US: Southeastern Grocers again mulls going public
For the second time in seven years, Southeastern Grocers is exploring a public offering. The Jacksonville, Florida-based supermarket retailer - parent of the Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, Harveys Supermarkets and Fresco y Más chains - said that it has confidentially filed an S-1 draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for possible initial public offering of common stock.
US: UNFI sales beat estimates as CEO announces retirement
United Natural Foods, Inc., (UNFI) reported strong sales during its fourth financial quarter driven by its retail business and wholesale services to independent grocers. Net income was $52mln, a 174% increase over the same period last year, while net sales increased 0.4%, to $6.75bln. Earnings per share was 89 cents, above the consensus estimate of 74 cents. UNFI announced Steven Spinner plans to retire as company CEO at the completion of his contract on July 31, 2021, or before then if the company finds a successor. He will remain on the company’s board, serving as executive chairman once a replacement is named. UNFI has retained a leading executive talent firm to search for its next chief executive and is considering both internal and external candidates. UNFI expects elevated sales to continue in fiscal 2021 as food-at-home sales continue to outpace food consumed away from home during the pandemic. The company anticipates net sales will fall between $27bln and $27.8bln.
US: Meijer announces first-ever Supplier Diversity Summit aimed at ensuring inclusivity on its shelves
Meijer announced that it will host its first virtual Supplier Diversity Summit, giving diverse-owned businesses nationwide the opportunity to showcase their offerings for Meijer merchants looking to bring the next great item onto their shelves. "Focusing on supplier diversity is an important part of our diversity, equity and inclusion journey", Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. "While we have always valued diverse partnerships, this event exemplifies our commitment to building a more inclusive vendor community which will better serve our customers".
Amazon One: Palm scanner launched for 'secure' payments
Amazon has announced a new payment system for real-world shops which uses a simple wave of the hand. Its new Amazon One scanner registers an image of the user's palm, letting them pay by hovering their hand in mid-air "for about a second or so", it says. The product will be trialled at two of Amazon's physical stores in Seattle. But the company said it is "in active discussions with several potential customers" about rolling it out to other shops in the future.
US: Save Mart debuts contactless robotic grocery delivery
The Save Mart Cos. has launched an innovative on-demand grocery delivery service at the Save Mart flagship store in the company's hometown of Modesto, California, in collaboration with robot delivery company Starship Technologies. The rollout of the advanced contactless delivery service solidifies the flagship store’s role as an innovation lab and comes just ahead its first anniversary in October.
UK: Lewis checks out at Britain's Tesco, leaving challenges for new CEO
Dave Lewis stepped down after 6 years as Tesco chief executive, during which he got Britain’s biggest retailer back on track after an accounting crisis, leaving new challenges for his successor Ken Murphy. Murphy, 53, who was formerly at healthcare group Walgreens Boots Alliance, faces the long-term impact of the coronavirus crisis, a recession and possible disruption when Britain's Brexit transition period finishes at the end of 2020.
China: Alibaba expects cloud business to turn profitable for the first time within the next few months
Alibaba finance chief Maggie Wu said that Alibaba’s cloud computing business is expected to become profitable in this current fiscal year. Cloud computing is seen as being very critical to the Chinese e-commerce giant’s future growth. Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang called the technology a “growth engine” but said the world is in a “nascent stage of the global cloud era.”
CB4 announces partnership with Spanish supermarket giant Eroski to streamline operational execution
CB4 and Eroski are announcing a partnership to improve store execution and customer experience during Covid-19 and beyond. As a leading supermarket chain in Spain, Eroski understands how important it is to ensure products are available and buyable for customers during the pandemic. A recent CB4 survey showed that because shoppers now view physical retail as a risk, they are 50% more likely to visit a competitor if they can't buy what they want in a single trip.
Ocado overtakes Tesco as UK's most valuable retailer
Ocado has overtaken Tesco to become the UK’s most valuable retailer after its stock market value soared to £21.66bln. Tesco is worth £21.06bln despite controlling nearly 27% of the UK grocery market. By comparison Ocado, which is already worth more than double the combined value of Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, sells just 1.7% of the UK’s groceries. Former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy once famously described Ocado as a “charity” due to its track record of losses during the noughties.
Grocery is what's ruling UAE online shopping sales in 2020
Estimates suggest online shopping in the UAE and Saudi Arabia will add a staggering $7.5bln over the 2019 total to close this year at $12bln. Grocery sales in the UAE should cross $1bln this year based on current buying trends, and that would make up 20% of the country’s total online retail sales of $5bln. (In 2019, grocery was about $300mln out of $3.5bln). Today, much of online retail is being powered by fruits and vegetables, and all those products needed to get on with daily needs. “E-grocery was the biggest beneficiary during the lockdown weeks and grew by more than three times”, said Sandeep Ganediwalla, Regional Partner at RedSeer Consulting.
Walmart in talks for up to $25bln investment in India's Tata's 'super app': Mint
Walmart Inc is in talks with Tata Group for an investment of up to $25bln in the Indian conglomerate's planned "super app", the Mint newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The app, scheduled to be launched in India in December or January, will tie in all of Tata’s consumer business, including healthcare, grocery, insurance, fashion and electronics, the report said.
UK: Online supermarket deliveries demand rises as millions move back into lockdown
50% of Brits found that being able to do a weekly shop at their local supermarket through COVID was vital to combating isolation in lockdown. 50% of people in Britain (over 23mln) haven’t used cash at all since the start of lockdown and have relied exclusively on card and contactless payments. 43% of Brits (over 20mln) want their shopping experience moving forward to require as little human interaction as possible. 38% of Brits found that since lockdown, they have used online shopping more but have found it to be inefficient due to insufficient delivery slots and replacement items. Over one-third (34%) of Brits say that the self-checkouts cause significant anxiety due to hygiene concerns and proximity to other shoppers. 62% of Brits (28mln) want to be able to complete their supermarket shop and exit the store in under 20 minutes.