Woolworths' sales growth isn't over yet

Upmarket grocery chain Booths up for sale

Carrefour Belgium encourages consumers to ‘bring their own boxes’
Carrefour Belgium has launched a new initiative to tie in with the European Week for Waste Reduction: consumers are encouraged to bring their own reusable boxes and cartons for purchases from traditional food counters such as the deli, fishmonger and butcher. The original pilot project was launched at the Carrefour Hypermarket in Bierges, near Wavre, in early November, before being rolled out to every food counter in the Carrefour Hypermarkets and Carrefour Markets operated by Carrefour Belgium. At the same time, some 16 stores across Belgium are testing reusable fabric bags for fruit and vegetables, which are more eco-friendly than traditional carrier bags. The bags are sold at €2.40 for five, i.e. €0.60 per bag, and are washable and ‘sufficiently robust to be reused a number of times’, the retailer said. (esmmagazine.com)

Spar invested over €50mln in Croatia this year
Spar has invested over €50mln in Croatia during 2017, to expand its footprint in the Balkan country. According to Spar Hrvatska chief executive, Helmut Fenzl, the supermarket chain plans to continue this investment drive into 2018. Spar Hrvatska’s network now consists of 103 stores (supermarkets and hypermarkets) and more than 4,300 employees. Over the past year, Spar’s main expansion focus has been in the Adriatic region of Croatia (Istria and Dalmatia) and plans for 2018 include the opening of a hypermarket in Rijeka, in which the company is investing €23mln. Earlier this year, Spar completed the acquisition of Billa’s assets in Croatia, enabling it become the third largest grocery retailer in the country after Konzum and Lidl. (esmmagazine.com)

UK: Grocer Booths up for sale for between £130mln-£150mln
The upmarket grocery chain Booths has reportedly been put up for sale for between £130mln-£150mln. Owned by the same family for five generations since tea dealer Edwin Henry Booth opened the first store in Blackpool in 1847, the supermarket chain has 28 locations across the north of England in Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria and Yorkshire. The company has brought in advisers from the investment bank Rothschild to consider takeover bids. The family still hold 96% of the company’s shares; the remainder are owned by the staff. Booths had earlier this year been forced to call in accountants to conduct a financial health check after a difficult 18 months. (theguardian.com)

AUS: The rise of Woolworths isn't over yet
The resurrection of sales growth at Woolworths, mostly at the expense of the Wesfarmers-owned Coles, still has a way to run, according to analysis by Deutsche Bank. A survey shows Australian shoppers are now more open to considering making Woolworths their primary supermarket. “The survey highlights the turnaround and market share shift have further to go, given Woolworths has not yet caught up to Coles,” says Deutsche Bank. “Coles has been the primary loser but independents and even Aldi appear to have given some customers back to Woolworths.” Australian food sales at Woolworths were up 4.7% to $9.63bln in the first quarter of 2018. Like for like sales were 4.9%. (businessinsider.com.au)

Denmark retail sales fall in October
Denmark's retail sales decreased in October, after rebounding in the previous month, preliminary figures from Statistics Denmark showed. Retail trade turnover dropped a seasonally and price-adjusted 1.1% month-over-month in October, in contrast to a 0.7% rise in September. Clothing and related sales fell 5.8% monthly in October and sales of food and other groceries went down by 0.2%. On a yearly basis, retail sales declined 1.8% in October, reversing a 3.0% increase in the prior month. (markets.businessinsider.com)

AUS: The Barossa Co-op’s $36mln redevelopment is nearing completion
The Barossa Co-op’s $36mln redevelopment of its Nuriootpa shopping precinct has reached a key milestone, with the official unveiling of one of the country’s largest independent supermarkets. The new 4900sqm Foodland, which opened earlier this month, is more than 20 per cent larger than the supermarket it replaced. The Co-op’s chairman Phillip Schmaal said the new Foodland represented the most significant milestone in the organisation’s redevelopment project, which kicked off 18 months ago and was due for completion in the first quarter of 2018. (adelaidenow.com.au)

CA: Loblaw gazes into its crystal ball for 2018 food trends
The grocer — with help from professional chefs, registered dietitians, academics and “Loblaw food experts” — has identified and categorized 2018 Canadian food trends under five banners: closing the food loop, occasional indulgence, rediscovering traditions, rethinking nutrition and cooking on the clock. “With the announcement of the Loblaw 2018 Canadian Food Trends we hope to encourage Canadians to think differently about what they are eating and where their food comes from,” says Greg Ramier, executive vice-president, market division of Loblaw Companies Limited. “We hope our food trends list will inspire Canadians to try new things and discover new family favourites.” (canadiangrocer.com)

CA: Sobeys eliminating 800 positions
Sobeys is eliminating 800 positions within the business as part of its broader restructuring plans. The job cuts are being made across Canada as the retailer moves from being a regionally-led business to a functionally-led business. Earlier this year, under the leadership of new CEO Michael Medline, the retailer shared details of a turnaround plan for the business, Project Sunrise. A major part of this is centred on creating a more efficient, agile organisation, with a goal of delivering $500mln in annualised cost savings by fiscal 2020. This will enable it to invest in the business to grow sales and profits and operate more as a national organisation, rather than a collection of regional companies. This includes improving its Safeway operations in western Canada. Moving to a new buying structure provides Sobeys with a significant opportunity to lower its costs. (igd)

Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber