'Wisconsin Proud' initiative shows promise for Pick 'n Save
A comprehensive brand refresh underway at Pick 'n Save has increased traffic and improved comparable-store sales at Roundy’s Supermarkets largest banner, officials said. The initiative, known as “Wisconsin Proud,” includes merchandising, marketing, and service components including price investments, new products, new store signage and new employee uniforms, supermarketnews.com reports. Stores that have received the changes — primarily in the Milwaukee area in recent months — are outperforming the rest of the chain and represent a promising step toward rebuilding sales for the embattled banner.

CA: Metro launches program for regional products

Metro is pleased to announce that some 73 new grocery products from 10 Outaouais suppliers are making their debut today in 13 of the region's Metro stores, stockhouse.com reports. Metro's Local Purchasing Policy is aimed at offering as many regional products as possible on the shelves of its network of stores and to increase their visibility, in order to meet the demand of customers, who more than ever are seeking out products from Quebec and from their region. It is also intended to assist suppliers in their business development efforts among Quebecers as part of a large chain.

Dutch retail sales shows biggest jump in seven years
Retail trade in June this year were 4.7% higher than in the same month last year – the biggest sales growth since July 2008. Food and beverages stores booked 3.1% more turnover than in June last year. In July the turnover of Supermarkets also showed a slight increase, according to figures from market researcher GfK, the Telegraaf reports. The big supermarkets booked a turnover of nearly 3.2bn Euro, an increase of 0.5% compared to July last year. (nltimes.nl)

India: Online grocery ordering app BigZop raising $600K in seed funding

Gurgaon-based hyperlocal grocery delivery startup BigZop is raising around Rs 3.9 crore ($600,000) in seed funding from a group of investment bankers based in Delhi and Bangalore, co-founder of the firm told VCCircle. The company, which was launched in June, will be using the money for expansion to more areas in north India and even in eastern parts of the country by the end of this year. (vccircle.com)

Russian food retailer X5 plans at least one more acquisition this year
Russia's No.2 food retailer X5 said it plans to make at least one more acquisition this year, taking advantage of attractively priced assets in a difficult environment to expand market share, Reuters reports. Russia's economic crisis and a slide in the rouble have increased financing costs and squeezed disposable incomes, forcing small grocery chains out of business as consumer spending tumbled. X5 Retail Group, part of billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Alfa-Group, has made three small acquisitions this year, adding a total of around 150 stores in various regions, including Moscow. "These transactions are the result of regional players deciding to exit the food retail industry. (They) are bolt-on opportunities to create critical mass in individual regions," X5 CEO, Stephan DuCharme, said on Thursday. "We are under no pressure to do any transactions on this front but I'm confident that we will do at least one more transaction of this type during H2 2015," he told a conference call. (Reuters)

Sainsbury’s launches clothing website

Sainsbury’s is set to join the online clothing market through the launch of its new apparel website, Reuters and thisismoney.co.uk report. It will compete with supermarket chains Marks & Spencer, Asda, and Tesco, who already have online outlets for selling apparel. Sainsbury’s has been testing and amending the site, dedicated to its clothing line Tu, for over a year. (esmmagazine.com)

China retail sales up 10.5% in July
China's retail sales grew 10.5% year on year to $383.8bn in July, slightly down from 10.6% growth recorded in June, official data showed Wednesday, shanghaidaily.com reports. In the first seven months, retail sales grew 10.4%, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Growth in rural areas continued to outpace that in cities.

French embassy quizzes Russian hygiene watchdog over Auchan inspections
The French Embassy in Moscow sent a letter to Russia's food safety regulator Rosselkhoznadzor over the latest hygiene inspections of French-owned Auchan hypermarkets in Russia, rt.com reports. Rosselkhoznadzor says the check is necessary because of the store’s previous food safety violations and failure to comply with Russia’s campaign against banned foods. "As for Auchan, we’ve received a letter from the Embassy of France, in which they expressed concern about the situation. We understand their worries, but we are doing our job and retail chains have to do theirs properly," the head of Rosselkhoznadzor for Moscow and regions, Evgeny Antonov, told Russian news agency m24.ru on Thursday. The embassy confirmed it had contacted Rosselkhoznadzor, maintaining that rather than expressing concern, it was seeking clarification of technical issues.

How good is German discounter-giant Lidl?
A discounter-giant undergoing change – with highly polished advertisements and luxury products, the German discounter Lidl wants to complete an image-shift and in doing so to create a “ beautiful new Lidl-world”. In its broadcast " Marktcheck", the Südwestrundfunk (SWR) has occupied itself with the question “how good is the discounter-giant?” “what about the promises the company made?” “high quality but low prices". The film by Sebastian Engelmann shows how Lidl wants to perform an image-shift. What the quality of the products is like, the working conditions of the employees, and what the discounter’s new marketing strategy looks like. (Source: SWR)

Germany: Retail prices for fruit, vegetables and potatoes have risen
In July 2015, wholesale companies' retail prices for fruit, vegetables and potatoes have turned out around 8.8% higher compared to the same month last year, destatis.de reports. This has been disclosed by the Statistische Bundesamt (Destatis). Also compared to the preceding month June 2015, a price increase of around 3.3% can be registered. However, in wholesale market prices, there was a price reduction of 0.5% in the annual comparison.

Europe map of Aldi and Lidl
From Germany into the world: Aldi and Lidl gained a foothold in Europe long ago with their discount models. An interactive map from LebensmittelZeitung.net" shows in which countries both rivals are active and how they have developed with regards to market share, revenue and number of stores, compared between the years 2010 and 2014. You can find the map from lebensmittelzeitung.net here.

Interesting links on retail:

Amazon makes British grocers more miserable: Bloomberg View

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Target execs ask suppliers to embrace changes in stores and online
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Walmart versus Amazon: historical performances
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Inside Lidl's largest UK store
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Loblaw and Metro upgraded as glory days for supermarkets expected to continue
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