US: FMI’s ‘Power of Foodservice at Retail’ shows category’s resilience
FMI - The Food Industry Association has issued its “2020 Power of Foodservice at Retail” analysis, which found that, despite COVID-19’s adverse effect on sales in this traditionally profitable area, grocers are still able to effectively compete for food-away-from-home dollars. “Food retail business owners navigated state and local challenges to operations and adapted by redistributing labor across the store, and foodservice employees embarked on their new roles maintaining sanitation and supporting shelf-stocking during times of unprecedented consumer demand for essentials,” observed Rick Stein, VP of fresh at Arlington, Virginia-based FMI.
US: Walmart looks to airports as inspiration for new store layout
Walmart is getting inspiration from the airport terminal as it revamps the layout and signage of its stores to speed up shopping and better cater to smartphone-armed customers. The nation’s largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, said that the look, which includes signs with bold dimensional typeface spotlighting sections, is currently in one store. It will be rolled out to 200 stores by early next year, with plans to add another 800 stores by early 2022. Walmart says it was working on a new store layout a year ago. But the pandemic accelerated those efforts as customers are increasingly focused on contactless shopping amid safety concerns.
US: Del Monte combines DTC commerce with same-day delivery
Del Monte Fresh Produce has launched its first e-commerce website with same-day delivery in the Dallas market - another signal that direct-to-consumer (DTC) commerce is picking up steam during the pandemic. Consumers can visit www.myfreshdelmonte.com to place orders for delivery. With more than 200 available SKUs from both Fresh Del Monte and Mann Packing Co. products, Dallas-based shoppers will be able to fill their virtual carts with fruits and veggies.
US: Schnuck Markets rolls out shelf-scanning robots to over half of store base
Following a pilot and limited deployment, Schnuck Markets is bringing Simbe Robotics’ Tally shelf-scanning robot to 46 more supermarkets, covering more than half of its store base with the autonomous inventory management technology. Schnucks said that 62 stores in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana will have Tally robots once the rollout is completed. Overall, the St. Louis-based regional grocer operates 112 stores, including in Wisconsin.
UK: Co-op expands partnership with Diebold Nixdorf to enhance customer shopping journeys through self-service and traditional PoS
Co-op Group, one of the world’s largest consumer cooperatives, has expanded its relationship with Diebold Nixdorf to include managed services and remote monitoring of self-service and point-of-sale (POS) systems throughout the UK. This comprehensive offering optimizes members’ shopping journeys by speeding up consumer checkout and enhances the company’s operational efficiency.
UK: Morrisons creates 1,000 jobs to process Amazon orders
British supermarket group Morrisons is creating more than 1,000 jobs to pick and pack orders for its services on Amazon. Morrisons said it was recruiting the additional workers to process customer orders from over 50 stores, covering most of the United Kingdom’s major cities and many towns.
Greek Supermarkets see employment numbers rise due to pandemic
Greece's food retail sector saw a 3.2% increase in employment in the first half of 2020, largely due to increased staff numbers at supermarkets due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the wider retail sector, employment numbers were down 0.4% in the same period, according to IELKA, Greece's consumer goods research institute, using EL.STAT data.
Norway: Coop likely to pay ‘record’ dividend in 2020
Coop Norway has announced that its 1.8mln co-owners can expect a record dividend payment for the year 2020. The company has earned close to NOK1bln (€90mln) so far this year, which is up more than 15% compared to the same period last year, and is therefore anticipating a bumper payout.
Italy: Carrefour, Gruppo VéGé form new purchasing alliance
Carrefour Italia and Gruppo VéGé have signed an agreement to set up a new purchasing alliance for the large-scale retail sector in Italy. AICUBE 4.0 will be one of the biggest purchasing centres in Italy, with a market share of 12.7%, representing around 5,256 grocery retail outlets and a total consumer turnover of more than €15.7bln. Gruppo VéGé and Carrefour Italia have agreed to collaborate for the next three years with no option of early withdrawal. However, AICUBE 4.0 is open to adding other players from the retail sector.
China: Alibaba Freshippo opens its first wholesale store
Joining the competition with Costco and Walmart’s Sam’s Club, the retailer opened its first membership-only wholesale store in Shanghai. The new wholesale store, known as X store, opened in Shanghai on 1 October. Goods bought in the X store can be delivered in half a day if the customer lives within a 20-km radius from it. “We hope we can improve our capabilities quickly and effectively via directly competing with Costco and Sam’s Club”, said Hou Yi, president of Freshippo (better known as Hema in China) in a statement.
Russia: X5 proposes to extend CEO Shekhterman’s tenure for two years
The supervisory board of Russia’s X5 Retail Group has proposed to extend the tenure of Igor Shekhterman as the company's CEO by two years. Shekhterman’s tenure as the top boss is scheduled to expire in May 2021. Upon approval, he will continue to lead the company up to the day of the annual general meeting of shareholders in 2023.
China: Hong Kong August retail sales plunge 13.1% as spending, tourism evaporate
Hong Kong’s retail sales plunged 13.1% in August from a year earlier as coronavirus restrictions slammed the brakes on spending in the city and tourism slowed to a trickle. Sales dropped to HK$25.6bln ($3.30bln), government data showed, falling for the 18th straight month but at a somewhat slower pace than in July, when they tumbled by 23.1%. In volume terms, retail sales fell 13.4%, compared with a revised 23.8% in July.
UK: Discounter B&M sees revenue up by a quarter in first half
Discounter B&M European Value Retail has posted group revenue growth of 25.3% in the first half of its financial year, with its UK estate seeing revenue growth of 29.5%, or 23% on a like-for-like basis. The group said that trading momentum continued into the second quarter, which saw 19.1% like-for-like growth, helped by the retailer's 'value-led, variety goods model and its convenient, easily-accessible, out-of-town locations'. It said that profits also saw a boost, driven by increased average spend per visit.