Supermarkets are in the spotlight today, with Asda eventually for sale after the failed Sainsbury's merger. Tesco is taking on Aldi and Lidl with its very own discount offer, and French grocer Casino has some good news for shareholders. Across the Atlantic, Amazon has opened its first store in New York. Enjoy the read!




Wednesday, 08 May 2019





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Supermarkets are in the spotlight today, with Asda eventually for sale after the failed Sainsbury's merger. Tesco is taking on Aldi and Lidl with its very own discount offer, and French grocer Casino has some good news for shareholders. Across the Atlantic, Amazon has opened its first store in New York. Enjoy the read!

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United States


Online and offline efforts ▪ Amazon is taking on Manhattan with the launch of its cashier-less convenience store concept in New York City. It will be the first 'Amazon Go' to accept cash. Meanwhile, fierce competitor Walmart is launching an online pet pharmacy and said it will grow its veterinary in-store clinics to 100 locations.



Strategic tweak ▪ The US unit of Swiss food giant Nestlé will stop delivering frozen pizza and ice cream directly to stores and instead use a warehouse model, which might result in about 4,000 job losses. As part of the transition, Nestlé USA will close eight company-owned frozen distribution centres.



Thinking small ▪ Ebay is unveiling a number of partnerships and initiatives that support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses across the US. The online marketplace offers sellers the opportunity to discuss issues at its annual seller advocacy day in Washington, starting today.



Meal ideas ▪ Kroger is adding several new convenience-focused choices to its Home Chef meal kit offer. The Cincinnati-based supermarket operator plans to test oven-ready, heat-and-eat and lunch kits at 68 stores. Home Chef meal kits are sold in more than 900 Kroger outlets.




Europe & Africa


Beating discount ▪ Tesco has started selling Jack's items in its core supermarket stores. Jack's is the retailer's discount brand, launched last September to rival the likes of Aldi and Lidl. Currently, the British supermarket leader operates 8 discount stores.



Improved performance ▪ Supermarket group Casino finally has some good news for its shareholders, as retail sales in its core French market improved in April after a flat first quarter. The grocer is battling investor concerns in its home country over its high debt and ability to generate cash.



Big loss ▪ South African retailer Steinhoff reported a USD 4 billion net loss in the 2017 fiscal year, in a much-delayed earnings report revealing the impact of a billion-dollar accounting scandal. The owner of Conforama in France and Mattress in the US, blames writedowns for the result.




Asia & Australasia


Going public ▪ AB InBev is examining an initial public offering of its multi-billion dollar Asian division. The announcement was made at the release of first-quarter results, which saw an increase in both sales and profits. The IPO could give the international brewing giant more strategic flexibility for acquisitions.



Changed focus ▪ Alibaba is rethinking its investment strategy in India by targeting smaller early-stage deals. The potential shift follows the e-commerce company’s disappointments at some of its large bets such as online retailers Snapdeal and Paytm, which have widely lagged behind Flipkart and Amazon.



Store trials ▪ Australian supermarket leader Woolworths is experimenting with fresh seafood, organics and unpackaged vegetables at its smaller stores to cater to local shoppers. Across the Tasman, French beauty retailer Sephora has confirmed that it will open its first store in New Zealand soon.




What to watch


Asda for sale ▪ Walmart is looking to either sell its UK unit, or explore a listing at the London Stock Exchange after the collapse of the proposed Sainsbury’s merger. Bidders are reportedly circling the supermarket as the industry is going through a rapid change in the UK. Bargain chain B&M is rumoured to have taken an interest.