Ahold Delhaize announces appointment of Dave Bass as Managing Director of FreshDirect
Ahold Delhaize announced that Dave Bass will be appointed Managing Director of FreshDirect, effective September 20, 2021. He succeeds Farhan Siddiqi, Chief Digital Officer of Ahold Delhaize, who has served as interim CEO since May. “I would like to congratulate Dave on his appointment to lead FreshDirect. He brings a wealth of experience to the brand, having recently led Omnichannel Merchandising Support for the Peapod Digital Labs division of Ahold Delhaize USA,” said Frans Muller, CEO Ahold Delhaize. “He is a great choice to continue to drive FreshDirect’s growth as a key pillar of Ahold Delhaize’s omnichannel strategy”.
US: Kroger touts the strength of its omnichannel shopping ecosystem
Kroger executives said that the strength of the company’s omnichannel retailing ecosystem fueled better-than-anticipated results in the second financial quarter as shopper dollars shifted between stores and digital channels. Digital sales in the quarter fell 13%. However, “almost all” of the shoppers who reduced their online spending continued shopping in Kroger’s stores, CEO Rodney McMullen said during the company’s earnings call. Kroger’s comparable-store sales compared to the same period last year declined just 0.6%, while earnings per share reached 80 cents. Both figures beat Wall Street expectations. However, gross margins fell 60 basis points due to high shrink levels and supply chain costs.
US: ThryveAI becomes Wynshop
Digital commerce platform provider ThryveAI is rebranding as Wynshop. The name change was done to more clearly convey the company’s services and benefits to retailers.
France: Carrefour launches its own express delivery service
Barely a few days after Carrefour announced it had taken a minority stake in French start-up Cajoo, the supermarket chain has announced the launch of its own express delivery service in France. According to Linéaires, Carrefour would like to start with a thousand products that they could deliver within 15 minutes. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty: there is no official launch date yet, and the new service's name has not been decided yet either. "Carrouf" is preferred by the retailer, but customers can also make their voices heard via a survey. Therefore, the alternatives "Carrefour Now" and "Carrefour Sprint" are still in the running. "Carrefour Sprint" is already in use for a year in Poland for a service that delivers within a maximum of 3 hours.
UK: Asda invests GBP9mln to improve fresh fruit & vegetables offer
Asda Stores Ltd. said that it is investing 9mln pounds ($12.5mln) to improve its offer of fresh fruit and vegetables at its stores. The British supermarket chain said the investment includes the appointment of 150 specialist greengrocers, a new role that will have responsibility for quality standards, product availability and presentation of fresh produce offer in store. Asda is also investing to offer a greater choice of premium fruit and vegetables, and to improve the section's presentation and layout, it said.
Employee wellbeing, environment and innovation key in SPAR Italy partner’s 2020 sustainability report
Maiora, SPAR Italy partner for Central and Southern Italy, continues to make strides in employee training and wellbeing, environment and innovation, according to its 2020 Sustainability Report. The report shows how the SPAR operator’s strategy and initiatives closely reflect the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
India: Zomato to stop grocery delivery service from 17 Sept; trusts Grofers will generate better outcomes
Online food delivery platform Zomato has decided to stop its grocery delivery service from September 17 mainly on account of gaps in order fulfillment, leading to poor customer experience. The company also said that it believes that its investment in Grofers will generate better outcomes for its shareholders than in-house grocery efforts.
Holland: Ahold Delhaize announces that Albert Heijn completes acquisition of DEEN and starts converting stores
Ahold Delhaize announced that Albert Heijn, its market leader in the Netherlands, has completed the transaction for the acquisition of DEEN with Vomar Voordeelmarkt and DekaMarkt. This also marks the start of the conversion of the 38 DEEN stores in Noord-Holland, Flevoland, Gelderland and Overijssel to Albert Heijn stores. Soon, customers of these stores will find the best of both worlds: all the delights of Albert Heijn and the goodness of DEEN. The first store will open in Avenhorn on 22 September.
UK: Waitrose announces further cutback on single-use plastic bags
Waitrose is aiming to eliminate 40mln single-use plastic bags a year by removing them from deliveries and in-store collections. “Bags for life”, which cost 10p, will also be pulled from all major stores and replaced with a 50p reusable bag that is said to be twice as durable, and is made from recycled materials as well as being fully recyclable. The company said its research found that 10p bags were increasingly being used only once and not multiple times as intended. The change will come into effect from 27 September, the same day that deliveries into homes will be allowed again.
UK: Asda owners Issa brothers consider selling EG Group in £10.8bln deal
Asda’s billionaire owners, Issa brothers are considering selling their forecourt empire EG Group in a deal that could value the company at £10.8bln. EG Group consists of an independent forecourt and convenience store chains and is backed by brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa and private equity firm TDR Capital. The group is in early stage talks with advisers about the plans, and EG might explore a stock market listing. Companies interested in buying EG Group could include the Japanese firm behind 7-Eleven, as well as Alimentation Couche-Tarde, the owner of the Circle K convenience shops.
Billa Czech Republic to launch an e-shop as part of modernization overhaul
The shopping landscape in the Czech Republic is changing. With the pandemic forcing many to turn to online grocery shopping, the remarkable success of online grocery brands such as Rohlik.cz and Košík.cz is now encouraging traditional brick-and-mortar supermarkets to introduce their own e-shop options. The online shopping revolution will see Billa, one of the largest supermarket chains operating in the Czech Republic, create its own e-shop selling 15,000 products for home delivery or click-and-collect in-store.
Britain's M&S reviewing future of French stores
British retailer Marks & Spencer said it was reviewing the future of its French business, with new trade rules in place since Britain left the European Union continuing to impact product availability in stores.
UK: Supermarket Income REIT to sell 13 stores back to Sainsbury's
Supermarket Income REIT PLC announced J Sainsbury PLC exercised a purchase option to buy back 13 stores. They are part of a joint venture portfolio the real investment trust holds with British Airways Pension Trustees Limited. The joint venture has a 51% interest in the assets, which are the freeholds to 26 Sainsbury's supermarkets, while the grocer owns the remaining 49%. The acquisition will be completed in March 2023 when the current leases expire.