Lidl is reportedly interested in the Estonia market. According to local newspapers, the retailer’s division MMS Property Solutions already approached the city government of Tartu, bought land in Narva and is now showing interest in the country’s capital, Tallinn.
Migros’ grocery online shop Le Shop has started to roll out its PickMup click & collect offering. This means that the Swiss market leader will end its pilot of two collection points and shut them down entirely. The new plan is to operate 80 pick-up points for goods ordered via Le Shop by the end of the month and 100 by early summer. Most PickMup facilities are in Migros supermarkets or Migrolino minimarkets.
Amazon has developed a Wickedly Prime range of private label grocery items, which are available exclusively to Prime subscribers. As it continues to roll out Amazon Fresh, the move demonstrates that Amazon is becoming ever more serious about grocery.
Marks & Spencer is set to trial an online grocery home delivery service this autumn. According to The Guardian, the retailer believes it can no longer ignore opportunities within this fast-growing channel, and has a management team drawing up plans for a soft trial later this year. This will take advantage of the strength of its food business, which continues to outperform clothing and home.
Russian Magnit plans to strengthen its operations beyond core grocery by opening its first pilot pharmacies this summer. After developing its Magnit Kosmetik drugstore network as a second mainstay, the retailer is now aiming for growth by establishing a foothold in the still highly fragmented pharmacy market.
Finnish retailer Kesko strengthened its focus further on its core businesses in Q1 this year by selling its K-Maatalous agriculture business to Swedish competitor Lantmännen. Kesko also sold 45% of its Baltic machinery subsidiary Konekesko to Danish Agro, including the option for the latter to buy the remaining stock in addition to Konekesko’s Finnish operations.
Portuguese retailer Sonae announced the acquisition of the Brio organic chain of stores. Brio has six supermarkets, all of which are located in the Lisbon area. The retailer states that the move will “accelerate the execution of its Health & Wellness strategic growth revenue, namely in the healthy eating segment”.
The online-only banner of Louis Delhaize has announced that it has added a new region to its home delivery service. However, customers will initially only be able to receive their orders on two days of the a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Linéaires newspaper notes.
Co-operative Edeka expects to further step up investment into its network this year, Germany’s leading grocer said at the presentation of its 2016 financial results. After investing EUR1.5bn in 2016, this year will see EUR1.9bn channeled into the infrastructure of the retailer, which is only present in Germany.
Biedronka has once again opened a store featuring an unconventional sales concept, this time at Krakow’s town square. The upscale store interiors are reminiscent of a premium delicatessen store, with the sales concept artfully interwoven with the architecture. Instead of the typical bright POS marketing of flags, hangers and bright yellow, the colour scheme is limited to white and darker shades of wood.
Discounters Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd in Germany are increasingly benefiting from offering branded products on their shelves, Lebensmittel Zeitung reports. In addition to new permanent listings, weekly promotions of branded products are becoming more crucial to drive footfall and sales.
Hypermarket operator Globus has stepped on the brakes in developing its small store Fridel concept. As reported by Lebensmittel Zeitung, the pilot store, which was opened two years ago in Saarbrücken, has not yet proven convincing enough to justify a roll-out. Processes are not yet ready to be multiplied, and reportedly it is the cost structure of the instore restaurant that is causing headaches for management.
Waitrose has launched a trial service to deliver recipe boxes to customers. Cook Well by Waitrose allows shoppers to order boxes of fresh meal ingredients as single orders or to sign up for a weekly subscription service.
X5 Retail Group and Magnit – the top two grocery players in Russia – have published their unaudited results for the first quarter of 2017. The gap between the two multi-format retailers has become even more marked during the first few months of this year, with Magnit lagging behind X5 and posting negative like-for-like results for all of its formats.
Auchan is considering introducing minimarkets in Ukraine, as it has in other European countries. The plan is to open a handful of stores in the capital city Kiev, bearing the Auchan brand. The retailer is however reportedly facing difficulties due to its contractual obligations with its local partner, Furshet.
Amazon has launched its Amazon Fresh full line grocery service to Prime members in six areas of Tokyo. With an assortment of 17,000 fresh food items and 100,000 items in total, the service has been launched with the help of the team that launched Fresh in London last June.
