Tesco H1 results: What the analysts said
David Gray, retail analyst at Planet Retail: “As expected, the numbers indicate further signs of stabilisation at Tesco’s domestic unit, with like-for-like declines narrowing on those reported at Q1. There were also encouraging signs on volumes at Tesco, indicating this is a volume-led recovery. These figures have firmly cemented the split in the UK mid-market into two camps: Tesco/Sainsbury’s showing signs of recovery and Asda/Morrisons being the laggards. Considering Tesco was in the throes of the accounting scandal just 12 months ago, being in the former camp is an achievement in itself."

Sophie McCarthy, retail consultant at Conlumino: "Tesco CEO Dave Lewis has instigated a substantial programme of change at the grocer since his appointment in autumn 2014 that is beginning to produce some positive signs of progress. […] However, the downside to the changes he has instigated is that profits continue to be impacted. Tesco made £354m in group operating profit in H1, down 55.1% on the same period last year. Following the rise of German discounters, Aldi and Lidl, who contributed to a wider consumer shift towards simple, everyday-low-price models, a ‘new normal’ has emerged, where the Big Four supermarkets are no longer immune to their smaller rivals. They have all been forced to reassess their position in the market as they experience contracting like-for-like sales and deflationary price pressures." Please, click here to read more.

Tesco Ireland sees 3.7% decline in first-half sales

Tesco Ireland has reported a 3.7% decline in like-for-like sales for the six months ending August 29th as it announced first-half revenues of €1.23bn.
The news comes as the supermarket chain revealed a 55% plunge in half-year earnings for its UK and Ireland business despite seeing an improvement in under-pressure sales. (irishtimes.com)

Tesco H1: Heading in the right direction

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Fruit & vegetable retailer to deliver fruit direct to London workplaces
Natoora, the leading fruit & vegetable retailer, today announced the launch of the Natoora Office Fruit box, a new service that will bring the company's incredible fruit to offices across London for the first time. Each box contains 50 portions of seasonal fruit expertly sourced for flavour - enough to provide fruit for 10 people for 3-5 days. The fruit is chosen according to Natoora's sourcing philosophy: the company works directly with growers who prioritise flavour in their growing, ensuring customers will only have the best-tasting fruit. "There are already a dozen companies in the UK offering fruit to offices, but none sources their produce the way we do," says Retail Director Tim Ballard. "We are sure our fruit boxes will be a real highlight for offices that receive them." (dailymail.co.uk)

Poland: Les Mousquetaires group aims to open 500 stores in 5 years
The group Les Mousquetaires, which runs both Intermarché and Bricomarché, plans to open 500 new stores in Poland within the next five years. Furthermore, existing Intermarché stores will change the décor. Recently, the chain also launched the on-line shopping service. As explained by Patrick Renault, CEO of the group in Poland, "by the end of the present year there will be 15 new Intermarché stores and another 17 Bricomarché. We focus on fresh products (including fruits and vegetables), with clear divisions between each department. We put special emphasis on finished products, or for quick preparation, and organic products," stated Krzysztof Waligórski, president of commercial management at Intermarché. (fakt.pl)

Monoprix to launch BUT stores in Tunisia
Tunisian company, SNMVT-Monoprix is going to launch the opening of French company, BUT in the next 9 months in Tunisia. This first BUT store will cover 5,000m2 and will be in the Tunis City (Géant) shopping centre that belongs to the Mabrouk brothers. BUT specialises in household equipment. (investir-en-tunisie.net)

Singapore: Number of online grocery purchases 'set to soar'
The number of such online purchases looks "set to soar", said Dr Brian Lee, head of the communication programme at SIM University's School of Arts and Social Sciences. Dr Lee pointed to research by PayPal that showed that online shopping revenue in Singapore will be worth $4.4bn this year. "If we manage to reduce the number of cars on the road in future, more people may experience the inconvenience of waiting for a bus or taxi with heavy grocery items. Online grocery shops that provide fast and cheap delivery services will be in great demand," he said. One online grocery retailer is Singapore-based RedMart, which was set up in 2011. Earlier this year, it raised US$26.7m in funding from investors such as Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and Far East Ventures. (digital.asiaone.com)

