Amazon, Kroger & Walmart boosted by 'once in a lifetime' convergence of online retail, grocery buys
As COVID-19 continues to reshape spending patterns, CFRA analyst Arun Sundaram found that the biggest winners have become one-stop shop retailers like Amazon, Albertsons, Kroger and Walmart. Along with a handful of other big brands, those companies are drawing support from restrictions on public life that are forcing many employees to work remotely. Those trends include more eating at home, and buying necessities on the Internet. “Food-at-home demand should stay permanently elevated versus pre-pandemic levels because of newly formed habits and long-term work-from-home adoption,” Sundaram said in a recent note. In April food-at-home consumption hit a peak at 70% of total food consumption and is currently still high at 57%.
Supermarket customer satisfaction rebounds amid pandemic
Customer satisfaction with supermarkets is up, as both shoppers and retailers have adapted to conditions under the nine-month-old coronavirus crisis, new research from The Retail Feedback Group (RFG) shows. In RFG’s Fall 2020 U.S. Online & In-Store Grocery Shopping Study, released yesterday, shoppers rated overall satisfaction of their latest supermarket trip at 4.23 on a scale of 1 to 5, up from 4.08 in the Lake Success, N.Y.-based research firm’s spring study. Similarly, customers gave supermarkets a Net Promoter score of 39.5 in “likelihood to recommend” in October, up from 36.1 in April, RFG said.
Both of the fall and spring RFG studies, conducted in October and April 2020, respectively, are based on a nationally representative sample of 2,000 U.S. who shopped for food and groceries in the past 30 days. The sample was evenly split between in-store and online shoppers.
Amazon slams Walmart for not paying workers $15 per hour
Amazon took a dig at Walmart's worker pay in a recent Bloomberg article, saying the nation's biggest retailer has yet to join them in "raising the minimum wage to $15." In analysis of 68 counties where Amazon opened a warehouse, average industry compensation dropped by 6% within two years, Bloomberg reported. Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2018. Walmart raised its minimum hourly wage to $11 from $9 in 2018 and previously said the full-time hourly workers averaged $14.26 an hour. "Hiring more, by paying less, simply does not work. Many of our employees join Amazon from other jobs in retail which tend to be predominantly part-time, reduced benefit jobs with substantially less than our $15 minimum wage," Amazon said in a statement to Bloomberg. "These employees see a big increase in pay per hour, total take-home pay, and overall benefits versus their previous jobs. What surprises us is that we are the focus of a story like this when some of the country's largest employers, including the largest retailer, have yet to join us in raising the minimum wage to $15."
Walmart says “Game On” for driverless freight
Walmart has announced the start of truly driverless operations in their hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas beginning next year. This marks a major new phase for the company, placing the mega-retailer at the forefront of the driverless freight movement. Working with startup Gatik, temperature-controlled automated delivery box trucks will carry goods from a local distribution center to a neighborhood market. Launched in 2017, Gatik is focused on B2B short-haul logistics, i.e. the “middle mile” shuttling goods between warehouses and retail outlets. Gatik’s first announced customer was Walmart, with whom they’ve been conducting trials on a two mile route for over a year. “We’ve safely driven more than 70,000 operational miles in autonomous mode with a safety driver,” during this trial, said Tom Ward, Walmart’s SVP of Customer Product.
Dutch supermarket wants to turn facial recognition system back on
A year after shutting off its facial recognition system under regulatory pressure, a Dutch supermarket wants to plug it back in, and the government is saying no. The Netherlands’ Data Protection Authority has warned the store’s owner not to use the biometric capability on cameras at its entrance. Doing so, according to the regulator, would violate Dutch privacy rules. The supermarket’s name has not been revealed in government documents or media reports. The regulator published its account of the situation (in Dutch here). A Translate version of the announcement states that the business wanted to spot thieves and other people posing threats before they could enter the store. Store executives reportedly told the government that only the images of people who have been caught stealing were stored. How long they were stored could not be determined.
Source: Biometric Update
This greengrocer aims to replicate Amul model
In south Bengaluru, an agri supply chain start-up Humus is piloting a ‘fair price’ supermarket for fruits and vegetables (F&Vs) with the idea of expanding it into a chain. Selling fresh produce sourced directly from growers, Humus not only aims to help farmers get better realisation but wants to see that consumers get F&Vs at a fair price. “F&Vs typically change four to five hands in the supply chain. We plan to reduce it to one or two, so that both the farmer and the consumer gains,” says Manjunatha T N, promoter and managing director of Humus, who comes from an agri-family in Kolar, a vital vegetable producing region in the South.
Carrefour and Tesco buying alliance is being restricted
The buying alliance between Carrefour and Tesco is subject to strict conditions by the French competition authority: fruit and vegetables are excluded from the cooperation, as are products of which Carrefour has more than 15% market share. The purchasing alliance between Carrefour and Tesco, which aims to buy both branded and private label products together, is being restricted following protests by the French competition authority. It was feared that the position of private label producers in particular would be weakened too much if the two retail superpowers were to join forces. From now on, unprocessed agricultural products of national and European origin, such as fruit and vegetables, plants but also lamb, may not be purchased together. Eight other product groups are also subject to restrictions, including fresh cheeses, cheddar and canned tomatoes. In these categories, Carrefour may only buy up to a maximum of 15% market share in France through the alliance with Tesco.
Auckland Fresh Collective supermarket workers to strike during Christmas rush
Fresh Collective staff in Auckland are taking strike action during the Christmas rush, demanding a pay rise. The grocery store is a boutique brand owned by Foodstuffs NZ, which also owns New World and Pak ‘n Save. First Union spokeswoman Tali Williams said Fresh Collective staff in Mount Albert had been offered 10 cents above the minimum wage next year of $20. Williams said it was unfair that workers at the store, which provided a premium service, were being paid less than counterparts at Pak ‘n Save, where staff were earning $21.15 an hour. “These workers have had a harder 2020 than most people, they risked their own health by working through the pandemic making sure their community had food supplies,” Williams said. Fresh Collective Alberton owner James Cardno said he was “disappointed” by the strike action ahead of a busy trading period. “Fresh Collective Alberton is a small, sub-brand New World store, with a team size and competitive remuneration which reflects the store’s turnover and the catchment it serves,” Cardno said.
7-Eleven Malaysia takes home CSR Malaysia Award for fourth consecutive year
7-Eleven Malaysia has bagged yet another award at the Sustainability & CSR Malaysia Awards. The convenience store chain was again awarded “Company of The Year” in the retail category for 2020, making it the company’s fourth consecutive win at the awards ceremony since its inception in 2017. “We are absolutely honoured and elated to be recognised for our corporate social responsibility initiatives for four years running,” said 7-Eleven Malaysia marketing general manager Ronan Lee in a press release. “This award signifies the efforts of the entire team here at 7-Eleven alongside our NGO partners such as SOLS 24/7 and NGOHub. “We believe in always giving back to the community and we hugely appreciate the dedication and passion of our partners for sustainable philanthropy.”