Metro Bulgaria equipping supermarket roofs with solar power plants
Three retail units in total out of 11 will have photovoltaic arrays on top of them, Metro Cash and Carry Bulgaria Eood announced at the opening of its first roof power generation system. The project was launched with the installation of over 1,360 panels or 423 kW in Blagoevgrad, in the country’s southwest. Chief executive Atila Yenisen revealed the solar power plant saves 403 tons in harmful emissions per year and 12,100 over its life cycle. Next up are the shops in Pleven and Veliko Tarnovo, he added. The initial project, which took a year to be completed, will meet “a significant percentage” of demand at the site, the company said.
Amazon partners with India’s second largest retailer to sell its goods online
Amazon is deepening its relationship with India’s second largest retail chain, Future Retail, as the e-commerce giant widens its footprint in one of its key overseas markets. The two said that they have entered into a long-term business agreement to expand the reach of Future Retail’s stores through Amazon India marketplace. Future Retail operates more than 1,500 stores across India, but until now, it has not aggressively explored sales online. As part of the agreement, Amazon India will become the authorized online sales channel for Future Retail stores including department and grocery stores chain Big Bazaar and lifestyle food superstore Foodhall, the two said. Additionally, India’s second largest retail chain, which attracts over 350mln footfalls a year across its network, will list its items on Amazon’s two-hour delivery platform Prime Now, which is currently operational in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.
France: E.Leclerc signs 'enhanced' agreement with FEEF
French retail market leader E.Leclerc has signed a new agreement with the Fédération des Entreprises et Entrepreneurs de France (FEEF), which will see the business enhance its commercial relations with SMEs. As part of the agreement, E.Leclerc has committed to a number of specific business levers in its dealings with SMEs, including more flexibility on payment structures, a reduction in fines in the event of delayed or lost products, and greater data transparency.
UK: 'Challenging trade' hits Morrisons' Christmas sales
The UK's fourth largest supermarket group, Morrisons, has said its sales fell over the Christmas period amid "challenging" trading conditions. The retailer reported a 1.7% fall in like-for-like sales - which strip out the impact of new stores - excluding fuel, for the 22 weeks to 5 January. It said the "customer uncertainty of the last year was sustained". Reflecting on the Morrisons figures, the company's chief executive, David Potts, said: "It was encouraging that during an unusually challenging period for sales, our execution was strong and our profitability robust, demonstrating the broad-based progress we have made during the turnaround. As always, we will take some learnings into the new year and look forward to 2020 with a strong plan and solid foundations on which to continue to grow".
Costco Australia sales exceed AU$2bln
Costco in Australia has recorded sales of over AU$2bln for the first time. The retailer's Australian revenue was recorded as AU$2.159bln for the 52 weeks to September 2019, up 18.5% from AU$1.822bln in 2018. Its operations in Australia continue to perform well, with growth accelerating against the 14% growth recorded in its 2018 financial year. Costco now has 11 store trading in the market and has started testing online, offering deliveries for businesses within a 10km radius of its Melbourne Docklands store. Despite the impressive sales growth, profitability declined to AU$25.5mln from AU$29.5mln in 2018.
Vietnam: Saigon Co.op launches new retail format
Saigon Co.op has launched a new premium format targeting wealthy shoppers in Ho Chi Minh’s district 10 in December 2019. The 660 sq m supermarket is in the Ha Do residential area at 200 3/2 street. It sells 4,000 high quality products including fresh food, cosmetics, household utensils and garment. There is also a wide variety of organic fruit, drinks and food products. It offers free delivery above VND200,000 (US$8.60) and bill payment at the store. It will add laundry services later this year.
Israel: Shufersal mulls robots in supermarkets
Israel's largest retail food chain Shufersal Ltd. is considering deploying robots nationally in its branches this year, sources inform "Globes." The robots in question are produced by startup Trax. One is already operating as a pilot in Shufersal's branch in the Azrieli Tel Aviv mall. It keeps track of inventory on the shelves and streamlines its resupply and management. 6 months after the robot began operating in the branch, Shufersal is considering expanding the robots' presence to more branches all around the country. Trax, which is developing the robots, believes that deployment will take place this year in the chain's large branches, while Shufersal declined to comment on the matter.
