Romania: Retailer Profi adds 31 new stores to its chain in Jan-Feb
Romanian supermarket and convenience store chain Profi, controlled by the investment fund Mid Europa Partners, opened 31 new stores in the first 2 months of the year, out of a full-year target of 250 stores. It opened 15 units in January and 16 in February. The company continues the accelerated expansion it started a few years ago. The retailer announced plans to open 200 new stores per year on average and become the second-biggest player on the local market by 2024.
India: Flipkart expands grocery sales and starts voice search
Walmart-owned Flipkart will expand its online grocery operations to more cities in India, start voice search in English and Hindi, and make changes in its board of directors. The online grocery market has grown rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this expansion allows it to compete with the likes of Alibaba-backed BigBasket, Grofers, Amazon and Reliance Industries’ JioMart.
Singapore: Little Farms opens its largest grocery store yet in Katong
Singaporeans in the east can look forward to whipping up healthy and wholesome meals using natural and organic supplies at the Little Farms Groceries’ biggest outlet yet. The Singaporean grocer, known for sourcing its goods from Australia and Europe, announced that it will bring its widest selection of products to a new 557sqm store on Joo Chiat Road in Katong, which opens March 13. Fresh products to look out for include grass-fed and free-range meats, as well as organic and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
UK: Tesco makes ambitious new commitments to support healthy, sustainable diets
Tesco has set out new plans to help customers eat more healthily, and to make Tesco the easiest place for customers to shop for affordable, healthy, sustainable food. The supermarket’s plans between now and 2025 will include a major new programme of reformulation to improve the health profile of products; changes to promotions and pricing to remove barriers to buying healthy food; and a further expansion of Tesco’s market-leading plant-based ranges, with new products that will make plant protein even more accessible to families.
Portugal: Jerónimo Martins' quarterly profit down 25% on pandemic costs
Portuguese retailer Jerónimo Martins has posted a 25% drop in fourth-quarter net profit compared to a year ago, despite a gentle rise in overall sales driven by its key market, Poland, as costs increased due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As net profit fell to €93mln, Portugal's second-largest retailer warned 'there is still uncertainty about the possible implementation of further confinement measures, at least in the first half of the year'.
UK: Morrisons relegated from FTSE 100
Morrisons is to be relegated from the FTSE 100, the culmination of its share price being on a downward trajectory for more than 2 years. The supermarket group has struggled to find favour with investors, who have been concerned with rising costs despite the company generally considered to have responded well to the pandemic.
UK: Amazon-backed food delivery firm Deliveroo picks London for its blockbuster debut
Deliveroo said it would go public in London with a dual-class share structure, allowing founder and CEO Will Shu to maintain control of the firm. A review backed by the U.K. government recently called for reforms to London’s listing regime, including the ability to list dual-class shares. It’s a boon to London’s stock market, which is looking to attract more high-growth tech firms to compete with New York and Europe.
Supermarket chain Albert Heijn wants to open small unmanned shops in Belgium
Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn wants to open at least 100 small, unmanned shops in various office spaces in Belgium and the Netherlands, it announced. These are small supermarkets with a limited range of products, without staff and where customers scan their purchases themselves. The chain plans to open at least 25 in Belgium.
UK: Amazon Fresh till-less grocery store opens in London
Amazon has opened a till-less grocery store in London - its first "just walk out" shop outside the US. Visitors to Amazon Fresh scan a smartphone app when entering and are automatically billed as they leave. Visitors only have to place an item in a bag or otherwise carry it out to be charged by the store, which is located at the street entrance of a shopping centre in the borough of Ealing.
US: Trader Joe’s is No. 1 in customer satisfaction, but metrics down overall
Following 4 years of fairly steady customer satisfaction, the supermarket industry’s rating in this area has dropped 2.6% to a score of 76 out of 100, with 17 of 20 major grocers earning lower scores year over year, according to data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Monrovia, California-based Trader Joe’s is No. 1 in the supermarket industry - as well as the entire retail sector - with a stable score of 84, with 4 companies tying for second place with scores of 82: Costco (down 1%), H-E-B (down 2%), Publix (down 1%) and Wegmans (down 2%). The remaining top-tier performer from 2019, Aldi, slid 4% to tie with a stable Sam’s Club at 80.
US: Grocery Outlet caps off fiscal 2020 with strong Q4
Grocery Outlet Holding Corp. enters its 75th year in business in 2021 after notching double-digit net and comparable sales gains for fiscal 2020, as well as fourth-quarter adjusted earnings that topped Wall Street’s forecast. For the 14-week quarter ended January 2, net sales surged 23.1% to $806.8mln from $655.5mln a year earlier, Grocery Outlet said. The sales total reflects $53.3mln from the extra week, according to the company. On a 13-week comparable basis, sales rose 7.9% year over year, up from a 5.1% comp-sales increase in the fiscal 2019 quarter.
US: Whole Foods, UNFI extend distribution partnership
United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) and Whole Foods Market, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon, have extended their current primary wholesale grocery distribution agreement, the term of which now runs until Sept. 27, 2027. “Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNFI and Whole Foods have worked closely together to consistently deliver better-for-you foods to consumers throughout North America,” noted Steven L. Spinner, chairman and CEO of Providence, Rhode Island-based UNFI.
Walmart Canada ramps up its e-commerce business
As more customers are shopping online, Walmart Canada is putting its foot on the gas pedal. In a recent blog post, the company announced it’s accelerating its e-commerce expansion with a number of moves. The big news is the retailer is building its first fully automated fulfillment centre in Scarborough, Ontario. The 22,000-sq.-ft. space will automate online grocery picking and dispensing with picking speeds up to 6 times faster than manual store picking, according to the company.
US: Kroger delivers strong fourth quarter and fiscal year 2020 results
The Kroger Co. reported its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2020 results. Total company sales were $30.7bln in the fourth quarter, compared to $28.9bln for the same period last year. Excluding fuel and dispositions, sales grew 10.7%.