Norway: Spar lowers price of paper carrier bags
Spar Norway has announced that it has lowered the price of paper bags to encourage more people to opt for the eco-friendly option. The price of paper bags will now be the same as that of plastic bags, making it affordable for customers in Spar Norway. The move will help the retailer to reduce the environmental impact of its operations. Spar Norway's head of marketing, Martin Munthe-Kaas, said: "In addition to offering them [customers] a large choice of products, we also provide different solutions for carrying the groceries home. In all of our stores, you will find eco-bags, paper bags, and plastic bags."
Australia: Woolworths opens its most sustainable supermarket in new Burwood Brickworks
Residents of Burwood in east Melbourne are the first in Australia to experience Woolworths’ most sustainable supermarket with the official opening of the Woolworths Burwood Brickworks store. Anchored in the ground breaking new Burwood Brickworks Shopping Centre, Woolworths Brickworks is undertaking the Living Building Challenge (LBC), which is the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings. The new store will operate using 100% renewable energy which is equivalent to taking 700 cars off the road each year.
Germany: Metro announces exclusive talks on hypermarkets sale with X+Bricks
Metro is entering exclusive talks on the sale of its struggling Real hypermarkets unit to a consortium led by property investor X+Bricks, the German wholesaler said, confirming a Reuters report. The negotiations with another bidder consortium led by Redos Real Estate, which had been in the lead to buy Real since May, have been terminated, Metro said, adding that Metro will not retain any stake in Real. The current status of negotiations, which Metro aims to conclude by the end of January, imply a net cash inflow of approximately 500mln euros (£429.54mln), Metro added.
UK: Sainsbury's opens the 'Giving Store' where customers shop for others but leave empty handed
Sainsbury's has announced the opening of its 'Giving Store', designed specifically for people to browse and shop - then leave empty handed. Open in London's Covent Garden, customers have the chance, using pre-paid tokens, to take goods from the shelves and donate to people in need. The opening of the store follows recent research by the supermarket which revealed that 10mln adults have admitted to forgetting to donate to charity despite telling others they have done so (40%). The most common reasons for this being not having the money (27%) and prioritising other things (29%).
Russia: Magnit will begin to deliver goods directly from fresh platforms
Magnit launched pilot projects in Volgograd and Penza to reduce the delivery time for fresh and ultrafresh goods, the retailer’s press service told Logirus. The experiment will involve 100 outlets. Under the new concept, all convenience stores were divided into three geofences. The first one includes about 40% of retail outlets located less than 100 km from distribution centers and located in large cities and satellite towns. The second geofence included stores "at home", which are more than 100 km away from distribution centers. These conditions correspond to markets in cities and regional centers with a population of 100,000 or more. The third geofence is stores in remote and northern regions with a large distance between themselves.
Gourmet Market expanding in Thailand
The Mall Group, which operates Gourmet Market in Thailand, is spending more than THB1bln (US$32.9mln) to expand its business in Bangkok and the suburban areas. The retailer will invest THB350-500mln (US$11.5mln - US$16.5mln) annually to build new Gourmet Markets outside the Mall complexes. Another THB200mln (US$6.6mln) will be spent on upgrading two Home Fresh Mart stores to Gourmet Markets. The two upgraded stores at The Mall's Ramkhamhaeng and Tha Phra will be ready in 2021. "We will no longer open our supermarkets under the Home Fresh Mart brand, but we will put a focus on Gourmet Market, a premium supermarket brand", Chairat Petchdakul, the company's vice-president for supermarket merchandising, said. "The competition in general supermarkets is very fierce. We not only compete with direct competitors in the supermarket business but also with food retailers from hypermarkets, convenience store chains and food via e-commerce business".
UK: Tesco considers Asia exit
Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco has signaled a further retreat from its once lofty global ambitions by starting a review of its remaining Asian businesses, which could result in a sale of those Thai and Malaysian operations. Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Tesco is five years into a UK-focused recovery plan launched by Chief Executive Dave Lewis after an accounting scandal capped a dramatic downturn in trading. In October Lewis declared Tesco’s turnaround complete and said he would step down next summer. “Tesco confirms that, following inbound interest, it has commenced a review of the strategic options for its businesses in Thailand and Malaysia, including an evaluation of a possible sale of these businesses” it said in a statement.
Australia: Woolworths starts work on $12mln expansion of Townsville Distribution Centre
Woolworths and Queensland builder Spaceframe have turned the first sod on a $12mln expansion of the existing Townsville Regional Distribution Centre (TRDC) to improve stock availability for North Queensland customers year-round. Upon completion, the site will more than double its footprint to 10,000 square metres - making it the largest food and grocery distribution centre in North Queensland and significantly boosting the capacity of warehouse to service local stores. It will also create 30 additional permanent jobs at the TRDC along with an estimated 170 construction jobs throughout the seven-month build.
Thailand: Big C reveals 2020 plans
Big C, operated by Berli Jucker, has set aside THB6.5bln (US$214mln) to expand in Thailand and overseas. The retailer will invest THB5.5bln (US$181.3mln) in Thailand to open five to seven new Big C hypermarkets and 300 to 400 mini Big C stores in 2020. Another THB500mln (US$16.5mln) will be spent on IT facilities. It will also be studying the feasibility of opening “town centres” to increase income from leasable area. Its first town centre will be 3,000-5,000 sq m. Berli Jucker will also invest THB1bln (US$33.0mln) to open three MM Mega Market wholesale stores in Vietnam, bringing the total to 21 stores in 2020.
