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Discounters see 60% growth in Italy | New Swedish retailer sets bar high

Grocer Haggen closing 27 stores | Morrisons set to sell C-stores

New Swedish retailer sets bar high
A new supermarket chain opened its first store on May 5 in Stockholm. The front of the store bears a great catchphrase. "The best food market: The Paradise". 80% of the assortment is organic. Not a full 100%, as that isn't the supermarket chain's goal. Their main aim is good food that was produced in the best conditions. Preferably, this food is also produced locally. But here too the product has to be good, just being locally produced isn't enough. They believe they will be able to compete well with the regular supermarkets on the price of organic products. The advantage for the customers would be that they don't have to look for organic products like in the regular supermarkets. In this supermarket, everything is 'good'. On ground level there are herbs and dairy, in the basement you'll find all the fresh products such as fish, meat, cheese and vegetables. They expect to be able to make a turnover of around 10% Euro per year including VAT, which is 12% in Sweden. The owner Johannes Cullberg expects to have opened another three stores next year in Stockholm and another 12 stores throughout Sweden. (paradiset.com)

Russia: X5 reports strong performance in half-year results
Russian retail giant X5 has reported strong performance for its H1, esmmagazine.com reports. The group's gross profit margin in Q2 and H1 2015 amounted to 24.1% and 24.3% respectively. Net retail sales in H1 grew by 27.3% year-on-year, impacted by strong like-for-like performance of the stores despite decelerating food inflation in Russia, increased traffic in existing Pyaterochka stores, and in Karusel hypermarkets after adjustments to address changing market conditions with a better offering and enhanced store operations, and solid selling space expansion of 23.9% year-on-year.

Aldi moves into Western Australia with Charter Hall Retail REIT
The march of the Aldi supermarket chain continues across Australia as it signs its first lease with Charter Hall Retail REIT in Perth at the Secret Harbour mall, smh.com.au reports. The shopping centre is undergoing a major redevelopment. It is the start of a long-term relationship between the supermarket retailer and the landlord. Aldi is also to open at Lendlease's Lakeside Joondalup centre. The chain is in the midst of a $700% expansion across Western Australia and will also target South Australia to take on the bigger chains: Wesfarmers' Coles and Woolworths.

US: Grocer Haggen closing 27 stores, including 16 California supermarkets
Haggen Inc., the grocery chain that has struggled since rapidly expanding this year, is closing 27 stores, including 16 supermarkets in California, latimes.com reports. The Pacific Northwest company said most of the locations slated for closure or sale are among the 146 Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions and Safeway stores it purchased this year. Haggen has spent the last few months converting those stores to the Haggen brand. Haggen raised eyebrows last year after winning a bid to buy the stores, which the Federal Trade Commission had ordered sold as part of the merger of Albertsons and Safeway. In a single move, the company went from an 18-store chain in Oregon and Washington to operating more than 160 spots down the West Coast, including 83 in California.

UK: Morrisons set to sell its convenience stores
Morrisons is in discussions to sell its convenience stores - known as M Local - following a review earlier this year, reports the Telegraph. The Bradford based firm was slow to enter the convenience store market and has been left behind by rivals Tesco and Sainsbury's. Knightsbridge based Greybull Capital is the frontrunner to snap the stores up. Last year the investment firm saved troubled airline Monarch after injecting it with £125m of funding. Morrisons has around 160 convenience stores which generate £300m in sales per year. In March Morrisons revealed plans to close 23 of its M Local convenience stores with the loss of 300 jobs. (thisismoney.co.uk - telegraph.co.uk)

UK: Discounters prompt Asda sales slide
Asda is set to say that its like-for-like sales have fallen for a fourth consecutive quarter when it unveils its results on Tuesday, express.co.uk reports. Analysts believe that Asda’s sales will be down by more than 3% during the second quarter. 

Serial bomber demands BITCOIN ransom from Dutch grocer
A bomber in the Netherlands is demanding a ransom be paid in the bitcoin digital currency to stop a spree of attacks, mirror.co.uk reports. Dutch police are currently hunting the "Bitcoin bomber" who has been planting home-made explosives at a supermarket chain called Jumbo since May. The police made the case known this week and have called for anyone to come forward with information that will help them catch the perpetrator.

