Aldi: Repurpose sustainable tableware

Target: Trademark lawsuit over grocery brand

US: Hy-Vee faces 2nd lawsuit over data breach
A data breach at Hy-Vee Inc. has led Kansas City resident Gordon Grewing to file a lawsuit seeking class-action status against the grocer, alleging that it acted too slowly after the breach was discovered and didn’t provide assistance to the millions of affected customers, according to a published report. This is the second lawsuit to be filed in connection with the breach. In October, Pennsylvania law firm Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith (CSK&D) filed a class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois against the grocer.

US: ALDI to carry Repurpose sustainable tableware as part of commitment to combat global plastics crisis
Repurpose, the leading producer of sustainable tableware for retail consumers, announced that ALDI U.S. will carry Repurpose compostable products as part of its commitment to combat the global plastics crisis. Repurpose compostable plates, cups, and utensils are now available in ALDI stores in five divisions, including Southern California, Boston, New York, DC Baltimore and Philadelphia, Cleveland and Pittsburg, Orlando and Tampa. "ALDI, like Repurpose, has been a visionary in tackling the problems of plastic waste", said Corey Scholibo, co-founder and chief marketing officer, Repurpose. "ALDI knows that greener solutions don't have to mean more expensive, and our line of affordable, compostable products empower all consumers to make a better choice every day for their family and the environment".

US: Dollar Tree holiday-quarter forecast disappoints as tariffs bite
Dollar Tree Inc forecast holiday-quarter profit below Wall Street expectations, as the discount store operator expects a hit from US tariffs on Chinese imports. The tariffs as part of the prolonged trade war between Washington and Beijing have been a pressure point for retailers, which source a large chunk of their merchandise from China. The company forecast fourth-quarter sales in the range of $6.33bln (€5.74bln) to $6.44bln (€5.84bln), the mid-point of which is below the average analyst estimate of $6.41bln (€5.82bln). 

US: Target hit with trademark lawsuit over grocery brand
A federal lawsuit has been filed against Target for alleged trademark infringement related to its Good & Gather private label food brand, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. A business owner in Atlanta who runs a company called Garnish & Gather filed the suit. She trademarked her business name in 2014, according to the report, and said Target’s new private label name, products and logo are too similar to her own. A Target spokesperson told the Journal-Constitution the retailer respects trademarks and is aware of the lawsuit, and will defend itself against the claims through the legal process.

US: Winter root vegetables equal sales success
Winter root vegetables are packed with vitamins and full of flavor, but no one would accuse them of being attractive. Many of these roots give stews, soups and casseroles extra flavor. Some of them are tasty raw and are great additions to salads, or can be used as garnishes. Their secret? Spending time underground can build unique flavor and nutrition. The cold days of winter can get a little boring in the produce department. “Most of the exciting produce is out of season during winter months, so produce managers must get creative to entice customers to purchase winter produce”, notes Blake Lee, director produce, bulk and juice procurement and merchandising at DLJ Produce, in Long Beach, California. “The key to selling produce at the store level is to create an atmosphere that encourages customers to buy. Most impulse purchases are based on how a display looks and makes someone feel”. By tempting customers with new soup recipes and the smell of samples of that soup, departments can sell multiple vegetables, including these underground items.

Sweden: Axfood appoints new Hemköp CEO
Axfood has announced Simone Margulies will replace Thomas Gäreskog as president of Hemköp, effective 1 February 2020. Margulies joined Axfood in 2015, currently holding the position of vice president of Dagab. In her new role, she will take responsibility for the Hemköp and Tempo banners. She will also become a member of the Axfood Executive Committee. Commenting on the appointment, president and CEO of Axfood, Klas Balkow, said: "Simone’s broad record of experience from the food retail trade and current role at Dagab make her very suitable for the assignment."

Taiwan retail sales hit new high in October
Taiwan retail sales set a record in October, according to data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). Retail sales rose 4.2% year on year to NT$340.7bln (US$11.16bln), the highest ever recorded for October and following year-on-year sales increases for every month of this year to date. Taiwanese retail sales by department stores rose 2.5% to NT$40.6bln ($1.33bln) while supermarket sales grew 8.8% to NT$18.0bln ($590mln). For the first 10 months of the year, Taiwan retail sales rose 2.9%.

