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Period: July 1, 2013 to July 15, 2013
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Tesco’s Convenience Store Subsidiary Continues To Build Its Network

Tesco (U.K.) subsidiary One Stop Stores Ltd. says it will acquire 33 convenience stores from Alfred Jones Ltd., a Spar retailer that operates 49 convenience stores and 18 forecourt sites in the North West of England. With the purchase, One Stop will have a total of 682 stores in England and Wales. The company said it plans to invest in refurbishing the newly acquired stores. Tesco purchased the One Stop stores in 2003.

"One Stop to acquire 33 convenience stores", News release, Tesco, July 05, 2013

Peapod Launches Mobile Campaign Featuring Delivery Trucks

Online grocery company Peapod launched a marketing campaign that features mobile billboards on the sides of delivery trucks. To be featured at summer events locations, such as ballparks and concert venues, in markets covered by Peapod along the U.S. East Coast, the mobile billboards will let consumers shop for groceries using their smartphones. By scanning a QR code, users can download the PeapodMobile app, which will let them start shopping from the mobile billboards.

"Peapod Takes Virtual Shopping to Events", Supermarket News, July 02, 2013

Students Are Returning To The Campus Cafeteria, But Improvements Are Needed To Maintain The Trend

There has been a shift in college student dining habits back to 2009 patterns, when students were more likely to buy a meal or drink at the campus cafeteria at least once a week, according to Technomic. Sixty-nine percent of students in 2012 bought food or a beverage at the campus foodservice facility once a week, up from 62 percent in 2011. Campus foodservice operators can keep that momentum going by improving the menu variety (i.e., more unique items, more ethnic offerings), prices and atmosphere in their facilities. Just 35 percent of students overall said they were satisfied with their school's dining program.

"Technomic's New College & University Study Reveals Shifts in Campus Foodservice Patronage", News release, Technomic, June 27, 2013

Companies, Organizations  

Metro Group Sells Hypermarket Chains To Groupe Auchan

Germany-based retailer Metro Group agreed to sell its real,- hypermarket chain to France’s Groupe Auchan for €1.1 billion. As part of the purchase deal, Metro Group will transfer 91 real,- hypermarkets in Poland, Russia, and Ukraine and 13 retail galleries in Russia and Romania to the French company. Excluded from the deal are real,- hypermarkets in Turkey where Groupe Auchan is not currently operating. Also, stores in Germany will remain under Metro Group’s ownership.

"Metro Group finalizes deal on sale of Real hypermarkets to France's Groupe Auchan", Interfax-Ukraine, July 09, 2013

Walmart Tops List Of Largest Employers In Latin America

Business information provider Latin Trade Group has ranked Walmart at the top of the list of South America’s largest employers. Walmart and its affiliate Walmart de Mexico together employ 624,025 workers in Central America, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Chile. That’s more than the total employees of the next four companies on the list. State-owned oil companies in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela have the highest revenues in the region, but have far fewer employees.

"Walmart is Latin America's top employer", News release, Latin Trade Group, July 09, 2013

Peapod Expands Its Virtual Stores On The East Coast, In Chicago

Internet grocer Peapod said it is expanding its virtual grocery store technology, featuring physical or digital billboards of grocery aisles, to community locations including ballparks, concert sites, recreation centers and coffee shops around the East Coast and Chicago. In 2012, Peapod launched 100 virtual grocery stores at commuter rail stations. A high tech Peapod truck is also traveling in the region. The company said the ad campaign is designed to get smartphone users to scan a QR (quick response) code and download a free PeapodMobile app. Consumers can then shop for groceries on the go at any time.

"Peapod virtual grocery stores pop up in unexpected places", News release, Ahold, July 08, 2013

Wal-Mart's Mexico Unit Posts Stronger Sales In June 2013

Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB reported sales at its 2,418 stores and restaurants in Mexico and 655 stores in Central America grew 4.9 percent to 33.76 billion pesos, or $2.6 billion, in June 2013, compared with June 2012. In Mexico, same-store sales rose 1.2 percent from a year earlier. Although store traffic stayed below at previous year’s levels, the 2 percent increase in customer spending made up for it. Stores in Central America posted a 7.3 percent increase in sales from the previous year, while same-store sales rose 2.7 percent.

"Retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico's Total Sales rose 4.9% in June", Wall Street Journal, July 03, 2013

Walmart's Contest Offers Chance For U.S. Entrepreneurs To Highlight And Sell Their Products

Walmart launched the 2013 edition of the Get on the Shelf, a social crowdsourcing competition for entrepreneurs. Developed by @WalmartLabs, the competition offers entrepreneurs a chance to highlight and sell their products on Walmart.com and in select Walmart branches. By submitting a video of their product online, U.S. entrepreneurs can join the contest and be part of the retailer’s efforts to accomplish its domestic sourcing objective. Compared with the previous edition, the 2013 contest offers more chances to win, as well as broad exposure to millions of potential customers, the company said.

"Walmart Competition Gives Entrepreneurs the Chance to 'Get on the Shelf'", PR Newswire, July 01, 2013

Earnings Release  

The Body Shop Reports Strong Sales And Profits In 2012

Beauty retailer The Body Shop said sales grew 2.7 percent to £431.7 million in the year ending December 29, 2012, while pre-tax profits increased 3.7 percent to £51.1 during the same period. In 2012, the company launched a rebranding initiative, which highlighted the company’s focus on sustainability and ethical supply chain. Also, the company added 89 stores to increase its total shop count to 2,837 worldwide and launched its environment-friendly store format, the Body Shop Pulse Boutique to more than 300 branches.

"The Body Shop posts healthy results after makeover", Insider Media, July 05, 2013

Whole Foods Market Sees UK Losses Grow Threefold

Retailer Whole Foods Market reported a loss before tax of £12 million from its UK operations for the year ending September 30, 2013, compared with the £4.4 million loss in the previous year. Sales, however, increased 28 percent to £64.6 million, supported by the opening of a new store in Glasgow in November 2011. Whole Foods Market founder John Mackey said his company remains committed to the UK market but will focus on opening smaller stores instead.

"Whole Foods' UK losses triple to £12m", The Grocer (UK), July 05, 2013

Innovation & New Ideas  

Group Of Advertising Employees Wins Target's Shopping App Development Contest

Retailer Target partnered with technology blog Co.Labs to launch the Retail Accelerator contest to promote the development of mobile applications designed for shopping purposes. Launched in March 2013 during the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference in Austin, Texas, the contest was won by the Team Pilot, a group of employees from advertising agencies TBWA/Chiat/Day and TBWA Worldwide. Team Pilot’s winning app entry, Divvy, is designed to improve digital experiences of consumers using group shopping or social shopping.

"A Contest From Target With a High-Tech Twist", The New York Times , July 09, 2013

Pinterest’s Web Analytics Tool Provides Much-Needed Social Media ROI Tracking

Pinterest has developed a Web analytics tool that helps companies gather social media ROI stats. Using graphs and other visuals, Pinterest Web Analytics tracks a Pinterest account’s activity, including the reach of pins and the number of new visitors to an account’s Web site. Perfume and cosmetics retailer Sephora has put Pinterest’s Web Analytics tool to work with great success. The company’s Web site includes a “Pin It” button, making it easier for visitors to pin products directly from the site. The company actively incorporates Pinterest in its marketing, and uses Web Analytics to test the effect of their pinboards and their Pinterest account activity on their sales and site traffic.

"How Sephora Uses Pinterest Web Analytics to Create Amazing Pinboards (And How You Can Too) Pinterest ", Business 2 Community, July 06, 2013

Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy  

Wal-Mart's Expansion Plans Get Stalled In India Due To Red Tape And Corruption

Red tape, corruption, and political uncertainty have prevented Wal-Mart Stores Inc. from launching its retail business in India. Also, the U.S.-based retailer’s wholesale business in the country is dealing with several concerns, including the possibility of joint venture partner Bharti Enterprises withdrawing from the partnership. Wal-Mart is currently conducting an internal probe of bribery allegations made against its Indian operations. India, with its 1.2 billion people and a $500 billion retail trade dominated by small retailers, presents a potentially lucrative market for the world’s leading retailers, such as Carrefour and Tesco. Apparently, however, the same factors that have kept Wal-Mart from taking the retail plunge are also preventing its rivals from expanding in India.

