US: Schnucks closes 3 locations
Schnuck Markets Inc. is closing three of its St. Louis metro-area stores on November 10. According to the grocer, these locations are shutting their doors due to poor sales, and their proximity to other Schnucks stores. The stores have approximately 190 employees in total, who will be offered transfers to nearby locations for the same rate of pay. The three closing stores are: St. Peters, Missouri: 100 Jungermann Road, 63376 (approximately 3 miles from two other Schnucks locations). O’Fallon, Missouri: 1421 Mexico Loop Road East, 63366 (less than 1 mile from another location). Edwardsville, Illinois: 2122 Troy Road, 62025 (less than 1 mile from another location).
US: Walmart asks judges to reject EEOC bid for sanctions in pregnancy bias case
Walmart Stores Inc has asked a federal judge to toss out the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s bid to hold the company in contempt for refusing to comply with what the retailer says is an overly broad discovery request in a lawsuit accusing it of pregnancy discrimination. In a filing in federal court in Wisconsin, Walmart’s lawyers at Quarles & Brady said the EEOC’s request for information on accommodations it provided to injured or disabled workers around the country who were not pregnant is irrelevant.
US: Amerlux's flexible light system for supermarkets snaps like fresh produce
Amerlux, an award-winning design-and-manufacture lighting company, announced its new supermarket lighting system that changes along with the aisles in a store. Amerlux's Cadence allows stores to easily change the location of the light source without the help of an electrician. In addition, the lighting system's attachments snap in and out. As online competition and dollar stores capture more dry-goods business, supermarkets need a lighting solution that allows them to accommodate the shrinking aisles that will make way for more featured fresh food. "Cadence provides ultimate flexibility to ever-changing store designs without added labor costs", said Amerlux President Chuck Campagna. "Thanks to its innovative design, it delivers fast installation as quick as an express checkout line".
US: Giant Food unveils Giant Delivers
Giant Food has refreshed its Peapod by Giant grocery delivery service as Giant Delivers. The name change is part of the grocer’s “The Little Things Are Giant” platform, which aims to help customers save time so they focus on more important matters. The service, which encompasses ordering via web or mobile app, provides next-day home delivery of groceries to an area where more than 6mln shoppers live in 300-plus ZIP codes across the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
US: GreenWay Markets makes its debut
Allegiance Retail Services, LLC, a retailer-owned co-op based in Iselin, New Jersey, marked the grand opening of GreenWay Markets, its newest grocery banner, in Cross River, New York. According to the company, GreenWay Markets, which opened October 11, provides a curated selection of prepared foods, produce, deli and fresh meats, including Rancher’s Legend brand beef. The store also offers hundreds of private label GreenWay natural and organic products throughout the store, as well as a large variety of domestic and imported cheeses, and fresh-baked breads.
Amazon announces new fulfillment centers in Illinois and Idaho
Amazon’s ability to satisfy its customers rests on its distribution reach, and lately, the retailer has been targeting multiple regions around the country. Georgia, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina have all been recent recipients of Amazon’s sprawling fulfillment centers, and now, the retailer has two more regions in its sights - Illinois and Idaho, which will mark Amazon’s first fulfillment facility in Idaho. “We’re excited to open our first customer fulfillment center in Idaho and to bring more than 1,000 full-time jobs to the city”, said Alicia Boler Davis, Vice President of Global Customer Fulfillment. “Amazon is committed to creating a positive economic impact in Nampa and enhancing the customer experience throughout the region”.
UK: Costcutter unveils Co-op franchise package
Costcutter Supermarkets Group has officially launched its offer to independent retailers interested in taking on a Co-op franchise. The package, which operates exclusively through Costcutter for retailers with 10 stores or fewer, was unveiled at the National Franchise Exhibition in Birmingham earlier this month (October). Seven franchises are already up and running through the agreement, including three company-owned stores, and Costcutter says the outlets are seeing sales growth of more than 50%. Benefits for retailers include the creation of a store layout plan, category space allocation and range tailored to their store’s catchment area.
Portugal: Pingo Doce launches new store concept
Portugal-based Pingo Doce has launched a new digital store concept. Jerónimo Martins-owned Pingo Doce introduced an app called ‘Pingo Doce & Go Nova’, which allows shoppers to ‘just walk out’. The introduction of the new store concept was presented at the Nova School of Business and Economics, in Carcavelos. The store is open to the general public however, it is designed to target students. The retailer has designed the concept based on convenience. The app allows shoppers to enter the store by a QR code and proceed to scan products’ bar code. Once the shopper has completed their shop, the purchase is completed by an in-app payment. In addition, over the 250sq m of the store, 100 cameras have been placed to collect shopper data.
Philippines: Lawson plans massive store rollout
Lawson Philippines plans to grow its network from just 50 stores to about 500 within five years. The planned expansion leans on a new agreement between the firm and local partner Ayala Corp. Lawson had previously partnered with another local firm, Puregold Price Club, with an earlier rollout schedule. Plans were stymied when Puregold pulled out of the deal last year. Lawson may also collaborate with its new partner’s e-commerce business, including making its store network available as shop-and-drop outlets.
Aldi expands in China
Aldi has opened three more outlets in Putuo, Baoshan and Xuhui districts in Shanghai. The retailer first entered China via a flagship store on Tmall Global online in 2017. This year, it opened its first two pilot stores in Shanghai’s Jing’an and Minhang districts. There are plans to open 50-100 outlets over the next few years. The stores have a premium look and feel, a clear departure from its more traditional look globally. A loyalty program and counter services are features not available at Aldi stores elsewhere. Shoppers are encouraged to scan their shopping on the go and pay via a WeChat mini-program. Its latest stores carry a wider range of imported products based on shoppers' feedback and market research.
Portugal: Sonae to invest 725mln euros in food retail business
Portugal’s Sonae, which owns the country’s largest food retailer, said it will invest up to 725mln euros by 2021 in the expansion, maintenance and improvement of its supermarket stores across the country. Food retailer Sonae MC operates 173 Continente hypermarkets and large supermarkets and expects growth in the Portuguese market to be among the fastest in Europe in coming years, including for smaller local stores. In a presentation shared via Portugal’s CMVM market regulator, Sonae said it expected to open up to 60 new smaller Continente stores and four to eight larger supermarkets in the next three years.
Major Japanese retailer partners with smart New Zealand tech
New Zealand technology start-up, IMAGR, has just announced its first international sales partnership, securing a deal with Japanese H2O Retailing Corporation. IMAGR is the creator of the SmartCart intelligent shopping trolley. Harnessing computer vision technology and AI, this queue-busting solution automates checkouts and payments for a frictionless shopping experience. IMAGR’s first international roll out is anticipated for May 2020 and discussions are already underway with New Zealand, US and European retailers for further roll outs. H2O Retailing Corporation is headquartered in Osaka, Japan and operates supermarkets mainly in Osaka and other cities such as Kyoto and Kobe.