Singapore’s food retail sales go down by 5%
Singapore's retail sales increased by 6.9% in June on a year-on-year basis, channelnewsasia.com reports. However, food and beverage services saw a decrease of 5.1%. The total sales value of food and beverage services in June 2015 was estimated at 613% Singapore dollars, lower than the 646% Singapore dollars in the same period of 2014

Discounters see 60% growth in Italy
The number of discount supermarkets in Italy has grown by over 60% in the past decade, rising from 1,746 outlets to 4,581, which corresponds to a 11.4% of total grocery sales, esmmagazine.com reports. According to a study by market research company IRI, the discounters are concentrated mainly in the south of Italy, with 1,277 points-of-sale and with a share of 14.1%. The market leaders are Eurospin, MD-LD Discount and Lidl, which together account for 53.6% of the total channel with 2,225 points-of-sale. This huge increase in numbers has not translated into a proportional development of the market share at the expense of the rest of the retail sector. The discount supermarket segment grew by just 2.5 percentage points since 2005.

Kesko's sales increased in July
Kesko Group's sales in July 2015 totalled €778.0%. In comparable terms excluding Anttila, sales increased by 2.6% in local currencies, nasdaq.com reports. In Kesko's grocery trade, sales in July were €402.7%, a decrease of 1.1% from the previous year in local currencies. The downward price trend continued in Finland.

AU:Aldi names shop spots
German discount supermarket giant Aldi has released the proposed locations of its first WA stores, au.news.yahoo.com reports. In a milestone that could herald a credible challenge to the Coles-Woolworths duopoly, Aldi says it will open the first of 70 stores within a year. The list of locations features several major Perth shopping centres, including Lakeside Joondalup, Midland Gate and Belmont Forum.

Philippines: Robinsons retail H1 profit jumps 25.9% to P1.95B
Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc., the listed retailer of the Gokongweis, saw a 25.9% increase in its first half net income to P1.95% from P1.55% a year ago on the back of strong sales during the six-month period, manilatimes.net reports. During the second quarter alone, the company increased profits and net sales by 24.4% to P1.13% and 10.7% to P21.63%, respectively. To date, RRHI’s sales contributions shares are 49.1% from supermarkets, 15.1% from department stores, 11.2% do-it-yourself (DIY) stores, 9.5% drugstores, 8.7% specialty stores and 6.4% from convenience stores.

China: Alibaba’s income growth slows to 3-year low in Q2
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s revenue for the three months ended in June rose 28%, missing analysts’ estimates, with growth slowing to its lowest rate in more than three years, shanghaidaily.com reports. China’s biggest e-commerce company posted quarterly revenues of US$3.27%, below an expected US$3.39%, according to a Thomson Reuters SmartEstimate poll.

UK: Goldman Sachs sells Sainsbury and buys Ocado
Goldman Sachs said the sell-off in Ocado shares has been an unwarranted over-reaction to news that Amazon is planning to launch its Fresh food offering in the UK, as it will be worse news for bricks-and-mortar grocers, digitallook.com reports. Goldman retained its 'buy' rating on Ocado and 'sell' on Sainsbury, which it said would be most affected due to its focus on the South East. Since The Times reported in mid July that Amazon Fresh is planning to launch in the UK, Ocado has underperformed the UK grocers circa 18%, with no other real news affecting the company in this time.

AU: Coles, Woolworths, IGA to lose market share to Aldi, David Jones, says Moody's
Coles, Woolworths and Metcash's IGA chain are facing increased competition at both ends of the socio-economic spectrum as discounter Aldi ramps up its Australian presence and department store chain David Jones upgrades its gourmet food offer, smh.com.au reports. Ratings agency Moody's says Woolworths, Coles and IGA supermarkets will continue to lose market share over the next 24 months as Aldi expands into new markets and as David Jones skims off wealthier customers by refurbishing its gourmet food halls.

Three ways Waitrose is growing
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Colruyt: building on strong foundations
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Portugal: growing focus on proximity formats
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Retailers, CPGs strive to crack code on Millennials
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