US: Dollar General sets 2021 expansion plans
The retailer, in announcing its third quarter earnings, said that it plans to open 1,050 stores in 2021, remodel 1,750 stores and relocate 100. Dollar General operates roughly 17,000 stores. CEO Todd Vasos offered more updates about DG Fresh: "We plan and continue to believe DG Fresh could provide a potential path forward to expanding our produce offering to even more stores in the future", he said. "In total, we were self distributing to more than 13,000 stores from eight DG Fresh facilities at the end of Q3. We expect to capture benefits from this initiative in more than 14,000 stores from 10 facilities by the end of this year, and are well on track to complete our initial rollout across the chain in 2021". Net sales increased 17.3% for Dollar General in the third quarter, reaching $8.2bln, while same-store sales increased 12.2%, driven by an increase in average transaction amount, partially offset by a decline in customer traffic. Dollar General’s operating profit increased 57.3% to $773.1mln.
US: Grubhub releases annual "Year in Food" report detailing the top trends of 2020
As the nation looks forward to 2021, Grubhub is taking time to look back at how Americans ate their way through a turbulent year. Grubhub, a leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace, released findings from its annual "Year in Food" report, analyzing orders from over 30mln diners to see what rose in popularity throughout an unpredictable year, while also highlighting the generosity of Grubhub diners and how they gave back to communities and restaurants in need. In addition, diners will receive their personalized "Taste of 2020" recap to get a glimpse of their favorite cuisines, menu items, and order habits throughout the year.
US: Walmart distribution center to add 1,000 jobs to South Carolina
Walmart is opening a new distribution center in South Carolina that officials say will create about 1,000 full-time jobs. The center will be located on the Ridgeville Industrial Campus in Dorchester County and is part of a $220mln investment in the state, officials said. Gov. Henry McMaster, Sen. Sean Bennett, R-Dorchester, and executives from Walmart and the South Carolina Ports Authority gathered at a groundbreaking event. The direct import distribution center will use the Port of Charleston to supply regional distribution centers, supporting about 850 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in the state and elsewhere.
US: Amazon Fresh expands beyond California
The first Amazon Fresh store outside of California is set to open December 10 in the Chicago suburbs. The 35,000-square-foot store, located in Naperville, Illinois, will become the fifth Amazon Fresh location. Amazon also plans another store for the Chicago suburbs, this one in Schaumburg.
Russia: Sistema not planning to reduce stake in online retailer Ozon
Russian business conglomerate Sistema is not planning to further reduce its stake in online retailer Ozon, CEO Vladimir Chirakhov said. Ozon raised nearly $1bln from its New York share listing on November 24, marking Russia’s biggest IPO in three years as investors rushed to capitalise on an e-commerce boom.
Lidl GB to return 100mln stg of business rates relief
Lidl GB, the British arm of the German discount supermarket group, said it would refund over 100mln pounds ($135mln) of business rates relief received due to the COVID-19 pandemic to the British government and the devolved administrations. Most of Britain’s supermarket groups have already said they will return the relief. “Looking ahead, as footfall in stores continues to grow, Lidl GB is well placed to manage any further changes to the business as a result of the pandemic, and therefore has brought forward plans to return the relief,” Lidl GB said.
Boxed in: French activists protest against Amazon's expansion
Climate activists piled up giant cardboard delivery boxes outside the finance ministry in Paris, protesting against Amazon’s expansion in France as the online retailer launched a delayed “Black Friday” sales drive.
More than 400 lawmakers from 34 countries back 'Make Amazon Pay' campaign
More than 400 lawmakers from 34 countries have signed a letter to Amazon.com Inc boss Jeff Bezos backing a campaign that claims the tech giant has “dodged and dismissed … debts to workers, societies, and the planet,” organisers said.
Jumia announces "at the market offering” sales agreement with Citi
Jumia Technologies AG (“Jumia”), the leading pan-African e-commerce platform, announced that it had entered into an “at the market offering” sales agreement with Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (“Citi”) for an aggregate 7,969,984 of Jumia’s ADSs. Jumia intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes. The amount of net proceeds will depend upon the market price at which the ADSs are sold.
UAE: India's online grocer FreshToHome picks up a deal in Abu Dhabi
FreshToHome, the online grocery portal, will tap into financial and non-financial support from Abu Dhabi Investment Office. This comes just weeks after it bagged $121mln from a funding round that brought on board Investment Corporation of Dubai and Bahrain’s Investcorp. In Abu Dhabi, FreshToHome will help with the emirate’s fast expanding ‘agritech’ capabilities. “We use cutting-edge research in AI and precision aquaculture for furthering food security in a sustainable manner”, said Shan Kadavil, CEO and co-founder of FreshToHome, which was launched in India and later expanded its reach into the UAE.