US: Kroger Fulfillment Network expands with customer fulfillment center in North Carolina
The Kroger Co., America's largest grocery retailer, announced it will offer more Americans delivery through the addition of a new customer fulfillment center (CFC) in North Carolina, powered by the Ocado Group and combining vertical integration, machine learning, and robotics to provide an affordable, friendly, and fast fresh food delivery service as part of the company's seamless ecosystem.
US: Grocery brands top Qualtrics 2022 Experience Index
Costco, Amazon and Kroger topped Qualtrics’ 2022 Experience Index, in a year when customers living out an extended global pandemic continued to seek experiences that enhanced living more of their lives at home. Major grocery brands held half of the top 10 spots in the annual ranking of customer trust and loyalty. Online shopping giants Amazon and Etsy also landed in the top 10, along with digital payment provider Visa, Android and home audio company Bose.
Canada: Dollarama reports 5.5% increase in sales for 3rd quarter
Dollarama Inc. reported a 3rd-quarter profit of $183.4mln, up from $161.9mln in the same quarter last year as its sales rose 5.5%. The retailer says the profit amounted to 61 cents per diluted share for the 13-week period ended October 31, up from 52 cents per diluted share a year earlier. Sales in the quarter totalled $1.12bln, up from $1.06bln in the same quarter last year.
US: Publix announces 2nd Kentucky location
Publix Super Markets Inc. announced it has signed a lease for a 2nd store in Kentucky. Like the 1st Kentucky store, this location will be in Louisville, located at the northeast corner of Ballardsville Road and Brownsboro Road in Jefferson County.
Grocery delivery startup Jokr explores sale of European business
Rapid grocery delivery startup Jokr is exploring a sale of its smaller European business as it focuses on expanding into the U.S. and Latin America, according to people familiar with the matter. New York-based Jokr, which launched in March and recently raised $260mln at a $1.2bln valuation, is among a spate of firms seeking to bring consumers fresh produce and other goods within 15 minutes. The company had set up operations in the Americas, alongside a small European presence that it’s now exiting.
US: United Natural Foods, Inc. reports 1st quarter fiscal 2022 results
United Natural Foods, Inc. (the “Company” or “UNFI”) reported financial results for the 1st quarter of fiscal 2022 (13 weeks) ended October 30, 2021. 1st quarter fiscal 2022 highlights (comparisons to 1st quarter fiscal 2021): Net sales of $7.0bln, an increase of 4.7% (+10.7% on a 2-year stack basis). Net income of $76mln, an increase of $77mln.
Acquisition of OK Market chain by Oxxo approved in Chile
In Chile, the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office (FNE) approved the purchase of convenience stores OK Market, de SMU, by the Mexican Femsa, which operates through Oxxo. The concentration operation was approved 1 year after the sale was agreed, in addition, it was indicated that it must comply with measures to mitigate competitive risks. Through a statement, the FNE recalled that the operation, which is around 55mln dollars, involves the purchase of 126 OK Market stores, located mainly in the Metropolitan, Valparaíso and Bio-Bío regions.
First Belgian Jumbo City makes statement in Antwerp
At a prime location in the centre of Antwerp, the city store Jumbo City is opening its doors to the Belgian public for the 1st time, with a lot of attention for fresh produce and 'food to go'. A major roll-out is not on the agenda yet: first, the retailer wants to evaluate the reactions. The 1st Flemish branch of Jumbo's city store formula has a sales area of 600 sq m, and it is located in a beautiful corner building on the Teniersplaats, right on the busy shopping axis between Antwerp's central station and the Meir.
British union Unite suspends Tesco strikes after new pay offer
British trade union Unite said that pre-Christmas strike action by workers at 4 Tesco distribution centres had been suspended after an improved pay offer. Unite said it was recommending its members accept the supermarket group's offer of a minimum of a 5.5% pay increase backdated to July 2021 and an additional 0.5% from February 2022. The union had previously rejected a 4% offer. If the deal is rejected in a ballot of members then fresh strike action will be announced, but that is unlikely to be before January 2022, the union said.
Israel: Machsanei Hashuk set to deploy WalkOut autonomous checkout solution
WalkOut, which has developed an autonomous checkout solution, has announced a deal with Machsanei Hashuk, a supermarket chain based in Israel. As part of the agreement, the retailer will implement WalkOut’s tech in all 62 of its branches. Deployment will begin next month. “Connecting to one of the largest retail chains in Israel is an exciting opportunity and an important milestone for us”, says Assaf Gedalia, CEO and Co-Founder, WalkOut.
Fortenova Group invested €125mln in the business in 2021
Fortenova Group has invested €125mln in the business in 2021 and plans to invest another €130mln in the forthcoming period. The total investment is expected to amount to €255mln over 2 years, the company said.
Belgium: Aldi launches new store concept with fresh food market experience
Aldi is launching a new store concept in Belgium, in which the fresh food offer takes on an even more prominent role. The retailer is bringing the idea of the brochure to the shop floor. Aldi will welcome its customers with a proper fresh food market at the entrance. All fresh products are displayed here: fruit and vegetables, fresh meat, fresh fish and chilled convenience products such as ready-made salads, fresh fruit juices and other prepared meals and drinks. This is the most striking innovation of the updated store concept that the discounter launched in Herenthout and Jodoigne. The new concept fits in with the evolution Aldi has been undergoing for some years now: the retailer is investing heavily in fresh products, for example, by developing a range of fruit and vegetables in bulk.
UK: Supply chain disruption hits sales and profits at McColl’s
Embattled convenience store chain McColl’s has revealed further details of the damage done to its business by the supply chain disruption that is currently affecting retailers around the UK. In a brief trading update for the 52-week period ended 28 November, the company revealed that its total revenue had fallen 11.2% to £1.11bln. It blamed supply chain issues in the 2nd half of the period which impacted stock availability. The completion of a store rationalisation programme also took its toll with 100 stores divested during the year, leaving it with 1,165 sites.
AI-driven shopping start-ups offer a smoother retail experience
Smart-cart company Shopic is developing innovative ways to interact with physical supermarkets, by way of their AI-powered device that clips onto pre-existing shopping carts. Using computer vision technology, Shopic’s clip-on device recognizes items placed in or taken out of the cart in real time, automatically registering them by price and displaying the shopper’s active receipt on the device’s screen.