US: Wisconsin Walmart distribution center to become high-tech facility
Walmart is making a multimillion-dollar investment in high-tech automation at its regional distribution center (RDC) in Menomonie, Wisconsin. The investment is part of a broader initiative revealed earlier this year to renovate 25 of the company’s 42 regional distribution centers with automated technology to continue modernizing its supply chain network by increasing the speed, efficiency and safety with which products are distributed. The 1st phase of the renovation will wrap up by the end of the year.
US: The Save Mart Cos. acquired by private equity firm
The Save Mart Companies announced that it has been acquired by Kingswood Capital Management LP, an operationally focused private equity firm based in Los Angeles with significant experience in the retail sector. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
US: Jokr’s new mobile app offers personalization, curated content
Instant delivery service Jokr has unveiled a revamped mobile app that aims to customize the mobile shopping experience through curated content and personalized product recommendations. Featuring the company’s proprietary predictive artificial intelligence (AI) platform, the app offers shoppers curated product lists based on past purchases, as well as a feed filled with customised content and recipes.
US: BJ’s becomes 1st wholesale club to partner with DoorDash
BJ’s Wholesale Club joined with DoorDash to offer on-demand grocery delivery from 226 BJ’s locations across 17 states, becoming the 1st wholesale club available on the DoorDash marketplace. BJ’s products can now be purchased directly on the DoorDash app, offering members and non-members alike access to thousands of BJ’s items on-demand. BJ’s members can also link their wholesale club card to receive lower, member-only pricing.
US: UFCW workers in California OK strike
After days of voting last week, grocery workers in Southern California have authorized a strike. Members of 7 local United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) unions approved the potential action in the wake of months of failed negotiations with representatives of The Kroger Co. and Albertsons Cos. Affected banners include Kroger-owned Ralphs and Albertsons-run Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions.
Grocery inflation hits highest level in 10 years in UK: Kantar
Grocery price inflation is now at its highest level for 10 years, new data from Kantar has shown, hitting 5.2% in March 2022. This is the highest level since April 2012, and is prompting consumers to increasingly switch to private label, which now accounts for more than half (50.6%) of all grocery spend.
South Korea: Online grocery service Kurly applies for preliminary IPO approval
Kurly Inc, which operates online grocery service Market Kurly, applied for a preliminary approval for an initial public offering (IPO), the Korea Exchange said. Kurly, which launched its service in 2015, received pre-IPO funding of about 250bln won ($204mln) from private equity firm Anchor Equity in December 2021 which valued the company at about 4tln won, a Kurly spokesman said.
Intermarché gains confidence boost from strong 2021
French retailer Les Mousquetaires, best known for supermarket chain Intermarché, is looking to the future with confidence after a strong performance in 2021. In Belgium too, turnover and market share improved significantly. Intermarché saw its Belgian sales grow by 6.4% to 780mln euros in 2021, and this in a market that shrank by 4.3%. The retailer's market share increased by 18 basis points and now stands at 2.83% nationally, while the Musketeers are only active in the French-speaking South.
Germany: REWE tests cashierless format for rural areas
REWE Group is testing a new cashierless store format for rural areas and the outskirts of towns. ‘Josefs nahkauf BOX’ in the Upper Franconian municipality of Pettstadt is offering fresh food and everyday products to around 2,000 people living in the municipality. Located at Ohmstraße 15, the so-called ‘walk-in store’ features a sales area of approximately 39 square metres and operates round-the-clock, 7 days a week. The product assortment includes around 700 items, ranging from fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy and frozen products to dry goods, non-alcoholic drinks, toothbrushes and cigarette machines.
India: Franchised retail chain SuperK raises $5.5mln in pre-Series A round
SuperK, a tech-enabled grocery retail chain for small towns, has raised $5.5mln in its pre-Series A round. The round was led by Binny Bansal-backed 021 Capital with participation from other investors.
Britain's Asda targets No. 2 position as it launches new value range
Asda said it was targeting regaining its status as Britain's No. 2 supermarket group as it reported a 42% jump in 2021 operating profit and launched a new value range for cash-strapped shoppers. Leeds, northern England-based Asda is currently Britain's 3rd largest grocer with a market share of 14.6%, trailing Tesco on 27.7% and Sainsbury's on 15.5%, according to Kantar data.
Ukraine's ATB-Market reopens stores in Kyiv and Kharkiv
Ukrainian retailer ATB-Market has announced the reopening of a number of stores in Kyiv, the Kyiv region and Kharkiv, due to a more 'stabilised' situation in these regions. In the city of Kyiv, the retailer reopened 11 stores, while 10 stores reopened in Boryspil, Yahotyn and Sofiyivska Borshchahivka, in the Kyiv region.
Irish retail sales rise in February despite jump in prices
Irish retail sales volumes rose 0.9% month on month in February and were 3.1% higher than pre-pandemic levels 2 years earlier, data showed, suggesting rising inflation has yet to dampen consumer spending. With annual inflation at a 21-year high of 5.6%, the value of retail sales rose by 6.2% compared to a year ago, almost 3-times the 2.2% year-on-year rise in the volume of sales in February. The value of fuel sales jumped by 46.5% in the year to February, while the volume rose by 18.1% over the same period, the Central Statistics Office said.
Holland: Jumbo expands Gorillas partnership with financial stake
Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo is expanding its partnership with Gorillas with a financial deal: the family Van Eerd is buying into the capital of the German flash delivery company. The latter will also join in the sponsoring of cycling team Jumbo-Visma.