Rewe Group’s discounter Penny is preparing to launch an online shop in Germany. The e-store will initially focus on non-food goods from its instore promotions and wines. The buying department is currently finalising negotiations with suppliers regarding quantities and requirements for logistics.
Dansk Supermarked has hired a new Director for its international discount chain Netto – Michael Løve, who is currently CEO at UK DIY chain B&Q. Løve, who was previously Chief Operating Officer and Chain Director at Coop Danmark, is to start in his new role on 1 September this year.
Amazon has confirmed that it will enter the market in Australia. At the same time it is set to launch Amazon Pantry in Switzerland. The market entry to Australia was confirmed in a short statement from Amazon, ending long running speculation that a move was imminent.
Spanish retailers Dia and Eroski have announced the creation of a joint company to trade private labels. Known as Red Libra Trading Services, the company will be located in Madrid and employ 50 professionals to negotiate with private label suppliers. The retailers' own commercial strategies remain independent.
Rewe in Germany has launched a “low-cost” 360-degree marketing initiative to promote its economy private label line, Ja. The campaign was designed by Rewe’s lead agency Thjnk and has launched with a series of short videos on YouTube, with the theme ‘The cheapest spot of the year’.
French retailer Casino has published contrasting results from its French physical store banners, with a slight sales decline year-on-year overall, but with like-for-like sales broadly static. The retailer reasserted its objectives and will continue to pursue its multiple format strategy.
Dutch market leader Albert Heijn will be the first retailer in the country to test Hiku. Hiku is an electronic fridge magnet which enables shoppers to add goods to their virtual shopping lists via barcode scanning or voice recognition. Customers can either use the shopping list the traditional way, when they do their shopping in the retailer’s physical stores – or with one click they can add everything to their shopping basket in Albert Heijn’s online shop.
Carrefour unveiled mixed results for its first quarter of 2017, with French hypermarkets and Belgium lagging. Meanwhile, the retailer praised its multi-format strategy and the solid performance of its smaller format stores. A special mention was also given to its Spanish business.
Drugstore operator Müller loses another executive, this time Daniel Kunzi, its Commercial Director. As reported by Lebensmittel Zeitung, Kunzi will leave the company after only 1.5 years at the retailer. The original aspiration was that he might become one of Müller’s next Managing Directors, but this has not happened.
The imminent launch of Amazon Fresh is taking a little longer than anticipated in Germany, although a soft launch with family and friends will be tested by the end of April, Lebensmittel Zeitung reports. However, it is now expected that when the retailer does launch in Berlin, it could use its facilities to serve a wider metropolitan area, possibly as far away as Hamburg.
Russian X5 Retail Group has announced plans to open up to 1,000 franchise stores in cooperation with the Central Union of Consumer Societies of the Russian Federation (Centrosoyuz). The co-branded COOP-Pyaterochka stores will operate at existing cooperative locations in remote rural areas.
Auchan has stated in a press release that it will launch a new health & beauty line, Cosmia, across all its operating countries. The range will comprise some 500 products such as cosmetics, face and body care, including shower gels and shampoos.
Schwarz Group-owned discounter Lidl has earmarked EUR70mn for investment in Portugal this year. Country Manager Afroite Pampa has inferred that the sum will go into the opening of six new stores and the remodelling of approximately 70 existing sites.
Tesco has reported a bigger-than-expected increase in annual profits as its sales grew for the first time in seven years. Annual profit reached GBP1.28mn (EUR1.56mn) and sales were up 4.3% to GBP49.9bn (EUR60.89bn). In the UK Tesco’s like-for-like sales grew for the first time since 2010, up 0.9% overall and driven by food volumes which increased by 1.3% on a like-for-like basis.
Okey Group has announced plans to triple the store network for its DA! discount chain within the next three years. The development of its hard discount concept has become a priority owing to limited growth opportunities in its traditional hypermarket and supermarket formats.
