US: Instacart drives job creation and revenue growth for grocery industry, new data shows
A new study by Dr. Robert Kulick of NERA Economic Consulting reveals the positive economic impact that Instacart, a North American leader in online grocery, has on the broader U.S. retail grocery industry. The study leverages statistical analysis to quantify Instacart's role - deemed "The Instacart Effect" - in driving significant increases in retail grocery employment and revenue. The study found that by creating additional customer demand for grocery stores, Instacart increased retail grocery employment by 23,000 net jobs and drove significant incremental revenue across 4 states. According to the study, the entry and expansion of Instacart into local markets acts as an economic complement to grocery store employment, bringing incremental business to the store while creating an e-commerce footprint for retailers.
Report: U.S. supermarkets should do a better job informing shoppers about product recalls
Grocery stores and supermarkets should do better when it comes to notifying customers about foods that have been recalled from their store shelves, a new study finds. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group queried 26 of the largest U.S. grocers - including Target, Kroger, Harris Teeter, Safeway, Food Lion, Walmart and Whole Foods - in late August 2019 about their practices for notifying consumers about food recalls. Most stores declined to respond to the survey, the group says in its "Food Recall Failure" report.
US: Natural Grocers’ race against time
Known for its wellness education, supplements and organic food, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage is now on a mission to end daylight saving time (DST) in support of heart health. The Lakewood, Colorado-based grocer is asking shoppers to join “America’s Nutrition Education Expert” in signing the petition to end DST on March 7. Citing a 2014 study linking DST and a rise in myocardial infarctions, Natural Grocers says there’s a nearly 25% increase in the number of heart attacks on the Monday following DST compared to all other Mondays throughout the year.
International retailers will invest EUR1bln to open 400 new stores in Romania this year
International retail groups will invest about EUR1bln to continue their expansion in Romania this year. Their plans include opening 400 new stores, new logistics capacities, developing online sales and digitizing their business. There are currently about 3,000 hypermarkets, supermarkets discount stores and other modern retail formats in Romania, which generate total sales of EUR12bln, according to Ziarul Financiar estimates. Kaufland and Lidl, both part of German group Schwarz, plan combined investments of over EUR0.5bln this year. Lidl will invest over EUR200mln to develop its network and plans to hire 1,000 more people in 2020. Meanwhile, market leader Kaufland has an investment budget of EUR300mln in 2020, the largest so far.
Hyper- and supermarket chain Novus plans to open up to ten new stores in Ukraine
Novus Ukraine LLC (Kyiv), which manages the Novus hyper- and supermarket chain and is part of the Lithuanian investment group BT Invest, plans to open 8 to 10 new stores in Ukraine in 2020, Ihor Landa, the director general of BT Invest Ukraine, told Interfax-Ukraine. During a speech at EBA Global Outlook: Boosting Investments, he noted that the expansion of the network is currently limited exclusively to Kyiv and Kyiv region. “We invest only in Kyiv and Kyiv region. This is due to the fact that here purchasing power is still quite high. In addition, there is migration here from different cities”, he said.
UK: Sainsbury’s launches new ‘On the Go’ concept store
Sainsbury’s has unveiled a brand new city convenience store concept known as On The Go, with plans already in the works to roll it out to other locations as part of a trial. The Big 4 grocer’s Mansion House store in London’s Square Mile is the first On The Go store, combining fresh in-store food and drink with convenient ways to shop with Sainsbury’s and Argos. Nine more On the Go stores will open across Edinburgh, Bristol, Glasgow and London over the coming months, further testing the format in city centres.
Lidl launches food waste initiative in Belgium
Lidl Belgium has announced that it has launched a new initiative titled 'Good Taste, Zero Waste' to reduce food waste by 50% by 2025. Commenting on the programme, Philippe Weiler, Lidl Belgium's head of sustainability, said: "By 2020 we have the ambition to reduce food loss by 25% compared to 2015 and by 50% by 2025". As part of the'Good Taste, Zero Waste' initiative, the retailer will offer products that are near their expiry date at a reduced price. This will include boxes containing 3 kilograms of fruit and vegetables for €1, as well as meat, fish and cakes for €0.50, which are fit for consumption on the day of purchase. It will also offer dairy products and ultra-fresh items such as mixed salads for as little as €0.20. Lidl Belgium will forward the income from this initiative to the Belgische Federatie van Voedselbanken (the Belgian Federation of Food Banks).
