Retail sales fall in Great Britain as food and petrol prices soar
Retail sales in Great Britain fell by more than expected last month as the soaring prices of food and fuel caused consumers to rein in their spending amid growing fears over the cost of living. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed retail sales volumes dropped by 1.4% in March, after a decline of 0.5% a month earlier as shoppers adjusted to rising costs. City economists had forecast a drop of 0.3%.
SPAR Slovenia enters long-term partnership with agricultural cooperative
SPAR Slovenia’s customers purchased more local fruit and vegetables in 2021, with sales increasing by 11% compared to the previous year. To further boost the purchase of domestic fresh produce, SPAR Slovenia signed a long-term contract with Agraria Koper, an agricultural cooperative founded 70 years ago. The production areas of the 120 subcontractors involved stretch from Ankaran to the Dragonja Valley. On an annual basis, Agraria Koper produces over 1,500 tonnes of fruits and vegetables. This new cooperation agreement is just one example of SPAR Slovenia’s long-term partnerships with domestic suppliers.
Sweden: Axfood reports 'strong growth' in 1st quarter
Swedish retailer Axfood has kicked off its financial year with strong growth, market share gain and increased earnings across every business segment in the 1st quarter. The company saw net sales growth of 25.7%, to SEK16.6bln (€1.6bln), including the acquisition of Bergendahls Food. Its retail division generated sales worth SEK12.7bln (€1.2bln), up 4.1% compared with the same period last year.
France: Retailer Casino keeps goals as sales return to growth in Q1
French retailer Casino said group sales returned to growth in the 1st quarter, driven by improving sales in its core French market and a robust performance in Brazil, the group’s 2nd-largest market. Casino, which has been selling assets to reduce its debt, confirmed its goal of completing its 4.5bln euros ($4.9bln) disposal plan by the end of 2023. Disposals to date amount to 3.3bln euros.
Britain's EG Group to create over 32,000 jobs globally over 5 years
EG Group, the acquisitive British petrol station and food retail business owned by brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa and private equity group TDR Capital, plans to create over 32,000 jobs globally over 5 years, it said. The group plans to add about 22,700 jobs in the UK between January 2022 and December 2026 and about 9,700 in its 9 other markets - the United States, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Australia.
Germany: Freshflow is helping grocery retailers fight food waste
For years grocery retailers have been using data driven forecasting to help them predict demand to figure out which products to reorder to keep shelves stocked. That’s nothing new. But Berlin-based startup Freshflow is targeting a particular slice of this market: It’s built an AI-powered forecasting platform to help retailers optimize stock replenishment of fresh, perishable goods - such as fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy and bakery products - in order that food waste is minimized and retailer revenue maximized.
UK discounter B&M says CEO Arora to retire next year
British discount retailer B&M said CEO Simon Arora plans to retire in 12 months' time after more than 17 years leading the business. The FTSE 100-listed firm said a succession process, led by Chairman Peter Bamford, will consider both internal and external candidates.
Japan: Supermarket sales post biggest growth in 30 years
Supermarket sales in Japan grew at their fastest pace in 30 years in fiscal 2021 as food and home-related goods sold well due to strong stay-at-home demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic, industry data showed. Same-store sales rose 3.1% in the year ended last month from the previous year, growing for the 2nd consecutive year and marking their sharpest growth since fiscal 1991, when a 4.3% increase was marked, the Japan Chain Stores Association said.
SHV seeking up to €591mln for Brazilian Makro stores
Dutch group SHV plans to divest its Makro cash & carry stores in Brazil and has contracted Santander Bank to manage the sale, according to reports. Brazilian financial daily Valor Economico claims that SHV is seeking R$2bln to R$3bln (€394-591mln), a price that is equal to the entire gross annual turnover of Makro, adding that the 24 stores will be sold in the coming months. Sources contacted by the O Estado de São Paulo newspaper believe that SHV cannot realistically expect to generate more than R$2bln from the sale.
US: Albertsons unveils ‘Recipe for Change’ ESG platform
Albertsons Cos. has embarked on a new corporate sustainability and responsibility strategy with the launch of an environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework dubbed “Recipe for Change”. Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons said that the Recipe for Change plan sets long-term goals and strategies focused on maximizing the company’s impact across 4 “pillars” designated as “Planet, People, Product and Community”.
Amazon Fresh expands in Southern California
Continuing its rapid growth since opening its 1st store in March 2020, Amazon’s supermarket concept Amazon Fresh is adding 3 more stores in Southern California, with locations in Mission Viejo (April 21), LaVerne (April 28) and Murrietta (May 5). The new stores bring the total of Amazon Fresh stores in Southern California to 14, and a total of 30 stores overall in Washington, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.
US: NGA urges merger enforcement agencies to address competitive harm of retail power buyers
The National Grocers Association submitted comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) urging the agency to scrutinize harm to competition that results from enhancement of buyer-side market power.
Canada: Metro posts $198.1mln profit in Q2, as sales rise
Metro Inc. reported a 2nd-quarter profit of $198.1mln, up from $188.1mln a year earlier, as sales gained 1.9%. The Montreal-based grocery and drugstore retailer says the profit amounted to 82 cents per diluted share for the 12-week period ended March 12, up from 75 cents per diluted share a year earlier. Sales totalled $4.27bln, up from $4.19bln, as food same-store sales gained 0.8% and pharmacy same-store sales rose 9.4%.
US: Lidl to build its 1st ground-up store on Long Island
Lidl, the German discount supermarket chain, will begin building its 1st ground-up grocery store development on Long Island next week. The chain will invest more than $15mln in the project that will bring a new 32,000-square-foot prototype store to a 5-acre site at 450 Commack Road in Deer Park.