US: NRF Chief Economist says Omicron could contribute to uncertainty and inflation but is unlikely to bring shutdowns
The COVID-19 omicron variant will bring uncertainty to the economy in 2022 and could contribute to inflation, but is unlikely to cause widespread shutdowns or slowdowns, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Even with the experience of the past two years, there is no model that can predict how the economy responds to a pandemic”, Kleinhenz said. “What we have learned is that each successive variant has slowed down the economy but that the degree of slowdown has been less.”
US: Target holiday shopper traffic growth topped Walmart, Best Buy
Shopper foot traffic grew at Target during the recent holiday season compared with 2 years earlier, while visits to both Walmart and Best Buy stores fell overall, according to data provided exclusively to Reuters measuring shopper visits from November 1 to December 25. Shopper traffic at Target stores rose 6.2% through the holiday period compared with 2 years ago, pre-pandemic, according to Placer.ai, a research firm that collects anonymized location data from 30mln mobile devices across the country. At rivals Walmart Inc and Best Buy Co Inc, traffic declined by 0.1% and 11.5%, respectively, the data shows.
US: Walmart and FedEx sign deals with GM for thousands of new BrightDrop electric vans
Walmart and FedEx plan to add thousands of electric delivery vans produced by GM to their massive vehicle fleets in the coming years. Walmart has signed a new agreement with the Detroit automaker to reserve 5,000 BrightDrop vans, while FedEx is building on an initial order of 500 vehicles. The increase in reservations comes as GM and others are rushing to launch new electric vehicles for fleet customers that offer last-mile deliveries.
US: Grocery chains cited for omnichannel customer service excellence
Walmart, Target, The Kroger Co. and Albertsons Cos. are among the grocery retailers named as omnichannel customer service leaders in a new study from digital retail and brand researcher Incisiv. The 2022 Omnichannel Customer Service Index from Jacksonville, Florida-based Incisiv, benchmarked 102 retailers across 8 sectors in 110 digital capabilities.
New Zealand: Supermarket shortages: 'Lumpy' supply chain likely in 2022
Gaps on supermarket shelves continue, while some goods are stuck at wharves and others sit at distribution centres waiting for truck drivers. Lower North Island Countdowns had stock shortages because of a truck accident, but missing supermarket items are not uncommon across New Zealand this busy holiday season. Fresh Choice Greytown operations manager Steve Fennell said that, as soon as goods arrived they were put on shelves.
UK: Nisa’s new chief executive moves across from the Co-op
Michael Fletcher, the chief commercial officer of the Co-op, has been appointed as the new chief executive of Nisa. Nisa is owned by the Co-op and Fletcher’s move across the group comes after Ken Towle’s departure from Nisa to Asda.
China: SEVEN FRESH to open 12 more stores in Pearl River Delta in 2022
With a robust development in 2021 that ended with a year-on-year GMV growth of 95%, SEVEN FRESH, JD.com’s omni-channel fresh food store, plans to accelerate its expansion by opening 12 more stores in southern China in 2022, in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (the Greater Bay Area), and 15 more stores in northern China, in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Urban Agglomeration.
Denmark: Rema 1000 announces partnership with meal planning app Mambeno
Danish retailer Rema 1000 has announced a partnership with meal planning app Mambeno, which will see the app offering recipes and meal plans based on weekly offers at Rema 1000. The partnership aims to make everyday lives easier for families by helping them plan their weekly meals and have the ingredients delivered to their doorsteps.
India: Reliance Retail backs Dunzo in $240mln funding
Reliance Retail has led a $240mln funding round in Google-backed hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo as the largest Indian retail chain expands to the instant commerce space, a category that has made inroads in the South Asian market in recent quarters. Reliance Retail is investing $200mln in the round for a 25.8% stake in the 6-year-old startup, which operates an eponymous hyper-local delivery service in 7 cities in India.
Germany: Netto Marken-Discount launches campaign on conscious nutrition
Netto Marken-Discount has launched the 'Nachhaltiger ins neue Jahr' (more sustainable into the new year) campaign to help customers choose more conscious and sustainable nutrition. This January, the retail will focus on vegan lifestyles and offer a large selection of vegan foods, such as meat substitutes.
Coal, MD roll out new store concepts in Italy
Italian regional retailer Coal has opened a new concept store near Ancona, which is dedicated to quality fresh food and wine products, with a special focus on local products. Located in the Cargopier shopping centre in Osimo, the 'Il Buongustaio' store covers 450 square metres of sales area and is open 7 days a week.
China: Missfresh signs 20+ major regional grocery store chains to use its Retail Cloud services
Missfresh Limited ("Missfresh" or the "Company"), an innovator in China's neighborhood retail industry, has inked agreements with more than 20 regional supermarket chains to equip more than 150 stores in 19 cities in China with the Company's suite of proprietary SaaS tools and AI-driven capabilities, such as smart omnichannel marketing, smart supply chain management, and smart store-to-door delivery - enhancing the shopping experience for more than 4mlnn active customers. The retail partners include well-known regional retailers such as Shandong Aodelong Supermarket, Chongqing Jiameijia Department Store, and Changchun Yatai Supermarket, who are upgrading and enhancing their digital operations through Missfresh's Retail Cloud services.
New Zealand: Māori-backed 3rd supermarket group would 'benefit Pākehā too'
Māori involvement in a 3rd supermarket group would benefit all New Zealanders by ensuring a break-up of the current duopoly did lower food prices, says Matthew Tukaki, the chairman of the National Māori Authority, Nga Ngaru Rautahi o Aotearoa. Tukaki said the Commerce Commission, which is due to complete a market study into the $22bln groceries industry in March, should “absolutely” consider recommending the forced sale of Foodstuffs and Countdown’s Four Square and Fresh Choice stores as an option to help make way for a 3rd player.
Walmart gets taste of the Lotte treatment in China
Walmart’s long run in China is in danger of coming to a slow, painful end. A broader diplomatic fracas over Beijing’s controversial policy toward Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region may be translating into a steady stream of minor but draining regulatory scraps for the $400bln retailer.