Saudi Arabia: LuLu launches its first all-woman store, in Jeddah
The hypermarket operator LuLu has launched its first all-woman store - at its LuLu Express store in Jeddah. This comes as the retailer hits the 200-location mark in its network. The team of 103 women is led by Maha Mohammed Alqarni, General Manager. Located near King Abdul Aziz University, it occupies 37,000 square feet, the new express store. This is, incidentally, the brand's 20th store in Saudi Arabia.
Russia: Magnit opens its first dark stores
Magnit PJSC (the Company, Magnit), one of Russia’s leading retailers, has opened two pilot warehouse stores in Moscow that only serve online orders - dark stores. Dark stores are located in the north and east of the capital and are used for express delivery within one hour. The stores process orders made via Magnit’s own delivery service, and in the near future they will be connected to partner services - Delivery Club and Yandex.Eda.
UK: Shift to local shopping to continue
Consumers look set to continue shopping locally in convenience stores in the future as the moves towards home-working and local living over the last year replace the pre-pandemic norms. However, retailers and suppliers will need to meet the needs of these shoppers under pressure from the economic downturn. This is according to Lumina Intelligence’s new Future of Convenience Report 2021, which explores the consumer trends shaping the industry and how the sector can leverage them during uncertain times and beyond.
Australia: Coles launches new rapid click & collect service
Coles has rolled out a 90-minute click & collect service to over 400 stores, called Click&Collect Rapid. Shoppers can now order online and pick up their shopping in just an hour and a half. The service also offers an extended range to that available via standard click & collect. Orders are capped at 40 items and must reach a minimum spend of AU$30. There is also a flat $5 fee for the service. Order windows become available at 1pm each day, with pick up slots at most stores from 2:30-5:00pm.
"Picnic moves into France in 2021"
Online supermarket Picnic is due to launch in France this year. The region around Lille, in the north of the country, would be the first to be targeted. There have been persistent rumours for some time that the Dutch web supermarket Picnic would move into France after Germany. After all, the retailer is looking for French-speaking employees for its head office. Moreover, under the name Picnic SAS, a French subsidiary has already been set up. LebensMittelZeitung now also confirms the plans.
Grofers doubles revenue in India
India’s online grocer Grofers has reported a 111% increase in its revenue to INR1,767mln (US$24mln) in FY20 (ending March 2020). However, with overall expenses increasing 53% to INR8,142mln (US$112mln), the retailer reported a net loss of 42%, equating to INR6,374mln (US$88mln).
UK: Morrisons confirms a number of possible redundancies in Bradford
Morrisons have confirmed the possibility of redundancies in Bradford as the company continues with its "plan to simplify the business". The T&A had been contacted about the redundancies and it is understood that around 200 staff within the supply chain function at Morrisons Head Office, in Gain Lane, Bradford, have been placed into consultation ahead of planned redundancies toward the end of March.
Portugal: Cepsa chooses Auchan for its new c-store concept
Spanish fuel retailer Cepsa will partner with Auchan, the French supermarket group, to open convenience stores in Portugal. Cepsa will open a network of franchised convenience stores at its Portuguese stations that will slowly replace the existing Depasso stores, reports El Economista.
Is Aldi preparing for e-commerce?
Aldi Süd, which has around 10,000 shops in 20 countries, is gradually rolling out a globally standardised IT system across its shop network. This global digitization is expected to involve an investment of approximately 1.5bln euros. According to Lebensmittel Zeitung, the operation is intended to lay the foundations for a move into e-commerce. Aldi Süd said it was working on "suitable and market-driven solutions for all countries of the Aldi Süd Group to flexibly meet the omnichannel requirements of its markets".
Amazon shareholders support union formation
More than 70 Amazon investors are backing warehouse workers who want to form a trade union in the US. The e-commerce giant is trying to thwart these plans, but investors stood up against Amazon. In a letter, more than 70 Amazon shareholders ask the company to stop its anti-union campaign. The investors, who account for around 20bln dollars of the capital, say they support employees who want to form a union. That is reported by the Financial Times.
Walmart+ gains traction 5 months after launch
5 months after Walmart's membership program, Walmart+, was released, data indicates that it has garnered between 7.4mln and 8.2mln members, signaling a promising start for a potential Amazon Prime rival, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners analysis. Customers spend an average of $1,000 at Walmart.com per year, which is "remarkably similar to the long-term figure for Amazon", said Josh Lowitz, partner and co-founder of CIRP. Walmart+ members currently account for about 13% to 14% of total Walmart.com shoppers as of January 30, per the report.
US: Food Lion and Instacart expand SNAP program
Instacart and Food Lion are expanding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payments, the latest example of the one of the ongoing trends in food retail in 2021. More specifically, the San Francisco-based Instacart has launched Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) SNAP payment integration in partnership with Food Lion. With this launch, EBT SNAP online payment will now be available at more than 350 Food Lion stores across North Carolina. People who rely on EBT SNAP will now be able to use their benefits for online grocery delivery and pickup at Food Lion.
US: Wakefern next to venture ‘Beyond the Bag’
Wakefern Food Corp. has become the latest grocer to join the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag and its Beyond the Bag Initiative, a collective effort with the goal of identifying, testing and scaling design solutions to create a more sustainable retail bag.