$6bn Tesco Korea bid nears completion | Costco sales decline

Auchan to cede Arcimbo: combines “drives” with fresh produce
According to Lepoint.fr, on Monday, Auchan announced their intention to divest their “Arcimbo” store, which opened in the Paris area in 2013 and which combined “click and collect” with the sales of fresh produce, as it does not offer a “viable economic model”.

$6bn Tesco Korea acquisition nears completion
A group led by MBK Partners Ltd. is nearing an agreement to buy Tesco Plc’s South Korea business for about $6bn including debt, in what could be the country’s biggest private-equity deal, people with knowledge of the matter said. The group, which includes South Korea’s National Pension Service, clinched exclusive negotiating rights Wednesday morning to purchase Tesco’s Homeplus business, according to one of the people. Executives from Tesco and MBK are in Hong Kong Wednesday to finalize details of an agreement, the person said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. (Bloomberg)

South-African Woolworths appoints new CEO
Woolworths on Wednesday announced the appointment of Zyda Rylands as its new CEO. "Zyda will take responsibility for the entire food and clothing business across SA and Africa‚" a statement read. This change "brings consistency to the group structure"‚ with all of the main business units‚ namely Woolworths SA‚ David Jones and Country Road Group, as well as the group positions of chief operating officer‚ chief financial officer and group secretary reporting to Ian Moir‚ group CEO. (bdlive.co.za)

The Fresh Market names president & CEO
The Fresh Market, a growing specialty grocery retailer, today announced that its Board of Directors has named veteran food retail executive Richard (“Rick”) Anicetti as the Company’s President and CEO, effective September 1, 2015. Mr. Anicetti has also been elected to the Company’s Board of Directors. Ray Berry, founder of the Company and Chairman of the Board of Directors, commented, “After an extensive search, we are delighted that Rick Anicetti will join us as the CEO of The Fresh Market. Rick is a highly accomplished food retail executive serving in leadership roles at Hannaford and Delhaize. (The Fresh Market)

Indonesia: Alfamart delivers robust growth in H1
Alfamart has reported strong sales and profit in H1 with continued investment in new stores. Total revenue increased by 16.2% this half reaching US$1.6bn. This is supported by similar levels of EBITDA growth of 15.7%, rising to US$78.8m, despite rapid store investment. Alfamart reported a net addition of 601 new stores in the period, across the Lawson, Alfa Midi, Alfamart and Dan+Dan (health and beauty) banners. With a convenience network total of 11,295 stores, Alfamart remains narrowly ahead of competitor Indomaret, with 11,057. (igd.com)

UK: Musgrave set to complete sale of GB operations to Booker
Musgrave Group has said that it is now moving to complete the sale of its Musgrave GB operations to Booker, following the approval of the deal by the UK Competition and Markets Authority. In a statement on its website on 2 September, the CMA stated that it has “cleared the anticipated acquisition by Booker Group plc of Musgrave Retail Partners GB Limited.” (esmmagazine.com)

Intermarché to quit Serbia
Intermarché close to selling its nine Interex stores in Serbia, according to French press reports. Intermarché exited Kosovo and Bosnia in 2014. It is now reportedly awaiting the agreement of competition authorities to sell the Serbian supermarkets to local distributor Aman. Intermarché's presence will now concentrate mainly on western Europe, with Poland its only central European market. (igd.com)

US: Costco Wholesale August comps, sales decline
Costco Wholesale on Wednesday reported a 1% decline in net sales for the month of August from the same period last year. Comparable sales for the month decreased 2%, while it grew 5% after excluding the negative impacts from gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange. The Issaquah, Washington-based company reported net sales of $8.7bn for the four weeks ended August 30 2015, down 1% from $8.8bn in the same month last year. Total company comparable sales for the month of August decreased 2%, reflecting a 1% increase in the U.S. comparable sales and an 11% decrease in international comparable sales. Excluding the negative impacts from gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange, total company comparable sales for the month rose 5%, with 5% growth in the U.S. and 7% increase in the International business. However, for the fourth quarter, Costco's net sales rose 1% to $35.0bn from $34.8bn in the prior-year quarter. Total company comparable sales for the quarter declined 1%, with 2% growth in the U.S., while International comparable sales decreased 9%. (nasdaq.com)

Auchan reports 'resilient' first half globally

Auchan has reported a 3.4% increase in consolidated revenue, to €26.9bn, for the first half of 2015 (+2.0% at constant exchange rates). The French business remains a concern however, with revenue down 2.9% in the home market. Auchan reported a fall of 3.2% in hypermarkets' and 2.7% in supermarkets' revenues. Despite an overall fall in revenue of 4.4%, Auchan said it returned to growth in Spain and showed improvement in Portugal. The decline in Italy was anticipated, resulting from changes to Auchan's business model as it seeks to better address consumers' expectations. Revenue was down 6.4% in Central and Eastern Europe, in Euro terms, but up 10.6% in local currency. Auchan said the devaluation of the rouble had a significant impact. The CEE region is becoming ever more important to Auchan; it invested €302m in the first half against €171m in the first half of 2014. Auchan reported revenue up 28.6% (+7.0% at constant rates) for the half in Asia. Chinese operation Sun Art reported a 5.4% increase in total revenue for the first half earlier in August. (igd.com)

