US: Instacart introduces new in-app safety hub for shopper community
Instacart, the North American leader in online grocery, announced new safety measures and resources to support its shopper community. The new shopper in-app safety hub furthers Instacart's commitment to shopper safety, offering additional tools and resources to protect shoppers while they're picking and delivering orders. As part of this hub, Instacart is partnering with ADT to connect shoppers to emergency services in-app, providing urgent assistance in times of need. Instacart is also launching a new shopper identity verification feature, an updated contactless delivery offering, and additional perks for shoppers, including discounts on cell phone coverage and roadside assistance.
US: Kroger food-relief and anti-waste push hits the big time
The Kroger Co. has donated more than 1bln meals over three years as part of the food retailer’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste program, and plans to reach 3bln meals by 2025, the company said. Kroger describes the program, which launched in 2018, as “a social impact plan aimed at creating communities free of hunger and waste”, and its release of the metrics achieved gives a picture of those efforts, which have also included more than $8mln toward COVID-19 relief efforts.
Walmart: "Unprecedented demand" for online grocery shopping
Walmart saw its online sales increase 74% during the coronavirus crisis, resulting in comparable sales growth of 10%. Still, the American retail giant has decided to shut down its online branch Jet.com. "Unprecedented demand" during the coronavirus crisis enabled Walmart to record a revenue growth of 8.6% to 134.6bln dollars (123bln euros) in the first quarter of its financial year 2020, which closed at the end of April. While analysts forecast a 7.2% increase, comparable sales rose 10%. Most notable was the explosion in online sales, up by 74%. "Our omnichannel strategy, enabling customers to shop in seamless, flexible ways, is built for serving the needs of customers during this crisis and in the future", USA Today quoted CEO Doug McMillon.
US: Target enables seamless purchasing through Instagram
Target is providing consumers with additional opportunities to purchase its products through a new initiative in partnership with Instagram. Instagram Checkout was launched last year, enabling users to buy products without leaving the Instagram app. Through this initiative, customers can directly purchase products featured in posts @Target and @TargetStyle accounts. Shoppable products are marked with a shopping bag icon. Customers can also modify a product (e.g. colour, size) before checking-out directly within the Instagram app. First-time purchases require users to enter shipping and payment information, while further purchases can be made with two clicks. Notifications about shipment and delivery are sent directly within the Instagram app.
China: JD.com adds two 7FRESH supermarkets
JD.com has announced the opening of two 7FRESH supermarkets in Chengdu, one of the most-populous cities in Southwestern China and the capital of Sichuan province. There are now a total of 20 7FRESH supermarkets in China. Customers of 7FRESH can also choose to order online through the 7FRESH app. Delivery is available within a time as fast as 30 minutes.
UK: Sainsbury’s to offer bike delivery service to 3.2mln households
Sainsbury’s is using bicycles to deliver essential groceries in a bid to meet customer demand in response to the outbreak. The service, Chop Chop, will allow customers to get up to twenty items delivered straight to their door within an hour of making the order. Since the beginning of April, Sainsbury’s has successfully rolled out Chop Chop across London and trialled making deliveries from closed convenience stores.
SPAR reaches record-breaking market share in Austrian food trade
SPAR Austria reached a record-breaking market share of 35.6% in April 2020, which is significantly higher than competitors’ market share, according to market researcher Nielsen. SPAR overtook its competitors for the first time in January, showing that this strong leadership position is not only due to increased sales during the lockdown. Reviewing the first four months of this year, SPAR has held an overall market share of 34.0%, making it the market leader in Austria’s food retailing during this period. The dynamic development of SPAR can be seen very clearly in the sales growth of April 2020 when SPAR grew by +23%, while the food retail sector registered growth of +12.6%. This enabled SPAR to increase its market share to a sensational 35.6% in April, thereby taking over market leadership.
China: Alibaba's annual results: revenue up 35%
Alibaba has posted its financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. Total revenue was up 35% to CNY509,711mln (US$71,985mln) YoY. Robust top line figures for the fiscal year: GMV transacted in the Alibaba Digital Economy was CNY7,053bln (US$1tln), CNY6,589bln (US$945bln) of which came from China retail marketplaces. Core commerce revenue up 35% YoY to CNY436,104mln (US$61,130mln). Cloud computing revenue up 8% YoY to CNY40,016mln (US$5,611mln). Digital media and entertainment revenue up 5% YoY to CNY26,948mln (US$3,777mln). Innovation initiatives and others revenue up 1% YoY to CNY6,643mln (US$931mln). In a press release, Daniel Zhang, Alibaba’s CEO, said: “Alibaba achieved the historic milestone of US$1tln in GMV across our digital economy this fiscal year [...] we achieved our annual revenue guidance of over CNY500bln […] based on our current view of Chinese domestic consumption and enterprise digitisation, we expect to generate over CNY650bln in revenue in fiscal year 2021”.
France: Monoprix launches new service using Ocado technology
Following a soft launch, which has been running since the end of March, Monoprix has introduced its new service, Monoprix Plus. The service, which is initially only available in part of Île-de-France, adds to the retailer’s existing offer, enabling shoppers to click and collect orders at one of its stores, enjoy same day delivery, with Monoprix Express, and next day delivery, through Monoprix Plus. Monoprix’s collaboration with Amazon still operates, enabling shoppers, through the latter’s Prime service, to receive deliveries in two to three hours.
Russia: Zippin teams with Azbuka Vkusa for European debut
US startup Zippin has launched in Europe with what it labels “the first checkout-free store within a store”. It has partnered on this with Sberbank, Visa and Azbuka Vkusa, a grocery retailer in Russia. The store within a store is located inside one of the latter’s locations in Moscow. Azbuka Vkusa converted one of the aisles for the initiative.
Germany: Aldi Süd partners with Infarm for store-grown herbs
Aldi Süd has announced plans to introduce store-grown herbs in association with the vertical farming company, Infarm. Starting from the end of May, the herbs will be available in five Aldi Süd stores in Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, the company added. The retailer aims to install indoor farms in seven more stores by the end of the year. The offering will include six varieties of herbs, including mint, basil and coriander, grown in transparent glass cupboards in Aldi Süd outlets. David Labinsky, Group Buying Director at ALDI SÜD, said: “Our customers can watch the herbs grow. They are grown and harvested in our branches - it couldn't be fresher”.