Brazil: GPA continues store reformatting process
Brazilian retailer GPA renovated a total of 20 Pão de Açúcar supermarkets in 2019, following the rollout of a new store format in September 2019. Of the total store renovations, 15 were located in São Paulo (including the group's flagship store in Jardim Paulista), 3 in Rio de Janeiro and 2 in the Federal District. As a result of the format changes, the stores have seen growth across all performance indicators; a 9% increase in sales, 7% in volume and 5% in the number of customers, compared to units that have not yet been reformed. The renovation and expansion project will continue in 2020, with the opening of 10 new stores in locations with potential for expansion, while another 15 existing stores will be remodelled.
US: Fairway supermarkets approaching bankruptcy, report says
New York City-based supermarket chain Fairway is approaching another bout with bankruptcy, according to reports. The supermarket company may be forced to declare bankruptcy, which could result in the closure of its 14 stores, the New York Post reported. Sources with information on the company's financial situation told the Post "this could be a liquidation instead of a reorganization". Fairway's Upper West Side flagship location on Broadway and West 74th Street has recently drawn interest from competing supermarket brands interested in buying up the real estate, the Post reported. The company operates 14 stores, nine of which are located in the city and the rest in surrounding suburbs. A spokesman for Fairway did not immediately return Patch's request for comment.
US: Save A Lot gets $138mln capital infusion
Save A Lot has reached an agreement with a substantial majority of its lenders to recapitalize the business and deleverage its balance sheet. According to the St. Louis-based company, an infusion of $138mln in new capital will support the discount grocer's operations and the acceleration of its business transformation plan. “The agreement with our lenders is an important step in securing Save A Lot’s long-term success”, said Kenneth McGrath, CEO of Save A Lot. “This is a significant statement of confidence in our business and gives us the appropriate levels of capital to compete effectively”.
US: Developers acquire 23 Stop & Shop properties
A partnership of Concord, Massachusetts-based Winstanley Enterprises LLC and New York-based Surrey Equities LLC has acquired a 23-property Stop & Shop supermarket portfolio mainly located in the New England area for $150mln. The 1.4mln-square-foot portfolio consists of 14 stores in the New England region, along with other sites in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The commercial developers bought the portfolio as part of a long-term investment strategy to acquire well-located urban infill supermarkets in hard-to-replicate locations. The properties are triple-net leased to Ahold Lease USA Inc., a subsidiary of Zaandam, Netherlands-based retail conglomerate Ahold Delhaize.
Canada: T&T launches e-grocery
T&T Supermarkets is heading into the Chinese New Year with a new service. Loblaw’s Asian specialty grocery chain launched e-commerce on Monday. Delivery is available to “most Canadian cities”, according to a press release, while bakery and prepared food items ordered online can be picked up in store. “The new platform will provide customers a seamless shopping experience in English, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese”, said Jennifer Mei, director of e-commerce at T&T Supermarkets. “It will also offer a variety of payment options such as WeChat Pay and Alipay and real-time online chat services to ensure the smoothest online shopping experience”.
US: Kroger breaks ground on new Marketplace in Liberty Township
Kroger has broken ground on a long-awaited Kroger Marketplace at Kyles Station in Liberty Township, Oberer Realty Services said. The new store will be approximately 124,000 square feet and serve as the anchor for the 56-acre Kyles Station development, located on Ohio 4 at Kyles Station Road in Liberty Township. When the new location opens, it will replace a 57,000-square-foot storefront that Kroger started leasing at 5420 Liberty-Fairfield Road in 1998.
US: Costco enters new market in Georgia
After planting successful locations around the world in Australia, China, and Canada, retail giant Costco is refusing to rest on its laurels in the States and continuing to develop domestic growth, starting in Dallas, Georgia. “The Board of Commissioners and our Paulding County staff have labored long and hard to provide the collaborative planning and organization necessary with Costco’s management, engineers, and real estate agents to successfully close the deal”, said Board of Commissioners Chairman David Charmichael. He continued by noting that the Board is “grateful to Costco Wholesale Corp. for expanding to Paulding County”.