UK: ‘Russian Lidl’ Mere planning 300 UK stores as it takes on every supermarket
A supermarket chain dubbed the “Russian Lidl” is planning on opening more than 300 stores in the UK over the next eight to ten years, it has been reported. Russian discounter Mere has already confirmed plans to open four UK stores this year, with the first expected to open this summer. But it’s now emerged that the supermarket chain, which trades as Svetofor in Russia, is ramping up its expansion plans and wants to open hundreds more stores in the UK over the next few years. According to trade magazine The Grocer, Mere wants to open more than 300 stores over the next eight to ten years. Mere has 3,200 stores internationally and opened its first European Mere store in 2018. It had originally planned to open its first ever store in the UK in Preston in June – but this has now reportedly been pushed back until mid-July.
Aldi commits to living wages and living incomes in its supply chains
German based discount retailer Aldi has recently published an International Position Statement on Living Wages and Living Incomes in which it states that “Living wages and living incomes are an integral part of human rights and are essential if we want to address inequality and eradicate poverty“. Furthermore, they state that they “will strive to create lasting change in our global supply chains by strengthening our responsible purchasing practices, which have a direct impact on working conditions, wages and incomes.” In their statement, Aldi also makes commitments not only to responsible purchasing, but to increased transparency and traceability in its supply chains, collaboration with industry stakeholders towards greater sustainability and promoting freedom of association and collective bargaining.
UK: Asda sales growth accelerates in latest quarter
British supermarket group Asda on Thursday reported an acceleration in underlying sales growth in its latest quarter and said Walmart was paid nearly 3 billion pounds ($4.3 billion) in dividends before selling most of the business. Zuber and Mohsin Issa and private equity group TDR Capital completed their purchase of a majority stake in Asda from Walmart in February in a deal valuing the chain at 6.8 billion pounds. The transaction, which sees Walmart retain a minority stake, is still subject to final regulatory approval by Britain’s competition regulator. Asda said like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose 7.3% year-on-year in its first quarter to March 31, versus growth of 5.1% in the previous quarter. The growth was driven by non-food categories and online shopping during a third period of national lockdown measures to stem the COVID-19 pandemic, which included the closure of non-essential shops.
Italy: Spar Italy adds more neighbourhood stores to its network
Spar Italy has expanded its network of neighbourhood stores by opening four new outlets. The new stores focus on local produce and sustainable construction, featuring the latest store concepts and shopfitting trends. The new openings include the Interspar Hypermarket in Belvedere Marittimo in the province of Cosenza, which has reopened its doors following a recent renovation. The store features an extensive fruit and vegetable area and a section offering items to celebrate special occasions. The store is owned by Spar Italy partner Maiora, and it will continue renovating stores in the Calabria region.
US: Grocers aim to shift home delivery to offices as consumer return to work
Online grocery delivery ordering has surged since the start of the pandemic, as a behavior that may have initially started as a safety measure has since become a habit. However, as much as consumers have grown used to the ease of deliveries right at their doorstep, the question remains: Will eGrocery retain its customers as workers return to the office? Grocery pickup solutions provider Bell and Howell and North Carolina-based supermarket chain Lowes Foods aim to see that it does. The two companies announced a partnership on Wednesday (June 9) that will allow them to bring grocery deliveries to shoppers’ places of work. “In today’s contactless delivery world of ease and convenience, this partnership provides consumers with more pickup and delivery options for their grocery shopping experience,” Joe Zuech, vice president of grocery pickup for QuickCollect Solutions, said in a statement.
US: Southeastern Grocers hiring throughout five-State footprint
Southeastern Grocers, Inc. (SEG), parent company and home of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, is seeking individuals to join its team of 40,000 associates. SEG is hiring for full- and part-time positions in all departments. Eddie Garcia, Southeastern Grocers Executive Vice President of Store Growth, began his 43-year career in grocery as a bagger: “What’s great about the grocery industry is the opportunity for growth. At SEG, our current leaders want to develop younger generations of leaders – so we encourage every level of the business to ask questions, be open to learning new things and keep a positive attitude. Positivity is contagious and when combined with passion and diligence, associates truly stand out. My recommendation for those early in their grocery careers is to show up every day as someone your customers and co-workers can count on, and your potential will be recognized.”
US: Casey’s General Stores records strong FY2021 despite pandemic challenges
Despite the challenges COVID-19 presented to the convenience channel, Casey’s General Stores Inc. saw its strongest results in the company’s history during its 2021 fiscal year. Casey’s closed out the 12-month period with an all-time high adjusted EBITDA of $729 million, according to President and CEO Darren Rebelez. “This is a tremendous accomplishment considering the extreme environment companies navigated through since the start of the pandemic last March,” he said during the retailer’s fourth-quarter fiscal year 2021 earnings call, held June 9. Inside the store, same-store inside sales were up 4 percent for FY2021, led by a 6.6 percent same-store increase for grocery and other merchandise. Inside margin decreased slightly from the prior year, to 40 percent, influenced primarily by a mix shift to higher pack sizes and lower prepared food sales, the CEO noted.
US: Groceryshop returns to in-person event this fall
Groceryshop is making its return. The annual conference for grocery retailers and consumer packaged goods industries was postponed last year due to COVID-19. The four-day event will be held in person at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas from Sept. 19 to 22. The lineup for this year’s event includes CEOs and C-level executives from Kroger, Ahold Delhaize, Albertsons, Target, P&G, PepsiCo and Kellogg’s.
Source: Canadian Grocer