Gruppo Selex has become the second largest player in the Italian grocery sector

Auchan Retail Romania has signed a partnership with foodpanda

Coop Switzerland sees slight decline in sales in 2020
At a group level, Coop Switzerland reported sales fell by 0.2% to CHF30.2bln (US$34.4bln), with its performance held back by its specialist formats. Its grocery formats, though, saw strong growth, as shoppers changed where they bought food and cooked more at home due to the pandemic. Coop reported record sales growth at its supermarkets, at 14.4%, in 2020. This saw it generate sales of CHF12.0bln (US$13.7bln) through the channel. It noted how its grocery formats had offset the challenges it faced ‘in its own gastronomy and in the wholesale / production division’. Online grew sales strongly as well, with sales through up by 42.6%.

Selex becomes second biggest player in Italian retail sector
Gruppo Selex has become the second largest player in the Italian grocery sector, with a 13.7% market share across its portfolio of hypermarkets, supermarkets, superstores and discount stores. This compares to a 9.7% share at the end of 2019. As of 1 January, five Italian family-owned regional retailers that make up the Supermercati Uniti Nazionali (SUN) consortium have joined Gruppo Selex as shareholders, bringing the total number of shareholders in the group to 18.

Delivery service foodpanda seals partnership with Auchan Romania
Auchan Retail Romania, the local division of French group Auchan, has signed a partnership with food delivery platform foodpanda. The agreement allows foodpanda users to order products from Auchan stores and have them delivered at home. The products available in the application are part of a wide selection of categories, including dairy, sausages, meat, fish, groceries, beverages, fruits and vegetables, bakery, confectionery, intended products personal care, for pets, for leisure, home and cleaning, for the garden and exterior, toys, but also household appliances, hi-tech products, multimedia or from the car segment.

UK: Christmas 2020/2021 trading statement by M&S
M&S reported: "Food LFL sales increased 2.6%, with LFL ex-hospitality up 5.7%. On a comparative basis this performance was even stronger given reduced food-on-the-move sales and lower footfall in town and city centres. During the four-week lead up to Christmas, customers responded to our innovative seasonal product, and LFL sales ex-hospitality and franchise grew by 8.7% with large retail park and Simply Food stores significantly outperforming. Operating changes including the Vangarde supply chain programme and investment in store technology resulted in stronger service and reduced waste. On top of this Ocado Retail further sustained its recent positive performance with the participation of M&S products remaining strong".

UK: Shoppers will pay more because of Brexit red tape, says Ocado boss
The cost of added paperwork traders must go through following Brexit will be “passed on to the consumer”, a senior retail chief has warned. Lord Rose, chairman of supermarket delivery company Ocado, said the delays and difficulties in international shipping caused by added red tape will mean customers will end up paying more.

Montenegrin supermarket chain Voli to enter Serbian market?
The largest Montenegrin supermarket chain, Voli, plans to enter the Serbian market, the Retail Serbia website unofficially finds out. The largest Montenegrin supermarket chain Voli opened yet another hypermarket in Zeta, Montenegro in late 2020. Spanning 1,600 square metres, the supermarket sells close to 10,000 items. As part of the new hypermarket, the TAKE & GO service is also available to customers. The new hypermarket has 150 parking spaces and employs 50 workers. With more than 60 retail outlets in 27 locations, Voli is today the largest retail chain in Montenegro. Unofficial sources confirm that Voli plans to enter the Serbian retail market soon. Apart from Serbia, the company also examined other markets in the region. There is no official confirmation from Voli as yet about this move.

Holland: Retailer Plus reports sales of €3bln in FY 2020
Dutch retailer Plus has reported sales of €3bln in its financial year 2020, up from €2.6bln in 2019. The company’s organic revenue increased by 12%, ahead of market growth of 9%. Turnover in the company’s e-commerce division increased by more than 130% as more customers ordered online due to the pandemic.

US: Schnuck Markets keeps it in the family with new VP
Schnuck Markets has appointed Ted Schnuck as the food retailer’s vice president, fresh. He will lead strategy development and execution for fresh food categories including meat, seafood, bakery, produce, floral as well as deli and prepared foods. This assignment will also result in Schnuck joining the company’s Strategy Team, the 10-member team of executives tasked with leading the overall direction and execution of the company.

US: Costco’s sales growth slows in December but beats Wall Street expectations
Costco Wholesale generated double-digit net and comparable sales growth in December, with the comp-sales gain down from recent months but topping Wall Street’s forecast. For the 5 weeks ended January 3, net sales climbed 12.3% to $19.14bln from $17.04bln a year earlier, the Issaquah, Washington-based warehouse club chain reported. The increase marked a slowdown from year-over-year growth of 15.1% in November, 15.9% in October and 16.9% in September.

US: Freshop e-commerce solution acquired by NCR
Retail solutions provider NCR Corp. has acquired grocery e-commerce company Freshop. According to NCR, adding e-commerce to its point-of-sale platform will give retailers, particularly regional and small grocery chains, the ability to quickly implement “buy-online, pickup-in-store” capabilities, thereby strengthening customer relationships, bolstering their brands, and earning better margins than with third-party e-commerce providers.

US: PriceSmart announces December net merchandise sales
PriceSmart, Inc. announced that for the month of December 2020, net merchandise sales increased 2.8% to $372.6mln from $362.3mln in December a year earlier. Foreign currency exchange fluctuations impacted net merchandise sales negatively by 3.1%, or $10.5mln, versus the same one-month period in the prior year. There were 47 warehouse clubs in operation at the end of December 2020 and 45 warehouse clubs in operation at the end of December 2019.

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