Australia: Woolworths investigated after admitting it underpaid 5,700 staff up to $300mln
Woolworths has admitted underpaying thousands of its workers as much as $300mln over the past decade, in what is believed to be the biggest such case on record in Australia. In a statement, Woolworths said it has discovered about 5,700 salaried staff across its supermarkets and Metro stores had not been paid in full as set out in the General Retail Industry Award (GRIA). However, the number of underpaid workers could rise depending on the outcome of its internal review - which will also cover its other brands Big W and Endeavour Drinks (which includes Dan Murphy's, BWS, Cellarmasters and Langton's). The majority of the underpaid workers are department managers across its retail stores.
France: Monoprix trials new delivery service at Champs-Elysées store
Monoprix is trialling a new delivery service at its Champs-Elysées store, which it says is inspired by concierge services offered by luxury hotels. The service sees Monoprix look to make shoppers’ lives easier for them. The first element is to consolidate online orders for shoppers, so they receive just one delivery, rather than multiple drops. Secondly, it offers shoppers the chance to be accompanied as part of their journey around the store, while thirdly if a product is not available in-store, Monoprix will source it from another store locally. The people making the deliveries can also take back any recyclable materials so that they are put straight back into the recycling system. The service is available on purchases over €50. A dedicated team, which has been specially trained to offer the service, is available to enable them to provide the individual services.
Amazon pumps in more than $600mln into India units
Amazon.com Inc has invested around 45bln rupees ($634.20mln) into its Indian subsidiaries as the Seattle-based e-commerce giant ramps up operations in one of its fastest growing markets. Documents filed with the Registrar of Companies showed that Amazon had pumped the money into its retail, food and payments units. The company did not immediately clarify where or how the money would be used. India is among the last frontiers for Amazon and a crucial market for growth. Founder Jeff Bezos has committed to spending more than $5bln for the Indian market, where Amazon is locked in a battle with Walmart Inc-owned Flipkart.
UK: Tesco to power stores with roof-mounted solar panels and wind farms
Tesco has signed up to a project that will see it source green electricity directly from wind farms, solar farms and solar panels on its own stores. The move is part of retailer’s commitment to use 100% renewable electricity across business by 2030 and will save around 90,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The project will see the creation of 5 onshore wind farms and one solar farm across the UK as well as solar panels fitted to 187 of Tesco’s UK stores. The project will be the biggest of its type ever completed by a retailer in the UK with the new sources of green electricity able to power the equivalent of 140,000 homes. Jason Tarry, Tesco UK and ROI CEO said: “Our supply chain and long-term business sustainability depend on the health of the natural environment. This project represents a major milestone in our journey to using 100% renewable electricity by 2030”.
UK: Asda announces pay rise as contract row continues
Asda is raising the hourly rate paid to its supermarket staff by 18p next year amid a row with staff over new contracts that has left thousands of staff facing the sack this weekend. Union officials, who claim 12,000 workers face losing their jobs on Saturday after refusing to sign the new employment contract, described the pay offer as a smokescreen. Gary Carter, the GMB national officer, said it was unprecedented to announce an April pay rise in October and Asda was clearly “feeling the heat” of its campaign.
Australia: Coles posts subdued first-quarter supermarket same-store sales, sees improvement
Australian supermarket giant Coles Group booked much slower quarterly sales growth as a rival’s toy giveaways found favour with shoppers, but it said sales were picking up after it refocused its marketing strategies. The country’s second-largest grocery chain said same-store supermarket sales grew just 0.1% for the three months to end-September, compared to 5.1% for the same period last year. The first-quarter result was in line with its guidance. Coles’s supermarkets business posted sales of A$7.7bln ($5.3bln) in the 13 weeks ended September 29, slightly higher than the A$7.6bln it earned a year earlier. Total group sales, which includes supermarkets, liquor, petrol and convenience stores, rose 1.8% to A$8.70bln.
Flipkart India reports sales revenues for FY2019
Overall losses despite positive sales numbers. For its year ending in March 2019, Flipkart India, the wholesale division of Flipkart, reported sales revenues of approximately US$4.33bln. Separately, Flipkart Internet, which operates its marketplace, also reported sales revenues of US$593mln. Although this represents a 51% year-on-year increase for Flipkart Internet, it also reported a total loss of US$227mln, up by 40% versus last year. This has been attributed to an employee stock buyback scheme as well as higher marketing spend.
