company's CIO, Carman Wenkoff, told The Wall Street Journal. He added that a pilot would roll out in the next few months, initially through an app, although he declined to say how many locations would take part.