Amazon is reportedly set to open a new distribution base in Ireland

Eurotorg: 4Q 2020 and FY 2020 operating results

Auchan to focus on modernisation in Russia
According to reports in Finmarket, Auchan is not planning to open any stores in Russia in 2021. Instead, the retailer will focus on its current projects of modernising existing stores and improving operational efficiency. As part of this, it will look to evolve its assortment to increase the share of locally produced goods in its fresh offer, strengthen its range of healthy lifestyle products and improve its private label offer too. The aim is to be able to launch a ‘completely new customer experience’ by 2022.

Amazon reportedly set to open Irish distribution base which could have big impact on prices
Amazon is reportedly set to open a new distribution base in Ireland which would be a boost for Irish shoppers after Brexit. Bloomberg is reporting that the firm is currently looking at building a logistics centre in Baldonnell, Dublin.

Belarus: Eurotorg announces 4Q 2020 and FY 2020 operating results
Eurotorg Holding Plc. (“Eurotorg” or the “Company”), the largest food retailer in Belarus, announced its unaudited operating results for the 3 months (4Q 2020) and full year ended 31 December 2020 (FY 2020). Operating highlights for 4Q 2020 and FY 2020: In 4Q 2020 net retail sales accelerated by 10.6% year-on-year (“y-o-y”) to BYN1,248mln (net retail sales in USD decreased by 10.9% y-o-y to USD485mln). In 2020 net retail sales increased by 8.7% y-o-y to BYN4,804mln (net retail sales in USD terms decreased by 6.6% y-o-y to USD1,973mln). As of 31 December 2020, the Company operated 927 stores with total selling space of 345.8 thousand square metres (“ths sqm”). In 4Q 2020 Eurotorg added 32 new grocery stores; one store was closed.

Hungary: Auchan raises wages 5.6%
The local unit of French supermarket chain Auchan is raising the wages of non-management staff by 5.6%, on average, from March 1, Auchan Retail Hungary said, according to Entry-level wages will rise by 6.2% to gross monthly HUF260,000. Wages could rise again in the second half of the year, depending on individual performance as well as overall targets achieved by the business, Auchan Retail Hungary said.

Kaufland expanding in Germany, with stores, and Poland, online
Germany’s competition authority, The Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt), has approved Kaufland’s acquisition of some Real stores in Q4 2020. By taking over these stores Kaufland is improving its purchasing position in the country. Kaufland’s acquisition will see it acquire 92 of the 101 Real hypermarkets it applied for originally, although they are subject to certain conditions. The reason for the 9 other stores were not approved to be acquired was that competition in these locations would be impacted.

Battle for Poland’s $19bln e-commerce market begins for real with Amazon entry
A battle for Poland’s online shoppers is heating up with Amazon Inc. announcing plans to enter the booming $19bln market. Shares in the east European nation’s e-commerce leader and Warsaw’s biggest listed stock, SA, slumped the most in a month after the U.S. giant announced that sellers can register for its new Polish website that will go live soon.

French supermarket chain Auchan sought to enter retail market of Uzbekistan
In an exclusive interview with EastFruit, Makro supermarket chain CEO Roman Sayfulin said that the chain was negotiating with Auchan to enter the food retail market in Uzbekistan. “Since 2016, we have been negotiating with representatives from the French network Auchan. Unfortunately, they failed to enter the retail market of Uzbekistan, but the team that worked here for a long period of time brought for the first time a whole book of fruit and vegetable standards”, says Roman Sayfulin.

InPost snags Amazon deal to tighten grip on Polish e-commerce
Parcel locker company InPost SA has clinched a five-year deal with Amazon Inc. as the U.S. giant enters Poland’s revved up $19bln e-commerce market. InPost Chief Executive Officer Rafal Brzoska revealed the contract in an interview with Bloomberg. The Amsterdam-listed company will handle some Amazon deliveries in Poland through its network of automated lockers as well as directly to homes, he said.

US: Autonomous food delivery company Starship Technologies, which has enjoyed explosive growth, says kids are feeding its robots bananas
Starship Technologies, the autonomous delivery company that sends little six-wheeled robots to people's doorsteps with groceries and takeout, has had an astonishing year. Starship Technologies was founded by Skype cofounders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis in 2014. Its autonomous deliveries were already starting to ramp up prior to 2020, but the pandemic supercharged its growth. The company hit 1mln autonomous deliveries, representing a 900% increase from August 2019 to January 2021. Previously, it took the company 5 years to hit 100,000 deliveries. Starship has robots operating in cities and university campuses around the US, the UK, and parts of Europe. In some places they have become enough of a mainstay that local children have tried to feed them. "Kids are feeding the robots bananas on the street", Heinla said, adding this had been observed multiple times in the English town of Milton Keynes. "But robots are not hungry for bananas really", he added.

US: Winn-Dixie operator Southeastern Grocers pulls IPO
Southeastern Grocers Inc, the operator of U.S. supermarket chains Winn-Dixie and Harveys, decided to cancel its initial public offering, the second time in recent years that it pulled an IPO. Southeastern Grocers did not specify the reason for withdrawing the IPO. The company made the decision due to a lack of demand at the price range it was targeting, Reuters reported, citing a person familiar with matter. “The company will continue to evaluate the timing for the proposed offering as market conditions develop”, Jacksonville, Florida-based Southeastern Grocers said in a statement.

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