Frontman for Greybull's Morrisons c-stores bid revealed -
A veteran of the convenience retail sector has emerged as the frontman for a bid to gain control of Morrisons’ smaller stores, reports. Mike Greene, who has twice been chairman of the Association of Convenience Stores and has held senior roles at Spar and newsagents chain McColls, is understood to be fronting a deal backed by investment firm Greybull. The Sunday Telegraph first reported that Greybull Capital was in exclusive talks with the Bradford-based supermarket chain. Greybull is expected to invest tens of millions of pounds into the M Local stores.

X5 acquires 104 stores in south-west Russia

X5 Retail Group has acquired 104 stores owned by the Rosinka Group in the Orel, Voronezh, Lipetsk, Kursk and Tambov regions, reports. The Rosinka, Apelsin and Sberegaika stores will be rebranded under the Pyaterochka retail chain. Nearly half of the acquired stores (51 properties) are located in the Orel Region, giving X5 the opportunity to expand the Pyaterochka chain footprint in the region threefold. Additionally, the acquisition gives X5 control of 36 stores in the Voronezh Region, 14 stores in the Lipetsk Region. By the end of the year, all of the stores are due to be refurbished in line with the new Pyaterochka concept. By the end of the year, all of the stores are due to be refurbished in line with the new Pyaterochka concept.

Norway: Happy Trading opens for business in Oslo
A new grocery chain, Happy Trading has opened in Norway, reports. The chain aims to operate between 25 and 30 stores by the end of the year, predominantly located in the Oslo region, offering a 24 hour service.

UK: Cost of food, including fruit falls for the 13th month running
Shoppers are enjoying the longest fall in food and drink prices on record, official figures reveal. The cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages have been tumbling for 13 months in a row following fierce supermarket price wars, reports. The price of dairy products such as eggs, cheese and milk have seen particularly sharp falls in recent months -- which farmers claim is squeezing their margins and pushing them out of business. Bread, tea bags and many fresh fruit and vegetables have also dropped in price.

US: A&P changes course, seeks buyers for 153 stores
Great American & Pacific Tea Co. initially planned to sell some of its locations after filing for Chapt. 11 bankruptcy last month, but now the supermarket operator wants buyers for 153 stores that remain unsold, reports. The deadline to submit a bid for one or more stores is Sept. 11. Auctions for stores have been scheduled for Sept. 24 and Sept. 25. Along with the sell off, A&P also said it would shut down at least two dozen stores, including two in Philadelphia. (

7-Eleven expands its footprint in ABQ with acquisition of 14 stores
Alon Brands announced Monday it has acquired 14 convenience store locations in Albuquerque from family-owned Roberts Oil Company, the owner and operator of Roberts Oil and Pump-N Save, reports. Alon Brands said it will convert all 14 locations to 7-Elevens, bringing the total number of 7-Eleven stores in the Albuquerque market to 38. The conversion will take place over the next 90 days.

Spar Group announces results
Spar Group today announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015, reports.
  • 2Q15 revenue decreased five% to $29.5m. Adjusting for the impact of foreign currency translation, 2Q15 revenue increased 3%.
  • 2Q15 net income attributable to SPAR Group, Inc. was $29,000, or $0.00 per share, versus 2Q14 net income of $577,000, or $0.03 per share.
  • Revenue for the six months ended June 2015 was relatively unchanged. Adjusting for the impact of foreign currency translation, revenue for the six months ended June 2015 increased 6%.
  • Net loss attributable to SPAR Group, Inc. for the six months ended June 30, 2015 was ($46,000), or ($0.00) per share, compared to net income of $208,000, or $0.01 per share for the six months ended June 30, 2014.

Romania: Lidl's development aid loans criticized
The allocation of development-aid loans to the German discounter Lidl received sharp criticism from the representative of the Romanian food industry. ARD magazine “Monitor” will report about this on Thursday evening. In 2011, Lidl received a loan of just under $67m from the World bank's sister company International Finance Corporation (FC) for opening new departments in Romania. According to the conditions of the granting of the loan, Lidl was to “increase the number of local suppliers” and to “open new sales channels for local food producers” From the perspective of the Romanian foodstuff associations, this has not happened. On the contrary: with its price politics, Lidl has damaged the local economy, says Aurel Tanase of the Romanian association of fruit- and vegetable producers (OIPA Prodcom) in “Monitor”. Lidl works more “aggressively” than other retail chain stores, because “they pay the producers very low prices for excellent products”, leaving producers unable to make ends meet any more. (

Grocery sales 'slump' in Scotland
A slump in grocery sales acted as a drag on the retail sector's performance in Scotland last month, according to new figures, reports. A report by the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) and KPMG showed total Scottish sales fell by 2.1%, compared with July last year. Food sales were down by 4.5% - the category's worst performance since SRC began keeping records 16 years ago.

