Woolworths has reclaimed the title of Australia’s most valuable brand
Woolworths has regained the title of Australia’s most valuable brand after knocking off reigning champion Telstra. Brand Finance Australia has ranked Australia’s top 100 brands and after a 5% uplift in value, Woolworths has come out on top. The supermarket chain has a value of $A11.8bln which has also seen it placed in the top 250 companies on the Global 500 list. This was significantly higher than fellow supermarket brand Coles which came in at number 5 with a value of $7.5bln. This represented a slight increase of 0.2% for Coles and was considered a positive result considering its demerger with Wesfarmers last year. Woolworths coming out as number one did not come as a surprise to the director of DGC Advisory retail analyst Geoff Dart. “I am not at all surprised, it is very consistent with rankings that just look at finance as well as Roy Morgan’s consumer sentiment report where Woolworths comes in at number three”, he told news.com.au.
Thailand: Online grocery sees surge
Online grocery competition in Thailand is expected to intensify this year as major super apps - Line, Grab and Lazada - are jumping into the market worth almost US$1bln (30bln baht). Serious air pollution, free delivery and unavailability of plastic bags at stores are giving added impetus to online grocery business. Line Man, an on-demand service under Line Thailand, announced it is joining hands with HappyFresh, an online grocery platform, to compete in the market. HappyFresh is a mobile application and website that allows users to shop for groceries online, using supermarkets located near the customers. The cooperation will see HappyFresh using the Line Man platform, which has a large base of customers in Thailand.
Takeaway.com says Just Eat takeover timetable delayed due to UK probe
Netherlands-based meal delivery company Takeaway.com said the expected timetable for its takeover of British rival Just Eat would be delayed by a week after UK competition authorities said it would look at the deal. Earlier this month, Just Eat’s shareholders agreed to the all-stock deal valued at 6.2bln pounds ($8.2bln) over a rival bid from tech investment giant Prosus NV. Takeaway.com said in a statement that Just Eat would be renamed Just East Takeaway.com on January 31 and trading in the company’s shares will commence under the new name with effect from February 3. Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) confirmed it believed a probe into the deal may be warranted. The CMA said it was seeking comment on the deal from interested parties by February 6.
Germany: Ecommerce was worth €72.6bln in 2019
Ecommerce in Germany was worth 72.6bln euros in 2019. This is an increase of 11.6% compared to the situation one year before. The growth of the German online retail industry is thanks to shoppers ordering several times a week and a significantly increase order volume through mobile devices. In Germany, every third online shopper now orders products online several times a week. And nowadays, one in three orders is placed with the help of a smartphone or tablet. Five years ago, the mobile share was just 20%, data from Bundesverband E-commerce und Versandhandel (Bevh) shows.
UK: Tesco to stop sale of plastic-wrapped multipacks in stores
Tesco is banishing shrink-wrapped multipacks of baked beans, soup and tuna from its aisles as part of a drive to slash its use of plastic packaging. The store-cupboard staples are among the biggest selling groceries in UK supermarkets. Tesco said shoppers would not end up paying more because the packs would be replaced with permanent multi-buy deals on individual tins. The packaging is being removed from Tesco’s own label products as well as from major brands such as Heinz, Green Giant, John West and Princes.
Ireland: Aldi supporting local suppliers
Aldi Ireland has announced it will be running its 'Grow with Aldi' supplier development programme for the third year in a row, in 2020. So far the retailer has invested €1.5mln in this initiative over 3 years, in association with Bord Bia. The 'Grow with Aldi' programme is a competition for Irish suppliers, with the winners becoming part of Aldi's core range listing in all 140 Irish stores. Aldi will choose 60 products to be entered into the Specialbuys event in May 2020 and decide on a final 5 that will become part of its core listing. Those involved will receive support from the Aldi buying team with mentoring and bespoke workshops.
Shoprite South Africa provides positive H1 operational update
South Africa-based Shoprite has released an operational update for the six months ending 29 December 2019. It reported its total sale of merchandise had increased by 7.0% to approximately ZAR81.2 bln (US$5.6 bln) driven by its supermarkets in its home market. At a group level, Shoprite said the sales growth was aided by the number of customer visits increasing by 2.1% and product volumes up by 4.4%. It opened a net 66 stores in its supermarket operations, taking its total to 1,911, while it added a net 10 franchise stores.
Switzerland: Migros expands partnership with Too Good To Go to national level
Swiss retailer Migros has announced it is extending its partnership with Too Good To Go, which seeks to reduce food waste by offering 'magic bags' of near-date products to shoppers at a reduced rate, to all regions of Switzerland. Migros had initially teamed up with the Danish startup in its Lucerne cooperative as well as at selected Migros branches in the Zürich, Basel and Vaud cooperatives.
UK: Morrisons to cut 3,000 management jobs
Morrisons, Britain’s No. 4 supermarket group, plans to cut 3,000 management jobs as part of a major restructuring of its workforce that will see 7,000 store jobs created, it said. “The (net) increase of more than 4,000 jobs is after a number of managerial roles are removed”, the Bradford, northern England, based grocer said. Jobs created would include skilled butchers, bakers, fishmongers and other fresh food specialists.
