Ahold's new fresh format Bfresh to unveil | Morrisons faces huge bill

French Lidl low on fresh fruit and veg | Coles pleased with sales

Forbes puts ‘Magnit’ in the world’s top 100 most innovative companies list
The Russian retailer ‘Magnit' was the only representative of Russia in the magazine’s list, taking 23rd place, as reported byria.ru. The list was published Wednesday 19 August. According to Forbes, the Russian retailer managed to overtake large companies such as Visa, MasterCard, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and H & M. Occupying first place on the list was the American car company Tesla Motors. Sergei Galitsky owns about 40% of the shares of ‘Magnit’ and approximately 54% are in free float. Net profits according to IFRS increased by 33.9% in 2014, to €632m.

US: Smith to succeed Garland at AWG
Associated Wholesale Grocers said Thursday David Smith has been named to succeed Jerry Garland as president and CEO of the member-owned cooperative, effective in January, supermarketnews.com reports. 

Lidl stores in France low on stock following farmers' strike
Vegetables, fruit, frozen products, bread, meat and alcohol have all become difficult to come across in Lidl supermarkets in Arrageois. Deliveries have been disrupted by young farmers who blocked the logistics centre in Sailly-lez-Cambrai, demanding the supermarket offers more French products. “I didn’t think the strike would have such a big effect on the store” says a surprised client. One employee on the till says that normally they have fruit and vegetable deliveries everyday, but “we haven’t had anything since last Thursday”. However, the situation has improved and the delivery trucks have started up again. One employee explains that “we will not necessarily get all of the products at once. We will need a few days”. Things should be back to normal in a couple of days, with priority on the fruit and vegetable deliveries.

US: UNFI putting Albertsons loss behind it as 4Q results rise
The early termination by Albertsons of its contract with Unified Natural Foods Inc. is “kind of an anomaly that has gotten blown way out of proportion, and we’re going to put it behind us,” Steven L. Spinner, president and CEO, told investors Thursday, supermarketnews.com reports. “This was not a UNFI-driven decision to escape the contract within 60 days [but] a situation where a customer asked us to terminate early. [It] was purely an economic decision driven by the customer — something we were not accustomed to. “But we want to make sure we have customers with us who want to be with us.” Spinner made his remarks in a conference call in which Providence, R.I.-based UNFI discussed preliminary unaudited financial results for the year and fourth quarter ended Aug. 1, with plans to announce final results on Sept. 14 — the date it was originally scheduled to discuss those results — after it completes its analysis of the impact of the early termination of the Albertsons agreement.

Spain: Condis sees sales rise 3% in H1
Condis generated sales of €405m in the first half, a rise of 3% versus 2014, igd.com reports. The performance saw it confirm that it was expecting to achieve sales of €815m for the full year. 

Spain: Hiperber underlines importance of local buying
Mirroring initiatives from other retailers in Spain, Hiperber has been spotlighting the importance of local purchasing to its overall performance, explaining that 35% of its net revenue – €42m –is generated through the sale of goods produced in the region around Valencia, igd.com reports. According to the retailer, the amount is a record and is up on the €34m it generated in 2014. Hiperber said that it works with 923 producers, of which 403 are based in Valencia.

Spanish Mercadona invests in distribution centre in Basque Country
To support its expansion in the Basque Country, which it entered in late 2014, Mercadona is constructing a distribution centre in the Alava territory, igd.com reports. Mercadona will invest €50m in the initial phase of the project, which it has said will be completed in late 2017 

US: Ahold's new fresh format, bfresh, awaits unveiling
Ahold’s new foodie-focused small store in Boston’s Allston neighborhood, going under the new banner, Bfresh, is expected to open shortly, SN has learned. The store, developed by the Fresh Formats team that also built Philadelphia’s Everything Fresh, presents itself as a solution for neighborhood shoppers — particularly young people — frustrated by compromises on quality, price and convenience at typical food stores. (supermarketnews.com)

Ahold USA sees sales growth 
At constant exchange rates net sales were down by 0.3% and by 0.6% at identical sales terms, including the effect of petrol, but rose by 1.8% in identical terms and by 1.9% in comparable terms excluding the deflationary effects of the fall in the price of petrol, igd.com reports.

Turkeys BIM reports an increase in net sales 
BIM reported a 21.4% increase in net sales to TRY 8.4bn (€2.6bn) and a 38.3% increase in net income to TRY 273.1m (€86.4m). Like-for-like sales in the first half increased by 11.4%, igd.com reports. BIM’s Turkish store openings continued at pace, with 302 new stores opening so far this year, including a small number of File supermarkets. Internationally, BIM also continued its store opening programme, launching 22 stores in Q2 in Morocco. In Egypt, BIM opened 19 stores in Q2 2015, bringing the total store count to 116. The retailer now aims to operate at least 135 stores by the end of this year.

Turkey: Migros’ sales go up
Migros reported a 17.8% increase in net sales for the first half to TRY 4.4bn (€1.4bn), although it reported a net loss of TRY 111m (€34.5m), igd.com reports. During the first half, Migros opened 123 new stores, bringing its store count to 1,296. The convenience channel is a key priority, with the retailer opening 97 Migros Jet stores so far this year, allowing it to reach ‘out to a larger number of households’. Migros is also expanding the format at forecourts through collaboration with Petrol Olfisi, operating 62 Migros Jet forecourt stores at the end of the first half.

