Czech billionaire Kretinsky ups bet on retail with Sainsbury's stake
Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky has built a 3.05% stake in J. Sainsbury to become the UK supermarket group's fourth-largest shareholder, expanding a portfolio of retail investments that also includes France's Casino and Germany's Metro. A regulatory filing disclosed the stake held by Kretinsky’s VESA Equity Investment and sent Sainsbury’s shares more than 3% higher.
UK's John Lewis Partnership will not sell department stores or Waitrose - chairman
The strategic review of British retailer the John Lewis Partnership will not see either its eponymous department store chain or Waitrose supermarket business sold, its chairman said. “We are actively looking at partnerships where the partners respect our ethos”, Sharon White told reporters. “We’ve also made it very clear that...a red line for us within our strategic review is we’re not going to be selling either brand”.
Lithuanian Novus buys Billa in Ukraine
The owner of Novus Ukraine LLC, Consul Trade House UAB, has signed an agreement with Rewe International AG on the acquisition of a 100% stake in the charter capital of Billa-Ukraine, an enterprise with foreign investment, which develops the Billa supermarket chain in Ukraine. “Novus Ukraine LLC and Billa-Ukraine will continue to work as usual, fulfilling the previously reached contractual obligations to partners and counterparties for the stability of business”, the press service of Novus said. Currently, the deal is being approved by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, its completion and development plans will be announced after the deal is reviewed by the department, the company notes.
Big change in Aldi's veg aisle could be rolled out across UK
Aldi is trialling a new system in its fruit and veg aisle which could be rolled out across the country. The different way to shop is being tested at 77 branches across the North East of England and if it proves a success it will be put in place across the country. Aldi hopes the move, which sees 13 types of fruit and vegetables sold without packaging, will help reduce waste plastic. Aldi has installed weighing tills at the test stores so cashiers can charge customers for just the produce they want to buy, reports MyLondon.
Maxima Group's revenue in Bulgaria rises 23% y/y in H1
Lithuanian retailer Maxima Group said that its revenue from operations on the Bulgarian market remained solid in the first half of 2020, increasing by an annual 23.4%, mainly due to expansion. Maxima Group’s consolidated like-for-like (LFL) revenue rose by 6.7% in Bulgaria in the first six months of this year, driven by high inflation levels, rather than volume growth, the retailer said in a statement. The group, which is active in Bulgaria through its T-Market brand, posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 163mln euro ($192.2mln) in the review period, up by 21mln euro compared with the fist half of last year.
UK's Waitrose H1: LFLs up 10%
Waitrose's revenue grew 8.3% to £3.4bln in the first half of the year to 25th July 2020, alongside double digit profit growth. However, John Lewis' negative sales and profit performance continue to have a dilutive impact on the Partnership's results. Waitrose's like-for-like sales rose 9.6%, whilst the retailer also reported a healthy trading profit improvement of 10.6% to £586mln.
UK: Tesco partners with food sharing app Olio to tackle waste from stores
Surplus food from every Tesco store in the UK will soon be listed on food sharing app Olio, in a drive to reduce waste and help those in need. Under the partnership, Olio’s network of volunteers will visit Tesco stores and collect surplus food that is nearing its sell-by date. They will then upload the products onto the Olio app for individuals and community groups to claim and arrange collection. Contact-free processes have been put in place in light of Covid-19.
UK: Co-op profit up 35% but CEO warns it 'won't be immune to recession'
The Co-operative Group’s CEO has warned the company “will not be immune” to Britain’s economic downturn even as it reported a 35% leap in profits in the first half of the year. The company’s revenues rose 7.6% to £5.8bln ($7.5bln) in the half-year to 4 July as it benefited from the pandemic, according to its interim results. It reported an “exceptional” six months for its Co-op Food and wholesale arms, with the latter supplying Nisa convenience stores since it bought the Nisa franchise in 2018. Co-op’s grocery stores saw a seventh year in a row of like-for-like sales growth, with revenue up 5.2% to £3.9bln.
UK: John Lewis Partnership reports 55mln stg first-half loss
The John Lewis Partnership reported a first-half loss of 55mln pounds ($71mln) and said it would not pay its staff a bonus this year as it charts its slow recovery from the pandemic. The owner of Britain’s leading eponymous department store and the upmarket Waitrose supermarket said the outlook for the second half of the year was “clearly uncertain” given the broader macroeconomy.
Australia: Drakes Supermarkets adopts GS1’s Recall platform
Independent grocery retailer Drakes Supermarkets continues its reputation as a trusted place to shop through the adoption of GS1 Australia’s Recall service, a digital platform that efficiently removes unsuitable and unsafe products from store shelves.
US: Whole Foods dethrones Trader Joe's as best workplace for grads
Forbes has teamed up with market research company Statista to identify America's best employers for new graduates. Surveys of 20,000 Americans with less than 10 years' professional experience were conducted from March to June, and the 2020 list includes the 250 companies that came out on top. In the No. 1 spot for the first time ever is Whole Foods Market, which moved up 39 positions since 2019. Trader Joe's, which held the top spot last year, moved to No. 2.
US: Walmart plans widespread raises amid workforce changes
Walmart is increasing pay for workers and changing some job and leadership roles - steps that the retailer said will give its employees more room for raises and career growth. According to Dacona Smith, COO for Walmart U.S., the retailer is “introducing a team-based operating model in our Supercenters - similar to the one that has been very successful at Sam’s Club over the past year and in our Neighborhood Market stores this year. We’re investing in new roles and skills training to give us the flexibility to serve customers anytime and anywhere.”
US: First Amazon Fresh store opens to public
Amazon is spotlighting everyday-low-price items and weekly deals at its first Amazon Fresh supermarket, which opened to the general public. The 35,000-square-foot store, located in Woodland Hills, California, made its debut in late August to a select group of local customers who received email invitations from Amazon. Daily low prices include items such as bananas for 15 cents and a three-pound bag of onions for $1.69.