COVID-19 latest news from around the world

09 April 2020
Walmart China announced at the Cloud Supplier Conference that it plans to invest CNY3bn (US$426m) in Wuhan, where the pandemic first started, over the next five years. Plans include the opening of four Sam’s Club stores, 15 shopping malls and more community stores. Strengthening its presence in Wuhan Wuhan is strategically important to Walmart. It is the capital of Hubei province, where t...
09 April 2020
As countries implement social distancing measures to slow down the spread of coronavirus, foodservice operators have been forced to close their doors. Whilst some have been able to use government support to effectively hibernate operations, others have reacted with agility to adapt to the situation and bring new purpose to their businesses. The changes they have made fall into three main areas...
09 April 2020
Amazon is due to suspend its third-party delivery service in the US, starting from 5 June, for an unspecified period. In direct competition with FedEX and UPS The delivery service, called Amazon Shipping, was available in a small number of US cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, and consisted in drivers picking parcels up from third-party businesses and delivering them to co...
09 April 2020
Most European countries are in lock down, with plans to relax progressively New research suggests unprecedented recession since WWII for the year 2020 Impact on European countries’ GDPs could range from -6% to -19% Exceptional government measures in the Euro Area set to reach 15% GDP Lack of agreement among European ministers on how to mutualise the effort Number of cases begi...
09 April 2020
To help boost consumption and accelerate the economic recovery from the pandemic, China’s Suguo supermarket chain, owned by CR Vanguard, issued CNY100m (US$14m) worth of promotional coupons last week. Bringing tangible benefits to customers Between 25 and 29 March, customers who are Suguo members could receive a CNY100 (US$14) voucher for any amount they spent with the retailer. Non-Suguo...
09 April 2020
Retailers' and suppliers' roles globally are changing as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. As one of the few points of contact outside the home, grocery retailers are playing a more central role in peoples' lives than ever before. Making a difference We have identified four key areas where retailers and suppliers are making a difference to the communities; Supporting health and we...
09 April 2020
We look at Costco’s March sales update and the impact of customers stocking-up during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Strong growth across all regions Costco reports its sales performance each month, with very little change on a month-to-month basis. However, the pandemic had a significant impact in March. For the five-week period from March 2 to April 5, total sales increased 11.7% to...
08 April 2020
To help local residents during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Chicago based Mariano's has launched an online platform called Mariano's Meet Ups. Interactive classes The platform is hosting cooking classes, demonstrations, wine tastings and more. Classes will be hosted by local chefs and sommeliers, as well as Mariano's Tastemakers. They aim to provide customers with tips and tricks to...
08 April 2020
SPAR stores in England are to be the first convenience retailers to partner with the Royal Voluntary Service on its NHS Volunteer Responders programme. This will enable volunteers to shop on behalf of vulnerable community members and make payments in store for them. Service accessible in over 700 stores The Volunteer Responders Programme has been put in place to support those referred to th...
08 April 2020
Tesco has released robust full year results for the year to 29 February 2020, together with an update on how it is supporting customers and colleagues through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Headline results (actual exchange rates, 52 week change) Group sales: -0.7% to £56.5bn UK & Ireland sales: +0.1%, +0.2% LFL Tesco UK: -0.6%, -0.3% LFL Booker sales: +5.0%, +3.3% LFL Ce...
08 April 2020
In response to the strong demand for its online grocery service during the coronavirus pandemic, Walmart Canada is planning to triple its ecommerce capacity. Recruiting 10,000 associates The retailer shared details of its plan as part of an update from president and CEO, Haio Barbeito. Demand for its online grocery service continues to be high, with thousands of orders being fulfilled each ...
08 April 2020
We look at how needs are changing and how this has impacted on retailers’ assortments during the pandemic and how this could evolve in the future. We review the effects on local sourcing and private labels and other areas that should be considered when assessing product ranges. Evolving needs With lockdowns in place and closure of all non-essential businesses, people’s shopping habits have ...
07 April 2020
Spar Croatia is increasing its collaboration with an additional 60 small-scale agricultural producers, who are facing challenges marketing their produce due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “Gardens of Croatia” Spar Croatia is appealing to small producers who cannot market their produce to get in touch with the retailer directly so products can be packaged and delivered through its n...
07 April 2020
Alibaba’s Taobao Live is helping more industries in China digitise their operations. Live streaming in agricultural and retail sectors Alibaba is increasing Taobao Live’s reach and accessibility. Taobao Live announced that it would offer training to 200,000 farmers in ongoing efforts to increase business in rural areas across China. The livestreaming platform aims to generate CNY15bn (US...
07 April 2020
Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, declared a month-long state of emergency on 7 April in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The government has also approved a record stimulus package worth JPY108 tn (US$990 bn) to support the economy State of emergency until 6 May Abe told a televised news conference, “We are not at a stage where rapid nationwide spread is being observed, b...
07 April 2020
Due to restrictions put in place due to COVID-19, kiosks (traditional convenience stores) and Chinese supermarkets (traditional mom-and-pop neighbourhood supermarkets) are facing their toughest challenge of recent years. Government restrictions significantly impacting kiosks Argentina’s mandatory social isolation decree, which was released on March 19, stated wholesalers, supermarkets and l...
07 April 2020
Major UK convenience retailer, McColl’s is teaming up with restaurant delivery expert Deliveroo to offer home delivery. The service aims to help support vulnerable customers during their coronavirus isolation. Initial availability in 120 stores, to be rolled out to 300 Offering a range of food, grocery, cleaning and hygiene essentials, as well as news and magazines, shoppers will be able to...
07 April 2020
Booths has launched a next day click & collect service at three of its stores. The retailer also recently launched a limited delivery service for those unable to get to one of its stores. Next day click & collect With its new click & collect service, Booths’s customers can order online from a range of more than 150 products, which can be collected from the retailer’s Garstang, Lytham or Kir...
07 April 2020
To help local restaurants during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, H-E-B is stocking a selection of local products in its stores. Popular local meals H-E-B already stocked selected restaurant branded products, however this pilot is the first time it is bringing ready made meals into its stores. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, the retailer is working closely with local restaurants to...
06 April 2020
Walmart has halted moves to sell a majority stake in its UK business so it can focus fully on its response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to press reports. No rush to resume sale process Sources at the retailer, speaking to CNBC under condition of anonymity, said the sale process has been paused to allow the leadership team to concentrate fully on the day to day running o...