Following Amazon, supermarket major Sainsbury's is trialling its first checkout-free store in Britain. In the US, Ahold Delhaize wants to stabilise its online position, while consumers are using omnichannel platforms to create dinners that are very different from a decade ago. New technology might be challenging, but it is also full of opportunities, isn't it?




Tuesday, 14 August 2018





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Following Amazon, supermarket major Sainsbury's is trialling its first checkout-free store in Britain. In the US, Ahold Delhaize wants to stabilise its online position, while consumers are using omnichannel platforms to create dinners that are very different from a decade ago. New technology might be challenging, but it is also full of opportunities, isn't it?




Europe


Checkout trials ▪ British grocer Sainsbury's has started to test its first 'till-free' store, in which shoppers can scan and pay for goods with a smartphone, apparently inspired by Amazon. Competitors Tesco and the Co-op are also trialling various ways to avoid checkout queues.



Hurdles ahead ▪ Meanwhile, Amazon is facing headwinds in Britain, where the Advertising Standards Authority believes that the Seattle-based online powerhouse's "unlimited one-day delivery" claims are misleading. This comes after a new online retail tax is considered in the UK.



Cutting costs ▪ Germany's Ceconomy sees results dented by another impairment on its stake in wholesale trader Metro. The firm that runs Media Markt and Saturn stores in countries across Europe reported a loss in fiscal third quarter and now plans to cut costs and reconsider investments.



Sustainability concerns ▪ Swiss grocer Coop wants to improve the quality standards for the production of milk and aims to ensure better animal welfare. Across the border, the French government has suggested making non-recyclable plastic products 10% more expensive than their recyclable counterparts in 2019.




US & Canada


Online unification ▪ Ahold Delhaize plans to consolidate its e-commerce platforms in the US under its Peapod online delivery service. The retailer, which operates several grocery chains such as Stop & Shop and Giant Food, is also looking for partnerships in a bid to stabilise its position in the online groceries market.



Expanded offer ▪ Quebec-headquartered drug chain Pharmaprix, a unit of grocer Loblaw, has begun piloting a new retail concept dubbed Zone Marché at several drugstores in greater Montreal. The section is designed to serve up a range of fresh options for on-the-go customers.



Booted out ▪ Apparel conglomerate VF Corp will spin off Lee and Wrangler jeans into a separate public company, as it sharpens its focus on faster-growing activewear brands such as the more profitable Vans sneakers and The North Face outerwear business.




Asia & Australasia


Local investment ▪ Japanese discount retailer Don Quijote is interested in buying supermarket chain Seiyu from Walmart. Last month it was reported that the US retail giant wants to offload its Japanese unit to shake up its overseas business and invest in places like China and India. Seiyu operates more than 300 stores.



Indian cooperation ▪ The New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra is returning to one of the world's fastest-growing dairy markets – India – via a joint venture with Future Group, the subcontinent's biggest retailer. Fonterra will make a range of dairy products from Indian milk, as well as offering New Zealand made produce.




Consumer trends


Prepared and convenient ▪ The typical American dinner looks different than it did a decade ago as meals have multiple components. Consumers are using an omnichannel approach to get the ingredients and prepared foods. However, the physical store is still No.1 location to sort out 'what's for dinner'.



Popular milk alternatives ▪ Alternatives to traditional cow's milk have been around for a while, but over the last decade, customers began choosing non-dairy milk like soy, almond and coconut for taste, health and ethical reasons. Milk with unusual ingredients is on the rise.