Cencosud reports a mixed supermarket performance in Q3
Cencosud has reported supermarket revenue of CLP1,670.3tln (US$2.1bln) in Q3. In local currency this represents a 0.6% increase. The slight growth was driven by revenues in Argentina, Chile and Colombia, but partially offset by Brazil and Peru. In constant currency, revenues increased by 6.9%. This reflects the depreciation of the Argentine peso and Colombian peso against the Chilean peso.
Walmart de Mexico's November same-store sales mark best month in 2019
Walmart de Mexico, the country’s biggest retailer, said that sales at stores in Mexico open for more than a year rose 6.9% in November, compared with the same month last year, the biggest monthly increase in 2019. Walmex, as the company is known, said total sales in Mexico increased 8.4% in November, while the retailer’s overall sales including from its Central American stores reached nearly $61bln pesos ($3.15bln) for the month.
Amazon is world's largest and quickest parcel deliverer
Amazon is the world's largest logistics company. As a result of this focus, Amazon is also the quickest parcel delivery company in the United States. Amazon is "almost unbeatable", according to trade journal Supply Chain Dive, which was given access to the data of a report by Rakuten, nicknamed the "Amazon of Japan". Amazon now has 390 warehouses, 50 planes, 300 trucks and 20,000 delivery vans at their disposal. It has 648,000 employees working in logistics, which is about 50 % more than FedEx (450,000) or UPS (481,000). As a result, Amazon currently carries out approximately 45 % of its deliveries itself.
US: Alfalfa’s Local Market provides incubator for Colorado-made products
Alfalfa’s Local Market, an independent grocer with two locations in Boulder and Louisville, Colorado, has taken its passion for local, organic and innovative foods to the next level. Last fall, the grocer, which currently carries 4,000-plus local products in its stores, launched an incubator next to its downtown Boulder location called Alfa Brands Co-Working Space, which encompasses an office and meeting area for local companies and growing brands in the natural product industries.
US: Global merchants adopt OroCommerce, the leading platform for B2B ECommerce
Oro, Inc., the business applications company behind OroCommerce, the No. 1 B2B digital commerce platform, announced the signing of a range of suppliers and distributors with revenues totaling more than $18bln as new enterprise clients. Most of the companies switched to OroCommerce because their previous eCommerce platforms were unable to meet their growing needs in a changing market landscape. Some of the new customers include Fairprice, Singapore's largest supermarket chain, which has more than $3bln in total revenue, and Braskem, the Brazalian petrochemical manufacturer with $15bln revenue.
US: UNFI reaches definitive agreements to sell 13 Shoppers Food stores
United Natural Foods, Inc. ("UNFI" or the "Company"), announced it has entered into definitive agreements to sell 13 of its 43 Shoppers Food & Pharmacy ("Shoppers") stores to three separate grocery operators. Each of the transactions is expected to close between mid-December and the end of February 2020, subject to customary closing conditions. In connection with the sale transactions, Shoppers intends to wind down operations at these locations, including the sale of any remaining inventory and closure of the stores prior to reopening under other banners. UNFI will also close four additional Shoppers stores, which are expected to cease operations by the end of January 2020. UNFI made the decision to not renew the lease at three of these locations and the fourth is being cancelled pursuant to agreement with the landlord.
US: Dollar General set to roll out more fresh produce & healthier options
In a win for healthy eaters across the country, national brand Dollar General has announced that they will continue to add fresh produce to stores in the new year. Currently offered in 600 stores, they’re expected to grow that program by nearly 50% with the planned addition of produce to 250 stores in 2020 as a part of the GD Fresh program. After reporting strong growth in their quarterly report, the brand has indicted further growth going into 2020 in their food offerings in general. According to their report, “consumables” accounted for nearly 10% more of sales in this quarter for 2019 versus the same quarter in 2018.
US: Publix expanding GreenWise concept
Having redesigned the GreenWise format in 2018 to position it in a new, contemporary direction, Publix is expanding the new concept and has just opened the latest store in South Carolina. The new store is located in Lexington, South Carolina and is the second to open in the state. As well as unique and local products, it will also act as a gathering place in the community and can be used to host meetings. The GreenWise format places an emphasis on natural, organic and specialty items and provides shoppers with creative meal solutions. Simply named experience zones such as 'EATS' and 'CARE' help shoppers to navigate the store. The 21,400 sq ft store also features a mural by a local artist, helping to tie the store into the local community.
US: C&S expanding to Pacific Northwest with new warehouse
C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. is formally entering the Pacific Northwest region with a new warehouse in Troutdale, Oregon. The state-of-the-art facility, slated to open by summer 2020, “will provide outstanding services to our valued customers, helping them focus on winning at retail and serving their communities”, according to the Keene, New Hampshire-based wholesaler, which is already servicing several retail partners in the area. “Earlier in the year, we started evolving our C&S Commercial Excellence organization to enable growth by becoming our customers’ partner of choice”, noted Joe Cavaliere, C&S’ chief commercial officer. “We have worked incredibly hard to make ourselves a company that doesn’t just procure and fulfill customers’ requests but is also a business partner that creates sustainable value. Our expansion into this key geographic area is another milestone in our evolution.”