Mixed performance for Turkeys retailers
CarrefourSA has revealed its Q2 revenue increased by 12.1% to €272.3m, alongside a net loss of €6.0m, igd.com reports. Istanbul-based Kiler, which has recently been acquired by CarrefourSA, has also reported its Q2 results, revealing a 48.6% slide in sales to €3.0m, alongside a net loss of €3.9m. Another retailer that has revealed its results is Adese, which reported an 8.0% increase in Q2 revenue to €50.1m, alongside Q2 net profit of €1.0m. Turkish retailer Uyum has also revealed its results, reporting a 12.7% increase in Q2 net sales to €37.5m. The retailer also returned to profit, reporting Q2 net profit of €1.1m. The positive story also played out in the retailer’s like-for-like sales, which increased by 10.9%.

Sainsbury's will now Brand Match on online orders too
Sainsbury's has announced that it's extending its Brand Match to online orders too, home.bt.com reports. The scheme, which launched in 2011, now guarantees shoppers will not pay more for their online shop of comparable branded groceries than they would at Asda.com as well as Asda stores.

AU: Coles declares that its prices could go lower
Wesfarmers chief Richard Goyder has ramped up the price war with arch rival Woolworths, vowing to keep cutting prices as the group's profit surged on the back of its powerhouse retail brand stable, theage.com.au reports. 

US: SpartanNash retail sales slip, but distribution gains pace 2Q 
Growth in distribution sales helped SpartanNash post higher than expected earnings during the fiscal second quarter, despite declining sales in its retail and military segments, supermarketnews.com reports. For the 12-week quarter ending July 18, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company said consolidated sales were flat at $1.8bn, while net earnings improved by 3.7% to $19.8m.

UK: Morrisons faces multimillion-pound bill to offload struggling local stores
Morrisons is facing a bill worth tens of millions of pounds to offload its struggling convenience store business, hitc.com reports. Britain’s fourth largest food retailer is in talks to sell its 150 M Local stores to the investment firm Greybull Capital. However, it is understood that Morrisons will be lumbered with a liability of as much as £100m from any sale because there is a parent company guarantee on the rental agreement for the stores. This guarantee means that Morrisons will remain on the hook for the leases on the stores even after selling them. If the new owner closes stores, the supermarket group will have to pay the outstanding rent.

Switzerland: Joint venture confirmed with Migros and Future Group
In other news, Migros and the Future Group, have announced the formation of a 50:50 joint venture, igd.com reports. The partnership will be based in Switzerland but aims to set up a manufacturing base in India. 

Dutch Albert Heijn’s sales rise
At a total level, net sales rose by 6.8% to €2.89bn, while at an identical sales level the performance compares very favourably to the 1.7% contraction seen in the second quarter of 2014, igd.com reports. The retailer said the positive effect of its strategic initiatives – which included adapting the product mix and improving its private label ranges – had been boosted by its expansion in the Netherlands and Belgium and the growth of its online platforms Albert Heijn Online and bol.com.

AU: Coles pleased with improved sales momentum 
Coles Group has reported revenue growth of 2.2% for the year ended 30 June 2015. Total revenue at parent company Wesfarmers was up 0.2%, igd.com reports. Wesfarmers' managing director Richard Goyder said the improved sales momentum was "a good result" in a competitive supermarket sector. Coles registered sales growth of 5.3% at its food and liquor business, supported in particular by increased fresh produce sales. These resulted from improvements in product quality, value and availability. Providing consistent and high quality fresh food is one of the retailer's strategic priorities; Coles launched its latest campaign - 'Coles Fresh' - in July 2015 and is working closely with suppliers to develop long-term relationships. Convenience store sales were up 9.8% for the year, following improvements to the range, food-to-go offer and value proposition.

Serbian retailer Aman takes over Višnjica Dućani
Serbian retailer Aman has taken over Belgrade-based grocery chain Višnjica Dućani for an undisclosed amount, esmmagazine.com reports. As part of the deal, the existing Višnjica Dućani stores have been rebranded as Aman Višnjica Dućani. Other novelties include the expansion of the product offer with Aman’s private label brands (Bravo, Bravissimo, Alloro and VIP), the promise of lower prices as well as changes in opening hours (the stores will no longer be open 24/24). The last financial report for Višnjica Dućani shows that the grocery chain had revenue of €8.3m in 2013.

US: Pricing, promotions turn Fresh Market comps negative
The Fresh Market saw comparable-store sales turn negative for the second quarter and first half ended July 26 following changes in pricing and investments in promotions that were “less effective than anticipated,” Sean Crane, interim CEO, said Thursday — a situation he attributed to “a more challenging macro environment.” Net income for the 13-week quarter rose 53.5% to $17.5m, while sales increased 4.7% to $442.1m and comps declined 1%. For the first half, net income climbed 16.4% to $32.6m, while sales rose 6% to $904.3m and comps fell 0.6%. (supermarketnews.com)


UK: How Budgens' new strategy is taking hold
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