UK: Completion of acquisition of Asda by the Issa Brothers and TDR Capital Ltd
Walmart Inc. (“Walmart”), Asda Group Limited (“Asda”), the Issa brothers and TDR Capital have announced that the Issa brothers, founders and co-CEOs of EG Group, a global convenience and forecourts retailer, headquartered in Blackburn, UK, and investment funds managed by TDR Capital LLP, a leading UK-based private equity firm, have completed the acquisition of Asda, Walmart’s wholly-owned UK business, for an enterprise value of £6.8bln, on a debt-free and cash-free basis.
South African grocery retailer SPAR's 18-week sales rise 9.8%
South African grocery retailer SPAR Group said group sales rose by 9.8% in the 18 weeks ended January 29 but the ban on alcohol hammered liquor sales. SPAR, which also has operations in Poland and Switzerland, said group sales rose to 42.99bln rand ($2.98bln) from 39.15bln rand in the previous corresponding period.
Holland: Ahold Delhaize profit rises on higher revenue
Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV reported a rise in underlying operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2020 on higher revenue. The Dutch grocer made an underlying operating profit of 811mln euros ($981.8mln) for the quarter, 11% higher than in the year-earlier period. Coronavirus-related costs amounted to EUR210mln in the fourth quarter and EUR680mln in the whole of 2020, it added. Net sales rose to EUR19.60bln from EUR17.38bln the prior year. Analysts had forecast the figure to stand at EUR18.59bln.
Ocado launches UK’s largest dedicated B-Corp range in major sustainability push
Ocado has launched the UK’s largest dedicated “B-Corp” digital shopping aisle selling over 1000 products from sustainable suppliers. As part of its Eco Shop range, Ocado has launched a section dedicated to items from suppliers with a B-Corp certificate.
Tesco Malaysia is now Lotuss Stores Malaysia
Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, which operates around 60 Tesco and Tesco Extra stores nationwide has officially changed its name to Lotuss Stores Malaysia Sdn Bhd. The hypermarket chain disclosed this on its official Facebook page. Based on the Facebook page, the company will complete its re-branding exercise by the end of 2021. Lotuss Stores Malaysia is a member of Thailand's biggest agribusiness conglomerate, Charoen Pokphand Group Co., Ltd (CP Group).
Double-digit growth for Shoprite’s upper-market Checkers chain
Checkers, the upper market grocery chain within Africa’s largest food retailer group Shoprite Holdings, has shown double-digit sales growth of 11.1% in the half-year to December 27, 2020, according to an operational update. This is a positive sign for the retail giant, which is pumping significant resources into Checkers to take on the likes of upper market competitors Woolworths, Pick n Pay and to some extent Spar (the SuperSpar brand has some high-end stores).
Covid-19: Nearly 4,000 Amazon staff given wrong test results
Nearly 4,000 Amazon workers were given incorrect coronavirus test results after an error. Private test results shared with NHS Test and Trace led to 3,853 notifications being wrongly issued on 13 February, the government confirmed. Employees were told by Amazon the day before they were negative for the virus, then given the exact opposite message by contact tracers. One test and trace call centre received more than 500 calls from employees. The company has been testing frontline UK workers privately since October, sending the results to Public Health England, who then share them with NHS Test and Trace and equivalent bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Walmart temporarily closes over 600 stores as winter storms pound parts of US
Walmart closed hundreds of stores as a result of the winter storm bringing freezing rain, snow and subfreezing temperatures across the U.S. Approximately 628 Walmart and Sam's Club stores from Oregon to Florida have temporarily closed while the company's emergency operations center monitors the storms and "other potential disasters". Walmart, which also owns and operates Sam's Clubs, will assess the status of its facilities and will only continue to operate locations "as long as it is safe to do so", the Arkansas-based retailer said.
US: Hy-Vee to build free-standing grocery pickup kiosk
The Med City’s largest grocery store will soon build a “grocery pickup kiosk” staffed by store employees for customers who order online. Hy-Vee has filed plans with the City of Rochester to build a 1,200-square-foot “online grocery pick-up kiosk” by its store at 4221 West Circle Dr. NW, the largest of its four Rochester locations.
US: The Giant Company taps Swisslog to automate e-commerce fulfillment center
Ahold Delhaize USA’s The Giant Company supermarket chain and Peapod Digital Labs subsidiary have partnered with robotics solution provider Swisslog to automate the new Giant Direct e-commerce fulfillment center (EFC) in Philadelphia. Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based Giant said that Swisslog will build out the technology capabilities at the 124,000-square-foot facility. The project includes the installation of AutoStore’s robotic storage and retrieval system and its supporting Swisslog SynQ software and pick stations. Giant also will work with Peapod Digital Labs to streamline order fulfillment.