US: eBay achieves strongest growth in 16 years
Auction site eBay has had an exceptional quarter: its turnover rose by 42% – the biggest growth in 16 years – following a year in which it was already growing strongly, thanks to the Covid-19 crisis. In the first 3 months of the year, eBay’s turnover rose by 42% to 3bln dollars (almost 2.5bln euros), while the gross trading volume increased by 29% to 27.5bln dollars (23bln euros). Net profit increased by almost a third and landed at 569mln dollars (470mln euros).
Amazon to hike wages for over 500,000 workers
Amazon announced it will raise wages by between 50 cents and $3 an hour for more than half a million of its U.S. operations employees. It comes as President Joe Biden has pushed for raising the federal minimum wage, which has been stalled at $7.25 an hour since 2009, to $15 an hour.
Empire’s family of brands partners with Second Harvest with the goal of diverting 31mln pounds of food and approximately 41mln kilograms of GHG emissions annually
Empire and Second Harvest have formed a national partnership to implement the Second Harvest Food Rescue App at Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, and Voilà. Second Harvest’s food rescue app will enable Empire’s banners to divert food waste and offer even more access to fresh, healthy food to Canadian families in need.
Canada: Walmart to open distribution centre in Moncton next year
Walmart Canada is building a distribution centre in Atlantic Canada to ship fresh and frozen groceries to the retailer’s 43 stores in the region. The company says the $56mln facility in Moncton will open in the fall of 2022 and employ more than 200 workers.
Amazon.com announces first quarter results
Amazon.com, Inc. announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2021. Net sales increased 44% to $108.5bln in the first quarter, compared with $75.5bln in first quarter 2020. Excluding the $2.1bln favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 41% compared with first quarter 2020.
Portugal: Jeronimo Martins quarterly profit jumps 66% amid COVID lockdowns
Portuguese retailer Jeronimo Martins said first-quarter net profit jumped by two-thirds to 58mln euros as key market Poland drove a modest rise in sales during pandemic-related lockdowns there and at home. However, Portugal’s second-largest retailer warned that there was still uncertainty over possible further restrictions in the countries in which it operates and their effect on consumer behaviour. It said it planned to increase investment to 700mln euros ($845.60mln) this year from 470mln in 2020, 60% of which would be in Poland where its Biedronka unit is the largest food retailer, but again warned that local restrictions could impact the plan. Sales in the January-March period rose 1.5% from the year earlier period to 4.8bln euros, with a 3.9% rise in Poland offsetting a 0.8% drop at its main domestic supermarket chain Pingo Doce.
Sweden: ICA Gruppen sees mixed performance in first quarter
Sweden’s ICA Gruppen has published a first quarter trading update, noting that while it is still suffering financially in some areas as a result of the pandemic, it is also experiencing growth in areas such as online sales. The estimated overall effect of the pandemic on consolidated operating profit for Q1 is approximately SEK-20mln, while the corresponding earnings effect in 2020 was approximately SEK+50mln, driven by customer stockpiling in March 2020. Profit for the first quarter of this year was SEK984mln (€97.2mln), which includes the net result of divestments and impairment losses, totalling SEK26mln.
JD opens distribution center in the Netherlands
Chinese ecommerce giant JD will open a new distribution center in the Netherlands. The B2C online retailer will open a site that’s 18,000 sq.m. big. Two-thirds of this space will be used for warehouse storage, while over 30% will be used for mezzanine floors. The remaining 350 sq.m. is dedicated to office space. The news has been announced by logistics real estate investor and developer DHG. “Like other major global players, JD.com also sees opportunities in Europe and rents its first distribution center in the Netherlands”, DHG writes.
Tesco set to become first UK retailer to offer sustainability-linked supply chain finance
Tesco is set to become the first UK retailer to offer its supply base sustainability-linked supply chain finance, in a move the retailer hopes will encourage more suppliers to sign up to science-based emissions reduction targets.
Spain: Eroski increases purchases from Basque Country by 8%
Spanish retailer Eroski increased its purchases of local products from agri-food producers in the Basque Country by 8% last year, purchasing more than €205mln worth of products. Eroski works with nearly 300 small agri-food producers in the Basque Country to source up to approximately 9,000 items. The products have a prominent space in its stores, especially seasonal fruit and vegetables, the retailer said. The chain also saw sales of Basque Country vegetables grow by 20% since it began its local vegetable plan in 2019.
Singapore: Eat Just and Foodpanda partner on world’s first home delivery of cultured meat
Eat Just, Inc., a company that applies cutting-edge science and technology to create healthier, more sustainable foods, and foodpanda, Asia’s leading food and grocery delivery platform, have partnered on the world’s first home delivery of cultured meat.
UK: Co-op to remove all plastic bags for life
The Co-op has announced it will remove plastic “bags for life” from sale in all of its stores in an effort to reduce plastic waste. The supermarket said many shoppers are regularly buying bags for life to use just once, leading to a hike in plastic production. More plastic is needed to produce bags for life than the conventional single-use bags.