Kenya: Uchumi closes four stores as part of turnaround programme

As part of its ongoing turnaround programme, Kenya-based Uchumi has announced the closure of four stores, two each in its home market and in Uganda. Recently appointed chief executive, Julius Kipng'etich, said that the retailer needed to close under-performing stores as part of its focus on cutting costs and ‘to stop the financial bleeding’ of the company. (igd.com)

Zimbabwe: Meikles sees sales rise 15%

In the five month period to August, Zimbabwe-based Meikles, which operates supermarkets under the TM and Pick n Pay fascia, alongside its own banners, said, at its AGM, that sales had risen by 15%. Meikles said that sales at TM rose 17%, which meant that it was gaining market share in the country, and noted that the rising sales were being driven by its affordable prices and promotions. (igd.com)

Woolworths (SA) appoints new CEO

Woolworths (SA) has appointed John Dixon as chief executive of its David Jones department store chain. Dixon, who used to work at UK-based Marks & Spencer and was involved in its food business, will replace Iain Nairn. (igd.com)

Pick n Pay affirms local buying in Namibia
Pick n Pay Namibia, which operates in the country as part of a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver and List Group, has said that it will sell locally grown vegetables and other Namibian products in its stores. The step is being taken as part of a collaboration with Natural Value Foods to encourage more buying of local ranges and to support Natural Value Foods’ production of spinach, cabbage, barley and oats. (igd.com)

Angola: Condis to launch hypermarket chain after Sonae terminates JV
Portugal-based Sonae has sold its 49% stake in a joint venture that was set to lead to the opening of its Continente hypermarket banner in Angola. Sonae sold its stake to its joint venture partner, Condis, which is run by locally-based Isabel dos Santos. The two parties signed an agreement in 2011 but nothing has come of it, until now with Sonae selling up. After acquiring full ownership of the company Condis has said that it will launch its own hypermarket chain, under the Candando brand name. Early indications suggest that the chain will invest US$400m in the addition of new stores. (igd.com)

UK: Tesco apologises for past profit-chasing tactics

Tesco’s chief executive Dave Lewis has apologised for the profit-chasing tactics that led to its £326m accounting black hole as it was linked to a settlement with the Serious Fraud Office over the affair. “I want to make an apology for the way we behaved in the past. We are recovering from big, bad decisions,” he said. (independent.co.uk)

UK: Tesco debt looms large as grocer abandons Dunnhumby sale
Tesco abandoned the sale of its data analytics unit Dunnhumby, raising concern that the company will need to resort to a capital increase to reduce its 21.9 billion-pound ($33bn) pile of debt. (Bloomberg)

Spanish supermarket chain Dia expands online presence
Spanish supermarket chain Dia will expand its digital presence in December with the launch of a dedicated website for its Clarel range of cosmetics and personal hygiene products, reports Reuters. The chain will initially offer around 5,000 products on the clarel.es website and will also expand its online grocery store, currently available in Madrid, to Barcelona and Malaga. The aim is to compete with established chains such as Carrefour, Mercadona and El Corte Ingles, as well as Amazon Spain, which recently launched a "Supermarket" section on the amazon.es portal.

Spanish Eroski announces stable H1 sales
Eroski has revealed stable sales for the first half of its financial year, at €2.966 bn, while noting that operating profits reached €36.7 mn. The retailer said that its focused strategy, which has seen it sell stores in southern Spain to enable it to focus on the Basque Country and Navarra, was helping it to win ‘despite the very low price of fuel’. Key elements of the retailer’s strategy are built around its ‘contingo’ (‘with you’) format, to which 61 stores – eight hypermarkets and 53 supermarkets – have been converted, and the franchising of its stores, with franchisees adding 52 new stores in the first half. The retailer’s first half performance enabled it to forecast that it would reach its target of adding 100 franchised stores during 2015, mainly in Andalusia, Madrid, Castilla La Mancha, Catalonia, Extremadura and Levante. (igd.com)

Vietnam: Foreign retailers arrive en masse
Japan’s Aeon plans to open a shopping mall this month in Hanoi, its third in Vietnam and first in the capital. Aeon Mall Long Bien will be one of the largest commercial facilities in Hanoi, occupying 96,000 square meters of land. Aeon considers Vietnam its second most important market in Southeast Asia after Malaysia. Its first mall in Vietnam, which opened in January 2014 in Ho Chi Minh City, attracted 13 million people last year. It plans to open 200 stores across the country, according to The Japan Times. South Korean retail giant Lotte has increased the number of its supermarkets in Vietnam to 10. It plans to have a total of 60 by 2020. The chairman of the Hanoi Supermarket Association, Vu Vinh Phu, said Vietnam, with its surging consumer spending in recent years, is squarely in the sights of foreign retailers. (thanhniennews.com)

