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DIA’s net sales decreased by 9.3%

Auchan Retail has signed the European Plastics Pact

Aldi wants to build its main UK warehouse near Coalville creating 750 jobs
Aldi supermarkets wants to build a new national distribution centre near Coalville creating 750 jobs. The supermarket chain has submitted plans to put the national hub on the site of the former Nailstone Colliery, between Coalville and Market Bosworth. It wants to put up 1.3mln sq ft of warehousing and offices on the 72 acre site at Nailstone Colliery, which is about five miles from the M1. Planning documents state it would operate 24 hours a day, 365 days per year on a three shift pattern.

France: Auchan Retail joins the European Plastics Pact
Auchan Retail has announced that it has signed the European Plastics Pact - a public-private initiative supported by a network of companies, states and NGOs in the continent. The move reaffirms the retailer’s commitment to fighting plastics pollution at an international level. The Netherlands, France and Denmark spearheaded the pact, which was signed by 2 of Belgium's 3 regions and a host of firms, including German chemicals firm Henkel and Finnish oil refiner Neste. As part of its Auchan 2022 business plan, the retailer had already set the goal to eliminate plastics from its catering and fruit and vegetables segments, in all countries in which it operates, by 2022.

Spain: DIA Group posts net sales of €6.87bln for 2019, down 9.3%
DIA Group reported: "DIA’s net sales decreased by 9.3% to EUR 6.87bln down 2.2% in local currency. Like-for-Like sales decreased 7.6% but driven by a -0.7% in the number of tickets and a 7.0% decline in the average basket, showing the strong resilience of our customer base despite the difficult context of the Company. Adjusted EBITDA (ex one-offs) amounted to EUR 34.1mln, compared to the EUR 376mln in the same period last year."

Australia: Coles and Woolworths see major online delivery delays due to coronavirus stockpiling
Customers who order their groceries online are being told they could have to wait up to a week before they can get their deliveries. Fears about the coronavirus have seen shoppers clearing out shelves in supermarkets in a bid to stockpile items. Bare shelves have seen many people turn to ordering their groceries online at Coles and Woolworths, but the supermarkets are struggling to keep up with the influx of orders.

Dunnes Stores maintains top position in Irish grocery marketplace: Kantar
Dunnes Stores has retained its position at the helm of Ireland's grocery industry, with the family-owned business seeing a 3.5% increase in value sales in the 12 weeks to 23 February, according to market share data from Kantar. The retailer holds 23.5% of the market, Kantar said, putting it 2 percentage points ahead of closest rival Tesco, which holds 21.5% of the market (following a 0.7% increase in sales). Musgrave Group-owned SuperValu holds a 21.4% share, with the retailer seeing a 1.9% increase in sales in the 12-week period. Commenting on the performance of Ireland's top three grocers, Kantar Worldpanel said that Dunnes was boosted by a 3% increase in fresh produce sales, as well as a 12% increase in bread sales, while Tesco saw increases in prepared fruit and vegetables (+19%) and ready meals (+3%).

Coronavirus: UK supermarket delivery hours extended
The government is relaxing restrictions on delivery hours for shops to make sure shops remain stocked with basic items amid stockpiling concerns. The environment department Defra said it would work with local councils to increase the frequency of deliveries. Environment Secretary George Eustice said by allowing night-time deliveries, stock would be able to move more quickly from warehouses to shelves. Deliveries are currently restricted overnight to avoid disturbing locals.

Amazon's checkout-free technology now available to other retailers
Amazon is offering other retailers the ability to use its Just Walk Out shopping technology in their stores, launching a website for that purpose. This technology - a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning - is what allows shoppers at Amazon's 25 Amazon Go stores and newly opened Amazon Go Grocery location to shop without ever checking out. "Our technology has broad applicability. It's great in places that have high demand, long lines, or wherever customers are pressed for time", Seattle-based Amazon said. "The ability to quickly enter, grab what you want and just walk out without stopping to check out is very appealing to customers".

US: Weis Markets reports results for 2019 and fourth quarter
Weis Markets, Inc. reported total sales of over $3.5bln for the 52-week period ended December 28, 2019, up 1.0% compared to the same period a year ago, while annual comparable store sales increased 1.5%. Income from operations increased $2.0mln, or 2.4% to $84.6mln over the same period in 2018. The Company's net income for fiscal year 2019 increased 8.4% to $68.0mln compared to $62.7mln in 2018 while earnings per share for the same period increased $0.20 to $2.53 per share.

US: Hy-Vee brings online order fulfillment back to stores
Hy-Vee will "permanently discontinue filling orders" from its four Aisles Online fulfillment centers the week of March 23, a company spokesperson told Grocery Dive. Local news sources first reported the company’s plans to shut down the fulfillment centers. Online order fulfillment will be transferred back to individual grocery stores, where orders were initially fulfilled when Aisles Online launched in 2015. Since fulfillment began in stores, the company is already set up for the change, the company said. According to the spokesperson, customers want a full assortment of products, personalized shoppers and same-day pickup at stores, and those services can’t be fully provided when orders are processed at a fulfillment center.

US: Albertsons to expand own brands, online grocery
The second-largest U.S. supermarket operator said that it plans to achieve significant growth by sharpening in-store execution, increasing private-brand sales and building out its tech infrastructure. In its prospectus for an initial public offering, Albertsons Cos. noted it has a long runway for improved in-store execution and an enhanced customer experience to drive profitable growth. In a show of its near-term momentum, the company said that same-store sales have grown for eight straight quarters, with a 2.7% increase in the third quarter of 2019, up from 1.9% a year earlier. For fiscal 2018, it made a profit of $16.9bln on sales of $60.5bln and significantly reduced its debt load.

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