Chinese grocery chain Sungiven Foods to open Canadian location in Vancouver
A Chinese grocery chain has plans to crack the highly competitive Canadian market with its first international location in Vancouver next month, and hopes to grow to up to 15 shops across British Columbia’s Lower Mainland within the next five years. Sungiven Food Canada Inc.’s smaller store size and wide array of in-house brand Asian products could lead to success with the local Asian population, as well as other Canadians looking for diverse cuisine.
Amazon expands its Counter service
Amazon has rolled out its click and collect service, Amazon Counter, to thousands more locations across the US. Amazon Counter offers customers a network of stores where they can collect their online orders from designated pick up points at partner locations. The click and collect option is available to all Amazon customers at no extra cost, offering Same-Day, One-Day, Two-Day and Standard shipping options. The service launched in the US in June 2019, following the launch in the UK and Italy. Initially rolled out across 1,500 Rite Aid locations in the US, Amazon has now expanded to thousands more Amazon Hub Counter locations. New store partners include GNC, Health Mart and Stage Stores.
Canada: Loblaw targets urban locations with PC Express pickup store
Loblaw has opened a new store-front, PC Express, in downtown Toronto where customers can pick up their online grocery orders. Loblaw is the leading online grocery ecommerce retailer in Canada. Over the last few years it has developed a network of over 700 pickup points and launched an on-demand delivery service in partnership with Instacart. While most of the pickup locations are at its food retail stores, it has also been testing the service at its Shoppers Drug Mart drugstores and at GO Transit stations in the Greater Toronto Area. This new facility is supported by a member of the PC Express team to help customers collect their orders and answer any queries.
Retail employment in the UK falls by 2.8% in Q3: BRC
Employment in the retail sector in the UK declined by 2.8% year on year in the third quarter of 2019, a new report by the BRC has revealed. According to BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson, it is equivalent to 85,000 people losing jobs in the retail industry in the past 12 months. It is also the 15th consecutive quarter of year-on-year decline in the retail workforce. Dickinson added: "Weak consumer demand and Brexit uncertainty continue to put pressure on retailers already focused on delivering the transformation taking place in the industry. While MPs rail against job losses in manufacturing, their response to larger losses in retail has remained muted." Full-time employment declined by 4.5%, while part-time employment declined by 1.5% during this period. Total work hours fell by 2.6%, with full-time hours seeing a greater reduction (3.2%) than part-time hours (2.0%), the report showed.
Germany: Metro AG posts 2.4% growth in like-for-like sales in FY 2018/19
German wholesaler Metro has posted a 2.4% growth in like-for-like sales in its financial year 2018/19, in line with its guidance range of 1% - 3%. The company's total sales increased by 1.5% to €29.9bln during the fiscal year. It also reported strong fourth-quarter results with like-for-like sales up 2.5%, and a total sales growth of 3.9% to €7.6bln. Olaf Koch, chairman of the management board of Metro AG, said: "In the past financial year, we accelerated our sales growth as a result of our transformation into a fully focused wholesaler. Eastern Europe, excluding Russia, and Asia again saw strong growth. Western Europe, with the exception of Germany, has improved compared to the previous year".
UK: Investor Cat Rock says Prosus 'undermining' Just Eat sale
Investor Cat Rock Capital accused internet conglomerate Prosus of undermining the sale process of British food delivery business Just Eat, which is the focus of a bidding war in the fast-growing sector. Netherlands-listed Prosus last week made an unsolicited $6.3bln cash bid to buy Just Eat, which had already agreed to an all-share offer from rival Takeaway.com. Cat Rock said in a statement that the sale of shares in Just Eat undertaken by Delivery Hero of Germany “directly and materially harmed” Just Eat shareholders.
UK: Asda accelerates plastic reduction commitments to end of 2020
Almost a third of Asda’s own-brand plastic packaging will come from recycled materials by the end of next year, under new commitments set out by the supermarket to reduce its plastic use. In a move to accelerate its current commitments, the supermarket has brought forward its target to reach 30% recycled content in its plastic packaging to the end of 2020 - 5 years ahead of its original deadline - avoiding the use of approximately 19,500 tonnes of ‘virgin’ plastic. Asda has also set out the next stage of its overall plastic reduction plans, with a new target to reduce the total amount of plastic used in its own-brand packaging by 15% by February 2021. It will also trial a number of new refillable and reusable packaging solutions during 2020 as part of its ‘test and learn’ approach to innovation. Initiatives taken by Asda over the past 18 months include: Introducing reusable fresh produce bags, to encourage customers to move away from single use.
New Edeka in Germany's Neukirchen: Supermarket with farm atmosphere
The new Edeka market in Neukirchen was built according to the most modern criteria. The future market leaders want to get a rural feeling while shopping. Eggs are available from the chicken coop, and thirst is satisfied at the watering place. The walk through the new market should feel like a purchase on the farm. The fruit and vegetable department is decorated with wooden elements on the ceiling to give the impression of a large barn. Just behind it, on the right side of the “chicken coop”, is the shelf for the egg cartons.
Amazon launches Subscribe and Save in Australia
Amazon has announced it has launched its Subscribe and Save programme in Australia, helping to drive shopper loyalty through discounts on repeat orders. Amazon’s Subscribe and Save service enables shoppers to sign up for scheduled repeat deliveries on products they routinely shop for, offering the benefit of a 10% discount and free delivery. The service has been rolled out in Australia, and customers can use it for products across household essentials, pantry food and drink, pet supplies, vitamins, supplements, and beauty. Brands such as Carman’s, Coca Cola, Heinz, Fairy, L’Oreal, Vegemite, T2 Tea, and Moccona are included in the service. Customers using Subscribe and Save do not have to pay a subscription fee, but are able to subscribe to the products choosing the frequency they want them delivered, from one to six months. Customers have the option to skip deliveries, change the delivery day or cancel.
UK: Poundland rolls out a new pricing structure
After a successful trial, Poundland has announced it will be rolling out its new pricing structure across all stores. Poundland conducted qualitative and quantitative research alongside working with Kellogg’s, Heinz, P&G and Princes before launching a trial in 24 stores across the Midlands, to determine how best to evolve its pricing structure. The retailer's aim is to lessen its dependence on the £1 price point and move towards being a simple price retailer. The trial was a success and has resulted in 5 new price points being added to Poundland's range: 50p, 75p, £1.50, £3 and £4. These sit alongside the standard £1 price point and the £2 and £5 price points that were introduced in 2017. Around three-quarters of products will remain at £1.
Future delivery: Japanese trucks designed with no cabin and interchangeable cargo holds
In Japan, trucks are being designed for a driverless future with no cabin and interchangeable container areas that would allow vehicles to be highly customized for parcel delivery or even serve as mini-hotels or beauty salons. At the Tokyo Motor Show, Hino Motors, the truckmaking arm of Toyota Motor Corp, showcased the futuristic “Flatformer”, which had no driver’s cabin and where the low-riding bed is fixed but the cargo or container section can be swapped out. On display was a concept battery-electric model with a cargo hold divvied up into stacked storage boxes that would help parcel delivery companies to sort, load and deliver goods more efficiently. Explosive growth in online shopping and increased demand for same-day deliveries have heaped pressure on courier companies and their drivers - particularly in Japan where the sector has borne the brunt of a worsening labor shortage.