Kroger breaks into top 10 U.S. e-commerce companies
Riding the success of its ongoing investments in e-commerce and powered by a COVID-19 surge in online grocery sales, The Kroger Co. entered eMarketer’s annual list of Top 10 U.S. Retail E-Commerce Companies with $11.28bln in sales this year. Kroger, the nation’s largest grocery chain, saw its e-commerce sales jump by 79% in 2020, according to eMarketer. Kroger made the list for the first time, at No. 9, nudging out Costco Wholesale at No. 10 with $11.18bln in digital sales. While Kroger is the only pure grocery player to make the list, Amazon (No. 1), Walmart (No. 2), Target (No. 7) and Costco all have robust online grocery offerings.
US: Food Lion remodels 112 Mid-Atlantic stores
Food Lion has rolled out 112 remodeled stores across Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, offering shoppers a larger variety of new products and services and an improved shopping experience. Also as part of the $212.5mln investment in the stores, the grocer hired more than 2,300 associates, which Food Lion said would generate $360mln in economic impact across the communities served by these stores, citing an economic impact study from Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI). Further, Food Lion’s remodels are expected to raise state and local tax revenues by $40mln across the five states, according to the retailer.
Canada: Metro partners with Bringg to enhance e-grocery
Metro is partnering with a delivery and fulfillment platform called Bringg, as the Quebec-based grocer continues to look for ways to enhance its e-grocery offering. The partnership coincides with Metro’s increased investment in its delivery and click-and collect-services to meet growing demand.
US: Hugo’s Family Marketplace updates food safety
Independent food retailer Hugo’s Family Marketplace, which operates stores in North Dakota and Minnesota, has selected equipment-monitoring and task management solutions from Boston-based SmartSense by Digi to improve the grocer’s food safety through automation and organization-wide visibility. SmartSense’s small-form-factor temperature sensors and wireless gateways easily fit into existing equipment and provide simple and continuous monitoring. This will allow Hugo’s to automate and digitize operations to reduce the chance of temperature issues, even when stores are closed, and gain greater visibility into operations.
Pandamart to expand across Malaysia bringing groceries and fresh produce in under 20 minutes
Pandamart recently held a virtual tour of one of their 25 Pandamart dark stores showing off their wide range of groceries, body care products, cosmetics, fresh produce and more. While they’ve been open since July 2020, Pandamart will soon expand in Seremban, Melaka and Ipoh with plans to expand everywhere in Malaysia (including East Malaysia) to be implemented next year in 2021. Deliveries are offered under 20 minutes through FoodPanda riders using the FoodPanda app in their stores section.
South Korea: Emart poised to phase out of Vietnam to focus on U.S.
South Korea’s largest supermarket chain operator Emart Inc. is pulling out of Vietnam, the second major Asian market after China, in the face of regulatory hurdles. The retailer has been rolling back investments in the country. In its 2019 semi-annual report, it had vowed to invest 460bln won ($424.3mln) in its Vietnamese entity through 2022. But it had slashed that amount to 247.8bln won in the third-quarter report. An Emart representative, however, denied the exit rumors and said it was studying other options such as strategic alliance or business partnership.
UK: Ocado raises earnings outlook again on strong trading
British online supermarket Ocado Group raised its core earnings forecast for 2019-20 for the second time in two months as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to generate huge demand for home delivery. Ocado forecast full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of “over 70mln pounds” ($93mln) versus a previous forecast of “over 60mln pounds”. EBITDA in 2018-19 was 43.3mln pounds. The group, whose shares have soared 82% this year, said revenue at its retail joint venture with Marks & Spencer rose 34.9% to 579.6mln pounds in its fourth quarter to November 29.
The Netherlands: Colruyt Group to test hydrogen truck for heavy transport
Colruyt Group has recently become Europe's first to test a 44-ton all-electric truck with a hydrogen "range extender". The retailer has been investing in hydrogen solutions for some time now. The new truck, developed by VDL Groep in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and the trial are part of the European Interreg demonstration project Waterstofregio 2.0. What is remarkable about the truck is the fact that the batteries get recharged by the hydrogen-based fuel cell whilst driving. This system allows the vehicle to cover longer distances compared to ordinary electric trucks, which is crucial in freight transport.
French online retail sales seen rising 6% in 2020
Online retail sales in France could reach 109.6bln euros in 2020, a rise of 6% on the year as the COVID-19 pandemic boosted remote shopping, the country’s e-commerce federation Fevad said. Online retail sales in France rose 5% year-on-year to 77.9bln euros in the first 9 months of the year, Fevad said, predicting a year-on-year increase of 8.5% in the last quarter of 2020, which includes the crucial Christmas season.
UK: Sainsbury’s creates 12,000 seasonal roles ahead of digital December
With customers shopping differently this December, Sainsbury’s has created 12,000 seasonal roles and supercharged its digital offer in order to help everyone find what they need for Christmas safely, quickly and conveniently. To serve as many online shoppers as possible this Christmas, 12,000 colleagues - almost double the number recruited last year - will join Sainsbury’s supermarkets and help fulfil online grocery orders, from driving deliveries to homes to picking and packing products in store.
Carrefour ranked as the leading French retailer for its CSR Commitments in both the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)
For the fourth year in a row, the Carrefour Group is among the top 5 leading global retailers in the DJSI. The DJSI is a leading family of indices which assess the results of the CSR policies implemented by more than 3,500 companies throughout the world. Carrefour has also been awarded a score of A- in the CDP's Climate program, a B in its Forests program and an A- in its Water program, confirming the leading role it is playing in tackling climate change, fighting deforestation and protecting the planet's water resources.
France: Groupe Casino seeks to strengthen financial structure
Groupe Casino has announced the launch of a transaction aimed at strengthening its liquidity up to the end of 2023, by reducing bond debt and extending its average maturity. The transaction includes several factors, including tapping the 2024 Secured Term Loan B initially issued in November 2019 for a targeted amount of €200mln and he potential launch of a senior unsecured debt instrument maturing in January 2026 for a targeted amount of €300mln.