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7-Eleven completes acquisition of more than 100 independently operated Oklahoma stores

Publix: Fiscal 2019 sales were a record

US: Former Sobeys exec to head up The Fresh Market
Jason Potter is stepping into the chief executive officer role at The Fresh Market, replacing Larry Appel who resigned after two and a half years with the American chain of gourmet supermarkets. Potter brings with him more than 30 years industry experience, the majority of which (26 years) he spent with Canadian food retailer Sobeys Inc.

US: 7-Eleven, Inc. completes acquisition of independent Oklahoma stores
7-Eleven, Inc., the premier name and largest chain in the convenience-retailing industry, announced that it has officially closed on the acquisition of more than 100 independently operated 7-Eleven stores in central Oklahoma. "These stores have carried the 7-Eleven name for 67 years, and today they officially join the global 7-Eleven family", said Joe DePinto, 7-Eleven President and Chief Executive Officer. "We look forward to meeting the needs of Oklahoma customers and offering them the great products and services available in stores across the country".

US: Fresh perspective on fresh
The $61bln produce category remains the No. 1 differentiator for grocers as they look for a competitive advantage in an increasingly tough retail market. That’s the consensus from the food retailers and fresh produce growers who gathered at the Southeast Produce Council’s 2020 show in Tampa, Florida, over the weekend. The Food Industry Association (FMI) debuted its latest report, Power of Produce 2020, at the SEPC event, along with some other new findings about the category. But FMI’s Power of Produce report tells us that even the mature and powerful produce category needs to find ways to inspire growth, said Rick Stein, vice president, fresh foods for FMI. “To that end, we’ve witnessed tremendous strides in recent years for how enhanced produce offerings can inspire consumer demand, as value-added produce alone has grown about 3% in both dollars and volume - 3 times higher than overall produce,” Stein said.

US: Publix keeps setting sales, profit records
Publix doesn't need a sales boost from fears over a pandemic to post record-breaking increases in revenue and profits. The Lakeland, Florida-based grocery chain said its fiscal 2019 sales were a record $38.1bln, a 5.6% increase from $36.1bln in 2018. Same-store sales for the fiscal year increased 3.6%. Net earnings for the fiscal year were a record $3bln, compared to $2.4bln in 2018, an increase of 26.2%. Earnings per share for the fiscal year increased to $4.21 per share, up from $3.28 per share in 2018. Revenue for the fourth quarter ended December 28 was $9.8bln, a 5.1% increase from $9.3bln in 2018. Same-store sales for the quarter increased 3.6%.

TMC20: Wabash, C&S Wholesale Grocers to put zero-emissions refrigerated trailer on California highways
Wabash National is pushing the boundaries of thermal capabilities with what it is calling a zero-emissions refrigerated trailer. The unit, produced for customer C&S Wholesale Grocers, was shown at the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) annual meeting in Atlanta. “We’ve seen a lot of prototype and concept electric vehicles and trailers over the years, but no one has yet to demonstrate real viability of a roadworthy zero-emissions tractor-trailer for refrigerated hauls due to the location and size of batteries”, Robert Lane, Wabash National’s vice president of product innovations, said. “This is the first time a major box innovation has been coupled with a major TRU [transport refrigeration unit] innovation that results in breakthrough customer value in a sustainable format. MSC [molded structural composite] provides a unique platform for electric-powered TRUs. The large gain in thermal efficiencies allows a customer to either downsize the batteries required to haul cargo or increase the run time on a battery setup”.

Malaysia: Shopee enables sale of fresh produce online via its platform
Malaysia’s number one e-commerce platform, Shopee, announced that it would now be able to deliver fresh groceries directly to Malaysians’ doorsteps. The brand new category will see fresh poultry, seafood and vegetables being sold on its platform. The availability of perishable goods sold online and delivered to consumers will help the e-commerce platform further expand its strong foothold in a fast-evolving industry. It is going to be a game changer as now Malaysians can get everything they want and need online via a single marketplace. Beyond that, the platform has effectively unlocked the potential for a new group of entrepreneurs and traders, especially fishermen and farmers who, before, would not have been able to enjoy the boom of e-commerce and to sell on an open e-marketplace.

