US: Sales grow for the 1st time since COVID-19
The U.S. Census Bureau reports overall retail sales during June were up 7.5% seasonally adjusted from May and up 1.1% year-over-year. This is the first month of year-over-year gains since February. The National Retail Federation (NRF) attributes this increase to businesses closed by the coronavirus reopening, but it is hesitant to be optimistic amid continued outbreaks. “June’s numbers show that retail spending is fueling the economic recovery”, NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “How durable the improvement in retail spending will be is directly related to how widespread the resurgence in COVID-19 cases becomes. All eyes are on the infections that are accelerating in many parts of the country and they pose a serious threat to recovery”.
US: Instacart is suing Uber's grocery delivery service Cornershop
Instacart is now waging a legal battle with Uber's Cornershop grocery service at a time when both companies are looking to capitalize on growing demand for food deliveries during the pandemic. Instacart filed a lawsuit against Cornershop, a new grocery delivery competitor in the US, over allegedly stealing thousands of its copyrighted and licensed images, along with product descriptions and pricing data.
US: eBay reportedly getting close to selling its classified-ads unit to Adevinta
eBay is reportedly getting close to a deal to sell its classified-ads business to Adevinta, a Norwegian company that runs online marketplaces across Europe and Latin America. According to a Wall Street Journal report, if the negotiations are successful, a cash and stock deal could be announced as soon as Monday. The transaction is expected to value eBay’s classified business at about $8bln.
Australia: Competition watchdog to investigate concerns over Woolworths’ B2B plans
Australia’s competition watchdog, the ACCC, said it will investigate concerns raised about Woolworths’ plans to expand its B2B arm. Woolworths is set to launch a tailored online shopping site for early learning centres, education, disability and care services, but some suppliers have voiced concerns about the retailer operating under the same terms for the B2B site as in its supermarket business. The ACCC said it will look at whether Woolworths’ plans will harm competition in the industry. “The ACCC is looking into concerns raised about Woolworths’ expansion into the B2B sector”, an ACCC spokesperson told Inside FMCG.
South Korea's 7-Eleven marks milestone: its 71,100th store, in Seoul
7-Eleven has hit a new milestone with the opening of its 71,100th store, located in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. “7-Eleven’s iconic orange, green and red stripes are easily recognised in 17 countries around the world”, said 7-Eleven president and CEO Joe DePinto. “The company got its start because an entrepreneurial ice-dock employee saw his customers had a need and came up with a creative way to serve them. A lot has changed in how, when and where 7-Eleven does business. But one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to put customers at the forefront of all we do”.
UK: Co-op and John Lewis extend Click & Collect partnership
Co-op and John Lewis have announced that its fast track, Click & Collect delivery and returns service will be available in over 500 Co-op food stores by the end of the summer, offering customers access to John Lewis products in more convenient locations. The move will see the total number of John Lewis Partnership Click & Collect locations increase to nearly 900, double the number of current Click & Collect locations in the UK - working together to provide convenient parcel collection services in hundreds more communities across the UK.
Hungary: SPAR expands successful online grocery platform
SPAR Hungary has recently expanded the catchment area of its successful e-grocery platform to the INTERSPAR Hypermarket Tatabánya, in the Northwest of Hungary, as well as nine communities around the popular holiday destination Lake Velence. Launched in May 2019, SPAR Hungary’s e-grocery home delivery and drive-in service initially covered the capital city, Budapest, and 49 surrounding municipalities. The online shop provides the same extensive range of 20,000 products at the same price as any INTERSPAR Hypermarket in the country.
UK: M&S to announce hundreds of job cuts this week
Marks & Spencer (M&S) will serve notice this week of imminent plans for hundreds of job cuts as it becomes the latest prominent retailer to restructure its workforce in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Sky News has learnt that M&S will begin announcing redundancy plans within days, joining the likes of the John Lewis Partnership, Boots, and Debenhams in what has rapidly become a bloodbath on Britain's high streets. Sources said that several thousand jobs were expected to be lost as chief executive Steve Rowe accelerates an ongoing restructuring of the business during the coming months.
Holland: Hema has completely ousted Marcel Boekhoorn
Marcel Boekhoorn is dropped from the board of directors at Dutch retailer Hema: the last link between former owner and the chain has been severed. The retailer has issued a press release, saying that Boekhoorn is no longer a part of the board of directors, and that that decision is connected to the new ownership at the Dutch company. Last month, a group of creditors took control of Hema, as the chain's debt was becoming dangerously high. The creditors exchanged the debts for shares, showing Boekhoorn the door in the process.
‘Brexit leads to slower online delivery from UK’
Online consumers in Europe think the Brexit will lead to slower online delivery from the United Kingdom. They also think it will lead to less choice of British goods to buy online. Whistl has conducted a survey to see what international online consumers think about Brexit and its effects on their purchasing behavior next year. It seems that 34% of German respondents, 27% of French and 24% of Irish consumers believe that a Brexit will lead to a slower delivery of products from the UK.
Australia: How Woolies is expanding its Digital offering
Woolworths is working with Microsoft to support the next phase of its cloud transformation. In an effort to improve its customer experiences in-store and online, the supermarket chain will harness the cloud to provide better infrastructure across its physical and online networks. “At Woolworths, we’re harnessing the cloud to provide evergreen infrastructures that foster innovation and improve speed to market”, said John Hunt, the CIO at Woolworths. “Our cloud transformation is making work simpler for our teams, streamlining our supply chains and improving the customer experiences across our vast network of stores and online channels”. Microsoft will provide the ‘backbone’ cloud technologies for Woolies’ SAP solutions. This comes as the retailer migrates from its current SAP footprint to Azure.