Couche-Tard looks to enter Australia
Alimentation Couche-Tard has submitted a AU$8.6bln (US$5.8bln) bid to purchase Caltex Australia. The Alimentation Couche-Tard offer is subject to board approval and follows another offer that was made in early October and rejected. Caltex has been repurposing its business in Australia due to a significant downturn in profit margins and already plans to look to improve the balance sheet via creating a property trust for 250 of its sites. Brian Hannasch, Couche-Tard’s President and Chief Executive, said: “We believe this is a very compelling offer for Caltex shareholders. The company has been looking into the Asia-Pacific region for several years as a potential market”.

Russia: X5 bets on data and retail tech to stay ahead
X5 Retail Group is turning to technology in an effort to stay ahead of the disruption Russia’s food retail market is going face as the business goes digital. E-commerce is flourishing and increasingly eating into traditional retail and the industry is facing a do or die moment. Relying on economies of scale to hone efficiency isn’t enough, X5’s Head of Strategy Vladimir Salakhutdinov, told bne IntelliNews in an exclusive interview. Russia’s largest retailer by revenue must maintain a relentless focus on innovation and adopting cutting-edge retail tech across every aspect of its business if it is going to remain Russia’s number one, Salakhutdinov says.

No regional pricing at Belgian Jumbo
Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo changes its pricing locally in the Netherlands, but it does not (yet?) seem to apply the same strategy in its first stores in Belgium. However, it does seem to be engaging fully in a price war, lowering prices immediately after its expansion. At present, Jumbo does not adjust sales prices on a local basis in its two Belgian supermarkets, Daltix concludes. The data analyst put together a shopping basket of 180 branded products and compared their prices in both Belgian Jumbo stores (Rijkevorsel and Pelt) on 20 November. The sales prices were found to be identical. There may be several reasons for this: either Jumbo sees both locations as a similar playing field (although there is no Colruyt store in Rijkevorsel), or the retailer has not (yet) started separate pricing in Belgium.

Australia: Metcash lose 7-Eleven supply deal
7-Eleven has decided to not renew its supply contract with Metcash when it runs out in in August 2020. Metcash's annual sales from the contract with 7-Eleven amount to approximately AU$800mln, mainly in lower margin categories such as tobacco. This latest development follows on from Metcash losing its contract to supply Drakes Supermarkets in South Australia in September who decided to open its own distribution centre rather then be served by Metcash. Despite the 7-Eleven announcement there is still hope that Metcash will be able to continue serving 7-Eleven stores in Western Australia.

Holland: Picnic raises €250mln for robotized distribution center
Online supermarket Picnic has raised 250mln euros in a new investment round. The Dutch company wants to use this money to build a robotized distribution center of 42,000 square meters. Investors are the existing shareholders, while the Dutch bank ABN Amro has provided Picnic with a new loan. The millions of euros will be used to develop a logistics center that’s equipped with over a hundred fully automated sorting, packing and distribution machines.

Israel: Supermarket chain Shufersal Q3 profit dips, sales gain
Shufersal, Israel’s largest supermarket chain, reported lower quarterly profit despite higher sales, citing higher financial expenses and a change to a new accounting standard. Shufersal said it earned 55mln shekels ($16mln) in the third quarter, down from 64mln a year earlier. Revenue rose 4.2% to 3.4bln shekels, led by food retail sales and operations at its newly acquired drugstore chain, in which sales grew 38%. Same store sales slipped 0.6%.

Australia: Woolworths says CEO to forgo bonus after wage scandal
Australia’s biggest grocery chain Woolworths Group Ltd said Chief Executive Officer Brad Banducci would forgo his bonus following an underpayment scandal. The underpayment of workers has emerged as a hot-button issue in Australia this year, and the admission from the country’s biggest company by revenue had prompted a government agency to say it would investigate Woolworths. Acknowledging payment shortfalls to employees, Banducci would forgo his full-year 2020 short-term bonus of A$2.6mln ($1.76mln), while Chairman Gordon Cairns would take a 20% reduction in his board fee, the company said.

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