UK supermarket price war lowers small supplier profit margins

Rabo ecstatic about Ahold | Supervalu to consider Save-A-Lot sale

US: 'Roundy's sought multiple suitors before picking Kroger'
Roundy's Inc. contemplated selling itself four years ago and again in 2013 before agreeing this month to be bought by Kroger Co. of Cincinnati, according to a securities filing this week. Roundy's said it contacted Kroger and dozens of other companies in 2011 about selling itself and ultimately received nine expressions of interests before deciding to go public. It also discussed a potential combination with an unnamed company in 2013. (jsonline.com)

Rabobank ecstatic about Ahold's online operations
Rabo Securities, Rabobank's stock-focused division, is ecstatic about Ahold's online operations and concludes that no one will be able to catch up to the Dutch company in the near future. Ahold has the goose with the golden eggs when it comes to the online operations of Albert Heijn, bol.com and American Peapod, according to Rabobank. The €2.5bn online turnover goal by 2017 will easily be reached and even approach 3bn Euro, the bank says. Ahold itself expects a €1.7bn online turnover for this year. Rabo feels that Ahold's delivery subscription is one of the things that can help Ahold pick up the pace a lot. (retaildetail.eu)

US: Supervalu to consider potential Save-A-Lot sale
Grocery distributor Supervalu is preparing to explore an outright sale as an alternative to a spin-off of its discount grocery retail chain Save-A-Lot, according to people familiar with the matter. Eden Prairie, Minnesota based Supervalu has received interest in Save-A-Lot from several private equity firms, and has told them that it will consider offers once it registers the unit with regulators for a spin in early 2016, the sources said this week. While a spin would be more tax-efficient for Supervalu, private equity firms are hoping to take advantage of a so-called tax shield resulting from a loss in Supervalu's $3.3bn sale of Albertsons and other stores to Cerberus Capital Management LP in 2013, the people added. Buyout firms would still have to convince the company, however, that their offers would represent better value to Supervalu shareholders compared to a spin, the people said. Save-A-Lot could be valued at more than $1.7bn, some of the people added. (Reuters)

ASDA: We've no baby wipes, have some whisky instead

An online shopper was given one of the weirdest substitutes ever by Asda recently: a bottle of whisky in place of baby wipes. Freelance copywriter Art A has tweeted a photo of an Asda receipt - which he said wasn't his - captioned 'Greatest. Substitute. Ever'. It shows that, because the customer's £6.64 packet of baby wipes wasn't available, staff at the Plymouth branch of the store replaced with a £18.50 litre bottle of Bell's Whisky instead. The photo's now been shared more than a thousand times on Twitter, with several people suggesting that perhaps the whisky was designed to help the stressed parent cope. (money.aol.co.uk)



UK: Supermarket price war squeezes small supplier profit margins
Small UK food suppliers and farmers are coming under increasing pressure from Britain’s supermarket price war, with their profit margins cut by more than a third while those at bigger competitors have widened, according to research. Commercial lawyers EMW said small suppliers with an annual turnover below £25m lacked the negotiating power of big rivals and as a result, their profit margins fell last year from 3.5% to 2.1%. By contrast, at the biggest food companies, whose turnover tops £1bn, margins increased from 5.2% to 5.4% last year. Please, click here to read more at theguardian.com.
 
Slovenia’s Mercator Group opens 37 new stores in 2015
Slovenian retail group Mercator opened 37 new stores and two distribution centres in the first nine months of 2015. Mercator Group also sought and evaluated new potential locations for expansion of the retail network for all Mercator programs, as well as for a new logistics and distribution centre in Slovenia. Mercator Group generated €1.95bn of net sales revenue (-2% y/y), while operating profit increased threefold to €61.2m. (esmmagazine.com)

CEO outlines vision for The Fresh Market
CEO Rick Anicetti laid out a turnaround plan based on improved efficiency, sharper pricing, better customer outreach and refining the definition of the brand. He acknowledged that The Fresh Market encountered struggles as competitors have upped their game in recent years. Anicetti said he could improve margins at The Fresh Market by 2% to 3% with more efficient approaches to labor and shrink and by “a sharper focus on fewer items” used in promotions. Addressing consumer perceptions about pricing, Anicetti has engaged an outside consultant to help the company gain market intelligence, identify items on which it needs to be more price competitive, establish price zones, and reduce retails on “several hundred” items. (supermarketnews.com)

Kenya: Nakumatt buys supermarket's assets
Regional retailer, Nakumatt Holdings, has sealed a business acquisition deal which sets the stage for its expansion in Western Kenya. The chain has acquired former Yako Supermarkets Ltd's assets in Kakamega, Bungoma and Busia at an undisclosed price. (standardmedia.co.ke)

India: Heritage Fresh to sell essential commodities at reduced rates
Seeking to limit the impact of rising vegetable prices due to heavy rains here, Heritage Fresh Supermarket today said it would offer milk, water and vegetables at discounted rates over the next one week. The company would offer the items at discounted rates at 30 supermarkets in Chennai, it said in a statement. (retail.economictimes.indiatimes.com)

Lulu Group plans to invest on Malaysian retail sector

Lulu Group, the owner of the largest hypermarket chain in the Middle East, plans to initially invest US$300m in Malaysia’s retail market over the next two years, said chairman and managing director Yusuffali M.A. The investment involved the rolling out of 10 hypermarkets and will gradually expand it to all parts of Malaysia, he said in a statement to Bernama here today. He said Lulu’s hypermarkets encompass both supermarket and department store formats. Lulu Group is one of the biggest importers of Malaysian agricultural products products to the Middle East. (nst.com.my)

AU: Big W speculation boosts Woolies shares

Woolworths shares have jumped amid speculation two global private equity giants may be considering a joint bid for the retail giant's Big W chain. Woolworths is refusing to comment on speculation that TPG and The Blackstone Group have teamed up to consider a joint takeover bid for Big W. (skynews.com.au)

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