Robinsons Retail: Drop in Q3 profits

Dino Polska: More than 130 new stores opened in the first 9 months's Liu resigns from China parliament advisory body: state TV
Richard Liu, the founder and chief executive of Chinese e-commerce company, has resigned from the advisory body to China’s parliament for “personal reasons”, state broadcaster CCTV reported. Leaders of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, or CPPCC, accepted Liu’s resignation at a meeting, it reported. The high profile but largely ceremonial CPPCC advises the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament. It is stacked with luminaries from all walks of life, including some of the country’s top business leaders.

Lithuania: Maxima International Sourcing names new CEO
Lithuanian retailer Maxima Grupė has named Vilma Drulienė as the new chief executive officer of its procurement arm, Maxima International Sourcing. She will also continue to serve as the chief commercial officer and a member of the board at Maxima LT, the retailer said. Drulienė will replace Gintaras Jasinskas, whose future role in the organisation is yet to be announced. CEO of Maxima Grupė, Jolanta Bivainytė, said: "Gintaras accomplished the goals set for him at a key establishment phase of Maxima International Sourcing. For this, we are grateful to him. As of now, [the] new company’s goals are being set. With Vilma’s arrival, we will take advantage of the synergy between the two purchasing teams of Maxima International Sourcing and Maxima LT,” she added.

Workers dismissed by Belgian retail chain Carrefour to receive over €1.6mln EU aid
Over 400 retail workers from Wallonia dismissed by the supermarket chain Carrefour should receive EU aid worth €1,632,028 to help find new jobs, the European Parliament’s budget committee has decided. The measure, co-financed by the EU globalisation adjustment fund, (EGF) would help the 400 workers find new jobs by providing them with career guidance, job training, entrepreneurship advice and contributions towards business start-up. The measure will also include support for up to 330 unemployed young people who are under the age of 25 years and are not currently enrolled in education or training. The total estimated cost of the package is €2.7mln, of which the EGF would provide 60% of the budget - €1.6mln.

Poland: Dino opens more than 130 new stores in the first nine months
Polish grocer Dino Polska has announced that it has opened around 138 new stores in the first nine months of its financial year. The retailer launched 120 new stores in the same period last year. Its store network increased to 1,113 outlets from 895 stores a year ago, the retailer said. The selling area has grown to 430,500 square meters from 343,300 square meters in the previous year. The retailer reported 30.5% year-on-year growth in revenue, to PLN 3.5bln (€800mln), in the first half of its financial year.

UK: C-stores need to focus on making shopping more exciting and enjoyable
Convenience stores will need to work hard to grow sales ahead of inflation over the next few years by focusing on ease of shop, making the shopping experience more pleasurable, and surprising and exciting their shoppers. That was one of the key messages emerging from speakers at this year’s IGD Live conference, which took place in London from 6 to 7 November. Guy Ousey, head of event content at the IGD, said that while the UK convenience sector was set to grow by £6.9bln to £48.2bln over the next five years, most of that growth would be driven by inflation and c-stores needed to invest to stay ahead of the curve.

Philippines: Robinsons Retail profit dips despite sales growth
Robinsons Retail reported a drop in profits during its third quarter despite significant growth in net sales. The firm booked PHP1.25bln (US$24.7mln) net income compared to PHP1.39bln ($27.4mln) during the same period last year. The decline is thought to be due to changes in the Philippine Financial Reporting Standard 16, which had an impact on the firm’s method of presenting accounting results. At the same time the firm registered a 24.2% rise in net sales to PHP38.95bln ($769mln). A statement from the firm attributed the sales jump to the opening of new stores over the past year as well as its addition of Rustan Supercenters, greatly enhancing the firm’s supermarket business.

Israel: Yenot Bitan agrees to sell 10 more supermarkets
Israeli supermarket chain Yenot Bitan controlling shareholder Nahum Bitan has reached an agreement with the workers committee to sell 10 more supermarkets, the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) reports. The talks were led by Histadrut chairman Arnon Bar-David, and in addition to selling the branches, an agreement was reached for "additional streamlining measures in fall coordination with the workers committee and Histadrut". However, no details were hammered out about possible layoffs. Yenot Bitan has found itself deep in financial difficulties after buying the Mega Ba'ir chain in 2016. In recent weeks, Yenot Bitan has already sold seven supermarkets to Fresh Market and Victory.

Europe: Volume of retail trade up by 0.1% in euro area
In September 2019 compared with August 2019, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade increased by 0.1% 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 August 2019, the retail trade volume increased by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU28. In September 2019 compared with September 2018, the calendar adjusted retail sales index increased by 3.1% in the euro area and by 3.2% in the EU28.

Glovo is opening a tech hub in Poland after gobbling a local food delivery rival
Barcelona-based on-demand delivery startup Glovo is beefing up its engineering capacity by opening a second tech hub, its first in Poland - with an initial plan to hire 40 additional engineers and have a total of 50 tech and product experts working predominantly out of its Warsaw office. Glovo says it expects the Polish engineering hub to make up half of its technology capacity in time. It will have a main focus on developing user-facing features for its marketplace product and for partners operating on the platform, it adds. It also has plans for further expansion of the facility down the line - and an overarching roadmap for its business of a 300-strong engineering team to support building out its on-demand service offering.

