Spain: DIA introduces 2018-2023 ‘strategic plan’ to turn around fortunes
Spanish retailer DIA has outlined details of its 2018-2023 strategic plan, The New DIA, which will focus on the “transformation, modernisation and future” of the retailer, built around a renewal process focusing on several main pillars. Firstly, the group said that is seeking to transform its commercial offering: “with the aim of placing quality, competitive prices, and proximity at the heart of ‚ÄėThe New DIA‚Äôs‚Äô offer”. This will include strengthening its private label offering, boosting its fresh produce offer and making prices more competitive, it said. It also seek to devote more attention to customer loyalty, and better in-store service, with stores “modernised to meet customer needs, where and when required”. The strategic plan will focus on the “effective execution of store projects”, launching a new store format that is “modern and comfortable”, as well as delivering an online service in “the shortest possible timeframe”. The retailer will also seek to “strengthen the relationship with franchisees to improve the business model”, and “renew and strengthen” its company culture, placing more focus on offering more than just good service.
China Lunar New Year retail sales rise, but pace slowest in years
Sales by China‚Äôs retail businesses during the Lunar New Year holiday rose 8.5% from a year earlier, pushing up consumer stocks, but a cooler pace of growth added to evidence the economy is slowing. The Ministry of Commerce, in a notice on its website, said retail and catering enterprises had revenue of over 1tln yuan ($148.3bln) between February 4-10 during the holiday.
Australia: Woolworths to invest $20mln in Townsville operations
Australian supermarket chain Woolworths is planning to enhance its store network and distribution centre in Townsville, Queensland, during the next 18 months with a $20mln investment. The company has made this decision as part of its flood recovery efforts in the city. Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci has joined Queensland Minister for Communities Coralee O‚ÄôRourke and its emergency relief partner The Salvation Army to announce the investment. Banducci said: “Our teams have worked round the clock to replenish our stores with fresh food and essentials in challenging circumstances, and I thank them for their resilience and dedication to serving the community. We have a long and proud history in Townsville, and this announcement demonstrates our ongoing commitment to invest in the city for the benefit of our customers and team members. This investment will not only deliver a better local store network, it‚Äôll also help build greater resilience into our supply chain for extreme weather events in the future.”
UK: Iceland considers move for Sainsbury‚Äôs-Asda stores
Iceland is considering bidding for any stores Sainsbury‚Äôs and Asda are required to sell to obtain clearance for their proposed merger, as it seeks to expand its Food Warehouse business. The retailer‚Äôs managing director Richard Walker told the Financial Times that although the companies‚Äô superstores ‚Äúwould be too big‚ÄĚ for Iceland to take on, ‚Äúyou can redevelop, you can carve up, you can put in neighbouring retailers alongside. We are looking at everything for sure‚ÄĚ, he told the FT. ‚ÄúFood retail drives footfall and we are the only supermarket that is opening on retail parks.‚ÄČWe are looking at every retailer, trying to pick off as much as we can.‚ÄĚ The Competition and Markets Authority is expected to release the provisional findings of its in-depth inquiry into the merger within the next few weeks.
Carrefour deploys solar on 36 superstores in France
French solar company Urbasolar has announced it will deploy photovoltaic parking canopies on the parking lots of 36 of the superstores of French retailer Carrefour, which is one of the largest hypermarket chains in the world. The electricity produced by these installations will be completely self-consumed by each superstore, the company said in a statement, with Carrefour being the first French retailer opting for this solution. Every system installed at each store will have an annual generation capacity of 21,000 MWh, which corresponds to the annual consumption of 4,600 households, and to 210 tons of CO2 avoided each year, Urbasolar said without providing additional information.
Lidl names Roman Heini as Lidl US chairman
Lidl US adds Roman Heini to its leadership team as chairman, effective March 1. Having joined the deep discounter last October after more than 18 years at Lidl rival Aldi in a variety of senior positions, Heini will relocate to Lidl US‚Äô Arlington, Virginia, headquarters to work with the management team headed by Lidl US CEO Johannes Fieber. The team will continue its focus on supporting and optimizing Lidl‚Äôs American store operations, integration of the recently acquired Best Market locations in New York and New Jersey, and ongoing expansion into new markets along the East Coast. Heini succeeds international board member Michael Aranda, who will assume new responsibilities on Lidl‚Äôs management board in Europe.
US: Under fire, Instacart changes personal shopper pay model
Instacart is instituting a new earnings model for its personal shoppers following criticism that the online grocery delivery company was shortchanging their compensation. In a blog Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta unveiled changes aimed at ensuring that orders carry a guaranteed payment level – including for collecting groceries and/or delivering them – and that personal shoppers receive their full tips from customers. The move responds to widespread shopper complaints, including in social media and published reports, that a new earnings structure introduced by Instacart last fall ended up siphoning their tips by counting them toward minimum payments for orders.
US: Technology startup Apricart wants to revolutionize the grocery business for consumers and retailers
Apricart is a startup that created a cart-based system for frictionless shopping. Like AmazonGo and Caper, Apricart provides shoppers with a throw-it-in-the-cart and pay-on-the-cart checkout experience. However, Apricart‚Äôs proprietary system also collects in-store shopper behavior data and crunches it instantaneously to provide customer-relevant content on a dynamic platform. This point is key: in addition to eliminating the check-out process, Apricart is reinventing the shopping cart to help retailers create a better in-store experience. The Apricart team, led by CEO Allegra McNeally and CTO Shahzad Kirmani, have deep domain experience creating cutting-edge machine vision sensor systems.
US: Leading Phoenix grocer expands into Tucson
Los Altos Ranch Market, which currently operates seven stores in the Phoenix area, will open a store in Tucson, Arizona, later this year. The chain will take over space previously occupied by a Fry‚Äôs location that closed in 2017, according to a local news report. The Hispanic grocer, which is known for its meat, cheese and produce departments, first opened in 2002 and was acquired by Cardenas Market in 2017. The Los Altos Ranch Market acquisition and the current expansion into Tuscon is part of Cardenas Markets‚Äô plan to become one of the largest Hispanic grocers in the United States. Cardenas has also acquired and rebranded Mi Pueblo stores.
US: Giant/Martin‚Äôs opens dedicated checkout for Valentine‚Äôs Day shoppers
To make checking out easier for customers buying items for Valentine‚Äôs Day, every Giant Food Stores and Martin‚Äôs Food Markets store is offering a dedicated checkout, known as Valentine‚Äôs Express, for only purchases in honor of the observance, including flowers, items from the in-store bakery, cards and candies allowing customers to quickly get in and out of the store. ‚ÄúLove is in the air at Giant/Martin‚Äôs, and our associates are ready to help our customers celebrate by creating the perfect fresh floral arrangement or choosing the perfect wine, cheese and chocolate pairing‚ÄĚ, said John Ruane, SVP of merchandising at Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based Giant Food Stores. ‚ÄúWith over 170 convenient locations, great prices and a Valentine‚Äôs Express checkout lane dedicated for last-minute Cupids, Giant/Martin‚Äôs is your-one-stop-shop this Valentine‚Äôs Day.‚ÄĚ