What US grocers could learn from Alibaba’s connected supermarket experience
When it comes to integrating eCommerce into the brick-and-mortar grocery experience, China may be pulling ahead. While the United States is getting a new digitally-enabled Amazon grocery store every few months, reports from China show the high tech supermarket chain skyrocketing to prominence. Digitally native grocer Alibaba is growing the footprint of its supermarket chain Freshippo (called Hema in China), which features a range of technology-enhanced features and highly tailored store modes. These supermarkets serve as combined in-store shopping sites and mobile app order fulfillment centers. Wired reports that the chain finished 2020 with almost 250 locations, and that number is only going up.
Uber to become the sole owner of grocery delivery startup Cornershop
Uber has reached a deal to become the sole owner of Latin American delivery startup Cornershop, just 1 year after acquiring a majority stake in the company. The ride-hailing giant said in a regulatory filing that it will purchase the remaining 47% interest in Cornershop in exchange for 29mln shares. The transaction is expected to close in July.
U.S. online grocery sales decline again in May
In May, U.S. online grocery sales remained elevated versus pre-pandemic levels despite a second consecutive monthly decrease, according to the latest Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey. The U.S. online grocery market totaled $7bln in May, down 16.7% from $8.4bln in April, when sales had fallen 10% from March. Year over year, May online grocery sales decreased 15.7% from $8.3bln in May 2020.
US: DoorDash and Albertsons Companies partner to launch unprecedented access to on-demand grocery delivery
DoorDash, the nation's leading last-mile logistics platform, and Albertsons Companies, one of the nation's top grocers, are announcing a new partnership to offer on-demand grocery delivery from nearly 2,000 well-known Albertsons banner stores across the country including Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, and more from the DoorDash marketplace app.
Amazon Prime Day hoists overall U.S. online sales
Amazon’s annual Prime Day sales event, which kicked off Monday, stands to give a sizable boost to online retail sales growth this year, according to FTI Consulting. U.S. online retail sales are projected to hit $865bln in 2021, up 13.5% from 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic fueled a 32% uptick to $762bln, according to FTI’s 2021 U.S. Online Retail Forecast.
British grocery sales dip as indoor hospitality reopens
British supermarket sales fell 1.6% in the 12 weeks to June 13 year-on-year as the re-opening of indoor hospitality took spend away from the grocers and into the nation’s cafés and restaurants, industry data showed. Market researcher Kantar said, however, that sales in the period were still 3.3bln pounds ($4.6bln) higher than in 2019 before the pandemic hit.
India: Will offer lower fee if sellers cut prices, Flipkart tells court
Walmart's Flipkart sees nothing wrong in offering to cut charges for sellers on its platform if they lower product prices, its lawyer told a court, drawing protest from a retailer group challenging the practice. Flipkart and Amazon are in a court battle against the Competition Commission of India's (CCI) bid to restart an investigation into their business practices, after a judge in early June dismissed the companies' pleas.
UK: ‘Quick commerce’ grocery channel now worth £1.4bln
The newly emerging ‘quick commerce’ channel - which delivers food and groceries to consumers in less than an hour - is currently worth £1.4bn, according to a new report from IGD. The study of the size, scope and growth of the new channel also reveals that the estimated size of the opportunity will grow to £3.3bln in the UK alone. “Rapid delivery, or ‘quick commerce’ as it is now known, has been around for some time, but Covid-19 has clearly catapulted its expansion to the point where it’s become a channel in its own right,” said Simon Mayhew, Head of Online Retail Insight at IGD.
Alibaba rolls out hypermarket chain ‘Store X’ to cater to affluent urban families in China
Alibaba Group opened 2 more stores in its members-only hypermarket chain ‘Store X’ to serve a burgeoning class of affluent families in Chinese cities. The company said it plans to add 8 more Store X locations this year, bringing the total to 11 since its launch of the chain last October. Store X is the latest big-box format at Alibaba’s grocery retailer Freshippo and is part of the group’s strategy to combine the best practices from both online and offline shopping. Alibaba has pioneered this concept and coined the term ‘New Retail’ to describe the trend.
UK: Jisp launches last-mile delivery partnership in convenience sector
Convenience shopping app Jisp is partnering with Zoom 1hr Delivery to provide retailers with a fleet of drivers for the last-mile fulfilment initiative. Store owners will now be able to have their products delivered to their customers without having to leave the shop, hire new drivers or purchase vehicles.
The inevitable rise of discount chains in the UK
The UK’s discount market is set to grow by 36.1% by next year, reaching £32.5bln, according to GlobalData. The arrival of German discounters Aldi and Lidl in the UK has caused nothing short of chaos for Britain’s largest supermarkets. The Big 4 grocers - Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons - have been facing a game-changing threat as Aldi and Lidl cut into their market share with no-frills shopping that is marking a generational shift in retail patterns.
China: Alibaba may be Suning’s white knight in hiding
Alibaba may be the simple solution to Suning.com’s mounting debt problems. The e-commerce giant’s 20% stake in the embattled Chinese retailer has plunged by two-thirds in value since it bought it in 2015. The shares have further to fall as Suning faces billions of debt due. Given Alibaba’s push into bricks-and-mortar commerce, a takeover could benefit both sides.
Norway's Competition Authority closes purchase prices investigation
The Norwegian Competition Authority has announced that it has closed its investigation case on purchase prices against Norgesgruppen, Orkla and Mondelēz. The investigation, which began in November 2019, found considerable differences in the grocery chains' purchase prices, with Norgesgruppen obtaining better conditions from suppliers than its competitors Coop and Rema 1000.
UK: Morrisons' share price soars 28% on takeover offer
Morrisons' share price has surged by 28% after a US private equity firm made an offer to buy the supermarket group for £5.5bn. The shares closed at 228p on Monday, just below the 230p-a-share proposed by Clayton Dubilier & Rice. Morrisons' board has rejected the offer, saying it "significantly undervalued" the business "and its future prospects". However, there is speculation the move may prompt others to bid for the group.
Denmark: Aldi to open its 'largest' outlet
Aldi Denmark has announced that it will open its largest store in the country in Næstved on the island of Zealand on 25 June. According to the retailer, the new store aims to showcase 'the new Aldi' and is spread across 1,455 square metres.