US: ALDI bolsters commitment to affordable sustainability with new charter
ALDI announced a new sustainability charter to demonstrate its commitment to protecting the planet's resources and ecosystems with a series of initiatives that will be achieved between now and 2030. The bold approach highlights commitments to lower greenhouse gases, reduce food and operational waste, improve packaging and source responsibly. Each of these commitments will have a positive impact on the environment while continuing to provide customers with accessible and affordable choices.
Canada: Empire reports third-quarter profit and sales up year over year
Empire Company Ltd. says it earned a profit of $176.3mln in its most recent quarter, up from $120.5mln a year earlier, boosted by higher sales. The grocery chain that owns Sobeys and other banners says the profit amounted to 66 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended January 30, up from 45 cents per diluted share in the same quarter a year earlier. The increase came as sales in what was the company’s third quarter totalled nearly $7.02bln, up from nearly $6.40bln. Same-store sales excluding fuel increased by 10.7%.
US: Korean grocery giant H Mart will open its first Florida location in Orlando
New Jersey-based Korean grocer H Mart is wading into the crowded grocery-store field in Orlando. As first reported by the Orlando Business Journal, the anticipated Orlando store will be the first H Mart location in both the city and the state, and will be located on West Colonial Drive near the Fairgrounds.
US: United Natural Foods, Inc. reports second quarter fiscal 2021 results
United Natural Foods, Inc. (the “Company” or “UNFI”) reported financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2021 (13 weeks) ended January 30, 2021. Second Quarter Fiscal 2021 Highlights (comparisons to second quarter fiscal 2020): Net sales increased 7.1% to $6.89bln. Net income of $59mln, an increase of $90mln. Adjusted EBITDA of $206mln, a 57.3% increase.
US: Schwarz Group improves delivery time for innovative digital services with Red Hat
Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, announced that Schwarz Group has adopted Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to centrally control and manage 12,500 retail outlets. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform supports an automation framework that allows Schwarz Group to roll-out new stores quickly and deliver digital services globally, while simultaneously supporting local markets through decentralised management. The Schwarz Group is the world’s fourth largest retailer based on revenue. It operates over 12,500 stores globally under the Lidl and Kaufland brands.
US: Kroger is shutting down Ralphs, Food 4 Less stores in L.A
The Kroger Co. is closing two Ralphs stores and one Food 4 Less store in Los Angeles, a decision accelerated by a new city council mandate that requires extra pay for front-line workers. According to a statement from Kroger, the mandate will add an additional $20mln in operating costs over the next 120 days, making it financially unsustainable to continue operating the underperforming locations.
X5, Sber and VISA roll out pay-with-a-glance technology at Perekrestok and Pyaterochka stores
X5 Retail Group ("X5" or the "Company"), a leading Russian food retailer, Sber and Visa have launched an innovative pay-with-a glance service at self-checkouts in X5 stores. Now available at 52 Perekrestok supermarkets, the service uses biometric identification based on X5's innovation lab technology and VisionLabs solutions. The new payment method is scheduled to become available at 150 Perekrestok supermarkets by the end of March, while in April several Pyaterochka proximity stores in Moscow are following suit. Visa is a strategic partner of the project.
Tesco to launch UK’s biggest network of recycling points for soft plastic
Tesco has begun rolling out soft plastic recycling points to 171 stores in the South West of England and Wales with plans to roll out to all large stores nationwide. This will be the first time that the UK has had a network of collection points of this size dedicated to the collection of soft plastic. Most councils don’t collect soft plastic from homes for recycling and it therefore often goes to landfill. The most common items to be returned during the trial were: Bread bags, Fruit and vegetable packaging, Crisp packets, Salad bags, Baby and pet food pouches.
Germany: Edeka sells delivery service Bringmeister
German supermarket group Edeka - which has an interest in Dutch web supermarket Picnic - is selling its delivery service Bringmeister to Czech investment group Rockaway. This may increase German online competition. Bringmeister came into the hands of Edeka after the acquisition of Kaiser's Tengelmann in 2017. The delivery service operates in the regions around Berlin and Munich. According to the retailer, sales have tripled in the past 3 years, yet there was no investment in further expansion. Edeka, however, did take an interest in 'pure player' Picnic and now seems to want to concentrate on that, although the group will continue to deliver products to Bringmeister.
UK: John Lewis warns of 'painful' store closures
Retail giant John Lewis has warned of further "painful" store closures as it posted huge losses due to Covid-related lockdowns that forced shops to shut. The group swung to a loss of £517m for the year to January, against profits of £146m the previous year. The retailer said it "does not expect" all of its department stores to reopen once lockdown restrictions ease.
German delivery service Gorillas launches in London
Gorillas, a delivery startup from Germany, has launched its services in London. The company offers a full range of groceries from its own distribution hubs within 10 minutes. The UK is the third market in Europe where Gorillas is active.
Britain's M&S plans smaller store on flagship London site
British retailer Marks & Spencer has proposed a redevelopment of its flagship Marble Arch store in central London that would see the upper levels of the building made into office space, it said. Under the proposals, which M&S is seeking to consult with local stakeholders on, it would develop a smaller modernised full-line store on a site it has occupied since 1930.
Holland: Just Eat Takeaway: market share prevails over profits
After Deliveroo, Just Eat Takeaway.com also announces a great year: the number of orders made through the meal delivery company rose by 42% to 588mln in 2020. This is in line with the 46% growth at competitor Deliveroo. "2020 was an extraordinary year for us", said CEO Jitse Groen, with the Covid pandemic acting as a tailwind.
UK: Morrisons' halving of profits is 'badge of honour', CEO says
The boss of Morrisons, Britain’s fourth largest supermarket group, said the group’s halving of annual profit was a “badge of honour” as the priority in 2020-21 was feeding the nation during the COVID-19 crisis. “I personally wear a halving of profits as a badge of honour”, chief executive David Potts told reporters after Morrisons reported 2020-21 profit of 201mln pounds ($280mln), down from 408mln pounds in 2019-20.