US: Lidl preps 1st Philly location
December is shaping up to be a busy month for deep discounter Lidl, which will open its first Philadelphia store on December 11 in the city’s Port Richmond section. The retailer, which debuted its first Pennsylvania store last year in Ridley Township, currently has five locations in the Keystone State. Another store in the City of Brotherly Love, on Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia, is scheduled to open before the end of the year, Lidl spokeswoman Chandler Ebeier told The Philadelphia Inquirer, adding: “We are exploring a number of sites in the area and will continue to expand.”
Amazon faces U.S. antitrust scrutiny on cloud business: Bloomberg
U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has broadened scrutiny of Amazon.com Inc beyond its retail operations to include cloud-computing business, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The U.S. antitrust enforcers have been asking software companies about practices around Amazon’s cloud unit Amazon Web Services, the report said. Big tech companies such as Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google, Apple Inc and Amazon face a slew of antitrust probes by the federal government, state attorneys general and congress.
Canada: Mercatus partners with Point Pickup to offer reliable last-mile grocery delivery for growing retailers
Mercatus, a leading provider in digital commerce solutions for grocery and other retail verticals, announced that it has partnered with Point Pickup Technologies, a company offering a single platform that solves same-day delivery challenges for enterprises across various industries. This partnership provides a quick and cost-effective way for grocers to respond to increasing eCommerce and last-mile delivery market demand while maintaining direct customer relationships. With shopper expectations for fast and seamless grocery delivery on the rise, retailers must transform their last-mile experience to meet these needs. Mercatus’ and Point Pickup’s joint same-day delivery enterprise solution uniquely addresses the last mile by using a network of pre-scheduled drivers who are trained for, and dedicated to, a specific retailer in order to fulfill store-to-home deliveries.
Majid Al Futtaim to expand in Egypt, Saudi in emerging markets push
Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim will invest 16bln Egyptian pounds ($996.26mln) in Egypt over the next two to three years, its CEO said, 14bln pounds of which will be for a single mall in Cairo. Majid Al Futtaim also plans to expand in Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Uganda, chief executive Alain Bejjani told Reuters in an interview. The company will spend 2bln Saudi riyals ($533.6mln) building cinemas in Saudi Arabia as part of a five-year 16bln riyal investment plan, he said.
UK: EV drivers can charge for free at Tesco
Electric vehicle (EV) drivers at 100 Tesco stores across the UK are now able to top up their battery for free while shopping. Volkswagen announced last year it had partnered with Tesco and Pod Point to install around 2,400 charging points for electric cars. To highlight the scheme, Volkswagen visited the Potters Bar store in Hertfordshire with its all-electric ID.3 - the first time the model has been in the UK since its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The appearance of the new car - which arrives at UK dealerships in the summer - coincided with research by Volkswagen which revealed the average Brit spends 50 minutes per week in a supermarket buying food and drink.
Globus expanding in Russia
German hypermarket retailer Globus is planning to expand further across Russia. Since entering Russia 13 years ago, Globus has expanded its footprint and now operates 15 stores in the greater Moscow area. The German retailer has enjoyed success in the market with sales growing 6.4% in 2018/19 in local currency, to a turnover of RUB 107bln. Its stores are currently all located in the greater Moscow area but Globus is planning to expand outside of this, considering areas such as Southern Russia, Saint Petersburg and the Volga region.
Europe still dominates global ecommerce ranking
European countries hold eight of the top ten spots on the B2C E-commerce Index of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. This list ranks countries on their reading to engage in ecommerce. Europe remains, by far, the most prepared region for ecommerce. It’s the Netherlands again, just like last year, that leads the Business-to-Consumer E-commerce Index. The Western European country is followed by Switzerland. The only two non-European countries in the top 10 are Singapore and Australia. The first one ended on a third place, while Australia ranked tenth. The analyzed countries are scored on the access to secure internet servers, the reliability of postal services and infrastructure, and the country’s share of internet users and those who have an account with a financial institution or mobile-money-service provider.
UK: 71% of shoppers are aiming to reduce their environmental impact this Christmas
Sustainability, ethics and saving money are prominent themes for food and grocery shopping this Christmas, according to the latest research from research organisation IGD. Following the growing interest in sustainability and plant-based diets over the past year, the Christmas period presents key opportunities for retailers and suppliers to engage with shoppers in these areas. Highlights from the data include: UK food and grocery sales are set to reach £21.5bln this Christmas, with 1.2% growth forecast; 71% of shoppers say they are going to take a specific action to reduce their environmental impact over the season; Plant-based alternatives are in the top five for Christmas day meals this year, with 13% of households preparing these choices; Despite the view that Christmas is a time to splash out from 69% of shoppers, expected spend on the main Christmas dinner will be down by £9, or £2 per person.
France: Carrefour unveils first Aubert shop-in-shop
Carrefour has formally opened the first Aubert shop-in-shop at its hypermarket, following an announcement earlier this year. The 300 sq. m. space at the Claye-Souilly store in Seine-et-Marne stocks around 4,000 premium baby, hygiene, textile and childcare products, and is run by a team of trained Aubert advisers. Aubert has “total autonomy” in its selection of products, which complement Carrefour’s existing childcare offering. For the move, Aubert has focused on technically advanced products (excluding food), including products not previously found in supermarkets and hypermarkets.
Belgium: Delhaize starts trial with Deliveroo and Takeaway.com
Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize is starting a pilot project aimed at consumers in a hurry, but with a craving for healthy food. Deliveroo and Takeaway.com couriers will deliver healthy orders (with Nutri-Score A, B or C) from stores in Antwerp and Brussels. The trial period last three months and involves two stores in Antwerp and two in Brussels, all from Delhaize's recent Fresh Atelier concept. Customers can order through the deliverers' platforms, whose couriers deliver the order in a 3 km radius by bike or scooter. Only items with a Nutri-Score C or better can be ordered (and some desserts), including fruit salads or salads that customers can have prepared according to their own wishes. Ready-made salads, wraps, soups and drinks are available as well. Food can be ordered until the store's closing time.
Costco Japan online shopping coming soon
Last year, Costco Japan announced plans to launch an online store. In preparation of launching its online shopping platform, Costco Japan has revamped its corporate website. The wholesaler has introduced a new AI ChatBot system and is advising shoppers to prepare by registering online to create an account and pre-order cakes.
South Africa: Pick n Pay launches new ‘no packaging’ zone
Pick n Pay is piloting a new packaging-free zone at its Constantia store in Cape Town. The retailer says that the zone will provide customers with the opportunity to purchase a wide range of products without packaging. The new zone includes 88 dry grocery products across 15 different categories including dry baking goods, cereals, dried fruit, flour, grains, ground coffee beans, nuts, pasta, pulses and beans, rice, seeds, spices, superfoods, olive oil and vinegar. Each category will have a range of products, including gluten-free options. Customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable container, but for those who forget, the store will offer free paper bags and a range of reusable containers that can be purchased.
UK: M&S rolls out urban farming scheme in 7 London stores
Marks & Spencer has rolled out the first phase of its in-store urban farming trial to seven locations in London as part of its new partnership with Infarm. The roll out means a selection of herbs are now freshly grown and harvested in M&S stores in Bromley, Ealing Broadway, Kensington, Kings Road, Marble Arch and Stratford City, alongside the launch store site at Clapham Junction. The retailer used trading data of its existing fresh herb range to identify the right sites for the first stage of roll out. M&S is Infarm’s first UK partner and the first vertical farming unit was installed at the Clapham Junction store in mid-September.