Supermarket chain Grupo Pão de Açúcar SA: Total gross sales grew 9.5%

Organic supermarket chain Marqt is merging with parent company of Ekoplaza

Glovo continues expansion in Kenya
After previously announcing it had expanded its coverage to the towns of Kitengela and Nakuru, Glovo has said it has added Mombasa as well. Glovo said it had signed partnerships with Chicken Inn, Java House and Naivas supermarkets, which operate in the city. Commenting on the addition of the new city, Glovo’s general manager for Kenya, William Benthall, said: “Our expansion to Mombasa was informed by our wider goal to have a presence in all the towns in the country. We are continually on-boarding more partners so as to serve our customers better and offer the best delivery services in the country.”

Finland: Lidl appoints new CEO
Lauri Sippo has stood down as CEO of Lidl Finland, after 20 years at the company. He has been replaced by former operations director, Nicholas Pennanen. Pennanen commented: “On behalf of myself and our entire staff, I thank Lauri Sippo for his almost 20 years of excellent work for the company. Under Lauri’s leadership, Lidl has grown and evolved significantly and has created a good, inspiring and innovative atmosphere for the company. It is great to continue to grow with our highly skilled staff”.

Holland: Supermarket alternative Marqt to merge with Ekoplaza parent
Organic supermarket chain Marqt is merging with Udea, the parent company of organic chain Ekoplaza, the two parties announced in a press release. A majority of their shareholders approved the merger. Both chains have a strong position in the organic shopping market. By merging, they hope to further strengthen that position. "Through this partnership, Marqt's sustainable mission is maintained, major operational and logistical synergy benefits can be achieved, and a sound basis and financial structure is created to build on," the Marqt shareholders said in the press release. "Moreover, Marqt will be retained as a retailer and brand for the future."

Greece: Jumbo ups dividend payout by 20%
Greek retailer Jumbo said it increased its dividend payout by 20% for its fiscal year that ended in June and will continue doing so for the next two years. Jumbo will pay a total dividend of 0.47 euros a share for the 12 months to end-June, up from 0.39 euros in the respective period a year ago. The retailer, which has 52 stores in Greece and another 27 in Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus, said net profit came in at 162.9mln euros ($179.27mln), up 7.8% year-on-year.

UK supermarkets need to up marketing efforts ahead of 'golden quarter': Nielsen
British supermarkets will need to increase their advertising and promotional efforts to encourage consumers back into shops ahead of the so-called 'golden quarter' of seasonal shopping, research firm Nielsen has said. In the first eighth months of the year, Aldi was the top supermarket ad spender, increasing spend by more than 9% to £25.7mln, Nielsen found, however overall advertising spend by UK supermarkets has fallen by 1%. With grocery sales continuing to slow, the wider industry needs to invest in advertising and promotional efforts to capitalise on the forthcoming Christmas and New Year season.

Belgium: Makro stops turnover decrease, but can't break-even Makro's Belgian cash & carry stores have been able to 'almost' stabilise their turnover in the past financial year, after figures had been falling by 10% and more for many years. However, a break-even is not yet in sight for the Metro subsidiary. According to CEO Vincent Nolf, there has been a turnaround on the Belgian market: in the last financial year turnover remained almost stable, he tells Belgian business newspaper De Tijd. The recovery is the result of a 20% growth in marketing investments, with the chain placing a greater emphasis on the sale of large packages and on specific target groups, such as hobby chefs. The road to achieving a break-even is still long, but the fact that the German parent company is once again providing 25mln euros to compensate the losses, is a sign of confidence, Nolf says.

Malaysia: Tesco marks 60-store milestone
Tesco Malaysia has opened its 60th store. The more-than 2000sqft store at Wangsa Walk is the retailer’s largest in the country, with recent changes in regulations reducing costs for an operation of this size and opening the path for similar formats going forward. “In providing a 2000sqft superstore with a targeted range of our famous value for money pricing, we are providing convenience and value for money to the customers in this area who were not able to enjoy all these before”, said Tesco Malaysia CEO Paul Ritchie as reported in the New Straits Times.

China: SPAR continues to expand with new store openings
Two of SPAR China´s Partners, SPAR Shandong and SPAR Guangdong, have continued the successful series of store openings enjoyed this past summer with the launch of five new supermarkets - two in Shandong and three in Guangdong - bringing the SPAR store estate in China closer to the 400 mark. SPAR was introduced to China in 2004 with the signing of the licence agreement for Shandong Province. This was followed by the addition of more partners, and now SPAR has eight partners in nine provinces: Shandong, Guangdong, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Beijing, Sichuan, Henan, Hebei and Yunnan.