Coronavirus outbreak drives demand for China’s online grocers
Alibaba’s Hema chain, including 18 stores at the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, have operated non-stop during the extended Lunar New Year break. Online orders have spiked, prompting Hema to increase its vegetable supply across Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the company said in a statement. Missfresh saw a quadrupling in online orders for groceries during the first 5 days of the Lunar New Year compared with the same time last year. The company sold 40mln food items including eggs, lettuce and beef during the seven-day period. And JD.com Inc. said its sales of fresh food increased by 215%, reaching almost 15,000 tons during the 10-day period ending February 2, compared with the same period last year.
Malaysia: Giant to exit Sabah and Sarawak
AS part of the reorganisation of its operations, GCH Retail (M) Sdn Bhd will exit Sabah and Sarawak within the next couple of months. GCH operates Giant, Cold Storage, Mercato and Jason’s branded hypermarkets and supermarkets. Its departure will add to the dozens of stores shuttered in Peninsular Malaysia over the past couple of years. It is understood that plans are already underway for a smooth exit and the entire process is likely to be completed over the next two months. The retailer’s exit strategy for Sabah and Sarawak, where it opened its first Giant store in 2006, is different from that in the peninsula as it will be transitioning its outlets to established local players.
Morocco threatens to close down Turkish retailer amid trade talks
Morocco has asked Turkish retailer BIM to raise the proportion of local goods it sells in the country to at least half or face a shutdown, the trade minister said. The North African kingdom is reviewing a free trade deal it struck with Turkey in 2004, but which it now views as responsible for part of its $2bln trade deficit with the country. The Turkish chain “invests in Morocco with Turkish support and wherever they open, 60 Moroccan shops get closed,” Trade Minister Moulay Hafid Elalamy told members of parliament.
Australia: SPAR launches first SUPERSPAR on the Gold Coast
SPAR Australia has launched its first SUPERSPAR store, a larger supermarket format that is aimed at meeting weekly family shopping needs. The store is located at Crestwood Plaza, Molendinar on the Gold Coast. The 1,400m2 SUPERSPAR Supermarket has a larger sales floor area than previously opened SPAR stores in Australia. The expanded area allows for a full-service assortment that is both large and varied in fresh foods, groceries and non-foods, but also includes a strong Food-to-Go offer. In Europe, these stores are known as EUROSPAR.
Germany: Delivery Hero to buy 8.4mln additional shares of Just Eat Takeaway.com
Germany-based food delivery group Delivery Hero SE said it will buy 8.4mln additional shares of Just Eat Takeaway.com by entering into a forward share purchase agreement. Food delivery giant Just Eat Takeaway.com was forged by Dutch online service Takeaway’s $7.8bln acquisition of British food deliverer Just Eat. The forward share purchase will restore the German-based company’s exposure in Just Eat Takeaway.com to 10.6% after the dilution caused by the merger, Delivery Hero said.
Romania’s largest online retailer aims to confirm unicorn status following IPO
eMag, the largest online retailer in Romania, controlled by South African group Naspers’ subsidiary Prosus, wants to list its shares on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) and on a foreign stock exchange as well, according to Bloomberg. The idea of listing is not new, but it surfaced again after the online retailer posted a profit for the 3rd year in a row and reported revenues in excess of EUR1bln in 2019, explained Iulian Stanciu, eMag’s CEO and minority shareholder, in Bucharest, quoted by Bloomberg. “It is not about raising funds, but about recognizing value. (...) A company cannot become a unicorn without a market value,” Stanciu said.
China: JD.com is hiring 20,000 people who can't work because of the coronavirus
The Chinese government has made saving jobs a major priority as the coronavirus outbreak disrupts businesses and sends shockwaves across the world's second biggest economy. Now some of the most prominent companies in China are taking in displaced workers to help cushion the blow. JD.com (JD), one of China's largest e-commerce firms, has promised to open up more than 20,000 new positions. It's hiring warehouse workers, couriers and drivers. The jobs are meant to "minimize the impact of the epidemic on employment in the short term", JD.com said in a statement, adding that it wants to "support stable employment". The company said some of the positions will be temporary.