US: Online grocery delivery blossoms

The online grocery delivery model has had some fits and starts but now it appears that Americans are more than ready to embrace ordering chicken and apples at the click of a mouse. Fox Business News reports that sales from online grocery sites are forecast to reach $13bn this year—a more than 16% jump, according to IBIS World research. (nacsonline.com)

IGD Awards 2015 – winners revealed

Central England Co-op, Spar, Kellogg’s and United Biscuits were among the winners at last night’s IGD Awards 2015, held at London’s Park Plaza hotel. Hosted by television personality Rachel Riley, the awards recognise the industry’s hard work, commitment and innovation, with winners selected by top industry figures including representatives from IGD and companies from across the food and grocery supply chain. Central England Co-operative picked up the IGD Employability Award, for its initiative offering work experience placements and CV classes to students from local school Selly Oak. Eat 17 at Spar won the IGD Innovative Store of the Year Award for its ground-breaking partnership which saw the quality food service concept offered through AF Blakemore’s independent Spar estate. (talkingretail.com)

Costco Wholesale September sales up 2%
Membership warehouses operator Costco Wholesale Corp. reported that its total comparable sales for the month of September 2015 was flat, with a 3 percent rise in U.S., a 10 percent decline in Canada, and a 6 percent drop in other international comparable sales. Monthly total Comparable sales, excluding the negative impacts from gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange, were up 8 percent, with an 8 percent rise in the U.S., a 11 percent increase in Canada, an 8 percent increase in other international comparable sales. Net sales were $10.75bn for the month of September, the five weeks ended October 4, 2015, an increase of two percent from $10.57bn last year. (rttnews.com)

AU: 7-Eleven hands more profit to franchisees
More profits will go to 7-Eleven franchisees as the embattled convenience store chain bids to "incentivise" ethical conduct. Franchisees will have to meet reporting, compliance and oversight conditions to get the benefit of the new profit model, which is being rolled out over the next few months. The company's chairman Russ Withers and CEO Warren Wilmot quit in September after revelations international students were threatened with deportation if they reported exploitation. New chairman Michael Smith said the new profit-sharing model will deliver a considerable shift in value to franchisees from 7-Eleven. "The updated model recognises the changing retail landscape and is part of a suite of measures that provide an appropriate and lasting remedy to the challenges being confronted by all of us," Mr Smith said on Thursday. (9news.com.au)

Spain: Hiperber says revenue rose 4.3% in H1
Hiperber reported that revenue increased by 4.3% in the first half of the year, driven by shopper numbers rising by 6% in the same period and the opening of two new stores. The retailer’s performance in its first half enabled it to forecast that for the full year, revenue would increase by approximately 5%, which would see its end 2015 generating around €140m. (igd.com)

Spain: Grupo Hermanos Martin: revenue increased 1% in 2014

In its 2014 financial year, Grupo Hermanos Martin, which operates 138 stores in Andalusia, said revenues rose by 1% to €360m, aided by the addition of four new stores during the year. During 2014 the group said that it completed the renovation of stores, updating and modernising facilities and signage, while through its loyalty programme – ClubMAS – it distributed coupons worth €325,000. As part of its results statement the retailer spotlighted its commitment to local buying, noting that 60% of its fresh produce was of Andalusian origin. (igd.com)

Bon Preu to sustain investment into 2016
Following on from Bon Preu’s positive announcement of its first half results, the retailer has followed this up by saying that it is planning to invest €60m during 2016 on the opening of new stores and in its supply chain. The retailer said that the investment would help it build on the 11% growth it was forecasting for 2015, which will see it generate turnover of more than €1 bn, and maintain its above market average sales growth in the short term. (igd.com)

Spain: Eroski-Vegalsa launches online store for cash & carry banner
Eroski-Vegalsa has opened an online store for its cash & carry banner, Cash Record, which is available across PCs, mobile and tablets. The retailer said that the online store offers its full range, including private labels. (igd.com)

Aldi vs. Grocery Outlet: Comparing the bargain grocers and what they'll bring to O.C.

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Employees ask A&P judge to reject non-union bid

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