US: Grocers urgently need to fix broken online business model, as pandemic shifts more to web, report says
Online grocery shopping has gained new attention and customers during the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. online grocery shopping rose from 5.1% of sales at the end of 2019 to 6.6% as of April 12, according to a Bain & Co. report. The pandemic has laid bare the broken business model for online grocery shopping and created new urgency for grocers to fix it, Bain said.
Albertsons named Supermarket News Retailer of the Year
Supermarket News has selected Albertsons Cos., the nation’s second-largest supermarket operator, as its Retailer of the Year for 2020. The past year has seen Albertsons successfully go public, spur growth and innovation in strategic areas such as e-commerce and private brands, and refresh its store base, among other initiatives. The result: improved customer loyalty, a resurgent financial performance and market share gains.
US: Walmart's Open Call to go virtual
Walmart has opened its application process for its seventh annual Open Call, in which entrepreneurs that want to get their U.S.-made products on the retailer’s shelves can meet with Walmart buyers on October 1. For the first time, because of lingering coronavirus concerns, the event will take place in a virtual format. The deadline to apply to participate in this year's Open Call is August 10. Interested entrepreneurs can apply online.
How Ocado went from understated UK grocer to an $18.4bln tech giant, as the coronavirus pandemic confirms the future of grocery shopping is online
As grocery stores worldwide experienced stockpiling, long lines, and health worries amid the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people turned to shopping online. It has been a goldrush for the British company Ocado, an online-only grocery marketplace that also operates technology for supermarket giants worldwide. Ocado was the best performing stock on the FTSE 100 in the second quarter of 2020, and, in May, Ocado raised over $1bln to grow its services. It is now betting big on its US expansion, hoping to convert Americans to grocery shopping online. Huge challenges remain, though. Many Americans are still reluctant to buy food they can’t see in person, and some fear the current online pandemic-driven boom could prove a one-off.
Finnish top retailer Kesko raises 2020 profit outlook
Finland’s top retailer Kesko raised its 2020 outlook, saying sales had been better than expected in its building and technical trade as well as in groceries despite the new coronavirus pandemic. Kesko said it now estimates its comparable operating profit from continuing operations at 430mln to 510mln euros versus an earlier estimate of 400-450mln.
Switzerland: Forecasting tool helps supermarket chain increase market share during crisis
Every company has a crisis plan for dealing with emergencies, and so did Coop, the Swiss retail giant, back in February when the coronavirus pandemic first hit Europe. “That plan wasn't quite adequate, since we were not in a normal crisis mode”, said Tim Sutor, Team Lead of In-Store Merchandise Processes and Store Replenishment at Coop. “We’d never seen anything of this magnitude. We had to adapt very fast to keep our shelves stocked and all supermarkets nationwide open.” Coop uses SAP’s Forecasting and Replenishment software which optimizes supply chain logistics and helps retailers increase transparency in the supply chain, cut surplus stocks, minimize stockouts and reduce manual labor though automation.
UK: Success for on-demand grocery delivery service
Building on their rapid expansion, Beelivery.com, the UK’s largest ‘on-demand’ grocery business, has now launched a first-to-market, 24-hour nationwide service which aims to deliver orders within 90 minutes of customers placing their orders. Following a hugely successful first half of 2020, the firm is now experiencing massive demand from customers across the lengths and breadths of the UK seeking immediate deliveries, and is registering nearly 200 new drivers a day to fulfil orders any time of day or night. The expansion also supports 24-hour convenience stores, independent retailers and supermarkets, where customer orders are purchased before being delivered straight to their doorsteps.
France: Carrefour hopes to save loss-making hypermarkets with technology
No less than 104 of the 185 own Carrefour hypermarkets in France are loss-making, accounting for 56% of the sites. This is evidenced by a trade union report published by the trade journal Linéaires. And these figures do not yet take into account rental costs and possible depreciation. It is also alarming that losses have worsened compared to the previous year: in 2018, 89 out of 191, or 46.5% of the French Carrefour hypermarkets still recorded losses before rent and depreciation. The supermarket group is trying to turn the tide with, among other things, contactless payments and digital shopping experiences, which should make the buying experience as smooth and frictionless as possible. Especially during the corona lockdown, the adoption of this mobile technology took off quickly, says Marie Cheval, director hypermarkets and financial services for Carrefour France to Linéaires.
UK: Shopper confidence shows signs of improving as lockdown eases
Shopper confidence is showing signs of improvement as lockdown restrictions continue to ease, according to the June results of the IGD Shopper Confidence Index. Despite the overall score remaining relatively low, the data reveals an increase for two months in a row. June 2020 results: The IGD Shopper Confidence Index for June is -7, up from -10 in May. The score is now higher than the lowest point of confidence during COVID-19 in March and April.
Ecommerce in Europe: €717bln in 2020
Ecommerce in Europe is expected to be worth 717bln euros at the end of 2020. That would mean an increase of 12.7% compared to the situation last year. This growth is somewhat lower than the 14.2% increase of the European ecommerce in 2019. One might think that the covid-19 outbreak has led to a run on online shopping across Europe. But according to Ecommerce Europe, the full impact of the virus will be visible next year. The Europe 2020: Ecommerce Region Report shows that Western Europe is still the most developed ecommerce market in Europe. This region accounts for 70% of the total ecommerce value in Europe. Western Europe also has the highest share of online shoppers (83%).