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We look at the latest online developments from the Netherlands, where Albert Heijn is aligning its online business more closely with bol.com. Albert Heijn and Jumbo are also both investing in category. Albert Heijn is improving transparency in eggs, while Jumbo has revealed a healthier meat assortment and is trialling a new vegan fixture. Elsewhere, HEMA has been sold to investment firm Ramphastos Investments, owned by billionaire Marcel Boekhoorn.

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As part of its increased investment in the UK, Amazon plans to create 1,000 new roles in research and development teams.

New Manchester office

Amazon is to create 600 jobs with a new office in Manchester city centre, which will be based in the Hanover Building in the city’s Northern Quarter and will open in 2019.

At the new office, highly-skilled teams will work on projects including software development, machine learning and research and development, to benefit Amazon’s customers around the world.

Investment in the UK

In the latest phase of UK expansion, Amazon will also hire an additional 250 high-skilled workers in its Edinburgh Development Centre. These new roles will join software engineers, machine learning scientists and user experience designers already working at the Development Centre on new advertising technology and personalised shopping recommendations.

The Cambridge Development Centre, which is home to research and development teams, is also set to receive 180 new workers. These teams bring innovation to Amazon’s global customers including Amazon Devices, Amazon Alexa, AWS, Prime Air, and core machine learning and retail systems.

Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, said "With the UK taking a leading role in our global innovation, we are delighted to announce plans to create capacity for over 1,000 new highly-skilled roles across the country. These are Silicon Valley jobs in Britain, and further cement our long-term commitment to the UK”.

Casino reported Q3 sales saying net sales rose 5.4% on an organic basis and by 3.3% in same-store terms. The retailer said it had enjoyed accelerated growth in both France and Latin America, echoing statements from Carrefour in its own third quarter results.

France: growth across formats

Casino said total sales in its home market rose 2.0%, by 2.0% on an organic basis and by 1.9% in same-store terms. The growth was broad based, with advances made by all banners and channels, except for Leader Price, where total sales fell.

By banner, Casino said:

  • Géant hypermarkets: Casino said the banner saw growth of 3.2% in organic terms and by 2.8% on a same-store basis. Casino said that food, organic, home equipment drove sales, while the addition of Cdiscount corners helped drive footfall to the stores. While overall banner growth was 3.2%, food was up by 2.9%, which helped offset the contraction of 5.9% in non-food sales;
  • Supermarkets: total growth was 2.1%, organic growth was 1.9% and same-store sales were up 1.7%. Casino supermarkets outperformed, while sales at franchisees performed particularly strongly;
  • Monoprix: total growth was 3.3%, while organic growth 1.8% and same-store growth 1.4%. Casino said organic growth was boosted by the addition of 10 new stores, nine under the Naturalia banner. It noted that its stores in Paris enjoyed particularly strong growth, with customer traffic rising by 6.2%. Casino also noted the benefit of Monoprix’s relationship with Amazon Prime, echoing recent statements from the banner’s CEO;
  • Franprix: total growth was up by 2.7%, organic growth by 4.1% and same-store growth by 2.7%. The retailer noted the 5.3% rise in traffic, which was boosted by tourists, which supported sales of snacks and restaurant products;
  • Convenience: as with Franprix specifically, Casino said its convenience stores benefited from ‘a robust tourist season’. Stores’ performance was boosted by a rise in shopper traffic, which Casino said was due to a ‘renovated promotional policy and offering, featuring more organic products’;
  • Leader Price: Casino said renovated stores, with 100 now converted to the Next concept, had enjoyed a ‘very strong performance’ aided by sales of fresh;

Cdiscount benefiting from marketplace sales

Casino said Cdiscount’s gross merchandise volume grew by 6.1%, with a ‘very strong growth in the marketplace, whose contribution to total GMV rose by +5.3 pts to 36.0%’. While the switch of sales from direct channels to the marketplace reduced net sales, it benefited profitability. The retailer said mobile traffic was up 11.3%, accounting for 64.1% of total traffic to the site. Casino said Cdiscount had enjoyed 216m visits in the quarter. 14 Cdiscount corners were rolled out in Geant hypermarkets, taking the total to 35.

Sales accelerate in Latin America

Sales in Latin America accelerated in Q3, rising by 10.4% on an organic basis and 5.5% on a same-store basis. GPA Food saw organic sales rise by 12.6% and same-store sales rise by 7.0%, driven by the continued strength of the Assai banner. Casino said Assai represented 48% of GPA Food sales after benefiting from ‘a sharp increase in volumes, customer traffic and market share’.

Noting that Exito will report numbers in November, Casino said that sales ‘were up on both an organic and same-store basis, with a sequential same-store improvement in Colombia.

Having initially started working together in February, Sam’s Club and Instacart are expanding their grocery ecommerce partnership to cover over half of the retailer’s stores by the end of the year.

Source: IGD Research

Adding 100 new clubs and 90 markets

Instacart is the leading on-demand grocery delivery company in the US. It is currently working with most of the major retailers in the country including Kroger, Albertsons and Publix. By the end of the year, it will offer grocery delivery from over 350 clubs, adding 100 new clubs and 90 new markets. The service enables Sam’s Club shoppers to have their grocery items delivered in as little as one hour.

Leaving delivery service in wholesale club channel

The service enables customers to order from Sam’s Club without being a member, however, members receive lower, member-only pricing. This could help the retailer to grow its membership base over time through converting non-member shoppers. Instacart is also working with the retailer’s key competitors in the channel, including Costco and BJ’s Wholesale.

Instacart part of the fulfilment mix

For most companies, partnering with Instacart enables them to scale up same-day delivery at pace. Through using existing stores, there is limited infrastructure investment or recruitment to be undertaken. Last year, Target’s acquisition of Shipt, a similar membership-based service, enabled it to significantly accelerate its progress with same-day delivery. Over time, we expect to see retailers adopt a range of fulfilment models for grocery ecommerce, flexing their models by location and shopper needs.

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