Loha, a Chinese fresh food retailer, seeks $37.6mln in fresh capital
Loha Co. Ltd., a Chinese fresh produce retailer, has applied to raise $37.6mln in a New York public offering. The company, based in Shenzhen, positions itself as a tech-driven distributor and smart retailer of fresh and healthy products in China. Specifically, Loha mainly sells imported fruits, wild-harvested seafood, vegetables, eggs and dry goods through traditional stores, as well as smart vending machines. It has 102 overseas and 5 domestic suppliers in 16 countries, according to its amended prospectus. Loha's vending machines can be used through a WeChat mini-program, Lohas City.
Cyprus has no room for yet another supermarket chain - Panteliadis
Greece’s Metro AEBE CEO Aristotelis Panteliadis believes Cyprus has no room for yet another supermarket chain but offers plenty of takeover opportunities. In an interview with the Greek edition of Forbes magazine, Panteliadis also said that Cyprus is full of supermarkets - of all sizes and at every corner of the island. “Cyprus is full of supermarkets of all sizes, from neighbourhood stores to supermarkets. And since the prevailing players are also opening stores in other cities, in addition to their base, then competition is getting more and more intense. My opinion is that Cyprus no longer has room for another supermarket chain”, he said. Nonetheless, he added, the state of play in Cyprus provides plenty of opportunity for takeovers.
China: JD.com launches lifestyle store
The ecommerce giant launched the first of its SEVEN FUN lifestyle spaces in Beijing, offering unique “SOLOMOME” shopping experience. Located in Galaxy SOHO on the second ring road of Beijing, SEVEN FUN targets working professionals with annual income of over CNY100,000 in first tier cities. Similar to Waitrose in the UK, it adopts a business model that encourages employees to become store partners. The new store concept pioneers a unique combination of dining + drinking + social. By serving breakfast in the morning, drinks into the late night and offering lunch, afternoon tea, snacks and daily groceries in between, SEVEN FUN acts as a third place between home and the office.
France: Supermarket retailer Carrefour buys lunch delivery firm Dejbox
French supermarket retailer Carrefour said that it had agreed to buy Dejbox, a start-up dealing in delivering lunches to office workers. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Dejbox says it is the biggest online canteen firm regarding delivering meals to businesses in suburban and outlying areas in France, and the company employs around 300 staff.
UK: Amazon and Deliveroo deal under further investigation by competition regulator
The competition and markets authority (CMA) is launching an in-depth investigation into Amazon’s purchase of a stake in food courier service Deliveroo. After initial investigation, the CMA will now launch a ‘Phase 2’ investigation as it has said Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo could harm competition in online convenience grocery delivery, where both companies are currently active. The investigation will also look into concerns that the investment could harm competition in online restaurant food delivery by discouraging Amazon from re-entering the market in the UK, following the closure of its Amazon Restaurants business in 2018.
Holland: Sligro Food Group posts €2.4bln in net sales in 2019
Dutch wholesaler Sligro Food Group has posted net sales of €2.39bln for full-year 2019, which is up 2.1% on the previous year. However, adjusted for acquisitions, sales at the business decreased 0.9%. In the Netherlands, the business posted €2.17bln worth of sales for the year, which was up from €2.13bln the previous year, while in Belgium, sales totalled €229mln, up from €220mln. In the fourth quarter of the year alone, sales in its Netherlands business were €593mln (2018: €563mln), while Belgium sales were €61mln, level with the previous year.
UK: Aldi sales rise 7.9% in Christmas period
Aldi UK, the British arm of the German discount supermarket, said its total sales rose 7.9% in the four weeks to December 24 year-on-year, driven by strong growth in beers, wines and spirits as well as its range of premium products. The firm, the UK’s fifth biggest grocery chain with a market share of 8%, said sales over the four weeks topped 1bln pounds ($1.31bln) for the first time. Aldi said sales measured on a like-for-like basis were positive during the period but it did not provide a figure.
China: Metro opened first store in Guiyang
Metro China, which was acquired by China's Wu-Mart, continues to accelerate its business expansion and further developed the southwestern market by opening its first store in Guiyang, Guizhou Province. Located in Guiyang's Yunyan District, the new Metro store has a sales area of nearly 5,500 square meters and it provides over 13,200 kinds of products, including 11,000 kinds of food and 2,200 kinds of non-food products.
Holland: Retailer Plus sees revenue up 5.4% in full-year 2019
Dutch retailer Plus has posted a 5.4% increase in turnover in full-year 2019, to €2.61bln. Commenting on the group's performance, chief executive Duncan Hoy described 2019 as a "valuable year" for the group, in which growth exceeded that of the Dutch market average (of 4%) for the sixth year in a row. "In 2019 we determined our new business plan and the course for the next three years", he commented. Growth at the business was boosted by the switching of six retailers to the Plus formula, while 13 stores were converted to Plus' 'Brilliant 2.0' concept, which means that a total of 28 stores are now operating under the format. The Brilliant 2.0 format places increased focus on fresh products, convenience and special offers, according to the retailer. E-commerce sales grew by 33% in 2019, the retailer added.
Ahold Delhaize USA reveals CT warehouse plans
As it embarks on the transformation of its supply chain to a fully integrated self-distribution model, Ahold Delhaize USA will open 975,000 square feet of warehouse and distribution space this year at a one-time JCPenney distribution center in Manchester, Connecticut, near Hartford, according to a published report. The grocer, whose parent company is Zaandam, Netherlands-based retail conglomerate Ahold Delhaize, made its three-year, $480mln transition plan public last month. The facility will service 200 Stop & Shop stores in southern New England and New York state with 50mln to 60mln cases of dry goods and nonperishable food items annually, and create up to 700 jobs, according to Chris Lewis, EVP of supply chain for Retail Business Services, the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, in a press release from the property’s developer, Concord, Massachusetts-based Winstanley Enterprises LLC.
US: Shoppers Value parent company files for bankruptcy
The parent company for Louisiana-based Shoppers Value and most of its affiliates have filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection, according to The Advocate. JHJ Inc. plans to reorganize and continue operations following the proceeding. Part of the chain’s debt burden comes from the purchase and rebranding of six former Winn-Dixie locations in 2018. Five of those locations have since closed. Initial court filings took place November 15, with more stores joining the proceeding earlier this week. JHJ operates 12 grocery stores and employs more than 600 workers throughout Louisiana.
US: Sprouts kicks off the New Year with Whole30 partnership
Sprouts Farmers Market has partnered with Whole30, an elimination diet program, to offer a Whole30 shopping list for consumers looking to change their eating habits in the New Year, according to a press release. Sprouts also hosted six Whole30 store events on Saturday, January 4, from 10 a.m. to noon in cities including Atlanta, Dallas and Las Vegas. The first 100 customers received a free copy of The Whole30 Friends & Family book and a complimentary floral arrangement. The events featured education about the Whole30 program, book giveaways and advice from local Whole30 certified coaches.
Lidl USA underpins growth plans with supply chain investment
Lidl is to build a fourth distribution centre in the US to support its growth plans. Lidl will invest $100mln in building a regional distribution centre (RDC) in Covington, Georgia, to serve stores in the region. The 925,000 sq ft facility will also serve as a regional headquarters. Although the retailer only operates four stores in Georgia currently, this investment indicates its expansive plans for the region. The retailer had previously announced plans to establish a distribution centre in Cartersville, Georgia, however, Covington is more centrally located given its future growth ambitions.