Amsterdam-headquartered retailer Blokker plans a major reshuffle to stay competitive against e-commerce competitors. Spar International enjoys solid growth. Sainsbury's and Tesco are determined to fight food waste. Check out their latest initiatives. Enjoy your Wednesday bulletin and feel free to share its content.




Wednesday, 17 May 2017





Hello, dear reader,

Amsterdam-headquartered retailer Blokker plans a major reshuffle to stay competitive against e-commerce competitors. Spar International enjoys solid growth. Sainsbury's and Tesco are determined to fight food waste. Check out their latest initiatives. Enjoy your Wednesday bulletin and feel free to share its content.




Europe


Tough times for Blokker ▪ The Dutch household goods retailer, which operates seven retail formats in eight countries, will be closing 100 stores in the coming year, affecting 1,900 jobs. Blokker is the latest high street operator in the Netherlands to be hit by the rise of online retailing.



Unilever and Spar grow globally ▪ Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever has signed an agreement to acquire some brands of Quala, a consumer goods company in Latin American. Meanwhile, Spar International posted whopping yearly sales of EUR 33.1 billion. The growth was mainly driven by its global expansion programme.



Assortment adjustments ▪ French co-operative Système U says goodbye to its private label range Bien Vu, which will be replaced by no-brand products. Over in Austria, German drugstore operator dm is enhancing its offer by adding 1,900 new products. The retailer just introduced contactless payment services in all its branches in Germany




USA


Preparing for Lidl ▪ In anticipation of the German discounter's debut in the US, Walmart is eager to stay one step ahead by tweaking store-brand selection, lowering some prices and speeding up checkout lines. Meanwhile, Aldi US will spend about US$ 18 million to overhaul 130 of its 150 stores in the Chicago area.



Reporting results ▪ Home improvement major Home Depot enjoyed a 12% rise in quarterly profits, helped by high customer traffic and more average spending. Office supply retailer Staples, on the other hand, reported a mixed result for its first quarter. Total sales fell 5% to US$ 4.1 billion.



Management shake-up ▪ US supermarket giant Kroger has made changes in its executive team. Calvin Kaufman was named senior VP of retail divisions. He will replace Sukanya Madlinger, who is retiring. Kaufman’s replacement will be Ann Reed from the company's general office.




Asia


Targeting Chinese shoppers ▪ Following the footsteps of Starbucks, Coop Italia has signed an agreement with leading social platform WeChat to expand its reach in China. Meanwhile, Walmart has made about 200 products from Sam's Club stores available for customers in China via JD.com's website.



Delivery deal ▪ Yum China, the operator of KFC and Pizza Hut, has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in food delivery service Daojia, which also operates an English online service called Sherpa's. In the first quarter, delivery accounted for about 12% of Yum China's sales.



Struggle in Thailand ▪ Bangkok-headquartered Big C Supercenter Group, which operates 766 outlets under various formats in the country, reported a slump in sales for its first quarter, its hypermarkets suffered a sharp drop of 18%.




Sustainability matters


Saving bananas ▪ British families are throwing away 1.4 million bananas that are perfectly good to eat every day at cost of GBP 80 million a year. This triggered UK retailer Sainsbury's to launch an in-store banana rescue station in its outlets with tips and ideas how to use the fruit.



Good intensions ▪ Tesco has reported a rise in its food waste by 4,004 tonnes, predominantly from produce, bakery and chilled categories, and will investigate the reason for the increase. The UK grocer also has introduced an app in partnership with Spoon Guru for customers with special needs.