As online grocery booms in Britain, will new habits die hard?
Britain’s multi-billion pound supermarket industry is placing its bets on whether big-spending older shoppers will stick with buying their groceries online when months of lockdown end. Having more than doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic to represent 16% of Britain’s roughly 200bln pound ($281bln) food retail market, the country has one of the world’s highest take-ups of online grocery. Ocado boss Tim Steiner says it’s here to stay and will carry on growing quickly. Not so fast, say bosses of some established rivals. “A lot of people are talking about the new normal, I’m absolutely convinced that we are not in this new normal right now, we are in the temporary normal, we are in an extraordinary time”, Christian Härtnagel, CEO of Lidl GB, told Reuters.
Żabka opens 7,000th outlet in Poland
Polish retailer Żabka has announced that it has opened its 7,000th outlet in the country in the city of Biecz. The retailer has adapted the external visualisation of the store to align with the historical character of the location.
Ocado opens hub in Bristol as it plans to boost UK capacity by 40%
Online supermarket retailer Ocado has opened a new mini customer fulfilment centre (CFC) in a bid to expand its reach across the country after a strong 2020. Supporting up to 815 jobs, the Bristol-based centre has the capacity for over 30,000 orders a week and will hep the retailer with its increased demand over lockdown. 2 other CFCs are set to be opened at the end of this year in Purfleet and Andover, and are expected to boost Ocado’s capacity by 40%.
Amazon's new Polish site goes live as online competition grows
Online retailer Amazon’s new Polish website went live on Tuesday morning, the company said, marking a significant intensification of competition in the country’s booming e-commerce sector. “We are thrilled to launch Amazon.pl and to be able to offer Polish customers a selection of more than 100mln products, including tens of thousands of products from local Polish businesses”, Alex Ootes, Vice President, European Expansion for Amazon, said in a statement.
UK: John Lewis plots hundreds of shop-in-shops in Waitrose
John Lewis has reportedly set out plans to launch hundreds of shop-in-shops inside Waitrose stores. The department store chain is also plotting a smaller “local” format as part of a radical overhaul of its portfolio. John Lewis Partnership chair Dame Sharon White said she wants most of Waitrose’s 331 stores to contain a John Lewis implant within the next 12 to 18 months, The Times reported.
Factbox: Britain's online grocery boom
The online share of British grocery sales hit a record 16% in January, up from 8% in the same month last year, driven by increased demand during the country’s third COVID-19 lockdown, data from market researcher Nielsen showed. Britain’s big four supermarket groups - market leader Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons - have greatly expanded their online grocery capacity during the crisis.
Majorca: Mercapalma sales most affected by loss of tourism in 2020
The manager of Mercapalma, Jeroni Barbón, points to there having been a significant drop in sales because of the pandemic. For fruit and vegetables, there was a 20.4% drop in sales in 2020: 152,373 tonnes, as compared with 191,527 in 2019.
Amazon bets on Britain as Amazon Go grocery stores set to launch in London this week
Amazon is set to open the first in a slew of Amazon Go grocery stores across the U.K. this week, with wide anticipation that it is to unveil its debut store in Ealing, West London. Plans for the opening of the first Amazon Go store in the U.K. have been shrouded in high levels of secrecy for months, but it seems that workers have been preparing the site in recent weeks and the Amazon Go facade has remained covered up in an attempt to keep the opening of the Amazon grocery store under wraps for as long as possible.
Indonesia: Microsoft-backed Bukalapak considers U.S. listing via SPAC
Bukalapak.com, an Indonesian e-commerce company backed by Microsoft Corp., is weighing a U.S. listing via a special purpose acquisition company, according to people familiar with the matter. Bukalapak, which means “open a stall” in Bahasa Indonesia, is an online marketplace that sells products from grapes and shoes to cars and televisions. Founded in 2010, the startup’s platform hosts 13.5mln online sellers and 100mln users.
US: Shoppers call for Trader Joe's boycott
Trader Joe's, which has a cult following among consumers, is facing a boycott after an employee claims he was fired for demanding stricter mask requirements for customers. Ben Bonnema shared his story in a Twitter thread, claiming that he was terminated from a Trader Joe's location in New York City because he recommended 5 changes to improve safety amid the pandemic, including implementing a "three strike policy" to ban customers who repeatedly flout mask rules.
1st Ahold Delhaize USA facility transitions to self-distribution
Ahold Delhaize USA has revealed that one of its distribution centers, Freetown Grocery in Massachusetts, became the first to transition procurement from a third-party vendor to the company’s self-managed network, resulting in direct control of inventory and replenishment at the facility. “Our work to transform the supply chain to an integrated self-distribution model of the future is not only on time, but ahead of schedule,” noted Chris Lewis, EVP, supply chain for Retail Business Services, Ahold Delhaize USA’s services company.
US: Kroger funds ideas from startups to reduce food waste
The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation is doubling down on its commitment to end hunger and food waste by launching an open call to its second innovation fund. Eligible innovators with ideas and solutions to prevent food waste can submit an application by April 1 for business support and funding totaling $2.5mln in collective grants.
US: NGA relocates to Washington, D.C.
The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the $131bln independent supermarket industry, has moved its office from Arlington, Virginia, to Washington, D.C. The move comes at the same time that NGA is working closely with the Biden administration and Congress to advocate for independent grocers on various issues of importance to independents.
US: In 2021, online grocery sales will surpass $100bln
eMarketer reported: "The growth of the online category accelerated beyond our previous expectations in 2020. Amid the pandemic, tens of millions of US consumers became online grocery buyers for the first time, according to our latest forecast on US grocery sales. In 2021, this behavior will go from trial to habit for many shoppers. Online grocery sales grew 54.0% in 2020 to reach $95.82bln. That propelled it to a 12.0% share of total US ecommerce sales and 7.4% of all grocery sales. “The pandemic pushed consumers to search for a safe and convenient way of getting essential grocery items, and many retailers adapted to that demand," said Whitney Birdsall, eMarketer senior forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence".