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NACS Retailer Sentiment Survey: Increase in retail sales

GrubMarket has completed 2 new acquisitions

Canada: Two new Giant Tigers opening this summer
Giant Tiger’s store count will grow by two this summer when the discount retailer opens in North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. Both locations are scheduled to open July 25 with community celebrations and promotional giveaways. Each store is approximately 18,000 square feet and will carry Giant Tiger’s usual fare of groceries, clothing and everyday household items. In addition to these two stores, Giant Tiger recently broke ground on a home office and flagship store in Ottawa. All of this is part of a growth strategy that will see the retailer open 10 to 15 stores per year.

US: NACS Retailer Sentiment Survey shows increase in retail sales
NACS, the trade association that represents the convenience and fuel retailing industry in the US, has released its quarterly NACS Retailer Sentiment Survey. The results from the survey indicated that c-store retailers reported increased sales in 2019, leading to optimism among retailers for Q1 2020. Convenience retailers reported a sales increase in 2019, according to US convenience store owners surveyed by NACS. In total 68 member companies, representing 2,896 stores, participated in the December 2019 survey. According to the survey, 74% of retailers reported increased in-store sales in 2019, compared to 7% that reported a sales slump. A majority of retailers reported an increase in fuel gallons sold (62%), compared to 25% that reported a decrease in fuel sales. Better-for-you items, including fruit, vegetables, nuts, health bars and yogurt strongly contributed to in-store sales growth, according to 67% of the retailers that participated in the surveyed.

US: GrubMarket completes 2 new acquisitions to kick-off their rapid expansion plans in 2020
GrubMarket announced it has completed the acquisitions of Eating with the Seasons Inc and EJ Food Distributor Inc, two highly-reputable food companies with established customer bases across Northern California. Eating with the Seasons was founded in 2000 by Pat Herbert, a fourth generation farmer. EJ Food Distributor specializes in sourcing and delivering a rich variety of dry goods exclusively for restaurants across Northern California.

Walmart and Kroger are reportedly interested in buying Grubhub - but the struggling food-delivery startup denies it’s for sale
Walmart, Kroger, and at least two other grocers are interested in acquiring Grubhub, according to the New York Post. Bosses at the retail titan and supermarket giant, along with managers at Albertsons and Ahold-Delhaize - which owns Stop & Shop - assessed how the food-delivery startup could augment their companies, former Amazon executive and supply-chain consultant Brittain Ladd told the Post. “I have spoken with executives from each company (especially Walmart) and there is interest in acquiring Grubhub”, Ladd told the newspaper in an email. “I believe the value of Grubhub to Walmart is that they could leverage Grubhub for delivering food and groceries”.

Who are the 10 biggest retailers in the world?
The world’s biggest retailers remain some of the highest turnover companies in the world and a recent report by the Institute for Real Growth (IRG) undertaken by Kantar/WPP highlights the sheer scale of these businesses. All figures are estimates based on FY 2018 and/or year to date results for year to date March/April 2019. To make it on to the list of the top 50 retailers in the world companies need to turn over in excess of $24bln. The company with the lowest number of stores to make the list was H-E-B in the US with 384 and the company with the most stores was Seven&I in Japan with 37,346. The top 10 retailers by turnover globally: 1. Walmart (US) 2. Amazon (US) 3. Costco (US) 4. Schwarz Group (Germany) 5. Kroger (US) 6. Walgreens Boots Alliance (US) 7. Home Depot (US) 8. Aldi (Germany) 9. Carrefour (France) 10. (China).

Brazil: GPA puts gas stations up for sale - source
Brazilian food retailer GPA SA has put its network of gas stations up for sale, one person with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday. The source confirmed a report by Brazilian financial blog Brazil Journal, which said GPA may fetch up to 1 bln reais ($245mln) for the gas stations and that Banco Bradesco’s investment banking unit has the mandate. GPA representatives declined to comment on the matter.

Colombia: On-demand delivery company Rappi announces layoffs
Rappi, the on-demand delivery startup headquartered in Colombia and operating in Latin America, laid off hundreds of employees. On-demand delivery of meals and other products is coming under increased financial pressure, as no one has managed to make the model profitable, Axios reported. Rappi told a Brazilian media outlet that it’s laying off around 6% of its workforce, which would come out to over 300 people.

Poland: Dino Polska opens more than 200 new stores in 2019
Polish retailer Dino Polska has announced that it opened around 243 new stores during 2019. The Dino estate now boasts a total selling area of 472,200 square meters, up from 375,700 square meters in 2018. The total number of stores in the company's network reached 1,218 at the end of December last year, the company said in a statement. In August of last year, the retailer reported first-half revenues of PLN 3.5bln (€800mln), up 30.5% compared with the same period in 2018.

