Israel: Mega acknowledges the major challenges ahead -
Only three weeks into the job Raviv Brookmayer expresses 'cautious optimism' but says the supermarket chain's suppliers will have to assume some of the risk as well, reports. A judge’s approval on Tuesday night of a bailout plan for the financially troubled Mega supermarket chain, the country’s second-largest, came as relief to the company’s employees. The plan, which was approved by Judge Ilan Shiloh of the Lod Central District Court, includes an injection of some 520mn shekels ($138mn) by Mega’s parent company, Alon Blue Square, and a rescheduling of payments to suppliers.

Cora sees sales rise in 2014 in Romania

In Romania, Louis Delhaize’s Cora chain of hypermarkets saw sales rise 4.5% to US$426.7mn from the 12 stores it operates in the country, reports. Cora has closed one store, in the Galleria Arad shopping centre during 2015, so not impacting on the performance in the previous year, but the rise in sales is positive for the retailer given its lack of expansion, especially versus competitors in the market who have been growing strongly.

UK: Lidl announces record turnover of over £4B
Discount supermarket Lidl has announced a record turnover of over £4billion in last financial year, up by 21% in one year alone, reports. As well as increasing its sales in the UK, it also boosted its exports of British products across Europe. The German-owned chain, which has 620 stores across the UK, currently enjoys a record 3.9% market share according to industry data published last month. In what it calls a 'clear statement of its expansion ambitions within the UK' Lidl announced today it has bought £10million of land from Kingston council in South West London to build a new head office.

Co-founders of Walmart's Chinese e-commerce venture to leave

Walmart Stores Inc. on Tuesday said the co-founders of its Chinese e-commerce venture have announced their departures, thrusting a central part of the retailer's China strategy into transition, reports. Yihaodian Chairman Yu Gang and Chief Executive Liu Junling, both veterans of Dell who launched the company in 2008, are leaving to pursue their next venture, Walmart spokesman Dan Toporek said in a statement. Walmart, which holds a 51% stake in the company, said it will look for new leaders for the business.

S.Africa's Woolworths set to beat full-year sales estimates

South Africa's Woolworths Holdings Ltd is poised to beat estimates with its annual sales next month after the upscale retailer said on Wednesday revenue likely surged 55%, reports. Woolworths said sales were boosted by the first time contribution from David Jones, a Australian department store chain it acquired in August last year. The sales growth guidance is above a 57% forecast by Thomson Reuters StarMine SmartEstimates, which puts more weight on timely forecasts and those from historically accurate analysts.

Brazil: Assaí hits the spot for GPA

GPA's Assaí concept continues to outperform, with sales growth of 25.7% in the second quarter of 2015, reports. Elsewhere, net sales were up 6% at constant rates, with sales in the food segment up 7.6%. The second quarter came up against tough comparisons from the corresponding period in 2014, in which the World Cup and Easter boosted sales. A more cautious approach to consumption also affected 2015 performance. Assaí's growth was primarily driven by same store sales, which outperformed inflation, and by the nine new stores opened over the past year.

France: Système U plans convenience expansion drive

Système U has announced that it plans to double the number of convenience stores that it operates in France by 2020, with the aim of driving c-store sales to around €3bn, reports. According to French newspaper Rayon Boissons, the group is seeking to have convenience-store sales account for 15% of turnover by the end of the decade, up from 9.5% in 2014. C-store sales at the group stood at €1.8bn last year. To achieve its goals, Système U is planning to unveil three new concepts for its U Express brand: a typical local suburban store, an urban city-centre concept store and a rural primary food-shop concept. (source:

UK: Ocado’s plan for new London DC
Ocado has taken out a 15 year lease for a distribution centre in south west London, UK, according to reports, writes. Ocado’s lease is for two units that will be converted into a single DC at Stockley Close, subject to planning permission. The new 5,300 sq m facility will act as the distribution hub for the online retailer’s customers in south west London. This is a key site for Ocado as it has close links to junction 4 of the M4 and the M25, and is close to Heathrow Airport.

Groupe Casino hypermarkets return to form in Q2

Groupe Casino has seen performance at its Géant hypermarkets rise 2.0% in the second quarter of the year, driven by increased traffic (+4.0%) and volumes (+5.0%), reports. In its home market of France, the retailer saw growth in organic sales (+0.4%) and in same-store sales (+0.1%). Customer traffic was up +2.4% and volumes were up +1.8%. Internationally, the group saw food sales rise +6.1% on an organic basis in Latin America, with its Brazilian GPA Food operation rising +7.3%. In Asia, it saw increased volumes and good traffic performance in Thailand.

AU: Aldi and Costco move into the mainstream

Aldi is stealing customers as they increasingly prioritise value over fresh food, but Coles is still beating Woolworths, according to a new report, writes. Morgan Stanley’s latest Consumer Supermarket Survey of more than 1500 shoppers has found Aldi and Costco are now reaching the mainstream “after years of sitting on the periphery”. Importantly, both discounters are popular with younger people and large households, pointing to big market share gains in the future. According to the report, as Aldi and Costco move into the mainstream they appear to be having an impact on what consumers look for in a supermarket.

Carrefour quarterly sales slow as Chinese revenue declines

Carrefour SA, France’s largest retailer, reported slowing sales growth as business at the company’s Chinese stores was weighed down by weak consumption, reports. Second-quarter revenue rose 4.2% to 21.4bn Euro ($23bn), Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based Carrefour said Thursday. That matched the median of 17 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg and was less than the first-quarter’s 6.2% gain. Like-for-like sales in China fell 12%, excluding fuel and calendar effects.

French Growth
All store formats in France boosted sales on a like-for-like basis, though the rate more than halved from the first quarter as Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA and other rivals stepped up efforts to win hypermarket clients, reports. Carrefour’s Brazilian sales advanced 7.1%, while in Spain growth accelerated to 2.8%, beating estimates. “2015 will likely be a transition year for Carrefour in France,” said Nicolas Champ, an analyst at Barclays Plc.

Costco to open Iceland branch in 2016

Costco plans to open its first Iceland branch in the summer of 2016. Company representatives are expected to sign a sales contract on Friday for a 14,000 m2 facility at Kauptún, in Garðabær, Morgunblaðið reports. Costco currently has stores in two other European countries, Great Britain and Spain.

South-Africa: Shoprite grows sales
The Shoprite group of companies grew sales 11.2% to R113.7bn in the the 12 months to June, reports. Shoprite says in an update to shareholders that like-for-like growth during the period, which strips out store additions, was 4.3%. “Sales growth was especially strong in the first half of the year due to, amongst other things, having an extra trading day compared to the previous period due to the group closing stores for Nelson Mandela’s funeral in December 2013.” Shoprite has about 1400 stores across the group as well as 1135 Computicket counters in its stops. The South African supermarket division, the largest division in the group, grew sales by 10.5%, up from 8.7% in the 2014 financial year.

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