Amazon launches Smart Stores in India
Amazon has announced it is rolling out a new service called Smart Stores, enabling customers to discover products at local stores in India, make payments, and earn rewards using Amazon Pay. With the launch of Smart Stores, customers in India can scan a QR code at participating stores using the Amazon app. These QR codes enable shoppers to access a digital storefront to learn more about the products the store has, explore offers, and compare features. Customers can then select items they wish to purchase and pay using Amazon Pay. Amazon said thousands of local stores across India have signed up as Amazon Pay Smart Stores, including local stores and brand outlets such as Big Bazaar, MedPlus, as well as More Supermarkets, which Amazon has owned a stake in since 2018.
China: Top supermarket chains record healthy growth
China's top 100 chain supermarkets saw revenue increase by 4.1% to 979.2bln yuan (US$138bln) in 2019, and the number of outlets nationwide added 6.6% from a year earlier to 26,000, according to the China Chain Store & Franchise Association. Online sales more than doubled as major retailers sought integration of digital shopping and brick-and-mortar stores, making up 4.7% of total revenue. Nearly one-third supermarkets started to offer home delivery services to cater to shoppers' demand. Alibaba's Freshippo was the fastest-growing supermarket chain with annual sales adding 186% to an estimated 40bln yuan last year, while China Resources Vanguard still holds a leading position with annual sales of 95.1bln yuan.
Belgium: Colruyt Group acquires data supplier Daltix
Colruyt Group takes a majority stake in the Belgian data specialist Daltix. In this way, Colruyt wants to expand its 'real-time' insights into price and consumer behaviour, while Daltix hopes to realise its international growth ambitions. Colruyt Group takes a 65% interest in data specialist Daltix, for an unspecified amount. In time, the supermarket group can even increase its participation to 100%.
Australia: Metcash report positive annual results
Metcash has released results for its financial year ending 30 April 2020, with sales, including charge through, up 2.0% to AU$14.9bln and total EBIT up 1.5% to AU$334.9mln. Sales were impacted by the loss of the Drakes account in South Australia, which terminated at the end of September. Despite this, Supermarket sales increased 3.8% to AU$7,521.9mln, excluding Drakes growth would have been +6.1%. Although sales were boosted by the impact of COVID-19 in March and April, sales for the 10 months to the end of February were up 0.2%.
Aldi starts trialling grocery home delivery service in Ireland
After recently launching its first on-demand grocery delivery service in the UK, Aldi has started trialling the offer in Ireland. As in the UK, the discounter has partnered with Deliveroo to handle the ordering and delivery process. The Irish trial gets underway this week from 2 stores in Dublin amid a surge in demand for grocery deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic. Customers will be able to order from more than 140 everyday items in Aldi via the Deliveroo app. The orders are then packed by Aldi staff, with deliveries made by Deliveroo couriers in as little as 30 minutes.
Hong Kong's retail sales drop in May
Hong Kong's retail sales continued to slump in May, pointing to an economy yet to recover from the social unrest last year and the COVID-19 epidemic. The value of total retail sales in May was provisionally estimated at 26.8bln Hong Kong dollars (about 3.46bln U.S. dollars), down 32.8% from a year ago, data of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government showed.
UK: New Sainsbury's boss debuts with lockdown-boosted sales rise
Sainsbury's, Britain's second biggest supermarket chain, said underlying retail sales soared 8.2% year-on-year in its first quarter to June 27, driven by the country being on coronavirus lockdown for all of the period. The group, now under the leadership of chief executive Simon Roberts who succeeded Mike Coupe on June 1, said total grocery sales increased 10.5% in the 16 weeks to June 27, its fiscal first quarter, as shoppers returned to big weekly shops and spent more online and in local convenience stores.
Holland: Albert Heijn extends collaboration with Nederlandse Spoorwegen
Albert Heijn has announced that it has extended its collaboration with Dutch railway operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) to open more 'To Go' stores in stations. The retailer’s partnership with the railway operator dates back to 1999, when Albert Heijn opened a 'To Go' outlet at Den Bosch station. Since then, the retailer opened dozens of ‘To Go’ stores at NS stations, offering a range of tasty and fresh food and drinks for travellers.
China: The first JD franchised community fruit store opens in Beijing
During this year’s 618 Grand Promotion, the first JD franchised fruit store was launched in Beijing’s Huixinbeili (惠新北里) residential compound. The store named Jingxuanhaoguo (京选好果 in Chinese which means “JD’s select of quality fruits”) is the latest community shop model incubated by JD Fresh, JD.com’s fresh food business, to empower traditional mom-and-pop stores.
UK: Ocado extends Tharsus partnership to upgrade grocery market for a post-Covid world
Tharsus, one of the UK’s most advanced robotics companies, announced that its partnership with Ocado Group, the world’s leading online grocery platform provider, has been extended. The new agreement builds on an existing seven-year relationship and lasts until September 2024, as Tharsus continues to support Ocado’s efforts to revolutionise the global grocery market through its unique and proprietary Ocado Smart Platform.
ShopRite supermarket withdraws its business in Kenya relocates to Tanzania and Uganda - CEO Pieter Engelbrecht
Shoprite Supermarket CEO Pieter Engelbrecht hints that the giant retailer will cease from doing business in Kenya. Shoprite is withdrawing its business ventures and relocating to Tanzania or Uganda. Their move comes after unending wrangles between KRA, landlords and increased losses. Shoprite and Choppies retailers are set to exit the Kenyan market, citing unprofitability. The move will leave France’s Carrefour as the only foreign-owned large scale retailer in Kenya.
Amazon to pay $500mln in one-time bonuses to front-line workers
Amazon.com Inc said it would spend $500mln on one-time bonuses to its front-line employees and partners working through the coronavirus crisis. Employees and partners who have been with the e-commerce company through June will receive bonuses ranging from $150 to $3,000, the company said in a blog post. The world’s largest online retailer, which delivers about 10bln items a year, has been facing intense scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers and unions over whether it is doing enough to protect staff from the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers at 6 Amazon sites in Germany decided to go on strike in protest over safety after some staff at logistics centres tested positive for coronavirus, labour union Verdi said.
US: Publix tops Newsweek Customer Service List
Publix Super Markets has earned high rankings on Newsweek’s 2020 America’s Best Customer Service list, appearing as No. 1, with a score of 9.01, in the national supermarket category and No. 9 overall - the only supermarket retailer to make the overall top 10. Additionally, Publix Pharmacy was No. 3 in Florida on Newsweek’s 2020 list for Best-In-State Customer Service. To compile its second annual list, Newsweek teamed with global data research firm Statista to survey more than 20,000 U.S. customers from July to August 2019 who had bought, used or researched a product or service in the past three years.
US: Wakefern integrates S4RB online platform
Wakefern Food Corp. has tapped Solutions for Retail Brands (S4RB) to power an online platform that shares real-time data and analytics with existing and new own-brand vendor partners, all in an effort to help continue to grow the retailer-owned cooperative’s private label portfolio. Wakefern will integrate S4RB’s Affinity platform into its existing systems through all stages of its private-brand process, from developing new own-brand products to sales and post-purchase review.