UK: Asda extends Scan & Go Mobile to all stores to encourage contact free shopping
To further support social distancing measures for customers, Asda has extended its Scan & Go Mobile offering to all 581 stores. The mobile service is live in every Asda store, with customers able to download the app on their phone and use it to scan and pack their groceries as they shop. The supermarket recognises that right now, customer and colleague safety is more important than ever before, so the roll out of Scan & Go Mobile should offer peace of mind in these uncertain times - enabling customers to shop, pack and checkout, contact free.
Portugal: Continente offers home delivery to senior customers
Portuguese retail group Sonae MC has extended the benefits it offers to senior customers as part of its COVID-19 contingency plans. The retailer has announced that customers aged 70 years and over will longer pay for its home delivery services, which are available in 71 Continente Bom Dia stores and 26 Continente stores. Senior citizens could already avail of priority entrance at Continente stores, as well as at checkouts and counters, a privilege that is granted throughout the day, rather than at a specific time.
Kenya: Shoprite lays off 104 staff with Karen outlet closure
Africa’s biggest supermarket chain, Shoprite Holdings, will lay off 104 workers after it announced the closure of its Waterfront branch in Karen on the reduced flow of shoppers. The retail chain, which opened its first store in Kenya in 2018, has informed unions of the closure of the branch and job cuts. “Endeavour to continue trading at the Waterfront branch is no longer viable”, Shoprite said in a notice to the Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers (KUCFW).
AEW lets logistics unit in Poland to major supermarket chain on behalf of LOGISTIS
AEW, a leading European real estate investment and asset manager, on behalf of its specialist pan-European logistics strategy, LOGISTIS, has leased a 35,000 sqm logistics asset at the Gliwice Silesia Logistics Park in southwest Poland to a well-known European supermarket chain. The letting represents the largest by the area that the Fund has completed in Poland to date. The unit is one of four on the Park which totals 169,000 sqm and is located in Silesia, Poland’s second-largest logistics market. AEW acquired the 400,000 sqm land plot in 2015 to build logistics parks and develop local infrastructure so as to create long term real estate value. The project started 4 years ago with no pre-identified tenants and today has an occupancy rate of 95%.
UK: Costcutter reveals Uber Eats success
Costcutter has reported a 350% increase in sales from Uber Eats since the coronavirus outbreak started. Retail director, Mike Hollis, told news agency Reuters: “When we started, stores were seeing £200 or £300 a week in sales, we had a store last week that had took £4,500 in Uber Eats sales.” Hollis said fresh food and alcohol were popular on the app, with milk being the bestselling line. He said that the number of stores on the app would exceed 100 in the next few weeks.
UK: Waitrose expands Rapid online grocery service
Waitrose has announced that the number of slots available each week through its ‘Rapid’ grocery delivery service will more than treble, boosting its capacity to cope with the extra demand during the coronavirus outbreak. The service, which enables shoppers to have up to 25 grocery items delivered within two hours or less or on the same day, has been trialled from eight London shops, as well as in Hove, East Sussex. It will be available in the areas surrounding an additional 20 shops across London.
Singapore: Sheng Siong's Lim family joins ranks of supermart billionaires
Mr Lim Hock Chee and his wife used to sell chilled pork at a rented stall in a grocery store. Now, after more than 35 years, his family operates 61 supermarkets across Singapore and has joined the ranks of billionaires. Shares of their Singapore-listed Sheng Siong Group rose to a record as supermarkets have become the preferred place to shop after the Government imposed a partial lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic. The stock has rallied more than 30% since a March 19 closing low. The family's combined fortune, based on their 57% stake in the supermarket chain held mainly by Mr Lim and his two brothers, has surged to US$1.1bln (S$1.57bln), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Amazon prepping to launch super-fast grocery delivery service in UK: the Grocer
E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc is preparing to launch an ultra-fast grocery delivery service in the UK, trade magazine the Grocer reported, citing suppliers. The service, Ultra Fast Fresh, involves retrofitting nine existing depots within the country to handle fresh produce and fulfill grocery orders within hours, the magazine reported. The project could involve making Amazon Fresh, Amazon’s grocery delivery service, a free benefit of Prime in the UK instead of the monthly add-on fee or per-order charge it currently charges, the weekly magazine reported. Britain’s competition regulator cleared Amazon’s purchase of a stake in Deliveroo, in light of a potentially fatal deterioration in the online food delivery group’s finances as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
US supermarket CEO: 'We're actually having a hard time hiring people' amid coronavirus
With more than 22mln Americans now having filed for first-time jobless benefits since the COVID-19 crisis shut down much of the U.S. economy, you’d think many would be happy to land any work they can get. Not so, says Stew Leonard, Jr., CEO of the supermarket chain Stew Leonard’s. “I think the unemployment option is too attractive”, Leonard told Yahoo Finance. “We're actually having a hard time hiring people right now at Stew Leonard’s. You’d think with all the restaurant workers available, we’d have a flood of people to help us in our kitchens, but that’s not happening”.
US: The Fresh Market sees 11% coronavirus sales boost
Pantry loading and trip consolidation led to a big boost in sales for North Carolina-based The Fresh Market in the first quarter. According to a report published in the Wall Street Journal, The Fresh Market, which private-equity firm Apollo Global Management bought in 2016 for $1.36bln, told investors it expects net sales for the first quarter to range between $435mln and $444mln, up 11% from the same period a year ago. Shoppers are on average filling their baskets with up to 25% more groceries, according to Fresh Market’s report.
US: Kroger CEO sees opportunity in the chaos
Between serving more customers virtually, making adjustments to keep up with battered supply chains and maintaining efforts to stay in touch with both new and existing shoppers, The Kroger Co. is determined to come out of the coronavirus crisis “in better shape than we went in”, CEO Rodney McMullen said in an interview. Speaking in a webcast conference with Evercore ISI, McMullen said the chain is looking at its swelling volumes due to the national shutdown as an opportunity to win loyalty when the crisis subsides. “We’re working hard to try and make sure people fall in love with eating as a family again,” he said.
US: J.C. Penney gets financing offer before skipping payment
J.C. Penney Co. received an offer for about $300mln in new financing just before it started the clock on a potential bankruptcy filing, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The retailer’s decision to skip a debt payment on April 15 and start a 30-day countdown to default took some of its investors by surprise because the chain had just paid April rent on its stores, the people said. What’s more, it had cash to make the bond payment, and creditors are interested in providing J.C. Penney with financing out of bankruptcy, they said.
US: Walmart meets commitment to hire 150,000 associates, pledges to hire 50,000 more
Donna Morris, EVP and Chief People Officer, Walmart reported: "Walmart is committed to helping our fellow Americans seeking work, while serving our customers during this unprecedented time. We recently committed to hiring more than 150,000 new associates by the end of May. Since then, we’ve had over 1mln applicants, hiring an average of 5,000 people per day. I’m pleased to report that we reached our goal in less than a month - more than six weeks ahead of schedule. But we can do more. Today, we’re announcing a new commitment to hire an additional 50,000 associates".