US: Kroger hires grocery pro as Mid-Atlantic president
The Kroger Co. has named Lori Raya president of its Mid-Atlantic division. Raya succeeds Paula Ginnett, who has been promoted to group VP, retail operations at Kroger’s corporate headquarters in Cincinnati. Bringing with her more than 30 years of experience in the grocery industry, Raya was most recently chief merchandising and marketing officer for Grand Rapids, Michigan-based SpartanNash. Prior to that, Lori held a number of executive leadership roles at Safeway/Albertsons. She was division president for Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons from 2015-18 and division president for Vons, a Safeway umbrella company, from 2012-15. At Vons, Lori led the grocer’s largest division, comprising more than 275 stores, and was the first woman to serve as division president for the brand.
US: Delivery startup Gopuff to raise funds at $15bln valuation
Fast-growing delivery startup Gopuff is close to raising a $1bln funding round valuing it at $15bln, according to a person familiar with the matter. Blackstone Group Inc., a new investor in the company, is participating in the funding round, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Existing investor Fidelity will also be a part of the round, the person said. Gopuff was valued at $8.9bln after a funding round in March. Representatives for Gopuff and Fidelity declined to comment. A spokesperson for Blackstone didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Online grocery sales level off in June
The U.S. online grocery market declined for the 3rd straight month in June following peak levels in 2021’s first quarter, the latest Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey shows. U.S. online grocery sales totaled $6.8bln in June, down 3% from $7bln in May and a 23% drop from $8.8bln in June 2020, when sales had risen 6% month to month. Decreases in the number of monthly active users (MAUs), order frequency and spending per order accounted for the June 2021 falloff, according to Brick Meets Click, a Barrington, Illinois-based strategic advisory firm focusing on digital technology’s impact on food sales and marketing.
US: Instacart announces next-gen fulfillment initiative for North American retailers
Instacart, the leading online grocery platform in North America, unveiled the first phase of the company’s next-generation fulfillment initiative designed to bring automated technology solutions to retailers across the U.S. and Canada. As part of the new initiative, the company announced it has signed a multi-year strategic deal with Fabric as a fulfillment automation partner. With Instacart next-gen fulfillment, the company will integrate leading software and robotics solutions with Instacart’s proprietary technology and growing shopper community to create new e-commerce services for retail partners and an even faster, more effortless online grocery shopping experience for customers.
Walmart’s Mexico unit revenue grows 3.3%; store openings rise
Walmart’s Mexico unit said revenue grew 3.3% in the second quarter as it revved up store openings again after the pandemic slowed brick-and-mortar expansion. Walmart de Mexico, the biggest retailer in Mexico, brought in revenue of 174.7bln pesos ($8.8bln) in the period. It also posted net profit of 9.8bln pesos ($491.3mln), far outpacing the year-earlier period’s 1.7bln pesos, when a major tax charge in Mexico offset a shopping spike due to coronavirus stay-at-home measures.
UOKiK opposes Carrefour Polska’s acquisition of retail space used by Tesco
Poland’s consumer watchdog, UOKiK, has raised objections to Carrefour Polska’s acquisition of retail space used by Tesco in the Aleja Bielany Shopping Centre in Bielany Wrocławskie. President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny issued the objection to the transaction as it may lead to limited competition in the local market.
Portugal: Continente invests €8.5mln in Faro
Continente has opened a new store in Bom João, Faro, creating 58 new jobs in the region and representing an investment of €8.5mln. Open daily from 8am to 10pm, the new space covers an area 1280m2 and offers a range of thousands of products, including Continente own brand and popular brand names. A spokesman said: “This opening reinforces the brand’s commitment to 3 stores in the municipality of Faro and 19 stores in the district. Continente Bom Dia Faro Bom João also considers itself to be an example in the environmental aspect with self-consumption photovoltaic power plants, in order to minimise the space’s carbon footprint. Consumers are also able to use reusable bags when buying fruit, vegetables or bakeries and find 0% waste boxes on sale, with 5 kg of fruits and vegetables in good consumption conditions, but close to their sell by date, for 0.50 €/kg. We also highlight the fresh and seasonal products that are always available, from fruits and vegetables, to the bakery, butcher and fishmonger that the store offers, with regional products”.
Russia: Magnit completes acquisition of Dixy Group
Russian retailer Magnit has completed the acquisition of the Dixy Group, which encompasses 2,477 stores across Russia, for RUB87.6bln(€1.01bln). With the purchase of Russia’s fifth largest grocery retailer, Magnit said that it is expected to ‘significantly strengthen’ its position in the Russian retail sector, particularly in Moscow and St Petersburg.
Poundland owner Pepco to create 13,000 jobs over 3 years
Reuters reported: “The owner of the discount chains Pepco, Poundland and Dealz, Pepco Group, plans to create about 13,000 net new jobs across Europe over the next 3 years as it aggressively opens new stores, its boss told Reuters. Chief Executive Andy Bond said the majority of the new jobs would be in continental Europe, as it bets that shoppers will flock to cheaper stores following the devastation of the pandemic.”
Grocery delivery shakeout pushes France’s Cajoo to explore sale
Cajoo is weighing options including a sale just 6 months after it started, people familiar with the matter said, after the fiercely competitive instant grocery delivery market forced the French startup to look for new ways to fund itself. The company has spoken to rivals about selling itself, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions were private. Cajoo managers have also held talks with venture capitalists about raising new funds.
Poland: Grupa Muszkieterów sees 11.5% growth in first half
Grupa Muszkieterów, the Polish arm of France’s Les Mousquetaires, reported an 11.5% year-on-year growth in turnover to PLN4.2bln (€920mln) in the first 6 months of its financial year. Sales in like-for-like stores increased by over 9.5% compared to the same period in the previous year.
Maxima receives platinum rating in Sustainability Index
Lithuanian retailer Maxima has been awarded a platinum rating in the Sustainability Index, based on its performance and positive impact on society, the environment, and Latvia as a whole. The retailer is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first store opening in Latvia.