COVID-19 latest news from around the world

19 October 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to severely reduce footfall in city centres, London-centric food-to-go operators announce more store closures and redundancies. Pret closing six more London stores UK food-to-go specialist Pret has announced that it will be making a further 400 staff redundant and closing six more London stores as the impact of the coronavirus continues to take its toll on...
14 October 2020
Japan's four largest retailers, Seven & i Holdings, Aeon, FamilyMart and Lawson, have posted their H1 results for the six months from March 1 to August 31, 2020. Summary and our view The big four’s H1 results continue to show the negative impact of COVID-19 has had on convenience retailing in Japan. Average spending per customer at convenience stores has increased, but this has not been eno...
14 October 2020
East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) is planning to open 100 automated convenience stores over the next four years. Expansion of cashless stores Following the outbreak of COVID-19, plans to expand JR East’s unstaffed convenience store concept have accelerated. The company launched the first cashless NewDays convenience store at its Musashisakai Station (Tokyo) last year. In March, it then lau...
14 October 2020
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the variety of new services being offered at South Korean convenience stores is growing fast. Convenience stores as new centre of everyday life As consumers are not going far from their homes, services offered by convenience stores are gaining popularity. CU has noticed that from July to September: The use of its parcel delivery service was up ...
13 October 2020
Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee shop chain, is boosting its UK expansion plans saying it wants to open an outlet in “every major city and town” in the UK in the next two years. 2,000 new jobs could be created by 2022.  The announcement follows the release of results which show a 37% increase in year-on-year sales in UK and Ireland. UK & Ireland chief commercial officer for UK and Ireland, Kev...
09 October 2020
Alibaba is set to acquire a stake of around 10% in travel duty-free company Dufry. New Retail and digital transformation Full details of the deal have not yet been disclosed. It would, include, however, a new joint venture setup (51% owned by Alibaba and 49% by Dufry). As part of the JV, Dufry will contribute its existing travel retail business in China. Dufry is the world’s largest duty...
08 October 2020
Instacart, the leading on-demand online grocery delivery company in North America, has launched a new service to support seniors with shopping online. Helping to build confidence The Senior Support Service has been developed to help shoppers aged over 60 adopt online grocery delivery and stay safer ahead of the upcoming cold and flu season. This is a period when many will face increased hea...
06 October 2020
We look at PepsiCo’s strategic framework and how it’s using it to drive the potential of the business. Benefitting from at-home consumption trends The company delivered a strong third quarter, with net revenue up 5.3% and operating profit up 5.5%. Sales growth was led by its Frito-Lay and Quaker Foods divisions, benefitting from at-home consumption trends. It remains optimistic on its prosp...
30 September 2020
We look how McCormick is benefiting from the shift to more eating at home and some of the challenges its continues to face. New behaviours becoming ingrained As one of the leading global companies in the flavours and condiments categories, McCormick has seen a major shift in consumer behaviour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its internal data indicates that consumers are cooking more from scr...
30 September 2020
Summary of the latest responses as the UK faces a second wave of the virus. Re-introducing product rationing Tesco and Morrisons have re-introduced three item limits on high demand products to ensure shoppers can continue to buy what they need. Products include toilet paper, cleaning products and dried pasta. Supporting locked-down students As part of its expanding range of food box...
29 September 2020
UK food-to-go specialist Greggs has reported that in September company-managed shop like-for-like sales improved to 76.1% of 2019 levels, compared to an average of 71.2% since reopening the full estate on 2 July. These results demonstrate a recovery of sales in line with Greggs' planning assumptions.  Greggs has a total of 2,039 shops (1,720 company-managed and 319 franchised).  Its store open...
24 September 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic having provided “a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive trial for our brands,” we look at how General Mills plans to retain its new customers. Net sales up 9.0% The company delivered a strong performance in Q1 with net sales up 9.0% to $4.4bn, and net earnings up 22.7% to $638.9m. It continues to benefit from elevated at-home demand, with expectations that it...
22 September 2020
2020 is a year like no other for UK food-to-go.  Previously the hero of the food and drink market, the sector has experienced unprecedented challenges in 2020 which will continue to impact it for years to come. In our new UK food-to-go market report 2020 , produced with the help of colleagues from across the industry, we predict that the sector will decline by 43% this year and only retur...
14 September 2020
Speaking at the Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference earlier this month, Colgate-Palmolive’s chairman, president and CEO, Noel Wallace, outlined three strategies for the business as it navigates the pandemic. 1. Staying true to its core principles The company has launched several new initiatives to support consumers, retailer customers and communities. These include providing educati...
07 September 2020
As we transition out of the summer holiday period, in most geographies the COVID-19 pandemic has moved into a different phase. While latest trading updates from major CPG companies highlighted 12 broad areas of focus, five are being prioritised as companies adjust to the latest trading conditions. Uncertainty and volatility persist Although the virus path and nature of lockdowns continues t...
04 September 2020
The Campbell Soup Company rounded off a strong full year performance with an excellent Q4 performance, underpinned by COVID-19 driven demand. We look at the steps the business is taking to drive stronger future growth. 1. Retaining new households Having captured millions of new households, even if retention is modest, it will offer significant incremental growth Retaining younger shop...
04 September 2020
Pret a Manger will offer a new coffee subscription service where customers can buy up to five coffees a day for £20 per month.  The new scheme aims to tempt back customers as the chain struggles to regain sales in its core city centre locations, which are still relatively deserted as many office workers continue to work from home. New digital strategy Pret will launch its YourPret Barista m...
03 September 2020
We review how Couche-Tard, which operates mainly under the Circle K banner globally, performed in the first quarter performance and the impact of COVID-19 across its development plans. Q1 headline numbers Total merchandise and service revenues increased 7.0% to $3.9bn Same-store merchandise revenues up 19.9% in Canada, 7.7% in the US and 3.4% in Europe Same-store road transportatio...
31 August 2020
With Dollar General reporting an outstanding second quarter performance, we look at how it is adjusting its operations to capture new growth opportunities. Top line results Total sales up 24.4% to $8.7bn Same-store sales up 18.8% Net income increased 84.6% to $788m Same-store sales in the first weeks of Q3 running at around 15% Four strategic priorities The business had ...
31 August 2020
The Coca-Cola Company is establishing new operating units, global beverage category leads and a platform services organisation to align the business around a growth focus. Driving growth through strong brands The reorganisation has been developed to underpin the company’s ‘Beverages for Life’ strategy and capture growth opportunities. The aim is to optimise its global scale and local capabi...