Vietnam: Mobile payments landscape sees strong developments
Vietnam’s mobile payments landscape has continued to evolve on the back of strong growth and expansion coming from industry players, investment deals, and efforts by the government to establish a favorable environment for the industry to thrive. Vietnamese retailer Saigon Co.op and mobile wallet MoMo has signed a strategic cooperation agreement to boost digitalization across the retailer’s stores. With the partnership, MoMo became the official e-wallet of over 800 supermarkets, shopping centers, and stores operated by Saigon Co.op nationwide. In 2020, more developments from the MoMo Saigon Co.op partnership are expected. In particular, the two plan to deploy a series of new digital services and products including vouchers and prepaid cards. MoMo will also team up with Saigon Co.op to build electronic stores and introduce money transfer services to the retailer’s customers.
France: Carrefour eyes higher 2019 profit as Q4 sales accelerate
Carrefour, Europe’s largest retailer, said revenue growth accelerated in the 4th quarter, driven by strong sales in Brazil, while conditions remained challenging in France, where transport strikes weighed on business at its hypermarkets. Carrefour, which has a purchasing alliance with Britain’s Tesco and is cutting costs, as well as repositioning its business in its core French market, said that it expected its 2019 recurring operating profit to reach 2.090bln euros. The company reports its full earnings in late February. For France alone, it predicted 2019 recurring operating profit would grow at a double-digit rate. Q4 sales came to 21.74bln euros ($24.12bln), broadly in line with expectations. Sales growth reached 3.1% on a like-for-like basis, excluding fuel and calendar effects, against 2.3% in the previous quarter. In France, sales were down 0.9%, after falling by a similar 0.9% in the 3rd quarter. Hypermarket sales were down 3.4% in the last 3 months of the year after falling 3.6% in the 3rd quarter.
Holland: Sligro Food Group expects improved performance in 2020
Dutch wholesaler Sligro Food Group has said that it expects to 'improve results' in a 'relatively stable market' in 2020, however the group has stopped short of making financial predictions for the year ahead. The group made the statement as it released its annual figures, which showed a 2.1% increase in organic net sales, to €2.4bln, however EBITA was down 9.6% for the period. Commenting on the past year, which Sligro had themed 'Back to Business', chief executive Koen Slippens said that it was a year "where the major strategic programmes required a lot of our attention, while the markets in which we operate also required considerable attention".
Conad named best for online shopping in Italy
A study conducted by Italian consumers association Altroconsumo has named Conad as the best online supermarket in Italy. The survey examined the nine main supermarket chains and e-commerce portals in Italy, including such as Carrefour, Conad, Coop, Esselunga, Lidl, Amazon (Pantry and Prime Now), Cicalia and Glovo. Altroconsumo placed 33 orders in four major cities (Rome, Milan, Naples and Bari) and two provincial ones (Turin and Padua), opting for the home delivery service for all orders.
US: Kroger and Ocado to operate high-tech customer fulfillment center in Frederick, Maryland
The Kroger Co., America's largest grocery retailer, and Ocado, a world leader in technology for grocery ecommerce, announced Frederick, Maryland, as the latest location for a Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC). "Kroger is incredibly excited to construct one of our industry-leading Customer Fulfillment Centers in Maryland in relationship with Ocado to bring fresh food to our customers faster than ever before", said Robert Clark, Kroger's senior vice president of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing. "Through our strategic partnership, we are engineering a model for the region, leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to redefine the customer experience".
US: Instacart launches new "Instacart Meals" product for grocers
Instacart, a North American leader in online grocery, announced the launch of Instacart Meals - a new grocery meals product that powers easy ordering, delivery and pickup of made-to-order food. The launch marks Instacart's move into grocery meal delivery, helping retailers bring more in-store aisles and experiences online for customers across North America. The new Instacart Meals product makes it easy for customers to order specialty counter items alongside their groceries and household essentials, all to be delivered or picked up from the store. As a first step, Instacart has collaborated with Publix to introduce the product with a new digital deli counter including its popular Publix subs. The product will roll out to Publix locations across Florida in the coming weeks and to nearly all Publix stores across the Southeast in the months ahead, following a Florida pilot.
US: Fairway to sell 5 stores, distribution center to ShopRite operator
A day after denying that it was filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and going out of business, New York metro grocer Fairway Market has revealed that it filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on January 23 and entered into a stalking-horse asset purchase agreement with ShopRite operator Village Super Market Inc. to sell its five Manhattan stores and a distribution center for about $70mln. Additionally, Fairway will begin a court-supervised sale process to continue negotiations for the sale of its nine remaining stores. An ad hoc group of the company’s senior lenders has agreed to provide Fairway with up to $25mln in debtor-in-possession financing.
US: Kroger shares fresh food trends for 2020 and launches Noshtalgia podcast
Kroger, America's favorite grocer, announced its top food trend predictions for 2020, insightfully curated by its culinary experiences team and Our Brands product developers, chefs and innovators. No matter the preference or practice, the latest tastes and freshest trends can be found on kroger.com and in the aisles where customers shop for Simple Truth®, Kroger's natural, organic and free-from brand, Kroger®, Where Awesome Meets Affordable™, and Private Selection®, a collection of culinary creations designed to elevate every occasion. This month, Kroger is launching a new way for its customers to share their favorite food memories with the launch of Noshtalgia, a new podcast hosted by acclaimed cookbook author and television personality Danielle Kartes. Noshtalgia is now available to stream on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and other podcast platforms.