Lidl UK: introducing more electric vehicle charging points
Lidl will be installing rapid charging points for electric vehicles at 300 stores by 2022. Lidl has said it will spend more than £25mln in support of the government's plan to increase the infrastructure to support low-emission vehicles. Lidl currently has points at 40 of its stores across the UK. Charge points can be viewed on the Open Charge or Lidl app. The points allow shoppers to charge their cars in 50 minutes. Other major retailers have also made pledges to support electric vehicle infrastructure. Morrisons has installed 50 rapid charging points at stores, with a further 50 planned for 2020. Tesco plans to roll out over 2,400 points in 600 stores by 2022. Aldi is also increasingly introducing the points in its car parks.
Australia: Strong Q1 sales growth across the Woolworths Group
Woolworths Group reported: Group sales from continuing operations $15.9bln (up 7.1%). Group Online sales $802mln (up 37.4%). Australian Food sales $10.7bln, growth of 7.8% (comparable: 6.6%) driven by successful Lion King Ooshies and Woolworths Discovery Garden campaigns and Online; New Zealand Food sales growth of 4.6% (comparable: 4.8%) with customer metrics continuing to improve; Endeavour Drinks sales growth of 4.9% (comparable: 3.2%) with both BWS and Dan Murphy’s reporting solid growth; BIG W sales momentum continues with sales up 2.6% (comparable: 4.4%) with Apparel growth the highlight; Group Online sales growth of 37.4% driven by WooliesX and CountdownX; Hotels sales growth of 5.5% (comparable: 3.6%) driven by strong performance in Food and Bars.
US: Wegmans opens its 101st store. It's in Brooklyn
Wegmans, the 103-year-old grocery chain that has a rabid following, opened its highly anticipated first New York City store on Sunday. The 74,000-square-foot location, which was first announced in 2015, is located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Wegmans is at the buzziest part of the former military base on the East River that's currently undergoing a billion-dollar renovation with new offices and retail space.
Amazon ups online grocery ante with free AmazonFresh
Amazon made AmazonFresh perishables delivery a free service under its Prime customer benefits program. With the move, Prime members can now buy groceries online and get same-day delivery at no charge for orders of $35 or more via Amazon’s Prime Now, AmazonFresh and Prime Pantry programs. Prime Now also includes delivery and pickup from Whole Foods Market stores in select areas. Groceries ordered through AmazonFresh are delivered from Amazon fulfillment centers. Though the program focuses on perishables, products available range from fresh produce, meat and seafood, eggs and dry groceries to household supplies, health care and personal care items. Members also can order best-selling items on Amazon.com, including electronics, home and kitchen products, toys and other offerings.
Costco named second largest retailer in Canada
In the Great White North, Costco has gained a massive following, large enough to nudge out Walmart as the second biggest retailer in the country. "Costco is really a competitor. And what we forecast is that it is going to widen its gap to Walmart in terms of revenue. It’s going to dwarf Walmart over the next five years as well", said Amar Singh, Senior Analyst on Retail and E-Commerce for Canada with Kantar, a global data, insights, and consulting company that recently announced key insights on the retailer’s current successes. "One of the reasons it has been successful is its grocery expansion. It’s more becoming a grocery store now with a very strong grocery presence. And it still delivers on its true value hunt experience, which Canadians love”.
Albertsons adds personalization to digital, paper receipts
Albertsons Cos. has entered into an agreement with Chicago-based point-of-sale marketing technology company Ecrebo. The grocer can now add personalized offers and messages to the nearly 2bln paper and digital receipts it issues annually by using Ecrebo’s OnPoint Total Receipt Marketing solution. The marketing is specifically tailored to members of Albertsons' loyalty program, Just for U, at all of the grocer's 2,200 locations nationwide.
US: Kroger is working with UPS, USPS and FedEx to lure more shoppers to stores
Kroger is working with UPS, USPS and FedEx to bring package-delivery and pick-up services to its stores, Business Insider has learned. Kroger plans to test the program, called Kroger Package Services (KPS), in about 220 stores in 2019, according to internal documents reviewed by Business Insider. The program is rolling out amid rapid growth in package deliveries in the US and globally. More than 12,5bln parcels were shipped in the US last year, marking an increase of nearly 8% over the previous year, according to estimates from Pitney Bowes.