Lidl and REWE: New distribution centres

Aldi: First online grocery service in the United Kingdom

Russia: X5 says Q1 net retail sales up 16% Y/Y
Russia’s biggest food retailer X5 Retail Group says: Q1 net retail sales rose 15.9% year on year to 468.5bln roubles ($6.3bln). Q1 like-for-like sales grew 5.7% year on year. Q1 online supermarket net sales were up 135.3% year on year. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, refurbishment plans for 2020 will be revised (initially the plan was to refurbish 1,300 Pyaterochka stores and 30 Perekrestok supermarkets).

Aldi UK sells food parcels online
Aldi has launched its first online grocery service in the United Kingdom. The German discounter offers a box with 22 essential items to help consumers who are in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. In the special box, which costs 25 pounds (28.77 euros) there are 22 everyday foods and essential household items, “and a few treats too”, to help out the Brits who are now staying at home to fight the coronavirus pandemic. It’s the first time that Aldi has sold groceries online in the United Kingdom, outside of its ‘special buys’. These are “a whole range of amazing things with incredibly small prices online and in store”.

Holland and Germany: Lidl and REWE take on new distribution centres
German supermarket groups Lidl and REWE have acquired new warehouse space. The discount grocer Lidl has signed a 10-year lease with developer DHG for a new logistics centre in the Netherlands. The deal concerns 42,839 square metres of warehouse space, 4731 of mezzanine and 350 of office space. The site is located in Moerdijk in the southern Netherlands. DHG is currently developing other logistics units on the site, which Lidl may expand into in the future. German supermarket REWE has opened a new automated distribution centre in Henstedt-Ulzburg. The 86,500 square metre site will supply more than 350 stores across Northern Germany. The facility will stock over 12,000 items, including dry and fresh food. Using automation technology from WITRON Logistik + Informatik, the company will be able to pick up to 165,000 cases on a peak day.

Taiwan: FamilyMart to launch delivery service with Foodpanda
FamilyMart Taiwan is partnering with food-delivery platform Foodpanda to launch a delivery service. Starting Wednesday next week, the firm plans to offer delivery services from its 1000 outlets nationwide by June, with initial services commencing out of Familymart Taiwan’s 146 locations within Taipei and New Taipei. The service will be rolled out to the remaining outlets in two further phases. Deliveries will be made between the hours of 5.30pm to 2am on the day following purchase, and will serve almost 200 of its food items including snacks, beverages, groceries and pre-packed meals.

South Africa: Woolworths launches contactless drive-through shopping
Woolworths has announced that it will be expanding its shopping options to customers through its new contactless, Click & Collect drive-through service. It announced that Woolies shoppers will have the option to do their grocery shopping, without having to leave the comfort and safety of their cars. The clothing and food retailer says it launched this new way of shopping last week as a trial at the Durbanville Food Store. Liz Hillock, head of online and mobile says Click & Collect is a great way to scale because it also means that Woolworths does not compromise its difference and core qualities, “that being our rigorous cold chain to keep your favourite Woolies food fresh”.

UK sees ‘historic drop’ in retail sales in March: BRC-KPMG
Retail sales in the UK decreased by 4.3% in the five weeks to 4 April, compared to a drop of 1.8% in the same period last year, according to the latest data from the BRC–KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, however sales of food and essential items saw an 'unprecedented surge'. The overall decline is also below the three-month and 12-month average declines of 1.4% and 0.6% respectively and the worst since the monitor began in January 1995. UK head of retail at KPMG, Paul Martin, said: “Retail sales experienced a historic drop in March, with COVID-19 changing the consumer landscape significantly. Lockdown has prompted a fundamental rethink of what is deemed essential”.

Canada: Sobeys sees sales surge amid coronavirus outbreak
Citing coronavirus-driven demand, Sobeys parent Empire Company Ltd. reported sales growth as high as 37% in the weeks leading up to Easter. Empire said that same-store sales for the first weeks of the fourth quarter exhibited strong growth, continuing momentum from the latter half of the third quarter. But starting February 28, the Canadian food and drug retailer saw a jump in sales that continued to accelerate from March 8 onward as shoppers began stocking up for possible stay-at-home orders.

US: Grocery a bright spot in record March retail sales decline
Grocery and beverage store sales shot up more than 25% in March despite the largest monthly drop ever for overall retail sales, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). In advanced estimates, the U.S. Census Bureau said that March retail and foodservice sales totaled $483.06bln (seasonally adjusted), down 8.7% from February and 6.2% year over year. NRF noted that the month-to-month decrease is the biggest ever recorded, topping a 4.3% decline in November 2008 during the Great Recession.

Canada: Walmart opens online grocery market to PayPal
Walmart Canada is adding a new e-commerce payment option as more customers shop online for groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic. PayPal is now available for payment on the Walmart Canada e-commerce site. This marks the entry of PayPal, which has 7mln users in Canada, into the Canadian grocery market. Walmart had already been accepting PayPal for online payment in the U.S. "We are proud to be the first Canadian retailer that sells groceries to offer PayPal, making online shopping more accessible for more Canadians", said Alexis Lanternier, executive VP of e-commerce for Walmart Canada. "PayPal has a long-standing reputation as a safe and trusted payment provider and together, we're helping Canadians shop for the products they need right now".

Amazon’s coronavirus plan to test all 840,000 employees may pressure other companies to follow suit
As a growing number of companies vow to take employees’ temperatures and provide masks among the safety measures to flatten the U.S. coronavirus curve, Amazon’s latest bid to eventually test all of its employees may force other businesses to do the same. “A next step in protecting our employees might be regular testing of all Amazonians, including those showing no symptoms”, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in his widely followed annual shareholder letter, after the company first signaled its intent on that front last week. “Regular testing on a global scale, across all industries, would both help keep people safe and help get the economy back up and running”.

US: Sprouts Farmers Market beefs up Instacart pickup offering
Sprouts Farmers Market is the latest grocer to boost curbside pickup services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new Sprouts effort will enable grocery shoppers using Instacart to select grocery pickup from all of the 340 store locations that Sprouts operates in the U.S. This new option will first roll out at Sprouts stores in Los Angeles and in the Central Valley of California, including Fresno. Sprouts has yet to offer additional details about other rollouts. Prior to this, Sprouts had offered grocery pickup via Instacart orders at 55 stores, though grocery delivery via that online ordering service was available in all the major markets that Sprouts served.

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