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Singapore's retail sales in March fell at the steepest rate in 22 years

A new online supermarket 360hyper has launched in Portugal

Online supermarket Ocado's sales soar 40% in lockdown Britain
British online supermarket and technology company Ocado said retail revenue had soared 40.4% year-on-year in its second quarter so far as shoppers in coronavirus lockdown sought deliveries to avoid venturing out. That compared to growth of 10.3% in its first quarter to March 1, sending its shares up 3% at 0705 GMT, extending gains for the year to 35%. Ocado said it had adapted its platform and ramped up capacity rapidly in order to meet unprecedented demand and was now delivering significantly more groceries to UK households than ever before. It noted that the number of items per customer basket appeared to have passed its peak but remained high, as more normal shopping behaviour had returned. The share of fresh and chilled products in the mix, relative to ambient store cupboard items, was also returning to normal, it said.

Singapore retail sales suffer biggest drop in 22 years; supermarkets buck trend
Singapore's retail sales in March fell at the steepest pace in 22 years as consumption across nearly all categories plunged due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but a few sectors were unscathed, most notably supermarkets and hypermarkets. Retail sales fell 13.3% on a year-on-year basis, data released by the Department of Statistics (SingStat) showed. This is the biggest drop since September 1998, according to Reuters. SingStat attributed the decline in retail trade to weaker domestic consumption and fewer tourist arrivals as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

UK: New centre to double grocery deliveries to customers in London
Waitrose is opening (7 May) a six-acre Customer Fulfilment Centre in Enfield, North London, to double its online grocery orders in the capital by September. The site is creating 370 new jobs, building to 850 when at full capacity, by which time it will be adding 13,000 weekly delivery slots for London customers. The centre is part of a £100mln investment in its online business, in preparation for becoming the only place its customers can buy Waitrose food online from September of this year.

China supermarket chain Yonghui net profit surges in Q1
Chinese supermarket chain operator Yonghui Superstores Co., Ltd. reported robust net profit growth in the first quarter (Q1) despite the bite of the COVID-19 epidemic. Net profit attributable to its shareholders surged 39.47% to 1.57bln yuan (about 222.47mln U.S. dollars) from the same period last year, according to its financial report filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange. During the period, its revenue reached 29.26bln yuan, up 31.57% year on year, said Yonghui, partly owned by e-commerce giant JD.COM and Internet giant Tencent.

Grocery sales growth in Ireland slows as shoppers adapt to ‘new normal’
Latest market share figures from Kantar show take-home grocery sales in Ireland increased by 17.2% in the 12 weeks to 19 April as shoppers adjusted to life under lockdown. While sales are still strong, with Lidl and SuperValu performing the best, they have started to slow in recent weeks. The research group also highlighted that retailers are feeling the effects of social distancing restrictions on food-on-the-go purchasing and other non-grocery categories.

New online supermarket 360hyper opens in Portugal
A new online supermarket 360hyper has launched in Portugal that is offering deliveries between three hours and three days in the Greater Lisbon area. The online store offers more than 5,000 grocery, fresh produce, frozen, personal and home care, drinks, and childcare products, according to a report in the digital publication Dinheirovivo. The minimum order amount for the online supermarket is €50 with an additional delivery charge of €4.99.

UK: Ocado faces shareholder revolt over £88mln bonus payout
Ocado is to face a shareholder rebellion over its “excessive” executive pay after four bosses banked an £88mln bonus payout. The chief executive, Tim Steiner, was the biggest winner from the scheme, raking in £54mln - one of the largest bonus payouts made by a listed UK company. The chief financial officer, Duncan Tatton-Brown, and chief operating officer, Mark Richardson, each banked £14mln. Luke Jensen, who runs its tech business, Ocado Solutions, received £6mln. Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), which owns a 0.3% stake in Ocado, said it would vote against the pay report at the annual shareholder meeting.

US: Sprouts Farmers Market reports pandemic revenue gains
Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. has reported a 16% year-over-year gain in net sales for its first quarter of 2020, along with 10.6% boost in comparable-stores sales. Much of that growth comes from increased consumer demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, the food retailer said. “Demand increased dramatically during the latter part of the quarter,” Sprouts noted for the quarter ended March 29, during which total net sales hit $1.6bln. “As a result, net sales were positively impacted by an estimated $146mln and comparable-store sales by an estimated 9.6%”. For the entire quarter, Sprouts reported net income of $92mln, up about 64% year over year.

US: Weis Markets reports first quarter results
Weis Markets, Inc. reported its sales increased 12.4% to $985.8mln during the thirteen-week period ended March 28, 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, while first quarter comparable store sales increased 12.8%. The Company's first quarter net income increased 86.6% to $26.7mln compared to $14.3mln in 2019, while earnings per share totaled $0.99 compared to $0.53 per share for the same period in 2019.

US: Independent Grocers adopt touch-free technology
Contactless technologies have garnered a lot of attention during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many large food retailers adopting new systems. Now, independent grocers can have access to some of these solutions. Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) and FutureProof Retail (FPR) are providing FPR's mobile self-scanning checkout and counter service solutions as a no-touch technology solution to AWG member retailers. The solution allows shoppers to use their smartphones to scan and bag items while they're shopping. They can then pay on their phones and skip the lines at checkout. Customers can also pre-order prepared food or deli items at in-store service counters and receive a notification when the orders are ready for pickup.

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