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Profit increase in Q3 by Swedish retailer ICA

900 store milestone in UK for Iceland Group

Spar opens first premium store in China
Spar has opened its first premium store in China, with a focus on green, environmentally friendly and health conscious produce. Spar Fuxiang launched the new store in the central business district of Zhangjiakou, in the northern Chinese province of Hebei. The city of 4.3mln people boasts convenient transportation routes and will host the 2020 Winter Olympics. Spar Fuxiang plans to open 12 new stores in the near future. (

UK: Sainsbury's introduces 'dementia-friendly' toilets in national first
Sainsbury’s has become the first supermarket to introduce “dementia-friendly” lavatories thanks to a campaigning pensioner who was routinely forced to rescue her Alzheimer’s sufferer husband. The national chain has promised to install large, colourful “way out” signs in all of its stores to prevent customers with the degenerative condition becoming confused. It follows growing awareness that traditional signs and lighting schemes can be disorientating for people with the disease. (

Swedish retailer ICA posts profit increase in Q3
Sweden’s ICA has posted a third quarter profit of SEK 1.1bln (€112mln) a marginal increase on the same period last year (SEK 1.07bln), boosted by capital gains on sales of non-current assets. The group said that its consolidated net sales for the period were SEK 26.4bln (€2.71bln), an increase of 2.6% on the same period last year (SEK 25.8bln). The period saw the completion of a deal that will see ICA acquire the Lithuanian grocery chain IKI, with the condition that 17 stores be sold. (

Holland: Jumbo may be planning to expand operations into Belgium
Dutch retailer Jumbo is reportedly planning to extend its operations internationally, with up to 30 new stores in Belgium, according to Retail Detail. The publication reports that real estate agents have been asked to source suitable store locations for the retailer in Belgium, starting with thirty locations within the next two years. Earlier this week, Jumbo's chief financial offer, Ton van Veen, told Belgian publication Gondola that the retail group is interested in establishing itself in the Belgian market, but such a move would take "a lot of preparation and the right strategy". Jumbo reported that sales rose 4.7% to €3.76bln in the first half of its financial year, with the business now holding a 19% share of the Dutch retail market. (

Iceland Group reaches 900 store milestone in UK

Iceland Group has reached a new milestone of 900 UK stores this week, following the opening of its 53rd outlet under its new banner, The Food Warehouse. The new store, located in south Bristol, brings the retail group's total count to 847 Iceland stores, and 53 The Food Warehouse outlets. Larger than standard Iceland stores, The Food Warehouse offers the full Iceland range, as well as luxury and speciality frozen food products, chilled meat, fresh produce, wines, beers, and bulk grocery products. The retailer says that three major extensions to existing Iceland stores are due to open before Christmas, and sites for a number of new Iceland stores are being sought throughout the UK, with four already in the pipeline. (

Amazon pop-up stores opening at Whole Foods Market
Amazon pop-up stores have been set up at over 100 Whole Foods Market stores, offering a range of Amazon devices. The pop-up stores have opened at stores across the US. The timing enables the retailer to capitalise on the holiday season, a time when traffic at the Whole Foods Market stores is at its strongest. This is the first major in-store initiative between Amazon and Whole Foods Market since the latter was acquired in August. One of the key developments to watch will be the introduction of Amazon Prime as Whole Foods Market’s customer rewards program. This is expected to provide Prime members with special savings and other in-instore benefits once both retailers’ systems have been fully integrated. This will make the Prime program even more compelling, particularly as Amazon optimises its data and analytical capabilities through linking shoppers’ online and offline behaviours. (igd)

US Report: Kroger will withstand price wars better than any other grocer
Kroger will withstand price wars in the grocery industry better than any other retailer, mainly due to its scale, according to investors service Moody’s. The firm estimates Kroger accounts for $118bln of the $1tln U.S. food market. Moody’s also cited Kroger’s sophisticated data usage, its geographically diverse presence, and a private label selection that accounts for 26% of company sales and growing as advantages. After a weak year that saw its stock price plummet, Kroger should see stronger results over the next 12 to 18 months, according to Moody’s. The firm believes Kroger’s recently announced Restock plan will improve sales, and that the potential sale of its convenience store unit could significantly reduce the company’s debt. (

CA: Loblaw takes step toward zero-carbon deliveries
In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, the grocery giant Loblaw has taken the first step toward moving its entire corporate-owned trucking fleet to electric vehicles. At a ceremony in Vancouver on Nov. 3, the grocery giant officially unveiled its first fully electric Class 8 commercial delivery truck, a 53-foot vehicle that’s able to make commercial grocery deliveries with zero carbon emissions. (
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