Ukraine: Tavria-V launches online delivery
Tavria-V LLC, which develops a network of eponymous supermarkets and is a part of the Tavria group of companies (all of them are located in Odessa), in collaboration with platform, launches goods online ordering service for goods from stores. “From February 25, users of product delivery service in Kharkiv have the option to make purchases in another supermarket chain - Tavria V. Now, more than 15,000 items of food and non-food products are available for orders. During the next few months, the assortment will continue expanding with new products”, the press service said. According to the press service, now, operates in Kharkiv on the basis of one store, located on 30 Gagarin Avenue. “During 2020, it is planned to connect not only supermarkets of this network, but also other local players”, the company said.

Czech businessman Kretinsky tightens tie with France's Casino in Rallye deal
Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky has tightened his ties with French retailer Casino by refinancing derivatives deals struck by its indebted parent Rallye. Kretinsky, already the owner of 5.64% of Casino’s capital, will provide up to 233mln euros ($259mln) through his EP Investment vehicle to refund derivatives deals Rallye had sealed with financial institutions, Rallye said in a statement.

UK: Asda brings new pan-Asian Streetfood concept to stores
Asda has announced an exclusive partnership with YO! Group, the owner of YO! Sushi, to trial a new pan Asian street food concept at 20 of Asda's larger stores. 'Panku' - which is Japanese for punk - will be opening 20 concessions in Asda stores across the UK. The menu brings together favourite flavours of pan Asian street food from Japan, Korea and Thailand, including Katsu Curry, hand-rolled sushi, plant-based meals, Korean bulgogi and noodles. The brand was created by friends Neil Nugent (the well-known development chef who has previously created innovative products for Iceland, Morrisons and Waitrose) and tech entrepreneur Andy Upton.
Source: forecasts sales growth in coronavirus-hit China, shares rise
China’s Inc forecast at least a 10% rise in revenue for the coronavirus-hit first quarter after posting better-than-expected quarterly results, sending its shares up about 6% in premarket trading. JD’s forecast is in sharp contrast to that of bigger rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which warned last month that revenue would fall in the fourth quarter as the coronavirus epidemic took a toll on economic activity in China. However, JD’s estimated revenue of at least 133bln yuan ($19.09bln), according to Reuters’ calculation, fell short of analysts’ average expectation of 137.32bln yuan.

Holland: Albert Heijn and BP to expand convenience partnership to more than 100 retail sites
BP and Albert Heijn announced plans to expand their retail cooperation to more than 100 sites across the Netherlands. Customers will soon find an Albert Heijn ‘to go’ shop at selected BP retail sites nationwide where they can buy tasty, fresh food and drinks for on the road. The partnership brings together the long-standing expertise and experience of both BP and Albert Heijn to provide a unique convenience range that is fully tailored to drivers’ needs and the specific site location. BP’s existing shop offer will be expanded with the new range later this year, focused on its network of company-owned retail stations.

Ireland: Retail sales up 3.7% year-on-year in January
Irish retail sales volumes increased by 3.7% year-on-year in January but were down 3.4% on a monthly basis following strong sales in December that last year included the 'Black Friday' deals period, data showed. When volatile motor sales are excluded, the volume of retail sales decreased by 1.8% month-on-month and were 2.9% higher on an annual basis, the Central Statistics Office said. Retail sales in the European Union's fastest growing economy grew by 2.1% in 2019 as a whole, the slowest calendar year growth since 2013 when a rapid economic recovery began to take shape.

Thailand: TCC Group to fund bid for Tesco assets with $10bln loan
Tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s TCC Group will fund its bid for Tesco Plc’s Asian business with a $10bln two-year loan, according to sources familiar with the matter. If TCC Group wins the bid and the loan is drawn, it would be among the largest corporate financings on record for Thailand. It would compare with a $6bln bridge loan that backed Charoen Pokphand Group’s $6.6bln acquisition of discount retailer Siam Makro Pcl in 2013.

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