US: Tops introduces Shop + Scan app
Recognizing that customers are increasingly seeking contactless shopping options, Tops Markets LLC has begun piloting the Tops Shop + Scan app at a location in Amherst, New York. With the app, customers can use their phone to scan their selected groceries, and then they bag their items as they shop. During the shopping trip, the user will see a running total, and watch their savings and rewards automatically apply. When they’re done, they visit to the designated pay station for a fast and easy checkout process.
Amazon receives U.S. regulatory approval to start drone delivery trials
Amazon.com Inc’s drone service has received federal approval that will allow the company to begin testing commercial deliveries through its drone fleet, the e-commerce giant said. Amazon Prime Air, the company’s special service delivering packages in 30 minutes or less, has been approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to test delivering orders using autonomous drones.
US: HelloFresh gets bigger with distribution
Meal-kit provider HelloFresh is boosting its distribution power. The company has revealed that it will lease new distribution centers in Newnan, Georgia, and Irving, Texas, providing increased capacity through expanded supply chain capabilities to support growing demand in key Southeastern and central Texas locations. This expansion will allow HelloFresh to accommodate rapidly increasing demand and better serve new and existing customers.
Walmart to launch its membership program, Walmart+, in mid-September
Walmart will launch its much-anticipated membership program on September 15, looking to build on the strength of its grocery business and customers’ desire for more convenient ways to shop. The subscription service, however, is notable for what it won’t include. It won’t have the feature that its rival, Amazon Prime, touts: Free shipping for every item. Walmart+ members will get unlimited free delivery, discounts of as much as 5 cents a gallon for fuel and access to a Scan & Go app that allows shoppers to skip the checkout line. But they will still have to meet a $35 minimum for each online order to avoid fees, whether it’s shipped to the home or dropped off at their door. It will cost $98 a year, or $12.95 a month.
Hema opens in Mexico, but (for now) only online
Dutch retailer Hema has entered the Mexican market via a webshop. The opening of 200 physical stores - scheduled for this year - has been delayed due to the Covid-19 crisis. Hema had announced its Mexican launch earlier this year: in collaboration with local franchise partners Ensueno Group and Modateles Group, 200 stores were supposed to open before the end of the year. However, since then, things have become a little messy for the Dutch chain: turnover plummeted due to the coronavirus crisis and a struggle for the ownership became quite ugly.
China: Supermarket chain Yonghui's net profit up 35% in H1
Chinese supermarket chain operator Yonghui Superstores Co., Ltd. posted year-on-year net profit growth of 35.36% in the first half of 2020. Net profit for the January-June period reached 1.85bln yuan (about USD270mln), Yonghui Superstores said in its interim financial report filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Meanwhile, the company, partly owned by e-commerce giant JD.com and internet giant Tencent, generated total revenue of 50.52bln yuan, an annual increase of 22.68%. Same-store revenue grew 7.4% year on year.
7-Eleven Malaysia maintains profit despite Covid-19 tumult
Convenience-store chain 7-Eleven Malaysia has maintained its profitability despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Profit for the first half of the current financial year from the brand’s convenience-store and pharmaceutical businesses hit US$5.8mln and $1.4mln respectively. The group’s consolidated profit after tax for the half year was $3.35mln. The business remained healthy despite the Covid-19 restrictions that enforced restricted hours and the temporary closure of some stores. Stores are still unable to trade 24 hours.
EBRD, commercial banks loan $100mln to Ukrainian supermarket chain Novus
Ukrainian supermarket chain Novus has received a $100mln syndicated loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and other banks, the company announced. Novus will get nearly $35mln of the $100mln from commercial banks. With this money, Novus plans to build 30 new supermarkets across Ukraine and the country’s first eco-friendly warehouse in Kyiv to store goods and deliver them to customers. Novus, now owned by the Lithuanian investment company BT Invest, is one of the EBRD’s largest clients in the Ukrainian retail market.
Denmark: Aldi teams up with 'Too Good To Go' to fight food waste
Aldi Denmark has announced that it will sell fruit and vegetables at lower prices across all stores in the country in association with the food waste prevention app, Too Good To Go. The initiative will see the retailer roll out ‘happiness bags’ comprising fruit and vegetables at reduced prices via the app. The fruit and vegetables offered in the ‘happiness bags’ are good to consume but would have been discarded due to damaged packaging or light bumps and blemishes, the company said.
UK: Costcutter Supermarkets Group ranked top in industry survey
Costcutter Supermarkets Group is celebrating after achieving top ratings from shoppers and suppliers in industry surveys. The retailer came top on every customer satisfaction measure in the HIM Convenience Tracking Programme (CTP) and obtained the highest performance ratings from major UK suppliers in the personnel, marketing and trust categories. These results were based on the latest Advantage report - taking it from overall third to second highest rated retail group.
UK: M&S food goes fully online with Ocado launch
From Tuesday, Marks & Spencer will begin doing something many of its competitors have been doing for years - it is making its full food range available to order online. M&S has bought a 50% share of Ocado's retail business, which gives the grocer an internet-based delivery service for the first time. The launch comes at a crucial time for M&S, which is cutting 7,000 jobs.
Grocery retailer Bindawood announces intention to list on Saudi bourse
Saudi Arabian grocery retailer BinDawood Holding Co announced its intention to list on the Saudi bourse, with plans to sell existing shares and have a free float of 20%. The company has 73 stores including 51 hypermarkets and 22 supermarkets, making it the third-largest operator of hypermarkets and supermarkets in Saudi Arabia by revenue in 2019, it said. BinDawood Holding, which controls supermarket chains BinDawood and Danube in the kingdom, this year postponed its planned IPO in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Italy: Aldi arrives in Milan, opening two stores
Aldi Italia has opened its first stores in Milan, unveiling two outlets - one near the city's Central Station and the other in the Giambellino area. The discounter's debut in Milan marks an important step in the company’s expansion plans and follows store openings in neighbouring areas such as Pioltello, Magenta and Segrate.