Germany: METRO AG completes sale of Real
METRO AG announced that it has completed the sale of its hypermarket chain Real to SCP Group. With this divestment, METRO completes the portfolio transformation on its way to becoming a fully focused wholesale company. Having received all approvals by the responsible regulatory and competition authorities, METRO will now benefit from net cash inflow of €0.3bln. Together with the >€1.5bln net cash inflow from the METRO China majority sale the two transactions have generated around €1.9bln in net cash inflow while improving the cash flow profile of the group at the same time. The proceeds and an improving business performance at Real strengthen the balance sheet, increase liquidity reserves, lay the foundation for dividend continuity and improve optionality for organic and inorganic investments.
Delhaize opens its biggest store yet in Luxembourg
Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize has opened its biggest store yet in Schmiede (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg), measuring 3,450 sqm. The new store features a completely new concept, with a different route through the supermarket. Usually, Delhaize stores force their customers through the fruit and vegetable section towards the rest of the store, but this concept offers a choice at the entrance, to take a shortcut to the ready-made products (to which the retailer also counts freshly cut fruit, fresh fruit juice, grilled sandwiches, soups and salads).
Thailand: CPF launches new supermarket model
Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) is launching a new supermarket concept to support its expansion. The new CP Fresh will have 500 sq. m. of space, about five times the size of the original CP Fresh Mart format. It will provide a wider variety of products including chilled items, produce, seasonings, frozen goods and ready-to-eat meals. There will also be cooking services and seating areas for customers.
UK: Sainsbury’s to post quarterly sales jump under new CEO’s first update
Sainsbury’s is expected to reveal a jump in sales for the past three months, in Simon Roberts’ first update as the supermarket group’s new chief executive. Roberts took over as the FTSE 100 grocer’s new chief executive at the start of June, replacing Mike Coupe. Retail analysts predict that his tenure will start on a solid footing, with supermarkets experiencing a sales uplift in recent months due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Carrefour launches food marketplace in France
Carrefour has launched an online grocery marketplace in France. The platform will feature up to 100,000 products from more than a hundred different retailers by the end of this year. These items complement Carrefour’s daily product range. The supermarket chain is the latest major company with a marketplace for external vendors. It has developed the platform in partnership with Mirakl, a French company known for building online marketplaces for others. At the beginning of this month, Carrefour created the marketplace on its French ecommerce website, Carrefour.fr. With this initiative, the company wanted to boost its product range by selling complementary products.
UK: Tesco sees customers switch from Aldi for first time in a decade
Tesco claims that it experienced people switching from Aldi for the first time in more than a decade as the combination of its new price match scheme and shift in consumer behaviour caused by coronavirus led to a net gain in switchers for Tesco. Customers who saw Tesco’s ‘Aldi Price Match’ campaign were 6% more likely to visit its stores, rated Tesco more highly (had an NPS score 10 points higher) and perceived Tesco as better value (8%), according to the supermarket’s latest results. Tesco claims 4.5% fewer people are shopping at both supermarkets as a result of the campaign, which it will now extend to nearly 500 Tesco and branded products. It also claims 1.3% fewer customers are visiting the rest of the so-called ‘big four’ UK supermarkets.
SPAR Sri Lanka to extend e-grocery solution
Offering a limited range online during the curfew period when stores were closed, SPAR Sri Lanka have reopened its doors. Customers are now enjoying accessing the broader range available in stores. However, with so many shoppers adopting online ordering, SPAR Sri Lanka are planning to extend its e-grocery solution to a fuller offer. Local communities appreciate the butchery, fish department, ready-to-eat meal solutions, bakery and fresh produce available, complementing the dry grocery offer in stores. With time to assess the online offer and customer responses to the limited offer of 100 products, SPAR Sri Lanka are increasing the range available online, providing online customers with more loved products.
UK: Nisa enjoys strong recruitment with 242 new store sign-ups
Nisa has reported further strong recruitment numbers with 242 stores signing up in the five months to May. This follows a robust year post-acquisition by the Co-op Group in May 2018 and places Nisa £2.4mln ahead of its year to date recruitment budget. The 242 recruitment wins include 37 sites secured with growing forecourt retailer Ascona Group.
China: FMCG sector set to enter recovery phase
According to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics, the total retail sales of consumer goods dropped 2.8% year-on-year in May, compared to the decrease rate of 7.5% of April. The slowed-down decreasing rate indicated that the consumption has been gradually picking up. Kateryna Edelshtein, vice-president of Nielsen China, said: "While we saw the decline of the overall retail business, a few industries have finally returned to growth and are stabilizing. FMCG posted positive growth of 8% in April, mainly driven by online momentum".
US: Ingles Markets to give employees another bonus
Ingles Markets will distribute a total of $5mln in bonuses to its employees at the end of July, according to a press release from the North Carolina-based supermarket chain. Full-time Ingles workers will receive $300 bonuses, while part-time employees will get $150. The payments will go to workers in the company’s stores and distribution facilities as well as to corporate associates who were hired on or before April 24. The bonuses represent the second time the 197-store chain has provided extra pay to its workers since the start of the pandemic. Ingles provided the same levels of payments to its workers in April, when it also changed its sick pay policy and beefed up its medical plan.
US: Meijer opening 2 new supercenters in Northeast Ohio
Meijer announced their new supercenters in Brimfield and Lorain will be open for business at 6 a.m. on July 9. The 155,000-square-foot stores will feature fresh grocery, fresh bakery, fresh meat and deli counters, a garden center, a pharmacy, electronics, toys, sports, and apparel. Meijer said both locations will follow mandated state requirements and guidelines regarding social distancing, including decals on the floor and protective plexiglass shields are at every checkout station. Team members will also have daily health screenings, temperature checks, and are recommended to wear masks, according to Meijer. Meijer also recommends that customers wear masks.
US: Cardenas Markets enters L.A. metro area
Cardenas Markets LLC will open its first store in the Los Angeles metropolitan area on Wednesday, July 1, in Whittier, California. According to the grocer of authentic Hispanic products, its new location, a former Stater Bros. store, “has undergone a complete interior renovation that highlights the company’s new design concept while also spotlighting Whittier’s rich history”.
Amazon to acquire autonomous driving startup Zoox
Amazon announced that it will acquire Zoox, a self-driving startup founded in 2014 that has raised nearly $1bln in funding and which aims to develop autonomous driving technology, including vehicles, for the purposes of providing a full-stack solution for ride-hailing. Zoox will continue to exist as a standalone business, according to Amazon’s announcement, with current CEO Aicha Evans continuing in her role, as well as CTO and co-founder Jesse Levinson. Their overall company mission will also remain the same, the release notes. The Financial Times reports that the deal is worth $1.2bln.