Casino shareholders grant French investor Fimalac board seat
Casino’s shareholders have granted Fimalac, the French financial group owned by billionaire Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere, a seat on the board of the French retailer. Some 93.35% of votes cast at Casino’s annual shareholder meeting approved a resolution appointing Fimalac deputy CEO Thomas Piquemal to the board. Fimalac, which has a 2.6% stake in Casino, agreed in March to provide new financing facilities for Rallye, the parent company of Casino, which has been under pressure to cut its debts.
Belgium: Colruyt distributes removable and reusable grips for shopping trolleys
Belgian retailer Colruyt Group has commenced the distribution of removable and reusable grips for shopping trolleys at Colruyt Lowest Prices stores and Collect&Go pick-up points. The grips aim to offer a safe shopping experience by allowing customers to use trolleys without coming in direct contact with the handles. The retailer has teamed up with Clics Toys for the initiative, which will involve the distribution of approximately six million sets of Clipeez grips, for free, to Colruyt customers.
Tesco agrees sale of business in Poland
Tesco announced the sale of its business in Poland to Salling Group A/S. The transaction, which is subject to antitrust approval, includes the sale of 301 stores together with the associated distribution centres and head office. Total enterprise value agreed for the transaction is PLN900mln (equivalent to £181mln), with total net proceeds expected to be approximately PLN819mln (equivalent to £165mln), settled in cash, with completion expected in the current financial year. Proceeds from the sale will be used for general corporate purposes. In addition, the Group has made good progress in selling its remaining Polish property outside of this transaction. Over the past 18 months, the Group has either sold or agreed to sell 22 stores for net proceeds of c.£200mln. The Group will continue to seek to realise value from the remaining assets, which include 19 currently trading stores not covered in this transaction.
South Africa: Massmart warns of 50% deeper half-year loss due to virus
South Africa’s Massmart expects its half-year loss to increase at least 50% because of a substantial hit from a nationwide lockdown on sales, the retailer said. Massmart, majority owned by Walmart, said it expected its headline loss per share in the 26 weeks to June 28 to be at least 182.4 cents worse than the year earlier loss of 364.7 cents. Headline earnings per share is the main profit measure in South Africa.
Souq becomes Amazon.sa in Saudi Arabia
Amazon and Souq have announced the launch of Amazon.sa, which replaces Souq.com in Saudi Arabia nearly three years after the US giant's $580mln (Dh2.13bln) acquisition of the e-commerce platform. All existing Souq.com customer credentials, wish lists, orders, delivery addresses, payment methods and customer support queries have been converted to new Amazon.sa accounts, the company said.
Brazil retail sales record plunge in April points to bleak second quarter GDP
Brazilian retail sales plunged at a record pace in April as social isolation measures choked spending, official figures showed, indicating the economy’s contraction in the second quarter could be even more severe than anticipated. Sales excluding autos and construction materials fell 16.8% in April from March and from the same month a year ago, statistics agency IBGE said, reflecting the first full month of social isolation and quarantine measures. Both were steeper than the 11.9% monthly decline and 13.6% annual fall forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. IBGE said that level of sales is now its lowest since the series began in 2000 and down 22.7% from the peak in October 2014.
US: Northgate González Market rolls out Instacart delivery
Hispanic supermarket chain Northgate González Market has begun offering Instacart same-day online grocery delivery from 36 of its 41 stores across Southern California. Instacart service through Northgate González Market is now available to the Anaheim, California-based chain’s customers in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties in California. Northgate shoppers can access the service online at shop.northgatemarket.com or instacart.com/northgate-market as well as by downloading the Instacart app to their mobile device.
US: Island Pacific upgrades its curbside pickup service with recent updates on its grocery app
Island Pacific Supermarket with locations in California and Nevada, is the first Filipino supermarket chain to offer online shopping with same day grocery delivery in the United States. "Because of COVID-19 and the drive to keep our communities safe at home, the Island Pacific team adaptively offered the ecommerce platform less than a month after the quarantine orders went into effect because of the unyielding efforts of our founder Nino 'Jeff' Lim", says Giselle Tongi- Walters, newly assigned director of communications and community partnerships of Island Pacific.
US: Publix opens first GreenWise Market store in Georgia
Publix Super Markets opened its first GreenWise Market in Georgia, marking the seventh location for the specialty, natural and organic food retail concept. Situated at 3460 Sandy Plains Rd. in the Sandy Plains Marketplace Shopping Center in Marietta, Georgia, the 25,089-square-foot store is the third GreenWise outlet opened outside Florida, with the others in South Carolina and Alabama. “At GreenWise Market, customers can find a space to explore new flavors and learn new techniques and recipes from our associates”, Publix President Kevin Murphy said in a statement. “We’re excited to share our unique atmosphere and foods with our Atlanta community”.
Amazon to use AI tech in its warehouses to enforce social distancing
Amazon.com Inc launched an artificial intelligence-based tracking system to enforce social distancing at its offices and warehouses to help reduce any risk of contracting the new coronavirus among its workers. The unveiling comes as the world’s largest online retailer faces intensifying scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers and unions over whether it is doing enough to protect staff from the pandemic. Monitors set up in the company’s warehouses will highlight workers keeping a safe distance in green circles, while workers who are closer will be highlighted in red circles, Amazon said. The system, called Distance Assistant, uses camera footage in Amazon’s buildings to also help identify high-traffic areas.
US: Target raises minimum wage to $15 an hour months before its deadline
Target said it is raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour and will give all hourly employees a one-time bonus of $200. The $2 per hour raise will apply to employees at stores and distribution centers, beginning July 5. Target had temporarily raised its wages by $2 an hour in March as coronavirus cases rose. The bonuses, which recognize part-time and full-time employees’ work during the pandemic, will be paid out at the end of July, according to the company, which has more than 350,000 employees and nearly 1,900 stores across the U.S.