US: Walmart hires 265,000 veterans, promotes more than 44,000 to higher-paying roles
Walmart has hired 265,000 veterans as part of its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment program, with more than 44,000 promoted to roles with higher pay and greater responsibility. “We’re forever grateful to our veterans for their service, and it’s an honor to offer them opportunities at Walmart”, said Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon in a statement. “To reach this goal so quickly says a lot about our company as a great place to work and build a career. I’m proud of the commitment we’ve made to veterans and their families, and I’m thrilled that so many have decided to join us. They are critical to helping us achieve a more diverse and inclusive future”.
US: Bashas’ embraces AI analytics from Hypersonix
Bashas’ Family of Stores is turning to artificial intelligence technology from Hypersonix to help run its food retail business. More specifically, the chain will use the Hypersonix AI-based analytics platform - offered on a subscription basis - to support the company’s real-time merchandising, marketing and enterprise analytics needs, the technology vendor said. The deal comes as the food retail industry faces “unprecedented change and fluctuating demand patterns due to COVID-19”, making the use of leading-edge analytics even more important.
US: Dual-channel grocery shopping surges
According to the “2020 U.S. Online & In-Store Grocery Shopping Study” from the Retail Feedback Group (RFG), which offers a broad spectrum of research, consumer insight and consulting services, dual-channel shopping has become much more common amid the coronavirus pandemic, especially among younger consumers. Overall, 50% of in-store supermarket shoppers in the past 30 days also ordered groceries online, the report found, adding that this tendency was even more common among Gen Z (66%) and Millennial (61%) consumers, and, to a lesser degree, Gen X (52%), trailed by Boomers (37%) and the Silent Generation (38%). Notably, Gen Z shoppers expressed the lowest overall satisfaction, on a 5-point scale where 5 is highest, compared with the other demographics, for both their online (4.22) and in-store (4.02) experiences.
US: 8 ShopRite stores transition ownership
David Zallie has purchased the shares in the 8 Zallie ShopRite stores that have been jointly owned by George J., Bruce and David Zallie since the death of their father, George Sr., in 2011. Both George J. and Bruce Zallie will retire after grocery industry careers spanning nearly 5 decades. All 11 Zallie-owned ShopRite stores will now operate under the entity of Medford, New Jersey-based Zallie-Somerset Inc.
Mexico City’s Jüsto raises a $12mln bridge round for its delivery-only grocery stores
Jüsto, the Mexico City-based, delivery-only grocery store chain, has raised another $12mln in financing as it looks to expand its now pandemically relevant business of “dark stores” across the country. “Despite Covid-19 dramatically accelerating the curve of adoption of e-commerce, the penetration rate of e-grocers is still less than 1%”, in Latin America, according to Jüsto founder and chief executive, Ricardo Weder, in a statement. “That means there’s an enormous opportunity - and all the right conditions - to disrupt the grocery industry in Latin America”.
Auchan sees revenue fall in Russia
Local press reports on the retailer’s revenue in the country suggested Auchan saw its sales fall by 6% in 2019, with net profit falling further as it invested in the business to turnaround its performance. The results underline the challenging nature of the market and Auchan’s difficulties in it as it looks to turnaround a period of revenue falls, which has lasted for 4 consecutive years. However, the retailer has said it hopes that its investment in 2019 and into 2020 will help revenues to stabilise in its present financial year.
Netto to open sustainable grocery store in Denmark
Denmark’s Salling Group has announced that it has commenced the construction of a sustainable Netto store at Bygholm Bakker in Horsens. The store, which is a first of its kind in the country, will use sustainable and recyclable materials for construction. Michael Løve, director of Netto said: “We will go to great lengths to realise our priority and ambition to run a more sustainable business for the benefit of customers, colleagues and the community around us. That is why we are pleased that we can build a store with respect for both the environment, nature and the community that the store becomes part of”.
Lithuania: Same-day delivery platform Ziticity raises €2.2mln
Ziticity, a urban logistics platform from Lithuania, has raised 2.2mln euros. The seed equity investment round was led by NordicNinja VC. With the money, the same-day delivery platform wants to expand in Europe. Currently, Ziticity is only active in France and the Baltics, but after successful piloting, the company is preparing for entering several countries in Europe. The 2.2mln euros should help with these plans.
Demand in Irish grocery market remains high with signs of cautious optimism amongst consumers
Latest figures from Kantar show take-home grocery sales in the Republic of Ireland increased by 24.7% in the 12 weeks to 14 June, encompassing the entire lockdown period. Growth also accelerated slightly in the most recent 4 weeks to 25%, just behind last month’s record level, as Ireland began to ease its coronavirus-related restrictions.
Holland: Retailer Hema to be taken over by bondholders
Dutch retailer Hema’s senior secured noteholders (SSNs) are set to take over the business through a debt-for-equity swap, as more than 80% of noteholders agreed to a debt restructuring, banking sources said. On June 15 the company entered lock-up, as 100% of its RCF lenders and 62% of its €600mln, 2022 SSNs agreed to the restructuring. However, a threshold of 75% of SSN support was needed before the deal could be implemented. Around 80% of SSNs now support the deal, meaning it can go ahead, one of the sources said.
FamilyMart Japan: robots to restock shelves
FamilyMart will introduce a remote-controlled robot that will place products on shelves in its stores in Japan, according to Nikkei Asian Review. FamilyMart will partner with robotics development company Telexistence to test the initiative next month at some FamilyMart stores in Tokyo. The robot will be remotely controlled by an operator using virtual reality terminals. It will be able to move like humans and can handle 30 items including plastic bottles and instant noodles. The 2 businesses will review the effectiveness and see whether labour cost reductions are feasible. If successful, all FamilyMart convenience stores (16,613) in Japan could potentially have such robots by 2022.
Holland: Ahold Delhaize and Philips announce new round of academic joint appointments
Ahold Delhaize and Philips announced 2 new joint appointments as part of their continuing commitment to the Kickstart AI platform, announced in October 2019. These appointments are established to strengthen AI research and education capabilities and to train the next generation of AI researchers in the Netherlands. Ahold Delhaize welcomes Maarten de Rijke, Ph.D., currently University Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Information Retrieval at the University of Amsterdam, while Ruud van Sloun, Assistant Professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology, joins Philips. Additionally, ING opened 2 positions together with the University of Amsterdam.