Carrefour teams up with Coldiretti to promote Italian food
Carrefour has joined forces with Italian farmers association Coldiretti to promote Italian food in the country and abroad. The move will enable authentic 'Made in Italy' specialities to find their place on the shelves of the Carrefour stores, which operates more than 1,000 stores in 18 Italian regions. As part of the collaboration, Carrefour Italia has introduced the first line of products, branded as Terre d'Italia, from the Italian agricultural chain. The products feature the FDAI label, signed by Italian farmers, which guarantees that the raw materials used in the food items are of Italian origin. The range includes products such as pasta, oil, vegetables, cold cuts, and fruit juices.

UK: Walmart's Asda agrees $4.9bln Rothesay Life pension deal
Walmart’s Asda has agreed a 3.8bln pounds ($4.9bln) ‘buy in’ with Rothesay Life to secure the benefits for 12,300 members of one of its pension schemes, in a deal that simplifies its balance sheet ahead of a possible standalone listing. The British supermarket group said the deal will be followed by a full buy-out of the scheme in late 2020 or early 2021 after it had paid a one-off final contribution of about $1bln.

Brazil: GPA posts 9.5% rise in Q3 gross sales led by Assai unit - filing
Brazilian supermarket chain Grupo Pão de Açúcar SA reported its total gross sales grew 9.5% to 14.57bln reais ($3.49bln) in the third quarter as double-digit growth in wholesale unit Assai compensated for flat performance in its other brands. GPA, owned by France’s Casino Guichard Perrachon SA, said Assai’s gross sales rose 18.9% to 7.587bln reais. On a like-for-like basis, excluding calendar effects, the wholesale unit reported 3.2% growth.

US: Organic food supermarket Earth Fare wants to open 15 more locations in Florida
For over four decades, Earth Fare has provided authentic specialty organic and natural foods to shoppers. Over the years, the chain has expanded to 55 locations throughout 10 states including Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Indiana. Now, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the chain believes it has room to grow in Florida, possibly even doubling in size over the next few years. "We're working about 15 opportunities between Miami and Tallahassee, right now", CEO Frank Scorpiniti told TBBJ in an interview about Earth Fare's expansion scheme. "That would put us at 30 stores in Florida".

US: Pear Bureau Northwest names Harris Teeter 2019 Retailer of the Year
Pear Bureau Northwest (PBNW) is excited to present the award for 2019 Pear Retailer of the Year to Harris Teeter. Presented on the show floor of the 2019 PMA Fresh Summit, the award is based upon tactics devoted to pear category improvements in merchandising performance and sales increases throughout the year. “Over the course of the past season, Harris Teeter put forth commendable efforts to build their pear category”, stated PBNW President and CEO Kevin Moffitt. “On behalf of more than 800 pear growing families in the Pacific Northwest, we congratulate the Harris Teeter team on winning the 2019 retailer of the year award. We truly appreciate their support of the Northwest pear growers and their focus on pears.”

US: Diversity-focused Bravo Supermarkets set to open in West York
The vacant Giant lot near the York Fairgrounds is adding a new tenant - Bravo Supermarkets. The New York-based convenience store, which focuses on Latin and international products, is scheduled to open in West York borough, according to a recent Facebook announcement. Bravo is described as a "neighborhood grocery store", according to its website. The chain has 70 stores along the East Coast. The West York location will be the second Bravo in central Pennsylvania, joining the King Street store in Lancaster.

US: Inside Target’s Good & Gather launch
Target has started to roll-out its new private label food range, Good & Gather, with the first of 650 products introduced into its stores. The roll-out will continue over the next few months, before being ramped  up to over 2,000 products by late next year. Initial categories include juice boxes, snacks and chips, spreads, frozen fruits, deli meats, cheese, milk, eggs and pre-packed produce. Many of the initial products are aimed towards kids’ lunchboxes. This helps parents to draw on the range to provide healthier on-the-go options. Winning the loyalty of this target customer is essential to the long-term success of the brand.

US: Five major food companies form Leafy Greens Safety Coalition
According to multiple reports, five major food retailers have joined to form the new Leafy Greens Safety Coalition in an effort to push the improvement of illness prevention and traceability. The retailers - Costco, Kroger, Walmart, Wegman’s, and Yum Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell) - fully endorse the recommendations of the Leafy Greens Food Safety Task Force - which includes the Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, the Produce Marketing Association, United Fresh Produce Association, and other parties. The task force convened after Escherichia coli outbreaks attributed to the consumption of leafy greens swept the U.S. in 2017 and 2018. In total, three foodborne illness outbreaks that were tied to either leafy greens or romaine lettuce resulted in almost 300 illnesses and 6 deaths across the U.S.

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