Partnership between Kroger and Drone Express to offer drone-delivered groceries
According to Jody Kalmbach, group vice president of product experience at Kroger, “Kroger’s new drone delivery experiment is part of the growth of our rapidly expanding and innovative e-commerce business – which encompasses pickup, delivery, and shipping and reached more than $10 billion in sales in 2020.” “The pilot, supported by cutting-edge, economical, and effective last-mile solutions, emphasizes to customers the value of flexibility and promptness. We’re eager to test drone delivery and gather information to guide future client solutions and expansion plans.” As Drone Express technology enables package delivery to a customer’s smartphone location rather than just a street address, the trial will provide customers with unmatched flexibility. In order to satisfy customer needs while staying under the existing weight restrictions for drone delivery, which are around five pounds, Kroger is developing packaged product options. Customers can place orders on Kroger.com/Drone Delivery and have qualified orders delivered in 15 minutes.
According to Beth Flippo, Chief Technology Officer of TELEGRID, “Autonomous drones have limitless potential to improve daily life, and our technology opens the door to safe, secure, environmentally friendly deliveries for Kroger customers.”
Source: Analytics Insight
Canada: Grocery store sales down 1.6% in September
Sales at supermarkets, grocery stores and convenience stores all fell in September, StatsCan said. Retail sales fell 0.5% to $61.1 billion in September led by a drop in sales at gas stations along with food and beverage stores, Statistics Canada said Tuesday. However, the agency said its initial estimate for October pointed to a gain of 1.5% for the month, though it cautioned the figure would be revised.
"Retail sales fell in September; though the drop was smaller in volume terms, real spending took a notable step back in the third quarter,'' BMO economist Shelly Kaushik wrote in a report. "However, solid advance estimates for retail and manufacturing sales, as well as wholesale trade, point to a recovery in October.''
For September, Statistics Canada said sales at gas stations fell 2.4% as sales in volume terms at gas stations rose 4.2%, but gas prices fell 7.4%. Sales at food and beverage stores dropped 1.3% in September, as supermarkets and grocery store sales fell 1.6% and convenience stores lost 1.5%. Core retail sales -- which exclude sales at gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers -- fell 0.4% in September.
Source: Canadian Grocer
Walmart and Target’s quarterly results lay bare the retailers’ stark differences
Walmart’s stock surged this week. Target’s shares plunged. The rival big-box players are both known for selling an array of products including food, clothing, home goods and kitchen appliances. Both their CEOs — Walmart’s Doug McMillon and Target’s Brian Cornell — stepped into their roles in 2014. But the retailers issued starkly divergent outlooks this week that underscored their differences, most notably in how much each relies on grocery sales.
On Tuesday, Walmart raised its financial outlook for the year after U.S. same-store sales in the third quarter rose 8.2% from a year ago when excluding fuel. A day later, Target slashed its forecast for the holiday quarter after comparable sales rose just 2.7%, with executives noting weakening trends heading into the season.
Walmart gets a far bigger share of its sales from groceries than Target, which is helping it draw shoppers looking to save money as inflation squeezes budgets. Groceries account for 56% of Walmart’s annual revenue, compared with just about 20% at Target, according to company filings. Walmart is the country’s largest grocer by revenue. Target also sells groceries, but it doesn’t have the same breadth of offerings. For example, stores sell eggs, milk, fruits and vegetables, but do not have full-service bakeries, meat and seafood counters or delis where shoppers can get freshly sliced turkey and cheese.
Kroger CEO believes inflation is beginning to slow down
Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen chatted with Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan about inflationary prices and consumer trends for the remainder of the year. McMullen shared his belief that we’re starting to see a glimmer of hope as far as decreasing inflationary prices, and also touted the benefits of shopping private label products in order for shoppers to get more for their money.
“We are starting to cycle inflation from last year, so it’s starting to slow down a little bit,” McMullen explained. “Our hope and expectation as we get to early next year is that we’ll see it continue to decrease a little bit.”
Although this is the case, the Kroger chief executive expects shoppers to continue reaching for the grocer’s own brand items through next year in an effort to further save money. He also anticipates that consumers will continue cooking and eating at home.
Source: Progressive Grocer
Australia: Coles supermarket makes major home delivery announcement, affecting 400 stores
Coles supermarket has made a major announcement about its home delivery service, and it’s great news for customers. The retail giant has extended its “Rapid Click&Collect in under 60 minutes” option, which means shoppers can now collect their groceries in less than an hour of placing their online order.
The service is now available for customers in 400 Coles stores across Australia, and will be rolled out to 200 more locations early next year. Rapid Click&Collect in under 60 minutes allows customers to order from an extended range of more than 20,000 products - including some that have not been available for home delivery.
China: JD.com cuts executive pay to create a fund to help lower-level employees buy homes
Chinese e-commerce titan JD.com said Tuesday that it will be slashing the salaries of more than 2,000 executives and senior managers by 10% to 20% to improve benefits for the rest of the company's staff, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
JD is expected to put aside 10 billion yuan, or $1.4 billion, toward a fund that will help its 540,000 employees, including those from recently acquired shipping firm Deppon Logistics, buy new homes, according an email signed by JD founder Richard Qiangdong Liu that was reviewed by Reuters.
The chairman — who is worth $11.2 billion, according to Forbes — will also donate 100 million yuan, or roughly $14 million, to an additional fund that will be distributed to the children of JD's employees should anything happen to their parents, per Reuters.
Source: Business Insider
UK: Unitas Wholesale appoints former Morrisons exec as trading controller
Peter Burleigh has been appointed as the new Trading Controller for the grocery category at Unitas Wholesale. Before taking up the role at the buying group, Burleigh spent 25 years in senior trading roles at Morrisons. He left the supermarket in 2020 and was most recently a director for a firm called FMCG Global Ltd.
John Kinney, Managing Director of Unitas Wholesale, commented: “I am delighted to welcome Peter to Unitas at such an important time in our development as we continue to re-shape the organisation. Peter is a great addition to our business and has the skills and experience that we are looking for to continue the development of the grocery category.”
Belgium: Delhaize and Lidl lead in sustainability, but “lots of room for improvement”
Belgian supermarkets are still not doing enough for the environment and climate: they shift most of the responsibility to their consumers. Delhaize and Lidl emerge as frontrunners, but the differences between the chains are small.
Are supermarkets in Belgium making sufficient efforts to promote plant-based and sustainably produced food, and to combat deforestation and food waste? Think tank Questionmark audited Colruyt, Delhaize, Carrefour, Aldi and Lidl, who have a combined market share of 80 % in Belgium. The study, called Superlist Environment Belgium, looked at the chains’ product range, shop environment, promotions and policy. Its overall conclusion is clear: supermarkets are missing opportunities.
Lidl and Delhaize emerge as overall frontrunners, but the differences between supermarkets are small and each chain places different focuses. In the transition to less meat and more vegetable, Delhaize is doing better than Lidl, Aldi and Carrefour. Delhaize is also a step ahead in policy against food waste, but it seriously lags behind in actions for sustainable agriculture and against deforestation. In this area, Carrefour, Aldi and especially Lidl are ahead in Belgium. Colruyt is in the middle for each subject. In absolute terms, every supermarket still has a lot of room for improvement.