Schwarz Group is testing till-less stores in Germany

Eurocash to acquire 49% share in Arhelan supermarket chain

France: Carrefour fined 1.75mln euros for unfairly squeezing suppliers on price
French retailer Carrefour has been fined 1.75mln euros ($2.1mln) for unfairly pressing suppliers for discounts during annual contract negotiations, the finance ministry said. The ruling by the Paris Commerce Court follows a probe by anti-trust authorities into Carrefour’s practices during its 2016 negotiations with suppliers, the statement said.

Germany: Lidl's parent company trials till-free mini-store in Heilbronn
Schwarz Group, the parent company of Lidl, Kaufland and others, is testing till-less stores in Germany. On the Dieter Schwarz Foundation education campus in Heilbronn, Germany, the Schwartz group is currently trialling a formula reminiscent of the Amazon Go concept. The convenience store is called and is not operated by Lidl or Kaufland, but by Schwarz Restaurantbetriebe.

Finland: Kesko sees comparable sales rise in February
Finnish retailer Kesko Group has reported a 3.0% growth in comparable sales amounting to €797.9mln in February 2021. The group operates various businesses in the food segment, home and specialty goods, the building and home improvement sector, and car and machinery trade. The company's grocery trade division generated sales worth €423.3mln in this period, up 0.2% year-on-year in reported and comparable terms.

India: Tata proposes to take majority stake in Alibaba-backed BigBasket - filing
Indian conglomerate Tata Sons plans to buy a majority stake in Alibaba-backed online grocery seller BigBasket, a filing with the country’s antitrust body showed. The deal, if approved, would put Tata - a more than 150-year-old group with interests in everything from luxury cars to software - in direct competition with Amazon, Walmart’s Flipkart and an upstart grocery service from Reliance Industries, backed by billionaire Mukesh Ambani.

France: Système U sees sales rise 8.3% in 2020
Système U said its sales, excluding fuel, rose 8.3% in 2020. Although the results were driven by its online store, the retailer reported growth at all its formats. Its pace of growth during the year saw Système U gain further market share in France in 2020. Système U said traffic at its physical stores declined by 10% during the year. Despite this fall, net sales (excluding fuel) rose by 8.3% to €22.5 bn, while including fuel they increased 1.5% to €26.8 bn. By format, the retailer reported its supermarkets performed best, with net sales up 8.5% to €15.9bln, followed by its convenience stores, where they increased by 8.1% to €2.28bln.

Poland: Eurocash acquires stake in Arhelan
Polish retailer Eurocash has concluded an investment to acquire 49% shares in the Arhelan retail chain, which operates over 100 stores in north-eastern Poland. The investment in Arhelan is in line with the development strategy of the group, as it aims to create the largest supermarket chain in Poland based on owned and franchise stores. Arhelan is one of the largest regional supermarket chains in Poland, operating in the Podlaskie, Mazowieckie, Lubelskie, and Warmińsko-Mazurskie provinces.

Ecommerce in the Netherlands: €26.6bln in 2020
Ecommerce in the Netherlands was worth 26.6bln euros in 2020. That’s a growth of 7% compared to the situation in 2019. Of course, the increase of online purchases by Dutch consumers has everything to do with the coronavirus outbreak. Due to the lockdowns and the fear of contracting the coronavirus, many Dutch people shopped online much more last year. Together, they made 335mln online purchases, which represents a significant increase of 27% compared to the situation 1 year before. The data come from the annual Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor, an ecommerce study conducted by the national ecommerce association

UK: More cooking from scratch, home baking and takeaways - how our shopping and eating habits changed over last year
The shopping and eating habits of the 18-24 year old group have changed significantly over the course of the year of the pandemic, according to new research. A survey of 1,200 conducted by shopper insights agency Shoppercentric found that 35% of the younger demographic have been cooking more from scratch than pre-pandemic, whilst 26% have started or are doing more batch cooking. It is also the age group that is most likely to have started doing more home baking and they have been consuming more fresh fruit and vegetables than any other age group.

Rakuten to sell 8% stake to Japan Post in Amazon battle
Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten Inc said it would sell an 8.32% stake to postal and banking giant Japan Post Holdings Co Ltd, deepening a logistics tie-up in the face of competition from rivals such as Inc. Rakuten, which plunged to an operating loss in 2020, is under pressure on multiple fronts as it battles Amazon in e-commerce and takes on Japan’s cash-rich telcos with its own mobile network. “Rakuten is the best partner for us, as it has advanced digital technology”, Japan Post Holdings Chief Executive Hiroya Masuda told a news conference. The deal makes Japan Post Holdings the biggest shareholder in Rakuten outside the founding Mikitani family, and is part of a 242bln yen ($2.2bln) share sale to companies including Tencent and Walmart.

Brazil retail sales fall in January for third month in a row
Brazilian retail sales fell in January for a third consecutive month, official figures showed, largely in line with expectations and led by declining supermarket, food and drink sales, as well as weakness in the clothing and footwear sector. Researchers at government statistics agency IBGE said the fall was in large part due to the expiration on December 31 of emergency government cash transfers to millions of poor families to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic.

US: SpartanNash announces finance team transitions
SpartanNash announced that the Company has appointed Jason Monaco as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective March 22, 2021. Mr. Monaco will assume the CFO position from Mark Shamber who will remain with the Company through the end of April to assist with a transition. As CFO, Mr. Monaco will direct finance, mergers and acquisitions, treasury, internal audit, real estate, and risk management. He will report to SpartanNash’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Tony Sarsam.

US: The Fresh Market announces confidential submission of draft registration statement for proposed Initial Public Offering
The Fresh Market Holdings, Inc., parent company of The Fresh Market, announced that it has confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") relating to the proposed initial public offering of its common stock. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. The Fresh Market expects to use the proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment of indebtedness. The initial public offering is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.

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