Canada: FoodX partners with Meridian to meet online grocery demand
A grocery e-commerce software provider, which works with the world’s largest retailers and boasts Whole Foods Markets’ co-CEO on its advisory board, recently added another grocer to its growing portfolio. FoodX Technologies has partnered with Vancouver, British Columbia-based Meridian Farm Market to deploy mid-market end-to-end e-commerce capabilities to the 30-year-old family-owned chain. With eight locations in Canada, Meridian Farm Market will use the eGrocery Management Solution to scale its business and meet the growing demand for online food orders while ensuring food quality with less waste.
US: Ahold Delhaize tackles a $480mln supply chain overhaul during pandemic - and Thanksgiving
Ahold Delhaize considered putting it all on hold. "There were times when we talked and debated, you know, is it better to pause?" said Chris Lewis, executive vice president for supply chain at Retail Business Services, Ahold's subsidiary in charge of back-end innovation for the grocery group containing Giant Food Stores, Giant Food, Stop & Shop, Hannaford and Food Lion, along with Peapod e-commerce grocery delivery. "But I'm glad we didn't", he said.
US: Forager teams with Indie grocers
Forager, which connects local farmers with grocers to bring consumers locally sourced food, has added to its network several independent grocers in new markets. Food retailers including The Common Bond Market, in Shelton, Connecticut; Solo Italiano, in Portland, Maine; Mountain View Market Co-op, in Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Pemberton Farms Marketplace, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will boost the amount of local food they source while leaving the supply-chain process, from procurement to payment, to Forager. The company also recently partnered with Mansfield, Massachusetts-based Roche Bros. Markets. These partnerships have enabled Forager to grow in such markets as the greater Boston and New York metropolitan areas, and to enter New Mexico.
US: Walmart Cookshop debuts
Walmart has rolled out Walmart Cookshop, which the retailer describes as a free interactive video hub offering custom content from such celebrity chefs and hosts as Jamie Oliver, Sofia Vergara, Patti LaBelle, and Ree Drummond, a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman. At Walmart Cookshop, visitors can customize meals according to their own particular preferences using choice-driven technology from eko, and buy ingredients for pickup or delivery within each video episode for maximum convenience.
US: Publix pursues vision of service and ownership
Todd Jones may be the CEO of Publix Super Markets, but it’s clear that he’s never let that title, or any executive position before it, get in the way of understanding the intricacies of the grocery business. Walking through a Publix store in the retailer’s hometown of Lakeland, Florida, Jones provides a master class on the nuances of baked goods and fried chicken, and the merits of hand-stacking avocados, color-blocking in produce and leveraging artificial intelligence to inform automatic-replenishment decisions. “When you walk into produce, you shouldn’t even notice there are fixtures there”, he advises. “If you notice fixtures, we haven’t done a very good job with how we merchandise”.
Thailand: Central Retail Corporation Q3 revenue decreased 11% year-on-year
Central Retail Corporation (CRC) has achieved V-shaped recovery in the third quarter of 2020, 87% Q1 sales level. The retailer reports Q3 revenue of THB47,573mln (US$1,577mln) and a net profit of THB746mln (US$24.7mln). Vietnam food business grew +0.4% for Q3 while Thailand registered -18% decline compared to last year. Overall, the food segment is -11% for Q3 year-on-year. The retailer has added 13 stores in total so far, 10 in Thailand and 3 in Vietnam.
Luxembourg supermarket group Cactus grows in convenience
Cactus, the underdog market leader with 61 supermarkets in Luxembourg, continues to expand. Just like runner-up Delhaize, Cactus redirects its focus on convenience stores, thanks to franchise concept Shoppi. Paradoxically, the largest food retailer in Luxembourg is also the smallest player: in a market populated by big companies such as Delhaize, Auchan and Monoprix, the family business is the odd one out. Managing Director Laurent Schonckert is well aware of this; hence the Luxembourg retailer continues to expand courageously but cautiously.
UK: Big 4 grocers, Aldi & Lidl to net almost £2bln in business rates relief
Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, Aldi & Lidl set to benefit from almost £2bln in business rates relief this year. This represents more than 1/6 of the total £10.1bln business rates bill written off for all businesses during the year. At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic the Chancellor announced a business rates holiday until March 2021. New data compiled for the PA news agency by real estate adviser Altus Group projects the UK’s Big 4 grocers - Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons - and German discount rivals Aldi and Lidl will save around £1.87bln as a result.
Holland: Digitisation must move faster for "food tech company" Albert Heijn
Albert Heijn is no longer just a supermarket chain, but a "food technology company". As far as chief executive Marit van Egmond is concerned, digitisation can go even faster: goodbye tills and hello far-reaching personalisation. "I don't see why we have to stick to queues with employees at the end", says Marit van Egmond, CEO of Albert Heijn since 2019. According to her, the innovation and digitisation of food retail are on the slow side. "If you look at how many people are banking digitally at home, I think: they must also be able to do their shopping digitally", says Van Egmond to Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant.
Poland: Eurocash Group with revenue and earnings growth in Q3 2020
Eurocash Group’s revenue in the third quarter of 2020 exceeded PLN7bln (1.6bln euro) and was 5% higher than in the same period last year. Sales in the wholesale segment went up by 3% y/y and in the retail segment by close to 4% y/y. With Frisco’s results being fully consolidated from July this year and given the expansion of innovative retail concepts that the Group is developing, revenue in the Projects segment grew exponentially, by 268%.
UK: Tesco apologises after online issues amid Christmas rush
Tesco has apologised to its online customers unable to get on its website as the supermarket seeks to cope with high demand for Christmas bookings. The UK's largest retailer has had to install a queuing system online to help it to manage the demand. Some customers complained to Tesco that they had been waiting hours to get onto the supermarket's website. "We're sorry if things take a bit longer than usual", Tesco said on its Twitter account.
Sweden: ICA sees sales up 8.9% in October 2020
Swedish retailer ICA has posted an 8.9% year-on-year growth in sales to SEK10.8bln (€1.05bln) in October 2020. Like-for-like sales for the period also increased by 8.9% compared to the same period last year. The company’s Maxi ICA Stormarknad retail chain emerged as the strongest performer, registering a sales growth of 12.6% (11.6% on a like-for-like basis) to SEK3.5bln (€340mln). ICA Kvantum and ICA Nära grew sales by 9% in this period to SEK2.7bln (€260mln) and SEK1.6bln (€160mln), respectively. ICA Supermarket saw a 5% growth in sales (6.1% on a like-for-like basis) to SEK3.1bln (€300mln).