US: Walmart to reopen 5 stores named in union complaint
Walmart said it would reopen five stores in the United States whose closure had prompted a union to file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board claiming retaliation against workers for organizing. The stores will reopen in late October or early November, and Walmart will encourage previous employees to apply for jobs, a company spokesman, Lorenzo Lopez, said on Wednesday. Walmart had said the closures, which affected more than 2,000 workers, were for plumbing and other repairs. The complaint filed by the union, the United Food and Commercial Workers International, is still pending. It said that Walmart closed a store in Pico Rivera, Calif., because workers had been trying to organize better pay and benefits. The other four stores were included as cover, the union said. Walmart has denied the claims. (nytimes.com)

India: Askme rolls out its hyper-local online grocery platform

Askme, has formally launched its pioneering online grocery platform across Delhi NCR. It plans to launch this initiative across the top 27 cities in India over the next four to six months. With a promise that grocery is available below MRP and delivered at your doorstep, the team has successfully brought together offline merchants to list their SKU’s online. (dnaindia.com)

Russia: Lenta to acquire three new stores and three land plots

Lenta, one of the largest retail chains in Russia, is pleased to announce it has signed a purchase agreement with O’KEY Group to acquire three new stores and three land plots.The three stores purchased will become Lenta Standard format hypermarkets. Two of the stores are located in Chelyabinsk and one in Volgograd. (retail-business-review.com)

German: REWE and Penny receive Gold for commitment to sustainability
In the CSR company survey, conducted by the Verbraucher Initiative E.V., sales lines REWE and PENNY have achieved the top position in their respective categories for their commitment to sustainability. They now carry the award of “Nachhaltiges Einzelhandelsunternehmen 2015” (“Sustainable retail trade company of the year 2015”) and for this they receive the gold medal. With this the sales lines of the REWE Group fare extraordinarily well, also in comparison to the competition. In the field of foodstuffs and luxury food, only food retail traders Kaufland, Real and Tegut achieved gold. Aldi Süd and Bünting had to be satisfied with silver, and Norma with bronze. The competition in the hardware store domain is faring similarly (Hornbach: silver). The REWE Group has achieved top positions in the CSR company survey by the Verbraucher Initiative in the past: on its first participation in 2009 the company achieved a silver award. In 2011, all retail sales companies of the REWE Group even got a gold medal. (rewe-group.com)

China: Double digit growth for Yonghui
Yonghui delivered a robust performance in the first half, with operating revenue growing 17.7% to RMB 20.8bn. Net profit was also up 16.3% to RMB 527m. This was attributed to increased profit margins, as well as cost cutting measures implemented in the period. Yonghui's alliance with pan-Asian retailer Dairy Farm is delivering benefits such as access to new distribution channels, and opportunity to sell more premium imported products. (igd.com)

Chinese Renrenle: profit focused strategy pays off

Operating income declined by 6% to RMB 5.9bn for retailer Renrenle, operational profit rose 63.3% to RMB 71.3m. Net profit rocketed 282.3% to RMB 25.2m, compared to losses in the previous year. Closures of underperforming stores, tighter control of costs and an emphasis on category management were attributed to improved profit performance. (igd.com)

Spain: El Corte Inglés posts 2.6% sales growth in FY 2014
Spanish retailer El Corte Inglés has posted a 2.6% increase in sales to €14.6bn, according to results issued earlier this week. The retailer, which has invested in improving its offering over the past 12 months, posted gross operating profit of €826m for the period, a 14.5% rise since last year. (esmmagazine.com)

AU: 7-Eleven puts more than 100 stores on life support
The scandal-ridden 7-Eleven convenience store chain has thrown a new bone to franchisees as the crisis deepens over systemic wage abuse, a cover-up and a flawed business model. In a memo to franchisees, 7-Eleven CEOWarren Wilmot said the company would extend income support to any stores that earn $310,000 or less a year in gross income. That represents an almost tripling of the previous regime's threshold where 7-Eleven previously guaranteed income support to stores earning $120,000 or less. Documents show that 138 stores earned $300,000 or less in the year to June 30, 2015. (smh.com.au)

US: Judge urges A&P to boost severance
A federal bankruptcy judge urged A&P to increase severance pay for laid-off workers to 52%, rather than the 25% offer, later raised to 50%, the company has proposed. Judge Robert Drain also said laid-off employees should qualify for an additional severance payment of 10% over the 52%, depending on the outcome of store sales and other issues. (supermarketnews.com)

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