Walmart's Mexico unit said its gross margin in the fourth quarter shrank

Walmart: Q4 and FY23 earnings

Walmart in Mexico gross margin shrinks, quarterly profit up 12%
Walmart's Mexico unit said its gross margin in the fourth quarter shrank in a push to offer lower prices, even as strong same-store sales helped boost net profit nearly 12% from a year earlier. Profit for the quarter stood at 14.82bln pesos ($759.65mln), while revenue hit 237.82bln pesos, up 11% from the 2021 October-December period, and slightly above bank analysts' average forecast of 237.6bln.

US: Gelson's opens a small market in Toluca Lake
Gelson’s Market wants to open a small grocery store under a 37-unit apartment complex planned for Toluca Lake, a few blocks from the historic Bob’s Big Boy restaurant. An entity associated with Bar Development has won planning permission to build the 10,000-square-foot market in a four-story complex at 10057-10067 Riverside Drive, Urbanize Los Angeles reported.

US: Walmart releases Q4 and FY23 earnings
Fourth-quarter highlights: Walmart delivered strong revenue growth globally with strength in stores and eCommerce. Total revenue was $164.0bln, up 7.3%, or 7.9% in constant currency. Walmart International net sales were $27.6bln, an increase of 2.1% and negatively affected by $0.9bln from currency fluctuations, while constant currency sales were $28.5bln, an increase of 5.5%. Walmex, China, and Canada led the way. Full-year highlights: Total revenue was $611.3bln, up 6.7%, negatively affected by $5.0bln related to divestitures. Excluding currency, total revenue would have increased 7.4% to $615.1bln.

Australia: Coles appoints new CEO as supermarket giant sees prices rise alongside big profits
Leah Weckert has been appointed as the new managing director and CEO of Coles, starting in the role from May 1. The grocer's current CEO, Steven Cain, is retiring after five years with the company that saw him see through the supermarket's demerger from Wesfarmers. "Reductions in fresh produce inflation reflect improvements in growing conditions, with several lines in deflation including tomatoes, capsicums, and broccoli", Coles said. Coles saw a total revenue of $20.8bln which was a 3.9% increase on the previous half-yearly results. Profits jumped to $616mln which is an 11.6% rise.

UK: Aldi aims to secure more supermarket locations in London
Aldi has pledged to almost double its 60-strong estate within the M25 and create around 2,400 jobs. The supermarket currently has more than 990 stores across the UK and will open its 1,000th store later this year.

Romania’s Consumer Protection agency fines Lidl stores across the country
Officials from Romania’s National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC) have issued fines worth RON7mln for Lidl supermarkets across the country after finding moldy fruits and vegetables, expired or damaged food products, dirty displays and shelves, and irregularities with labeling or discrepancies between shelf and check out prices during inspections.

UK: Asda retail boss Towle leaves after less than ten months
British supermarket group Asda said retail director Ken Towle is leaving the business less than ten months after starting the job. Asda, owned since 2021 by brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa and private equity company TDR Capital, said the departure of Towle, who was responsible for the group's over 600 stores, was "mutually decided".

Holland: Albert Heijn stops transport by air
Albert Heijn, like Lidl, will discontinue air shipping of fruits and vegetables. From June 1, for example, sugarsnaps, passion fruits, and oranges will no longer be delivered by plane to the Netherlands. The only modes of transportation will be sea containers and vehicle haulage.

Switzerland: Coop posts FY profit growth in 'challenging' environment
Coop Switzerland has reported a turnover of CHF34.2bln (€34.6bln) for its 2022 financial year, an increase of 7.3% on the previous year. The Swiss retailer claims cost increases of around CHF250mln (€253mln) were absorbed by the group during the period, and were not passed on to customers. At CHF562mln (€562mln), profit was slightly higher than in the previous year, and Coop said that this will be fully reinvested in the business.

UK: Tesco speeds up roll-out of Whoosh rapid delivery service
Just 18 months on from its launch, Tesco’s Whoosh grocery delivery service is on track to be available from more than 800 of its Express convenience stores by the end of this month. The service offers a range of Tesco’s most popular products for delivery in as little as 30 minutes for a fee of £2.99 on orders over £15.

UK: Tesco convenience’s Kevin Tindall on GetGo expansion
Last November, Tesco announced the expansion of its latest store format, GetGo, a ‘frictionless shopping’ concept that the UK market leader first introduced to its High Holborn store in London in late 2021. Unlike that initial roll-out, the latest iteration of GetGo - which has since been rolled out to Chiswell Street and Fulham Reach, both in London, and will soon be introduced to Aston University, in Birmingham - offers a ‘hybrid’ solution, whereby shoppers can either shop and pay without scanning a product or using a checkout, or pay for their items in the traditional way.

Finland: Kesko sees increase in sales across all divisions in January
Kesko Group has announced that group sales totalled €901mln in January 2023, increasing 10.1% in comparable terms. Sales in the group's grocery trade totalled €483mln in January, an increased of 12.2%. Grocery sales at K-food stores grew by 6.7% compared to the previous year.

UK: Sainsbury's launches £2 fruit and vegetable boxes
A new Sainsbury’s scheme will allow customers to purchase boxes of fruit and vegetables for just £2. The ‘Taste Me, Don’t Waste Me’ boxes will include a variety of surplus fresh fruit and vegetables that could have otherwise gone to waste.

Carrefour Italy understands its in-store shoppers - here’s how
The Italian division of France-based global retail giant Carrefour is analyzing store customer behavior at a granular level. Chain Store Age recently spoke with Flora Leoni, chief data officer and CRM and services director, Carrefour Italy, about how the hypermarket and supermarket retailer is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI)-based technology from consumer analytics firm Dialogica to better understand how and why customers select and purchase products in its stores.

UK: Tesco hands store staff 7% pay rise
Tesco is to increase hourly pay for shopfloor staff by 7% to a minimum of £11.02 an hour, its third pay rise in a year amid heavy competition for workers.

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