Carrefour has emphasised via two press releases the rapid roll-out of its minimarkets in two major European markets. In Poland, Carrefour intends to open 120 new franchise stores in 2017, the vast majority of these in the minimarkets channel. In Spain, the retailer inaugurated 13 new Carrefour Express minimarkets in March alone.
Aldi Nord has chosen Belgium to launch the discounter’s very first e-commerce operation. The shop is expected to go online later this year, focusing on non-food goods.
Coop Danmark has bought 50% of the shares in Catering Denmark, a company focusing on meal bags and catering to companies. According to the retailer, the move is motivated by the fact that the foodservice market has seen significantly higher growth than grocery stores in recent years.
Croatian Agrokor Group, the largest grocery retail and food manufacturing company in the Balkans, has appointed Antonio Alvarez III as its Chief Restructuring Officer. Due to increased pressure from stakeholders the retail and food production conglomerate has been forced to call in external management support to lead the company’s strategic realignment.
Coop Italia is experimenting with two new concepts for convenient shopping – one where shoppers pick groceries for other shoppers and the other involving grocery vending machines.
The Co-operative Group in the UK has released annual results, showing positive like-for-like momentum for its food business but an overall group loss on further write-downs for its banking arm.
Dansk Supermarked has started offering competing online retailers the opportunity to sell through its non-food e-commerce platform Wupti. The Danish retailer’s Group Digital Director, Kenneth Nielsen told financial magazine Børsen that this is the only choice if Danish e-tailers are to remain competitive against the likes of Amazon in the future.
Ukrainian retailer Fozzy Group is set to open a credit line of USD75mn (EUR70mn) with Alpha Bank to finance the expansion of its newly developed discount-oriented Thrash banner. Part of the store network will be created through the conversion of existing Silpo stores.
A member of store owner cooperative E.Leclerc is experimenting with an urban pick up store in Lille (Northern France). Orders are picked from a dedicated warehouse in the suburb which supplies different collection points.
Dansk Supermarked is piloting a grocery click & collect service called Bilka To Go in its home market of Denmark. Kenneth Nielsen, Executive Vice President, E-commerce & Digital at Dansk Supermarked told the newspaper Berlingske Business that the trial is so far limited to the retailer’s employees.
Spanish retailer Ahorramás unveiled positive 2016 financial results but below its initial anticipations for the period.
New CEO Paula Nickolds has set out the ways in which John Lewis will modernise and differentiate itself as it faces into the challenge of lower profits, a weaker pound and economic uncertainty following Brexit.
Coop Danmark has started offering its shoppers the opportunity to fund new product developments for its suppliers. In this way, the Danish grocery leader wants to act as mediator between its around 1.7mn members and its primarily small Danish producers.
Norgesgruppen’s Kiwi discount chain continued to be its star performer in 2016 and will be the main expansion banner going forward. This was disclosed in the Norwegian grocery leader’s annual report for 2016, which also showed an overall turnover increase of 5.17% to NOK76.22bn (EUR8.20bn). EBITDA amounted to NOK4.85bn (EUR522mn).
Amazon has opened its first two grocery click & collect stores in Seattle, giving indications of its physical store and grocery ambitions.
Carrefour has introduced "Panier Cuistot" (Cooks' Basket) recipe boxes in France, delivering tailored ready-to-prepare meals to the customer's doorstep. Alongside the service's launch, the retailer has highlighted a parallel with two other innovations introduced over the past year.
X5 Retail Group, Russia's number two grocery retailer, has announced a record revenue increase for the year 2016, outpacing market leader Magnit twofold. Full-year sales increased by 27.8% with like-for-like sales up 7.7%, with the main growth driver being the company's minimarket format Pyaterochka.
Hypermarket operator Globus is closing down its drive-through pilot for online orders. The grocery click & collect offer did not attract enough clients to become profitable, according to the retailer.
Discounter Norma has shown solid sales growth in Germany. The retailer plans to replace or refurbish 100 stores annually and will continue to invest in the modernisation of its warehouse network.
Auchan steps into the proximity channel in Portugal, with an intention to open six minimarkets under the banner name ‘My Auchan’ in 2017.
Amazon has expanded its international presence into the Middle East through the acquisition of Dubai-based online marketplace Souq.com.