Kenya: Uchumi cuts losses by 40% in 2017 to Sh1.7bln
Uchumi Supermarket has cut their losses by 40% in the 2017 financial year to Sh1.7bln compared to Sh2.8bln loss in 2016 attributed to improved cost management. Expenses went down by 42% in the period under review from Sh3.6bln in 2016 to Sh2.1bln in 2017 while the cost of sales hit Sh2.5bln from Sh6.4bln in 2016. The firm says that despite the suppressed business in the current and past financial year the firm recorded improved margins. (

Russia: Lenta opens five Moscow hypermarkets
Russian retailer Lenta has opened five new hypermarkets in Moscow, in addition to opening its 21st supermarket in St Petersburg. The largest hypermarket chain in the country announced the launch of five stores on premises previously operated under the Nash hypermarket brand, as part of a long-term lease agreement in July. (

Spar Hungary launches health app
Spar Hungary has launched a free app aimed at consumers looking to improve their health and well-being. The '30 Napos Életmód Program' (30-Day Lifestyle Change) mobile app is part of the retailer's 'Lifestyle Change' programme. It gives users access to dietary plans developed by nutritional experts, exercise/training programmes, and other useful tips to help them reach their goals. The app includes a daily meal plan, 20- to 25-minute easy exercise videos, motivational texts and insights by Gábor ‘Bio’ Tóth, a diet consultant and regular contributor to Hungarian radio programmes. It also has information about supplements, meditation, yoga, rehabilitation and office exercise videos. Consultation with experts is also accessible through the Spar website. The app also monitors the fluid intake of users, sending reminders to drink enough water throughout the day. (

Ahold USA trials robot in Giant Food Store
Ahold USA is currently trialling a robot in a Giant Food Store. Its job is to detect dangers and then ask for assistance. He can also point out empty shelves and check prices. The robot called Marty freely moves throughout the store. He will keep an eye on the floor, to make sure nothing is spilled or that there are no other dangers. If that is the case, he will stop and ask for assistance from one of the employees so that they can fix the issue. He also keeps an eye on the shelves and when a particular product is no longer available, he will pass that on. If it is still in stock, he will create a report informing employees which items to resupply. He will also look at all the prices and compare those with the prices in the cash register system. If there are discrepancies, he will generate another report so that employees can fix the problem. (

US: Ooltewah Walmart debuts pickup tower technology ahead of holidays
Ooltewah’s Walmart is adding a feature that aims to make it easier for customers to fill online orders. The new feature is a 16-foot tower that works similarly to a vending machine from which customers can pick up online orders in about one minute. To use the pickup tower, customers shop and select the pickup option at checkout. When the item arrives at the local store, an associate loads it into the pickup tower and the customer retrieves it by scanning a barcode sent to their smartphones. (

CA: Loblaw to close 22 stores by early 2018
Canadian grocery and pharmacy chain Loblaw Cos Ltd said it would shut 22 unprofitable stores as the company revamps its business in the face of challenges in a brutal retail environment. Like many other Canadian retailers, Loblaw has lost market share to bigger rivals like Wal-Mart and Amazon and faces a hit next year from rises in minimum wages in its home state of Ontario. It beat analysts’ expectations for third-quarter profit and revenue thanks largely to a rise in same-store sales at its Shoppers Drug Mart outlets, which rose 3.3% in the quarter, up from 2.8% growth a year ago. Loblaw said the store closures would come across its brands and formats and would largely be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2018. (Reuters)

US: Target Q3 results beat expectations, but forecast cautious
Target Corp. said sales improved in the fiscal third quarter on increased traffic to stores and sales improvements in categories that have been receiving new attention – including fresh food and adult beverages. Costs associated with that attention, including higher employee wages and investments in lower prices, sent quarterly profits down by 14.1%, although both sales and earnings came in higher than Wall Street expectations. (