US: Online grocery sales to grow 40% in 2020
U.S. online grocery sales grew 22% in 2019 and, propelled by high demand from nationwide COVID-19 lockdowns, stand to surge about 40% this year, according to the Coresight Research U.S. Online Grocery Survey 2020. Of 1,152 consumers polled, 52% had bought groceries online in the past 12 months — the first time that more than half of respondents had done so and representing more than double the number of shoppers from two years ago, Coresight said. E-commerce accounted for roughly 2.6% of U.S. food and beverage retail sales in 2019, but the projected growth in online grocery activity would raise that sales percentage to 3.5%, or nearly $38 billion.
Source: Supermarket news
US: Walmart pilots 2-hour grocery delivery service
While the initial surge of panic-buying and hoarding has somewhat subsided, customers are still struggling to gain access to supermarket delivery services, experiencing substantial delays, and often finding it impossible to book delivery slots. Over the past two months, grocery delivery apps have witnessed record numbers of daily downloads. Walmart has seen a similar uptick in demand. On a typical day, 10,000 users might download the Walmart Grocery app but, recently, this has increased to as many as 54,000 downloads in one day. Capitalizing on this shift in consumer behavior, Walmart is piloting a new delivery service called “Express” which promises to fulfill online customer orders within just two hours.
US: Publix & Giant step up aid to farms, food producers
Publix Super Markets and The Giant Company report big strides in efforts to help farmers and small food companies grapple with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. After just two weeks, Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix has purchased more than 1 million pounds of fruit and vegetables and over 100,000 gallons of milk from farmers saddled with surpluses to donate to Feeding America food banks. Meanwhile, Carlisle, Pa.-based Giant said Monday that it has doubled funding to $500,000 for small businesses — all part of its home state’s food supply chain — under an emergency grant program done in partnership with Team Pennsylvania.
Source: Supermarket news
US: Whole Foods closing DePaul store to in-person shoppers
Whole Foods is closing its DePaul store, located in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, to in-person shoppers beginning Wednesday. The grocery chain is temporarily closing its location at the corner of Sheffield and Fullerton avenues to in-store shoppers beginning at 4 p.m. CST on May 13. The store will then transition to servicing exclusively online orders. The Whole Foods location is located on the campus of DePaul University and frequented by members of the school community, as well as commuters using the Fullerton CTA train station nearby.
Source: NBC Chicago
US: Walmart & Amazon duke it out on the Top 10 Food Retailers List
Progressive Grocer released its annual ranking of food and consumables retailers, and this year’s list looks a little different. In order to reflect the changing retail landscape, the RIS News sister publication has updated its methodology this year to present a more comprehensive view of food and consumables. It also upped its ranking to include details for 100 retailers vs. previous years’ 50. Sales are calculated through both public and private sources, as well as PG’s proprietary research and proven forecasting methodologies used by financial analysts to generate reliable sales estimates. And while this list may look different from previous iterations, one can only imagine what we will see in 20201 as retailers adapt to the changes wrought by the spread of COVID-19.
Click here for the top 10.
Netherlands: Dutch supermarket deploying electronic shelf label technology
Dutch cooperative supermarket chain Plus Retail is tapping Pricer AB, based in Sweden, to deploy a electronic shelf label platform. The digital technology is aimed at enhancing store performance and the customer experience, according to a press release. "We look forward to supporting Plus Retail in optimizing the store operations and improve the customer experience by using both cloud-based services as well as innovative shelf-technology," Helena Holmgren, Pricer CEO, said in the release.
Source: Retail Customer Experience
Brasil: Carrefour Brasil's first-quarter profit slides as taxes, expenses offset COVID-19 sales
Brazilian food retailer Carrefour Brasil SA reported a 15.8% drop in first-quarter net income, hurt by higher taxes and financial expenses despite double-digit sales growth driven partly by the coronavirus outbreak. The local subsidiary of France’s Carrefour SA posted a quarterly net profit of 425 million reais ($73.06 million), down from 505 million reais a year before, the company said in a securities filing. In adjusted terms, net income attributed to controlling shareholders came in at 401 million reais, 1.5% down from a year ago. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), however, rose by 6.9% to 1.1 billion reais driven by higher customer demand in the last two weeks of March. Ebitda margin fell to 7.7% from 8.1% a year before.
For the full financial report, click here.
Ireland: Lidl's handy new WhatsApp feature lets shoppers check quiet times in stores
Lidl have launched a handy feature that allows customers to check when the quietest and most convenient times are to shop at their local store. The German retailer's automated WhatsApp chatbot lets shoppers know when the best times to visit the store are before they even leave their homes. This chatbot uses real time data and customer transaction numbers to determine which hours of the day are quietest to visit and which are busiest. The functionality is the first of its kind of any Lidl store in the world, using customised software created by the grocery giant. To access the chatbot customers should visit Lidl.ie/Quiet on a mobile device.
Romania: Supermarket chain pours another EUR 70 mln in two new warehouses
Belgian developer of logistics and industrial spaces WDP will build two new warehouses for Profi, one of the largest supermarket chains in Romania. The two logistics facilities will be located in Timisoara and Craiova and will have a combined area of 115,000 sqm. The investment budget is about EUR 70 million, announced the real estate consulting company JLL Romania, which represented Profi in this transaction. These transactions are the biggest in the industrial market this year. Retailers are focusing on streamlining their distribution activities as much as possible by establishing hubs in the main areas of the country to address better and quicker the retail network needs.
Source: Romania Insider
UK: supermarket Morrisons' sales get coronavirus lockdown boost
British supermarket group Morrisons on Tuesday reported a 5.7% rise in group like-for-like sales in its latest quarter, with demand boosted by the country’s coronavirus lockdown. Morrisons, Britain’s fourth largest supermarket group after Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, said retail sales rose 5.1% in the 14 weeks to May 10, its fiscal first quarter, while wholesale revenue increased 0.6%. The group said it continued to monitor various 2020-21 sales, profit and cash flow scenarios, but had minimal certainty or visibility around a precise outcome. It said its best estimate is that the 2020-21 costs relating directly to COVID-19 were likely to be broadly offset by the business rates holiday from the UK government.