UK: Cost-cutting at Asda supermarket chain puts 2,832 jobs at risk
More than 2,800 Asda workers face the threat of redundancy as Britain’s third-largest supermarket chain looks to cut costs. Asda has begun a consultation with 2,832 employees who work in back-office roles in its supermarkets, the Guardian has learned. The retailer, which forced workers to sign up to a controversial, more flexible employment contract last year, has told staff working in administrative, cash office and personnel roles that their jobs are at risk. The consultation process is understood to have begun on Thursday. Gary Carter, a national officer at the GMB trade union, said: “Off the back of the dispute we had last year about pay - and coming shortly after Christmas - this is quite devastating news for Asda staff. It has been one round of redundancies after another”.

France: Carrefour ditches letters from social media account to support blood drive
If you've logged on to Carrefour France's Twitter account recently, you might be in for a surprise. The retailer has ditched the 'a' and 'o' from its Twitter handle – it is now known as 'C_rref_our' – in order to pledge its support for the Etablissement Français du Sang (EFS), the French blood donation service. For the third year in a row now, EFS has called on businesses and individuals to drop the A, B and O from their titles to draw attention to the three 'most important letters in blood donation', the group said.

China: Alibaba undercuts Amazon in Europe to woo wary brands
After years of reconnaissance, China’s retail king Alibaba is finally making its move on Europe. It is undercutting Amazon sellers’ fees to attract vendors but has had mixed results, six sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. A flood of small businesses have joined its European platform, AliExpress, in recent months but some larger brands are holding back, according to the sources.

France: Casino close to selling discount chain Leader Price to rival Aldi: source
French retailer Casino Guichard Perrachon SA is in advanced talks to sell its Leader Price discount chain to German low-cost rival Aldi, a source with knowledge on the matter said. The source said both parties agreed on a 750mln euro ($834mln) value for Leader Price, but the deal is not yet signed. Casino declined to comment on the matter. Aldi did not immediately reply to a request for comment. In September, Casino confirmed media reports saying the French retailer was talks with Aldi to sell Leader Price. The move comes as Casino Chief Executive and controlling shareholder Jean-Charles Naouri is hunting for ways to ease the company’s debts - and those of parent company Rallye, which placed under protection from creditors in May - via asset sales and refinancing efforts.

Walmart sacks 56 executives in India as part of restructuring
Walmart Inc, the world’s largest retailer, has fired 56 of its executives in India as it restructures in the country. The move underscores the challenges Walmart has faced in expanding its wholesale business in India. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company currently operates 28 wholesale stores in the Asian country where it sells goods to small shopkeepers, and not to retail consumers. Reuters cited three people with direct knowledge of the matter, adding the move had mostly affected executives in Walmart’s real estate division, which takes care of store expansion, as the wholesale business model did not bring in expected growth. 8 of the 56 executives fired were in “senior management” roles and the rest from middle or lower management, Krish Iyer, President and CEO of Walmart India said in a statement.

Lidl leads UK supermarket sector with 11% Christmas sales rise
Lidl GB, the British arm of the German discount supermarket group, said its total sales rose 11% in the four weeks to December 29, confirming it as the UK’s fastest growing stores-based grocer. The company, the UK’s seventh biggest supermarket chain with a market share of 6%, said that strong sales of beers, wines and spirits as well as higher demand for general merchandise boosted its performance. Without giving a figure, Lidl said sales measured on a like-for-like basis were positive.

Ageing Japan creates demand for grocery stores on wheels
In rapidly ageing Japan, trucks are becoming pieces of infrastructure. And a small company in the city of Tokushima that has made this realization is expanding at an accelerating pace. Tokushimaru runs a chain of "supermarkets," with each store carrying 400 kinds of products and about 1,500 total items, all aboard a truck. In March, the company expects to expand into Okinawa Prefecture, which will put it in all 47 of Japan's prefectures.

UK: Worst year on record for retail
British Retail Consortium (BRC) reported: Total sales for 2019 decreased by 0.1%, compared with 1.2% growth in 2018. This is the worst year on record. On a Total basis, sales increased by 1.9% in December, against a flat 0.0% in December 2018. The 3m and 12m average were -0.4% and -0.1% respectively. Taking November and December together to iron out the Black Friday distortions, Total sales declined 0.9% compared with the same period in 2018. UK retail sales increased by 1.7% on a Like-for-like basis from December 2018, when they had decreased 0.7% from the preceding year. The 3m and 12m averages were -0.9% and 0.5% respectively.

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