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Tesco criminal probe heads final stage | Fairway reports 1Q loss

Dutch supermarket delivers for free and keeps prices low

Metro proposes Barry Callebaut chief as its chairman
German retailer Metro has proposed that Juergen Steinemann, outgoing chief executive of Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut, should take over as chairman from Franz Markus Haniel next year, Reuters reports. Metro said in a statement that its three largest shareholders supported the succession plan of Haniel, head of the family behind Metro's largest shareholder who will step down after the next annual general meeting in February.

UK: German discounters turn out not to be much cheaper
Impact Research spoke to more than 1,000 shoppers who have turned to Aldi and Lidl in recent months, reports. It found that while most had switched to the discounters in order to save cash, the actual saving was fairly insignificant. According to the research, shoppers who stuck with the bigger supermarkets spent an average of £240 a month on their groceries. However, those who switched to Aldi and Lidl in order to save money spent £235 – just £5 less.

Dutch supermarket launches free delivery and keeps prices low

Online supermarket Picnic wants to deliver its groceries for free in the Netherlands, (ANP) reports. The new supermarket retailer will officially launch in the course of September in Amersfoort. Other cities will soon follow, the company announced Wednesday. Currently a pilot runs in some districts in Amersfoort. The new supermarket has developed a means of delivery which avoids intermediaries in order to keep costs low. The product range varies from fresh products like bread, vegetables and meat to private labels. Picnic's says to have the "lowest prices in the market."
3 new Carrefour Express stores in Belgium
Carrefour is continuing to expand in Belgium: before the end of summer 2015, three new Carrefour express stores will have opened to the public, reports. The first will open in Mol, and the others near Leuven and Brussels. This year, several convenience stores have been opened in Belgium. These new store openings will take Belgium’s total number of convenience stores up to 266.

Supermarkets help export Vietnamese products
Large supermarkets in Vietnam like Lotte Mart, Co.op Mart and Big C have become a powerful channel to help export local products to overseas markets, especially South Korea, the EU and Japan, reports. This trend not only helps promote Vietnamese products to the world but also creates a stable outlet for domestic enterprises. Although the value of shipment orders is still small and not commensurate with the potential of the Southeast Asian country’s goods, supermarkets are considered an effective export channel in long-term plans.
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Alibaba declines as Chinese ADRs retreat on economic slowdown

Alibaba Group Holding, China’s biggest online retailer, slid for an eighth day as fresh data highlighting China’s weakening economy stoked concern that the company’s sales growth is slowing, reports.

US: Fairway reports 1Q loss
Fairway Group Holdings, New York, on Tuesday reported a loss of $13.9m as sales declined by 2.3% and comps dipped by 5.3% during the fiscal first quarter, reports. Jack Murphy, Fairway's CEO, in a conference call discussing results urged analysts to look past the short-term struggles, noting the company invested $2.8m during the quarter to launch advertising, promotional and customer acquisition campaigns, and said efforts to improve merchandising and operations were effecting increases in traffic and items per basket at suburban stores in Pelham and Douglaston, N.Y. Gross margin percentage also improved during the period to 31.5% of sales. "We are focused 100% on driving the top-line forward," Murphy said. Sales for the quarter, which ended June 28, totaled $198.3m.

Tesco criminal probe heads toward conclusion, prosecutor says

A criminal probe of Tesco over a multi-m-pound profit misstatement may be concluded by the end of this year, according to the director of the UK Serious Fraud Office, reports. “I would hope that we will see some sort of resolution on Tesco this calendar year,” David Green said in an interview on Tuesday, declining to comment further. The SFO started investigating Tesco in October, after the grocer said it had overstated profits by £263m.

US: Publix partners for grocery e-commerce
Publix has tied up with delivery start-up company, Shipt, to offer its customers same-day delivery in the Tampa, Florida area, reports. Shipt began as an on demand delivery service and has evolved into a grocery delivery service. Similar to Instacart, the app is the first to offer this service in Tampa, with Instacart currently only available in one Florida city, Miami. For Publix, this partnership will allow it greater participation in the online grocery market, targeting customers who are particularly convenience focused.