Romania’s retail sales 7.1% up in January-September 2019
The retail sales index expanded in Romania by 7.1% in January - September compared to the same period last year, the statistics office INS announced. The sales rose by an above average rate of 7.8% y/y in September alone. In the year-to-date period, the non-food sales, a good indicator for the consumer confidence, rose by a robust rate of 8.8% year-on-year, versus the slower advance (+5.1%) for food sales. Fuel sales advanced by 7.3% year-on-year. The sales figures as of September this year support the hypothesis of the private consumption gaining again momentum after it eased to an annual speed of 5.5% in 2018 from double digit growth rates over the previous two years.

China: Giant JD E-space store to open on Singles Day in Chongqing
Chinese e-commerce company JD will open its largest offline store to date on Monday, in Western China. The 50,000sqm JD E-Space experience store opens on Singles Day in Chongqing, with 5G-driven technology centreplace. The company intends to enhance shopping by offering unique and immersive experiences, allowing customers to interact fully with state-of-the-art, innovative, and smart products from more than 1000 of the world’s leading brands in various themed experience areas.

Carrefour Brasil net up 21% on best third-quarter sales in five years
Brazilian supermarket chain Carrefour Brasil SA reported a third quarter net income slightly below market expectations, based on the best quarterly sales performance in the last five years. In a securities filing, the Brazilian subsidiary of France’s Carrefour SA said its net profit grew 21.1% to 430mln reais ($105.3mln) in the third quarter, based on international accounting norms known as IFRS 16. Pre-IFRS net income was 448mln reais. Analysts on average expected a net income of 466.08mln reais ($114.81mln), according to Refinitiv data.

Ahold Delhaize USA’s Retail Business Services named Supplier Diversity Team of the Year
Retail Business Services, the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, has been recognized by the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) as its Supplier Diversity Team of the Year, an award bestowed on an organization or professional for outstanding efforts to increase supplier diversity. “We’re deeply appreciative of this award”, said Cheryl Smith, manager of supplier diversity for Salisbury, North Carolina-based Retail Business Services, who accepted the award at CWE’s Women’s Business Leadership Conference in Framingham, Massachusetts. “We believe that our suppliers should represent the great diversity of customers that shop at Ahold Delhaize USA’s local brands’ stores. This award demonstrates that we’re accomplishing our goal of continuing to engage and empower diverse suppliers, and of that we’re very proud and honored”.

US: Retail segment drives Q3 sales boost at SpartanNash
A healthy retail segment helped boost third-quarter net sales for SpartanNash, which saw growth of 6% for the 12 weeks ending October 5. Overall, net sales rose to $2bln from $1.89bln for the Midwestern grocery operator, with comparable store sales up a scant 0.1%. The company credited the net sales increase to incremental volume resulting from the acquisition of Martin’s Super Markets, which was completed December 31, 2018, as well as higher sales within the food distribution segment, prior to the elimination of the intercompany sales for the acquired business.

Amazon to open new robotics hub outside Boston in 2021
Amazon says it plans to open a $40mln robotics innovation hub west of Boston. The technology giant said the complex will open in 2021 in Westborough, Massachusetts. Amazon says the expansion will create about 200 tech and advanced manufacturing jobs. Amazon says it has created more than 4,000 full-time jobs in Massachusetts and has invested over $3bln in the state since 2011. Tye Brady is Amazon Robotics’ chief technologist. He says the new hub will be a place where robots are designed, built, programmed and shipped.

US: Kroger launches auto buying program
The Kroger Co. and automotive pricing transparency company True Car have partnered to create a program that promises participants savings when buying new and used cars. By joining the Kroger Auto Buying Program, customers of Kroger, Dillons, King Soopers, Fred Meyers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s banners get comprehensive price context and guaranteed savings off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) on new vehicles and discounts on used vehicles.

US: 3 Grocers named 2019 Best Workplaces in Retail
Three grocers have made the list of the 2019 Best Workplaces in Retail, according to Fortune and Great Place to Work. Wegmans came in at No. 2, while Publix earned the second spot and Nugget Market earned the fifth spot. The list is compiled from anonymous survey feedback representing over 694,000 employees working in retail in the United States, based on their experiences with their companies, including effectiveness of leaders, company values and ability to reach their full potential. None of these companies are strangers to Great Place to Work's lists. All three were named to the 100 Best Companies to Work For, regardless of industry, earlier this year. Wegmans and Publix were also named to the Best Places to Work for Millennials list in July.

US: Costco Wholesale Corporation reports October sales results
Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Costco” or the “Company”) reported net sales of $11.92bln for the retail month of October, the four weeks ended November 3, 2019, an increase of 6.8% from $11.16bln last year. For the nine weeks ended November 3, 2019, the Company reported net sales of $26.33bln, an increase of 6.2% from $24.80bln last year. Costco currently operates 783 warehouses, including 544 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 100 in Canada, 39 in Mexico, 29 in the United Kingdom, 26 in Japan, 16 in Korea, 13 in Taiwan, 11 in Australia, 2 in Spain, and 1 each in Iceland, France, and China. Costco also operates e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea, and Taiwan.

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