US: Aldi eyes 2,500 stores by 2022
Aldi is having a good year, surpassing 2,000 stores with its latest expansion into the Phoenix area and recently being named the Value Leader in the Market Force Information Grocery Benchmark Study. Aldi U.S. CEO Jason Hart recently spoke with Store Brands about the importance of its value strategy and growing in COVID-19 era. He also spoke with sister publication Progressive Grocer for its August cover story on the chain. The stores fill roughly 12,000 square feet with a product assortment that is 90% private brand, and they’re hitting the mark with consumers, as the story addresses, adding 623 stores over the last 5 years.
US: Target's enormous sales boom sets a record
Target sales surged last quarter as shoppers stocked up on goods and spent heavily online during the pandemic. The retailer said sales at stores open for at least one year grew 24.3% to $22.6bln during May, June and July. That marked the strongest quarterly sales growth in Target's history, sending the company's profit soaring 80.3% to $1.7bln last quarter. Digital sales, including delivery and curbside pickup, were a highlight for the company, rising 195% during the quarter. Target said its stores fulfilled most of those online orders, rather than shipping from warehouses.
US: Weis Markets keeps shrinking environmental impact
According to its recently released 2019 sustainability report, Weis Markets and its associates continued to make progress in lowering the company’s overall environmental impact last year. The company has reduced its overall greenhouse-gas emissions by 27% since 2008, the year it set sustainability benchmarks, and is on track so far surpass its goal of a 20% reduction by this year. Weis’ report laid out the grocer’s sustainability progress in 2019, which included ongoing measures to lower truck-fleet fuel consumption, boost facility energy efficiencies, reduce refrigerant emissions and divert waste from landfills.
US: FreshDirect expands suburban deliveries
Online grocer FreshDirect said that it has expanded delivery capacity in Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut and Long Island, responding to a 100% growth surge in its suburban footprint during the pandemic. The company also announced that it is extending Hamptons delivery for the foreseeable future. A recent customer survey revealed that suburban and Hamptons demand will continue unabated. FreshDirect found that 76% of their customers already in the Hamptons plan to extend their stay beyond the summer. The company also plans to hire 350 full-time employees from now through mid-September.
UAE: Majid Al Futtaim reports revenue fall in H1 results
At a corporate level, UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim saw a fall in revenue of 3%, to AED17.3bln (US$4.7bln), and a 27% decrease in its EBITDA, to AED1.6bln (US$435.5mln), in the first half of its financial year. In its results, its Retail division was a bright spot, with Majid Al Futtaim Retail reporting a rise in revenue and EBITDA. The company said its first half had ‘presented two differentiated quarters, driven by the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic’. Majid Al Futtaim noted all its operating units had performed above expectations at the beginning of 2020. However, from the second half of March, as the effects of COVID-19 took hold its business had been affected. The company said the pandemic had led ‘to temporary asset closures, travel and movement restrictions and supply chain challenges’.
UK: Amazon expands Morrisons deal with full-range offer
Amazon has stepped up its move into Britain’s grocery market, expanding its relationship with Morrisons so Prime members have access to the supermarket group’s full range on the internet giant’s main website. They said “Morrisons on Amazon” launched in Leeds, northern England, and will be expanded to millions of Prime members across the United Kingdom in the coming weeks. It will offer thousands of grocery products including meat, seafood, dairy and baked goods, fruit and vegetables. Prices will be the same as at Morrisons’ stores.
Turkey: ŞOK Marketler sees 32% growth in net sales revenue in H1
Turkish retail chain ŞOK Marketler has posted a 32% year-on-year growth in net sales revenue to TL9.9bln (€1.13bln) in the first half of its financial year. The retailer opened 446 new stores in this period, creating employment for around 3,672 people. The company implemented several measures to ensure the safety of consumers and employees during the pandemic, including the launch of a free of cost home delivery service, CepteŞok (Şok in Pocket).
Israel: Shufersal profits as Covid-19 boosts online sales
Supermarket chain Shufersal Ltd. released its second quarter financials: Revenue in the quarter totaled NIS3.7bln, up 8% from NIS3.4bln in the second quarter of 2019. The company attributes the increase mainly to growth in online sales and its investment in that area over the years, which came to the fore in the coronavirus pandemic. For the first half year, revenue totaled NIS7.4bln, up 13% from NIS6.6bln in the first half of 2019.
UK groceries go digital: How the pandemic turned the nation into online shoppers
The Waitrose.com How Britain Shops Online report reveals: 77% (data from OnePoll research, conducted on behalf of Waitrose, July 2020, completed by 2000 nationally representative UK adults) of people now do at least some of their grocery shopping online, compared to 61% a year ago. 60% of people shop for groceries online more frequently since the pandemic, with 41% of people citing convenience as the reason and one in five people saying that they hadn’t considered it before Covid-19. The most marked increase in online grocery shopping is within the over-55 age group, where regular online shoppers have nearly trebled (8% in 2019 to 23% in 2020).
Amazon and Ambani’s Jio are spoiling for an epic India fight
Amazon.com Inc. has begun making forays into everything from grocery delivery and insurance to drugs in India, setting up a monumental clash with Mukesh Ambani’s hard-charging Jio Platforms. “This is going to be one fierce battle”, said Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst at Forrester Research Inc. “Amazon and Reliance want to meet a person’s every need from online retail to financial services to entertainment. It’s a fight for the household’s spending”.
Woolworths buys 65% stake in Australian food services firm for $400mln
Australia’s biggest grocer Woolworths said it is paying A$552mln ($399.4mln) for about two-thirds of PFD Food Services and its properties as the coronavirus pandemic reshapes the industry. Woolworths will pay A$302mln for a 65% stake of PFD and A$249mln for 26 freehold properties that will be leased back to the country’s second-biggest food service firm, which will continue to be run by current management.