Japan supermarket sales: First rise in 5 years

Tesco: "The highest increase is being seen with leeks and cabbage as well as broccoli and sprouts"

Russia: X5 Retail Group sees digital sales rise more than threefold in 2020
X5 Retail Group said that sales across its various digital platforms rose by 362.2% year-on-year, driven by the coronavirus pandemic. The group's digital arm, which includes Perekrestok Vprok, express delivery and 5Post, posted sales of RUB20.1bln (€220mln) for the year. Online hypermarket revenue rose by 207.9% year-on-year, it added.
Source: esmmagazine.com 

Indian stock exchanges approve $3.4bln Reliance and Future deal in setback for Amazon
Indian stock exchanges approved the $3.4bln deal between retail giants Reliance Retail and Future Group in yet another setback for Amazon, which has invested more than $6.5bln in the world’s second-largest internet market and sought to block the aforementioned deal.
Source: techcrunch.com 

Les Mousquetaires: revenue up 2.3% to €46.3bln in FY2020
Les Mousquetaires announced full year 2020 results showing revenue, including fuel, rose 2.3% to €46.3bln. Les Mousquetaires reported its food retailing business generated sales of €37.8bln across its operations in Belgium, France, Poland, and Portugal. In its home market, its Intermarché banner saw growth of 1.4%, to €32.5bln, although this was strongly affected by a fall in fuel sales, which offset a strong increase in food sales.
Source: retailanalysis.igd.com 

UK: John Lewis lifts profit guidance after resilient Christmas
Britain’s John Lewis Partnership lifted its annual profit forecast, saying trading held up better than it expected during the Christmas period, indicating the strength of its Waitrose supermarket chain and online offering during lockdowns. The employee-owned department stores and supermarket group said it now expected its profits to be ahead of guidance provided in September when it forecast a small loss or a small profit for the 2020/21 period. John Lewis will publish its annual results on March 11.
Source: reuters.com 

UK: Greens suddenly become very trendy thanks to lockdown and the vegan revolution
Tesco reported: "Greens such as cabbage, spinach and even sprouts have become very trendy as homebound, lockdown Brits, with more time on their hands, return to scratch cooking. And the growing popularity of plant-based events such as Meat Free Mondays and Veganuary have also done much to encourage the eating of vegetables. The trend is so pronounced that Tesco is now working with its UK suppliers in order to grow more to meet the demand. The highest increase is being seen with leeks and cabbage as well as broccoli and sprouts. Since the first lockdown in March 2020 Tesco has seen the following increases against the previous year: Leeks - demand up by more than 30%. Cabbage - up nearly 25%. Broccoli - up 20%. Sprouts - up 10%. Kale - up 10%. Spinach - up nearly 10%".
Source: tescoplc.com 

Japan supermarket sales grow 0.9% in 2020 for 1st rise in 5 yrs
Japan's supermarket sales in 2020 rose 0.9% from the previous year on a same-store basis, increasing for the first time in 5 years on higher food sales, as more people ate at home during the novel coronavirus pandemic, an industry body said. Sales at supermarkets, including newly opened ones, operated by 56 companies totaled 12.76tln yen ($123.34bln) in 2020, up 2.6%, according to the Japan Chain Stores Association.
Source: mainichi.jp 

India: Reliance Retail to allow checkout through WhatsApp
Reliance Retail plans to integrate its own e-commerce app JioMart into WhatsApp, within the next 6 months. This would enable 400mln users of India’s most popular messaging app to order food and grocery products, without having to switch to another platform. Customers can place their orders on JioMart by adding its WhatsApp number (88500 08000) on their smartphones. This will then trigger the system to send a link to their WhatsApp chat window, which is valid for 30 minutes. Shoppers can then see JioMart’s product catalogue directly from their WhatsApp chat screen, start shopping and checkout on the same app. Reliance Retail is India’s leading offline retailer, and this partnership between JioMart and WhatsApp creates the potential for it to challenge Walmart-backed Flipkart and Amazon’s dominance in online retail.
Source: retailanalysis.igd.com 

Chile: Cencosud to invest US$1.8bln over the next three years
Cencosud S.A. is a Chilean-based multi-format retailer with operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. The business has announced plans to invest US$1.8bln between 2021–2023. This will be mostly invested in renovating and constructing stores, as well as developing technology and launching a new proximity supermarket banner.
Source: retailanalysis.igd.com 

Canada: After failed Carrefour bid, Couche-Tard seeks to reassure befuddled shareholders
Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc has been quietly reassuring shareholders about its growth strategy after its abrupt plan to buy French retailer Carrefour SA befuddled investors and cast doubt about the stock’s short-term prospects.
Source: reuters.com 

US: Instacart is eliminating nearly 2,000 jobs
Instacart plans to lay off nearly 2,000 of its workers, including the 10 workers from the Kroger-owned Mariano’s who unionized early last year, Vice reports. These workers are responsible for in-store shopping and packing of groceries.
Source: techcrunch.com 

US: Kroger and Ocado announce location of high-tech Customer Fulfillment Center in Phoenix, Arizona
The Kroger Co., America's largest grocery retailer, and Ocado, a world leader in technology for grocery ecommerce, announced Phoenix, Arizona, as the latest location for a Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC). The location confirms a previous announcement stating Kroger and Ocado would construct a CFC in the Southwest Region.
Source: prnewswire.com 

US: Giant Co. works to reduce its emissions
The Giant Co. is stepping up its environmental game. The retailer says it has joined the GreenChill program, a voluntary U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) partnership with food retailers, refrigeration system manufacturers and chemical manufacturers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their environmental impacts.
Source: progressivegrocer.com 

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