Ireland: Tesco still in top spot but Lidl shows biggest growth
Tuesday's Kantar WorldPanel figures reveal that Tesco still holds the most market share among supermarkets, but Lidl has posted the strongest sales growth for the second period in a row, reports. The latest figures, published for the 12 weeks ending 19 July, show that with a share of the market worth 24.9%, Tesco still boasts the biggest market share amongst its competitors: Supervalu (24.3%), Dunnes (22.3%), Lidl (9%) and Aldi (8.6%). However, the supermarket to post the strongest sales growth, for the second period in a row, was Lidl, which increased sales by 8.1% in the past 12 weeks. This was closely followed by Dunnes, who grew sales by 6.7%.

Romania food retail sales growth quickens in June
Romania's retail sales increased at a faster pace in June, figures from the National Institute of Statistics showed Tuesday, reports. The sales growth of food products, beverages and tobacco quickened to 21.5% from 9.4%.

US: Six C-store chains named 'Hot 100' retailers

Another year, another list, and once again convenience store chains have proven they are among the best retailers when it comes to meeting consumer needs, reports. STORES Magazine's 2015 Hot 100 Retailers list includes six c-store chains: Stripes LLC (No. 28), Casey's General Stores Inc. (No. 41), Wawa Inc. (No. 66), RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. (No. 69), CST Brands Inc. (No. 74) and Sheetz Inc. (No. 98).

Shoprite Namibia censured over poor labour practices
Namibia’s Employment Equity Commissioner, Vilbard Usiku has cautioned Shoprite Holding against flouting the country’s labour practices, saying the South African retailer must stop exploiting its workers, reports.

UK: Tesco leading the way in click and collect

Almost two thirds (60%) of consumers feel that Tesco offers the best click and collect service whilst Asda is a not too distant second with 47%, according to research conducted by Instantly, a provider of audiences and insights tools, reports. The survey was completed by 1,054 UK consumers.

AU: Sales growth slows as grocery prices cut
The battle for market share between the major grocery chains and independent retailers has led to the weakest supermarket sales growth in almost two years, reports. While overall retail sales growth exceeded market forecasts in June, delivering a long-awaited shot in the arm to traders, food sales growth was weaker than expected due to intensifying price competition between Woolworths, Coles and independent retailers. Supermarket and grocery store sales rose just 2.9% - the weakest rate of growth since September 2013 and well below the six-month trend - as Woolworths, Coles and independents supplied by Metcash cut prices to regain market share lost to Aldi.

UK: Morrisons to tackle food waste

Supermarket chain Morrisons has announced it is working with charity FoodCycle to tackle UK poverty and food waste, reports. “Our partnership with FoodCycle will allow us to find a good home for the small amount of unsold or used food in stores and support FoodCycle’s great work in the community.”

CA: 'Loblaw closures blamed on cannibalizing own market'
Canadian retail giant Loblaw isn’t saying much about its planned closures of dozens of stores across the country, but retail and real estate experts point to a weak dollar, the rise of online shopping, and “cannibalization” in the marketplace as possible explanations for the looming roll back, reports. In July, Loblaw Companies announced plans to close 52 locations across the country over the next year. The company said in its second-quarter earnings report last month that the closures would save $35m to $40m in annual operating income, despite losing $300m in sales. Retail consultant and SFU marketing professor Lindsay Meredith said the closures could be a sign of “cannibalization” in Loblaw’s marketing strategy.

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Interesting articles on retail:

With Vietnam expansion, Asia continues to be key market for 7-Eleven

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CA: Retail sales grew by 4.6% in 2014, the highest growth since 2010
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Could Amazon dethrone Publix in Florida?
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China: Other retailers have more to fear from than Amazon

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US: El Super Grocery, union return to bargaining table
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