Encouraged by promising results, supermarket operator Conad eyes leadership in Italy. In Britain, retail major Sainsbury's and beauty chain Superdrug deliver remarkable achievements. Across the Atlantic, Safeway commits to sustainability and Apple explores face-scanning technology. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Wednesday, 05 July 2017





Hello, dear reader,

Encouraged by promising results, supermarket operator Conad eyes leadership in Italy. In Britain, retail major Sainsbury's and beauty chain Superdrug deliver remarkable achievements. Across the Atlantic, Safeway commits to sustainability and Apple explores face-scanning technology. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.

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Europe


Uplifting results ▪ Warm weather boosted Sainsbury's first quarter sales. Consolidation, differentiation and multichannel appear to be the keywords for maintaining its strength. Here is what the analysts say. Also enjoying strong results is AS Watson-owned Superdrug chain, which posted a double-digit rise in revenues to GBP 1.2 billion for 2016.



Conad aims for top spot ▪ As Coop's growth in Italy slows, rival Conad has high hopes to claim leadership of the country's grocery market. The Bologna-headquartered retailer plans to invest EUR 1.1 billion until 2019, most of which will go towards store openings. LZ Retailytics predicts an average growth rate of nearly 3%.



Decisions in the East ▪ Rewe's Billa supermarket chain is committed to continuing its operations in the Ukraine, although it might close some stores in the region. Meanwhile, French major Carrefour is set to increase its presence in Georgia thanks to a partnership deal with the Wissol Group.




USA


Safeway goes green ▪ The California-headquartered supermarket chain, owned by retail giant Albertson, has committed to incorporating best practices in 11 of its stores, reducing their environmental impacts and saving resources by enrolling their stores into a pilot in the so-called Grocery Stewardship Certification programme.



Walmart bets on beef ▪ Just in time for Independence Day barbeques, the big-box retailer has upgraded its beef to certified Angus across the US. The move is part of Walmart's response to rapidly intensifying competition by German discounters Aldi and Lidl as well as Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods Market.



Apple explores face-scanning ▪ In a move away from touch ID, the tech icon is working on a feature that will use the face instead of a fingerprint. Apple is reportedly testing an improved system that allows users to log in, authenticate payments and launch apps by scanning their face.




Africa


Carrefour expands in Ivory Coast ▪ Following the opening of a hypermarket in the West African nation in 2015, the first Carrefour Market store has opened in a shopping mall in Abidjan. The 2,400 square-metre retail unit offers branded as well as private label goods, and features produce from around 200 local suppliers.



Staff issues ▪ Troubled retailer Nakumatt has informed its workers that they will get paid weekly wages instead of monthly salaries, signalling an extension of the cash crisis that began six months ago. In Namibia, Shoprite was told to drop charges against workers for participating in a strike and instead start negotiating.




Analysis and expectations


Agrokor's crisis deepens ▪ Germany’s Lidl has built itself into a major force in Croatia and is taking on the ailing market leader. Instead of flocking to Agrokor’s Konzum banner, the annual invasion of tourists, as well as locals, choose to buy cheaper at the discounter, adding another source of grief to the Croatian company, writes Bloomberg.



Gamification of retail ▪ The act of shopping has become a game, which allows endless choices and personalisation while eliminating customer service pain points. Endless choices for consumers mean endless opportunities for the brand, says Paris Retail Week.