US: Kroger opens online grocery shopping to more stores
Officials from Kroger say a test of online ordering at a Carmel store was so successful they are adding the program to additional stores, reports. Even Kroger stores in the Indianapolis area will offer online grocery shopping by the end of September.

Walmart profit misses estimates

Walmart Stores Inc reported weaker quarterly earnings and lowered its annual forecast on Tuesday, as it copes with higher labor costs, a squeeze on pharmacy margins and sliding sales at its British supermarket chain, Reuters reports. Shares of the world's largest retailer fell 3% to $69.75 after trading at its lowest in 2-1/2 years. The results showed how a move to lift wages and other costs have kept Walmart from taking full advantage of a strengthening U.S. economy, although there was a bright spot in its report: a fourth straight quarter of same-store sales growth. Net profit attributable to Walmart fell to $3.48bn in the second quarter ended July 31, from $3.92bn a year earlier. The retailer lowered its forecast for opening smaller-format stores, and now plans to open 160 to 170 Neighborhood Markets locations for the full year, down from 180 to 200. It said it was still on track to open 60 to 70 Supercenters this year.

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Walmart’s sales growth accelerated in Mexico
Consolidated Walmex net sales were up 7.2%, with sales in Mexico up 7.4% and comparable store sales increasing 5.4%, reports. These improvements offset challenges in other areas of the international business. Mexico was the only major market, apart from Canada, to deliver positive comparable store sales growth.

Walmart continues to face challenges in Brazil
Comparable store sales were down 1.0% and net sales decreased by 0.9% for the second quarter, reports. High inflation rates, and increases in electricity prices, are leading shoppers to adopt a cautious approach to spending.

Sainsbury's extends price pledge to online offer
British supermarket chain Sainsbury's is to extend a price matching scheme to online orders, the latest salvo in an escalating industry price war, Reuters reports. The company, which trails market leader Tesco and is battling with Walmart's Asda to be Britain's second-largest grocer, said on Tuesday that it would expand its Brand Match scheme to online orders from Aug. 19.

US: Aldi plans to open first store in S-Calif.

Discount grocer Aldi plans to open its first stores in Southern California in March 2016, joining an already highly competitive supermarket arena, reports. The Chicago-based company said it is still reviewing location options. But the San Bernardino Sun reports San Bernardino will be among the first cities to see the new stores.

Lidl has best own-brand range
From over 60 test reports from the Stiftung Warentest (product test) in the time frame of 2011 up until 2015, the independent comparison portal determined the best own-brand ranges of German supermarkets. The food products from the own brands of ALDI Nord and REWE follow in 2nd and 3rd place. The market share of own-brand ranges being sold in German supermarkets is steadily rising. As a result of a Nielsen-study, since 2009 it has increased by over 6 % and is currently at around 34% - with a rising trend. According to Wolfgang Adlwarth of the GfK, the establishment of own-brand ranges is a “ long-term trend”. (

Aldi shares proposed locations for its first stores in WA

Discount supermarket chain Aldi has revealed the proposed locations of its first WA stores, with the outer suburbs the main target, reports. An Aldi spokeswoman said it was targeting areas with high population growth potential. The first Western Australian stores will open from mid-2016 and the supermarket giant plans to build up to 70 stores.

UK: Asda records worst-ever quarterly sales figures

Supermarket operator Asda, the UK arm of Walmart, has suffered its worst quarterly sales performance in the 16 years it's been owned by the U.S. group, with results on Tuesday highlighting its struggles in the face of an onslaught from discounters, Reuters reports. A 4.7% decline in sales at Asda stores open over a year in the 11 weeks to June 30, its fiscal second quarter, confirmed industry data published last month showing that the firm was faring the worst among Britain's so called "big four" grocers. The outcome followed a fall of 3.9% in its first quarter. "This is our nadir," Andy Clarke, chief executive since 2010, told reporters.

China's Suning opens stores on Tmall
China's largest home and appliance retailer Suning has opened its official stores on Alibaba's Tmall as a key step for the two parties collaboration to drive consumption, reports.

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The Buzz: Costco, Meijer enter crowded market

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