US: Online retailer Boxed explores $1bln sale - sources
Online wholesale retailer Boxed is exploring strategic options, including a sale or going public through a merger with a blank-check acquisition company that could value it at around $1bln, according to people familiar with the matter. Referred to by some of its customers as Costco for millennials, New York-based Boxed offers everything from fresh groceries to office supplies without membership fees, and also provides free delivery for orders over $49.
US: Giant Eagle debuts its own version of Amazon Go
Grabango, which has developed a system that allows shoppers to bypass checkout stations in retail stores, launched its first commercial deployment at a Pittsburgh GetGo Cafe+Market convenience store operated by Giant Eagle, according to the California-based technology startup. The system uses cameras to detect products as a shopper selects them, adds them to a virtual shopping cart and collects payment when the customer scans a code on their smartphone on the way out of the store. Giant Eagle plans to follow the rollout of the technology at the 3,000-square-foot GetGo store with deployments at additional convenience and grocery stores in its fleet “in the near future”, according to a statement from the grocer. Other food retailers are also testing the Grabango system and plan to commercially deploy it in the future.
Canada: Dollarama beats estimates for quarterly sales
Dollarama Inc beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly sales, as the Canadian discount retailer benefited from consumers spending more on household and cleaning products. Net sales rose to C$1.01bln ($772.82mln) in the second quarter from C$946.4mln a year earlier, compared with Wall Street expectations of C$975.7mln, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Net earnings narrowed to C$142.5mln in the quarter ended August 2 from C$143.2mln.
Amazon distribution center trades hands
A California-based buyer acquired an Amazon distribution center in Loveland for $32.63mln. Mark IV Capital purchased Centerra Industrial Building IV, the Class A, 122,806-square-foot industrial facility at 4541-4555 Viking Way, along with an adjacent parking lot, from seller and developer McWhinney. The property sold for nearly $266 per sf. A JLL Capital Markets team represented the seller. The team was led by Managing Directors Larry Thiel and Britton Burdette, Senior Managing Directors Bo Mills and Eric Tupler, Senior Director Brock Yaffe and Associate Rachel Vogel. The buyer was unrepresented.
Italy: Fratelli Ibba receives €10mln loan to open new stores
Italian regional retailer Gruppo Fratelli Ibba has received €10mln in financing to support new store expansion in the period 2020-2022. The loan agreement was signed with Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP). It has a duration of 72 months and is backed by a guarantee from Italy’s Export Credit Agency (SACE). The resources will be used to complete the investments provided for in the company's 2020-2022 Industrial Plan, which has been revised due to COVID-19. The plan aims to drive organic growth by expanding the group's direct sales network, particularly in the Lazio region, reaching over 300 units by the end of 2022. Part of the Gruppo CRAI cooperative, boasting more than 3,400 stores nationwide, Gruppo Fratelli Ibba is a historical player in the large-scale food distribution sector in Sardinia and one of the leaders in Central Italy.
Belgium: Colruyt launches meal delivery service Rose Mary
Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt has launched its own fresh food delivery service, called Rose Mary. The service enables customers to order ready-made meals. For now, Rose Mary only serves consumers in the Brussels region. The meals are made by chefs working in the kitchen of the Colruyt Group Academy in Ukkel, near Brussels. Previously, this space was being used for cooking workshops, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, Colruyt has stopped offering these classes. It now uses the kitchens to prepare the meals for the new meal delivery service.
SPAR expands into Russian Far East with new store opening in Khabarovsk
SPAR has expanded its presence into the Russian Far East with the opening of the SPAR Kim Yu Chen store in the city of Khabarovsk. Opened in mid-August, the 1,000m² supermarket brings a high-quality assortment of fresh products to residents of the city and surrounding areas. SPAR Kim Yu Chen has a trading area of 735.87m² and stocks 9,099 SKUs. The supermarket offers a particularly strong selection of SPAR own brands, fresh food and food-to-go, including a tandoor, grill, and pie station.
Auchan sells Lillapois stores in Italy
As it looks to complete its exit from Italy, Auchan has sold its Lillapois chain, which is made up of about 50 stores. The Lillapois brand, which specialises in home and personal care products, has stores mainly in northern Italy, as well as an ecommerce presence. The value of the sale, which has been made to Crai affiliate Dmo Spa, was not disclosed.
UK: Shop prices fall for 15th month but Brexit uncertainty could lead to inflation
Shop prices have dropped for the 15th month running as retailers cut prices in an effort to encourage Brits to shop. Prices fell by 1.6% during August compared to a 1.3% fall in July, according to the latest BRC and Nielsen figures. This was below the 12- and six-month average price decreases of 1% and 1.5% respectively. BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson warned that Brexit uncertainty could lead to a hike in prices. “Consumers will welcome another month of falling prices in shops”, Dickinson said. “The faster rate of decline was driven by cheaper non-food goods, as many retailers have continued to run promotions and sales in order to entice customers to spend and make up for lost ground during lockdown. Meanwhile, the availability of fresh seasonal produce has allowed food inflation to ease”.
South Korean retail sales rise in July, boosted by grocery
Retail sales in South Korea advanced 4.4% in July from a year earlier as online platforms enjoyed a spike in demand for groceries and home appliances amid the coronavirus pandemic. The combined sales of 26 major offline and online retailers reached US$9.67bln last month, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Online platforms led the growth, with their revenue advancing 13.4% over the period. Sales of foodstuffs through online platforms shot up 46% year on year as more people refrained from visiting supermarkets.
Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof creditors approve rescue plan
After a lengthy meeting, the creditors of the ailing department store Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof chain approved a rescue plan, renouncing more than 2bln euros in assets. This is reported in the German media. The restructuring is to rescue the Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof merger group - also the parent company of Belgian department store Inno - from bankruptcy. 47 of the 172 German branches will close down for good. According to the retailer, more than 4000 jobs will also be lost - even 5000, according to the trade unions.