Amazon's latest grocery store concept opens, with high-tech carts
Amazon.com Inc said it is opening a supermarket in Los Angeles with shopping carts that let customers skip checkout lines, as the e-commerce company builds out its offline presence. The market, in the Woodland Hills neighborhood, is called the Amazon Fresh grocery store. It is the first location to let customers in - by invitation only - out of 7 that Amazon has confirmed for Southern California and greater Chicago. The Woodland Hills site will open to the wider public in coming weeks, Amazon said. The store will be the first with the “Amazon Dash Cart.” This lets shoppers filling up to two grocery bags forgo the store’s cashiers via technology systems that discern what they put in the cart and bill a credit card on file once customers leave through a designated lane.
US: Fresh Thyme has a new name, logo
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is changing its name, and a slew of other things as the company redefines its approach to serving shoppers. The company is changing its name from Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets to Fresh Thyme Market. In addition, it will unveil a new logo and marketing campaign on August 30. "In this year of rapid consumer change, Fresh Thyme has continued to change as well, ensuring that their name and logo match up with customers' needs and expectations. The new logo encapsulates this change for the Fresh Thyme brand and its purpose. With clear and authentic messaging, Fresh Thyme aims to provide support for those looking for real solutions for wellness. The new design drives straighter towards who Fresh Thyme really is and the retailer's promise to customers," the company said in a statement.
US: Dollar General ramps up remodeling amid record sales
Remodeling efforts that emphasize food and consumables are working so well at Dollar General that the retailer plans to accelerate the program. The announcement was made in conjunction with the release of second quarter financial results, in which it was the beneficiary of pandemic-driven changes in shopper behavior. Total sales increased 24.4% to $8.7bln and same-store sales increased 18.8% during the period ended July 31. Sales remained elevated during August, prompting Dollar General to make an uncharacteristic disclosure that comps had increased 15% since the beginning of August 25. The strong sales growth gave the company tremendous expense leverage, which was reflected in operating profits that increased 80.5% to $1bln, net income that increased 84.6% to $787.6mln and earnings per share that increased 89.1% to $3.12.
Walmart joins Microsoft bid for TikTok takeover in US
Walmart has partnered with Microsoft to bid for the US operations of hugely popular video-sharing app TikTok, as the world’s largest retailer looks to become a force in the fast-growing digital media sector. Walmart, which is looking beyond bricks and mortar to rival to Amazon in online retail, said that it is confident the joint bid will pass muster with the Donald Trump administration.
Australia: 'Structured' return to normality needed in Victoria, says Woolworths boss
Woolworths boss Brad Banducci has called for a structured, step-by-step approach to ending the stage four restrictions in Victoria after the state government's regulations created chaos for supermarkets in early August. The supermarket giant reported bumper sales for the 2019-20 financial year, with revenue rising 8.1% to $63.6bln off the back of coronavirus panic buying. Sales have continued to grow in the current financial year, up 12.8% across the company since the start of July.
Ireland: Aldi to open four new stores within the next 6 months
Aldi Ireland is planning to open four new stores over the next 6 months around the country, which will create 80 new jobs. The supermarket chain will open stores in Rathnew in Co Wicklow and Blanchardstown in Dublin in October and November respectively. New stores in Dunshaughlin in Co Meath and Sutton in Co Dublin will then follow before the end of February next year. Aldi said it is particularly focused on working to double its footprint of stores within Dublin, adding to the 22 it already operates.
Just Eat’s important investments in Spain
Just Eat Takeaway.com, one of the largest food delivery groups in the world, following their merger last year, has put the focus of its European growth plan on the Spanish market. According to a Dutch representative, the platform has already launched an "aggressive investment programme" for the coming years. The plan will invest "significantly" and as a priority in the countries where Just Eat operated before the merger: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Italy, France and Spain. "The company's management believes that Just Eat's brands, despite the current strong growth, have been underinvested in recent years. We want to strengthen, expand or regain leadership positions", the spokesman remarked.
Auchan to open 400 proximity shops in Petrom fuel stations in Romania in the next 5 years
OMV Petrom, the largest energy company in Southeastern Europe, controlled by Austrian group OMV, and Auchan Retail Romania, the local subsidiary of French food retailer Auchan, will extend their partnership for opening MyAuchan proximity stores in Petrom filling stations. Some 400 MyAuchan proximity shops will open in the Petrom network over the next 5 years.
UK's Waitrose: Lockdown creates a greater taste for Organic
Waitrose has reported that more shoppers than ever are seeking out organic food and drink, with lockdown feeding a growing interest in provenance, animal welfare - and with it shoppers’ appetite for organic food. Organic categories which have shown some of the biggest sales increases include: organic chicken up 42%, organic vegetables up 23% and organic eggs up over 13% compared to last year. On Waitrose.com, 52 bags of Waitrose Duchy Organic carrots, 34 blueberry punnets and 39 bags of bananas are now sold every hour showing the popularity of these organic fruit and veg. This week Waitrose is launching organic British blueberries, the first time a UK supermarket has been able to offer the organic crop in commercial quantities from a British farm. The Waitrose Duchy Organic blueberries have been grown in Herefordshire by a longstanding Waitrose supplier, who has supplied fruit to Waitrose for over 25 years.
Kenyan retailer Tuskys signs $20mln rescue deal with Mauritian fund
Kenyan family-owned retailer Tuskys Supermarket has signed a Ksh2bln ($20mln) agreement with an undisclosed Mauritian fund to help shore up its wobbling financial position and restock the struggling business. The retailer, which is teetering on the brink of collapse, is weighed down by mounting debts, disgruntled unionised employees, fading supplier confidence, and shrinking financial power to replenish essential items on the shelves.
UK: M&S tries to tap into food delivery boom to halt decline
Britain’s Marks & Spencer (M&S) will make the first deliveries through its new online food shopping joint venture on Tuesday, a cornerstone of its latest attempt to turn the company around and offset problems at its pandemic-hit clothing business. Online grocery shopping has doubled its share of the UK market to 14% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and M&S’s joint venture partner Ocado reckons it could reach 30% over the next few years. That is making M&S more confident about its 1.5bln pound ($2bln) deal to create Ocado Retail, which initially came under fire from some investors for its lofty price tag.