US: Walmart reopens Chicago Supercenters with focus on community
As part of its commitment to the city of Chicago after a turbulent year of unrest that led to the closing of area Supercenters, Walmart reopened two remodeled sites that include adjacent new Walmart Health centers. “Since a wave of civil unrest shook the nation in June, we’ve been listening intently to the citizens of Chicago”, said Keith Wyche, vice president, community engagement & support at Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart, in a blog post.
US: Retail trade group sees holiday sales up 3.6% to 5.2%, posting ‘strong finish’ to 2020 in spite of pandemic
The National Retail Federation expects 2020 holiday sales to rise between 3.6% and 5.2% year over year, amounting to between $755.3bln and $766.7bln. NRF President and CEO Matt Shay said he expects the industry could have a “strong finish” to 2020, in spite of the challenges from the coronavirus pandemic. Americans have more money to spend that they were previously using on things like travel, NRF said, while there is also renewed hope for the distribution of an effective Covid vaccine.
In pandemic Christmas, U.S. rivals aim to challenge Amazon under the tree
Walmart Inc, Best Buy Co Inc and hundreds of smaller retailers are bolstering their online gift features, hoping to challenge Amazon.com Inc’s dominance as a seller of holiday gifts to homebound shoppers. The new services seek to take some of the drudgery out of gift-giving. The features let consumers purchase a present online and have it delivered to the recipient with, for example, the retailer handling wrapping, a personal message or a receipt that does not show the gift’s price.
US: Aldi readies distinct urban site in Philly
Aldi U.S. next week will welcome the first shoppers of a distinct new store anchoring a mixed-use project near Center City Philadelphia. While the German-owned discounter, with U.S. headquarters in Batavia, Illinois, has been opening new stores at a rapid pace for years now, the new unit at 1300 Fairmont Ave. in Philadelphia’s North Broad neighborhood is different than most in location and design.
Loblaw to launch Canada's first autonomous delivery fleet in December
Loblaw Companies Ltd. plans to roll out its first autonomous delivery service next month, as Canada's largest retailer explores new ways of shipping goods to customers amid a broad increase in online shopping. Loblaw partnered with Palo Alto, California-based software startup Gatik AI for the delivery service. Gatik, which also has offices in Toronto, was founded in 2017 and focuses on the "middle mile" of logistics where it hauls goods over short distances for retailers and distributors. The company raised $4.5mln in seed funding in 2018 and counts Walmart Inc. as a customer in the U.S.
US: HelloFresh acquires ready-to-eat meal company Factor75, Inc.
US subsidiaries of HelloFresh SE (“HelloFresh”), have entered into an agreement to acquire all of the outstanding equity interests of Factor75, Inc. (including its subsidiaries “Factor”). HelloFresh is the leading provider of meal kits in the world and in the US. Factor is a leading provider of fully-prepared, fresh meals that combine health, convenience and restaurant-quality taste. The acquisition marks the next step in HelloFresh’s growth plan in the US to strengthen its leading position and to expand its total addressable market. The total purchase price for the acquisition is up to USD277mln in cash, subject to customary purchase price adjustments. Of that amount, USD177mln is payable upon the closing of the transaction and an aggregate amount of up to USD100mln is structured as performance-based earn-out, guaranteed by HelloFresh, and ongoing management incentives.
Carrefour Brasil shares plunge as Brazilians protest killing of black man at store
Supermarket chain Carrefour Brasil’s share price plummeted 6% in afternoon trading on Monday after the death of a black man beaten by security guards last week at one of its Brazil stores, igniting protests due to resume later in the day. Shares in the Brazilian chain, the local unit of France’s Carrefour, were the biggest losers on Brazil’s Bovespa benchmark stock exchange index, which was up about 1% overall in afternoon trading.
UK: Ocado Retail CEO to be City Food lecturer 2021
Organisers of the City Food Lecture have announced that the 2021 lecture will be given by Mel Smith, CEO of Ocado Retail, the world’s largest dedicated online supermarket. Formed in August 2019, Ocado Retail is a 50-50 joint venture between M&S and Ocado Group. It is responsible for ocado.com, online pet store Fetch and Ocado Zoom, a one-hour grocery service. Ocado Retail serves 350,000 households a week and has a 15% share of the UK online grocery market.
Kenya: Glovo extends operations to Kisumu and Eldoret
Glovo, the on-demand delivery company, has announced extension of its operations to Eldoret and Kisumu this month. This move is part of Glovo's strategic expansion in Kenya, with the company intending to have a presence in all major towns in the country. Residents in Kisumu and Eldoret will now be able to enjoy free delivery for top partners KFC, Java and Naivas as part of Glovo’s launch campaign in these markets.
South Africa: Woolworths provides 20-week trading update
South Africa-based Woolworths has reported a 20-week trading update, saying group sales rose contracted by 2.0% in constant currency terms as restrictions implemented because of COVID-19 affected results. It said restrictions had caused lower footfall at stores that were open, while they led to unplanned store closures too. While Woolworths faced challenges at a corporate level, its Food division continued to perform strongly. The retailer noted Woolworths Food continued ‘its positive momentum with volume growth and market share gains despite trade restrictions’. Woolworths reported Food’s total sales grew by 10.6%, while comparable store sales were up by 9.0%.
Russia: Yandex launches e-grocery delivery in Israel under new Deli brand
Reuters reported: Russian internet giant Yandex announced further expansion in Israel with the launch of its online grocery delivery, a service that has capitalised on demand in Russia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Russia's e-commerce market has boomed this year as lockdown restrictions have kept shoppers at home, with Yandex.Lavka, a 15-minute grocery delivery service, one of the main beneficiaries. Yango, the international arm of Yandex Go, the firm's taxi aggregator and food tech business, said the service would operate in Israel under a new brand, Deli, and would initially deliver goods within 10-15 minutes from small warehouses around 3 cities, Tel Aviv, Gamat Ran and Givatayim, before expanding to other areas.