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How Russian retailers beat the boycott

UK: Morrisons shuts stores as profits fall

"Need for research on what Delhaize-Ahold will mean to Belgian market"
Minister of Consumer Affairs, Kris Peeters, wants the Belgian Competition Authority to investigate the merger between Dutch Ahold and Belgian Delhaize. He feels the merger could have an impact on the competitive nature of the Belgian market. (retaildetail.eu)

UK: Morrisons shuts stores as profits fall

The UK's Morrison Supermarkets has reported first-half earnings that missed analysts’ estimates as price cuts contributed to a decline in same-store sales. Underlying pretax profit fell 35% to £117m ($180m), the smallest of the UK’s four main grocery chains said in a statement on Thursday. Analysts expected £134m, according to the median of 14 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Morrison also said second-half earnings on that basis will exceed that of the first. Potts, about six months into the role, has adopted a back-to-basics approach to improve Morrison’s larger stores. He has cut prices and recruited an additional 5,000 shop workers in an effort to halt a slump in sales that stretches back to 2011. Same-store sales dropped 2.4% in the second quarter, compared with analysts’ estimate for a 2% decline. They fell 2.9% in the first quarter and by 5.9% last year as a whole. (esmmagazine.com / Bloomberg)

UK: Morrisons to shut 11 stores as profits plunge
Morrisons is planning to close another 11 stores, placing more than 900 jobs at risk, as it seeks to grow sales and profitability within its turnaround plan. (sky.com)

UK: Morrisons sells its chain of convenience
Supermarket chain Morrisons has agreed to sell 140 M local convenience stores for about £25m. It said the buyer was a team led by the retail entrepreneur Mike Greene, funded by Greybull Capital. The shops will be rebranded as "My Local". The 2,300 staff will be kept on, with an extra 200 jobs to be created by reopening 10 shops that are currently closed. Morrisons announced a review of its convenience store business in March. Earlier this year, the retailer reported an annual loss of £792m. It now plans to concentrate on its core supermarkets business. Morrisons will keep five M local shops that are either on petrol forecourts or can be converted into small supermarkets. (bbc.com)

How Russian retailers beat the boycott
News footage of Russian authorities burning imported goods ranging from cheese to condoms may have sparked shortage concerns among the country's retailers, however hypermarket chain Lenta claims it has survived any crisis by staying patriotic. Lenta chief executive Jan Dunning told CNBC that one way the chain has been able to outperform their peers has been their focus being a "local player," rather than on offering imported goods from the European Union and North America. "We try to be as Russian as possible," Dunning told CNBC's Squawk Box Europe Wednesday. "I think that is something that has paid off now," he added. (cnbc.com)

Asda CEO: Future will be about ‘price, quality and speed’
Asda CEO Andy Clarke has said that he believes shopper choice in the future will be all about “price, quality and speed”, in what is a rapidly changing retail environment. Clarke made his comments during a panel discussion at the World Retail Congress, taking place in Rome this week. (esmmagazine.com)

Lidl looking at another site in N.C. for U.S. expansion
It looks like one of the first supermarkets in European grocery giant Lidl's efforts to expand into the United States may be in Mooresville. MGP Retail Consulting, an affiliate of Lidl, has asked the Mooresville Planning Department to rezone a 4-acre site on Williamson Road in Mooresville for a 36,000-square-foot supermarket. (bizjournals.com)

NL: Albert Heijn's board undergoes changes
Marit van Egmond is now the executive vice president Merchandising & Sourcing, which means she will be in control of the Fresh and Preservables branches within the board of directors. Supermarket chain Albert Heijn has made some changes in its board of directors. Adriaan Thierry will leave the company and several other directors have been given new responsibilities. (retaildetail.eu)

Thailand: Big C's new cost-saving fresh DC

Big C in Thailand opens its new cost-efficient US$47m fresh distribution centre in Chachonengsao to complete its logistics and supply chain system whilst creating more than 1,000 local jobs, reports the Bangkok post. Despite economic slowdown, fresh foods will remain a necessity for consumers and Big C expects sales growth in the category throughout the year. According to Warunee Kitjaroenpoonsin, corporate affairs director of Big C "After the economic slowdown in the first half, we still don't see any clear sign of improvement in the second half. However, sales of fresh food the rest of the year could record some growth since it's essential for daily life." (igd.com)

US: CEO Shaner out at Haggen
Haggen said today Bill Shaner has left the company. His departure was announced a day after the company filed for voluntary bankruptcy protection. Shaner was CEO of the company’s Pacific Southwest division, encompassing 100 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada. “Bill Shaner is no longer with Haggen,” the company said in a formal statement. “We greatly appreciate his contribution to the company. John Clougher will be leading the company going forward.” (supermarketnews.com)

Saudi Arabia supermarket chain Danube said to plan stake sale
Saudi Arabian supermarket chain Danube Co. Ltd is seeking to sell a stake in a deal that would value the business at about $2bn, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank BSC is advising Danube’s owners, the Jeddah-based Bin Dawood Group, on the sale, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Investcorp Bank BSC, also based in Bahrain, is in talks to buy a stake of about 20%, the people said. (bloomberg.com)

Finland's first DHL parcel lockers to arrive in the K-Group stores

DHL Express and the K-Group have signed a cooperation agreement which will make 250-300 DHL service points available at the K-Group's food stores and building and home improvement stores in different parts of Finland. (nasdaq.com)

Romanian consumer prices fall more than forecast on tax cut
Romanian deflation worsened in August, stretching into a third month after a reduction in the value-added tax for food, esmmagazine.com reports. Food prices declined 7.2% from a year earlier in August, while non-food items rose 0.8% and services costs gained 2%, the institute said. (esmmagazine.com)

US: Digital Foodie launches foodie.fm online grocery

Digital Foodie, creator of the award winning Foodie.fm platform, and Village Beach Market, an IGA grocery retailer, have signed a partnering agreement to open up a home delivery service at Vero Beach, Florida, USA. Village Beach Market will use Foodie's personalized online grocery solution to expand its reach to the growing group of online customers. (prnewswire.com)

Indonesia: food sales down
Indonesia's retail sales in July grew at a slower pace of 4.8% from the previous year due to slowing demand for food, beverages and tobacco, a Bank Indonesia survey showed on Wednesday. (Reuters)

US: Q1 profit declines at Sobey's parent Empire Co.

Empire Co. Ltd., parent company of the Sobey's supermarket chain, has reported a more than 14% decline in fiscal first-quarter net earnings, citing costs associated with the integration of its Safeway business. Adjusted net earnings were $121.7m, down 5.7% from $129.1m. Sales edged up $26.5m or 0.4% to $6.25bn from $6.22bn. (winnipegfreepress.com)

AU: 7-Eleven to 'substantially change' model in wake of wages scandal
Company founder Russ Withers released a statement on Thursday saying that as well as a full review of 7-Eleven's franchise model the company would also help franchisees establish collective employment agreements for staff. 7-Eleven will make "substantial changes" to its business model, including the share of profits it grants to franchisees, in the wake of a widespread worker exploitation scandal engulfing the company. (smh.com.au)

Online vs in-store grocery shopping prices in SA
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