COVID-19 latest news from around the world

09 November 2020
Last week England began its second national lockdown and this time food-to-go operators’ responses are very different to the first lockdown in March. Staying open for business During the first lockdown all the major food-to-go operators closed their doors to protect staff and customers, despite government guidelines permitting takeaway and delivery. Reopening started gradually around ...
07 November 2020
We highlight four ways Hershey has aimed to maximise the commercial opportunities as the pandemic drive new consumer behaviours. Solid third quarter Hershey delivered a better than expected third quarter with organic net sales up 3.8% and reported net income up 39.0%. It made major share gains in the US, with the business benefitting from consumers treating themselves during the pandemic an...
06 November 2020
We round up the latest developments leading to the 11.11, the largest online Global Shopping Festival. Highlights from 1 - 3 November The first parcel was delivered within 11 minutes to a customer in Wuhou District in Chengdu 100 brands topped gross merchandise volume of CNY100m in 111 minutes after sales officially began. They include Nike, Adidas, Apple, L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, Xiaom...
06 November 2020
A global strategic partnership between Alibaba, Richemont and Farfetch will provide brands improved access to China’s luxury market. Partnerships expanding the ecosystem Farfetch will launch on Alibaba Group’s Luxury Platforms in China, e.g. Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion and Luxury Soho platforms as well as cross-border marketplace Tmall Global. Alibaba and Richemont will invest US$500m i...
06 November 2020
Alibaba Group has released its Q2 results for the three months ending 30th September. Revenue increased 30% to CNY155.1bn (US$22.8bn) YoY. Growth slowing, but still relatively strong   The number of annual active customers on Alibaba’s China retail marketplaces increased by 15m to reach 757m. Mobile MAU’s reached 881m at the end of September. Ahead of the retailer's 12th annual shopping eve...
06 November 2020
Since the increase in shopper stockpiling last weekend which coincided with the announcement of a second national lockdown , stockpiling has slipped back. On Wednesday and Thursday, there was a decline in shoppers claiming to have stockpiled to 45% compared to 55% over the weekend. Stockpiling is highest among 18-24s (73%), ABC1s (51%) and those with children (52%). Top categories ...
05 November 2020
Following the announcement of a second national lockdown , there was an increase in shopper stockpiling over the weekend. Since then, stockpiling has slipped back at the start of this week. On Monday and Tuesday, there was a decline in shoppers claiming to have stockpiled to 46% comparted to 55% over the weekend. Stockpiling is highest among 18-24s (53%) and 35-44s (51%). Top categ...
05 November 2020
At a time Steve Rowe believes it has become impossible to forecast with any degree of accuracy, M&S outperformed its previous COVID-19 scenario. The retailer's like-for-like food performance remains robust and this divsion's adjusted operating profit also improves. However, significant challenges remain for its clothing & home division, resulting in group revenue declining -15.8% and operating pr...
05 November 2020
Ahold Delhaize reported net sales, at constant currencies, rose 10.1% to €17.8 bn during its third quarter. The retailer’s growth was broad based, with comparative sales, excluding petrol, rising by 12.4% in US and by 7.5% in Europe. Despite the boost to sales from the pandemic, the results did show a sequential slowdown on previous quarters, underlining how markets were stabilising as the qua...
03 November 2020
Shoppers can book slots in advance of shopping, in a move to enhance the experience and prevent queuing at M&S stores. How does it work? Shoppers select the store they wish to visit through the M&S website They pick a date and a 30 minute time slot On arrival, an in-store host greets them, managing the total number of shoppers in the store at one time Winter-friendly initiativ...
02 November 2020
With a renewed focus on agility, a recently launched transformation plan and changes in consumer priorities driving demand, the outlook for Kraft Heinz looks strong. We look at how it plans to sustain its performance moving into 2021. Retail sales gains offsetting foodservice declines Kraft Heinz delivered a strong performance in Q3, with retail organic net sales up 6.3% and EBITDA growth o...
02 November 2020
Following a strategic investment in the company in 2017, Nestlé USA has acquired Freshly, a subscription-based meal delivery service. Removing the barriers to healthy eating Freshly is a weekly subscription service which delivers fresh, chef-cooked meals that can be heated and served in three minutes, directly to customers’ doors. Central to the company’s ethos is a focus on removing barrie...
30 October 2020
We look at four ways Lidl has adapted its operations and global strategy since the start of the pandemic. Creating a safer in-store environment Most retailers, including Lidl, have had to adapt their stores to the new social distancing measures, and create safer environments for employees and shoppers. Across Europe and the US most of Lidl’s 11,200 stores have been equipped with plexiglass ...
29 October 2020
We look at how the Kellogg Company continues to benefit from more meals being consumed at home and its focus on retaining new households. Elevated demand moderating The business delivered a strong third quarter performance with organic sales up 4.5% and reported operating profit up 55.9%. While the demand for food-at-home remains at an elevated level, the rate of growth is moderating. Sales...
29 October 2020
Promotions, partnerships and easier access wage payments are amongst the ways retailers are supporting shoppers, staff and their local communities through the prolonged COVID-19 period. We round up three initiatives from Morrisons, Booths and Holland & Barrett. "Buy one give one free" twist on BOGOFs from Booths Northern grocer Booths has launched a new promotion to support its food bank co...
28 October 2020
The retailer’s sales hit AU$9,607m in the first quarter of FY21, with significant online growth and changes to its digital marketing capability a highlight. Supermarket sales up 9.8% to AU$8,464m Supermarket LFL sales grew 9.7% with the results skewed by the varying degrees of COVID-19 restrictions across the country. Growth was highest in Victoria, and to a lesser extent in New South Wales...
27 October 2020
We look at how Canada’s leading dollar store chain is flexing its approach to meet the needs of shoppers during the pandemic. 1. Allocating more space to high-demand categories Recent store visits indicate that more space has been allocated in three key categories; household cleaning, personal care, arts and crafts. Most retailers have experienced strong growth in these areas as consumers hav...
23 October 2020
We look at The Coca-Cola Company’s third quarter performance and its plans to discontinue around 200 brands globally. Away-from-home remains under pressure Net revenues declined by 9% to $8.7bn, reflecting the pressures it continues to face within the away-from-home segment. However, over the quarter, global unit case volume trends have improved from the volume decline of 25% in April, driv...
20 October 2020
Following a strong first quarter performance, P&G has increased its full year guidance for sales growth, helping to reset expectations for the year ahead. Strongest performance since the start of the pandemic First quarter organic sales growth of 9% was driven by volume growth of 7% and supported by pricing (1%) and mix (1%) improvements. This was the strongest quarterly growth delivered by...
20 October 2020
Last week, Alibaba Group President Michael Evans joined NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay to discuss Alibaba’s response to COVID-19, and how the pandemic has altered the retail landscape in both the short term and long term. We share some of the key highlights. What has been the journey for Alibaba and its merchants since Feb 2020? Alibaba has been adjusting the business to respond to the ...