Confirmed: Makro Belgium will not survive 2022
The transfer of Metro’s Belgian assets to new owners Sligro and Van Zon will take place on 3 January, but they had no interest in its ailing sibling Makro. Management has now informed the unions that the cash-and-carry chain will permanently close their doors at the end of this year. The big sale that is currently ongoing, with discounts of up to 70% on non-food items, will end on 30 December. On Saturday 31 December, the shops will not open: that is when employees will take their public holiday transferred from 1 January (as that is a Sunday), Johan Van Loon of trade union ACV Puls told RetailDetail. After that date, the employees will no longer have to work for the retailer.
Conad consolidates leadership position in Italy
Conad has confirmed its leadership position in the large-scale retail sector in Italy, recording total sales of €18.45bln in 2022, up +8.5% on the previous year. The supermarket chain’s market share has remained above 15%, with a 4.4% growth in sales on a like-for-like network basis.
Amazon avoids multibillion-dollar fine as it reaches EU antitrust settlement
Amazon made a series of commitments to address allegations from the European Union that the company was using independent sellers’ data to its advantage. The European Commission said that Amazon committed to stop using non-public data on independent sellers for its retail business, among other changes. The company could have faced a fine of up to 10% of its global annual revenues, which for Amazon could have been as high as $47bln.
UK: Iceland launches 1p vegetable sale for Christmas
Iceland has re-launched its 1p sale across select fresh and frozen vegetables to help shoppers save on Christmas dinner staples. Available exclusively online on 21 December, shoppers will be able to purchase three packs of vegetables for 1p each, which would usually be priced at £1. The discount will be applied to a customers online shopping basket once the code ‘THREEVEG’ has been entered at the checkout. Christmas dinner staples will also be available within the frozen food retailer’s offer, such as brussels sprouts and carrots. Other vegetables featured in the sale include onions, broccoli, mash potato, green beans, mushrooms, kale, parsnips and sliced mixed pepper.
Christmas food shopping impacted as inflation hits Belgian shoppers
“I’d say all the ‘luxury products’ [cost more]”, a shopper explained. “If you want to buy fish or meat, they have been increasing I think, but also fresh vegetables and exotic fruits changed a little bit too, and also cheese is more expensive than before.”
UK: Tesco’s exclusive energy-saving ultimate roasting potato returns in time for Christmas
An energy-saving, high quality roasting potato that sold out within weeks of being launched last year has returned in time to help Brits slash the cooking time of their Christmas dinner. The ‘Nemo’ variety, sold by Tesco as Finest British Roasting Potatoes, has been created exclusively for the supermarket by one of the UK’s largest potato suppliers, Branston. As well as creating perfect roast potatoes, the Nemo variety can cut cooking time by up to a quarter compared to the average potato according to Branston.
Polish supermarket chain Biedronka to increase workers pay from January
Poland’s largest supermarket chain Biedronka, part of Portuguese retail group Jeronimo Martins, will spend 600mln zlotys ($136.38mln) on pay rises for staff from January. More than 60,000 employees will receive pay increases of between 500 and 700 zlotys a month, Biedronka said. This will bring the monthly salary of a cashier who has just started working for the chain to 3,950-4,300 zlotys.
New Zealand: Vege shop hit hard by road works
Every time customers enter the Veggie Boys store at Albany St, Dunedin, they are welcomed by a conspicuous board at the entrance. “We are maintaining a low stock of fresh produce due to roadworks. If you didn’t find something you are after, we apologise for the inconvenience”, the board says. For a couple of months the vegetable and fruit shop has faced the impact of the Albany St roadworks. “Since the work started, our business saw a decline of over 70-80%”, store manager Supreet Singh said.
Large retail chains in Romania warn of 10% price hike, assuming steady energy prices
Large Romanian retailers warn that they will have to raise the shelf prices by another 10% if the cost of electricity, which accounts for a large part of their expenses, remains at current unprecedented levels in the coming period. “If electricity prices remain at the current levels, we will have to increase prices by another 10-15%, thus generating more inflation”, representatives of the large retailers told Profit.ro.
China: Online food delivery services struggle with staff shortages
Major food delivery and courier service providers have posted notices about delays in delivery time due to staff shortages. Sales of fresh fruit and dairy products have peaked in the past few weeks due to cold weather and the increase in coronavirus infections. Freshippo designated three time slots for online orders, 6am, 11am and 4pm, starting from Monday. It added that the delay is due to a shortage of deliverymen. Sales of lemons, oranges and fruits rich with vitamin C jumped 60% last week, the chain store said. Sales of disinfectants increased more than six times, and honey, ginger and kiwifruit, for throat pain relief, also were hot items.
Walmart Canada taps Chile chief Gonzalo Gebara as president and CEO
Walmart Chile CEO Gonzalo Gebara has been appointed president and CEO of Walmart Canada. Gebara, who steps into the role on January 30, joined the retailer in 2000 and has since held roles across finance, strategy, e-commerce, marketing and operations.
US: Target hopes value-hungry shoppers will come to the rescue this holiday season
Target’s holiday season has become high stakes after the retailer put up three disappointing quarters. It cut its forecast for the fourth quarter last month. The big-box retailer is trying to cater to value-minded shoppers with prominent price signs, a holiday price match guarantee and budget-friendly gift items.
US: Bashas’ opens new offices in Arizona
A year after acquiring Chandler, Arizona-based The Bashas’ Company, The Raley’s Companies is investing in new Bashas’ corporate offices. The facility, which will remain in Chandler, will be the hub for merchandising and operations for Bashas’ banners that include Bashas’, Food City, AJ’s Fine Foods, Eddie’s Country Store and Bashas’ Diné grocery stores across Arizona and New Mexico.
US: As layoffs loom, TuSimple CEO protected by $15mln in severance cash
With layoffs of potentially hundreds of employees looming, autonomous trucking startup TuSimple agreed to pay CEO Cheng Lu $15mln in cash if it ousts him a second time. The terms of the agreement are spelled out in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The optics of such a payment compared to whatever severance is paid to laid-off employees are ugly. But having been burned once, Lu assured that shortening his second stay would be expensive to the company.