"Red tape, graft mean India not such a super market for Wal-Mart", Reuters, July 08, 2013

Kraft Cheese Likely To Prevail In Lawsuit Against Retailer Cracker Barrel, Judge Issues Injunction

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman issued a preliminary injunction barring Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. from selling products under the Cracker Barrel brand in stores and outlets other than its traditional channels. His action was based on the court’s finding that Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, which filed a lawsuit against CBOCS, is likely to succeed in proving its unfair competition and trademark infringement allegations. Court records revealed that Kraft Foods has sold more than $1 billion worth of cheese products under the Cracker Barrel brand for almost 60 years in various retail outlets. John Morrell & Co.’s contract with Cracker Barrel to sell meat products under the CBOCS name prompted Kraft Foods’ lawsuit.

"Kraft Cheese Wins Round One in Cracker Barrel Lawsuit", Food Product Design, July 03, 2013

Retailers Call On Indian Government For Revision Of Multi-Brand Retail FDI Policies

Foreign-owned and local retailers in India called on the government to revise its foreign direct investment policies for the multi-brand segment of the retail industry. Retailers met with Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, asking the government to make sourcing rules for the segment be made similar to that of the single-brand segment. Also, the government was asked to allow foreign retailers to put only 50 percent of their initial investment in backend infrastructure.

"Retailers seek changes in multi-brand FDI norms", Economic Times, June 27, 2013

Foreign retail majors ignore India invite

Business Standard, June 30, 2013

Market News  

Discount Grocery Chain Aldi Poised For Major Expansion In The West

Retail grocery chain Aldi is capitalizing on new consumer attitudes toward bargain-hunting by providing a no-frills store atmosphere and large numbers of private label products. That focus has led to a 50 percent increase in sales from 2007 to 2012, while overall retail grocery sales have grown only 13 percent. The company recently acknowledged that it was negotiating with officials in Moreno Valley, California, to build an 87,000 square meter warehouse to the city. The warehouse would be the hub of its plan to expand dramatically in the West, where per capita spending at discounters stands at $6, compared to $69, $81, and $139, respectively in the Northeast, South, and Midwest, according to Euromonitor.

"Aldi’s Manifest Destiny: The Discounter Moves West", Euromonitor International, July 08, 2013

Wal-Mart Plans To Expand Sam's Club Warehouse Club Business In China

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it plans to open seven new Sam’s Club membership-only warehouse clubs in China in the next two to three years. Aimed at the country’s affluent families, the planned warehouse clubs are part of the U.S. retailer’s efforts to deal with the slowdown in its hypermarket business. Sam’s Club opened its first store in China in 1996 and currently has 10 stores in the country. While conventional retailers, including parent company Wal-Mart, are slowing down their expansion plans in China, Sam’s Club’s business model has been successful in the country. In the United States, there are 620 Sam’s Club stores, generating $49 billion in annual sales for the company.

"More Sam's Club stores set to open", China Daily, July 02, 2013

Wal-Mart Is Planning To Open Stores In Peru, Reports Say

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will begin working to eventually open retail stores in Peru and is reportedly planning to create a local management team to spearhead the effort. These reports, however, were dismissed by a Wal-Mart spokesman who said instead the company plans to open a quality assurance office in the country for purchasing products. A check with Peru’s government websites, however, revealed the U.S.-based global retailer has used the corporate name “Walmart Peru” in filing documents with Peruvian authorities.

"Exclusive: Walmart to start work on opening in Peru – source", Reuters, July 01, 2013

Marketing & Advertising  

Deli Added To Bakery Proves Profitably Symbiotic

After some field research, Louisiana bakery Atwood’s, which operates under a philosophy of offering a “shopping experience” to its customers, decided that adding a deli would help accomplish that. Why a deli? Bakery sales per hour slowed after 10:30 a.m., and picked up in the afternoon. The bakery felt it could bring back customers who ate lunch elsewhere. The deli was the solution. When customers have lunch two or three times a month in the deli, they become more aware of the bakery, and vice versa. The deli now generates $200,000 in annual sales, or about 15 percent of total sales. That’s been a steady increase from 10 percent three years ago

"Fuel bakery sales with savory foods", Modern Baking, July 10, 2013

Economic Slump Hurts Sales Growth At Walmart-Controlled S. African Wholesaler

A big South African wholesaler controlled by Walmart says a slump in consumer spending was the main reason for slower growth in sales in the first six months of this year. Comparable same-store sales at Massmart Holdings Ltd. rose 5.5 percent in the first half of 2013, compared with a 7.3 percent rise in the second half of 2012. South African retail sales growth dropped to 1.9 percent in April, due to slower economic growth and rising joblessness. Unemployment in the country hit 25.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013, up from 24.9 percent in the previous quarter.

"Wal-Mart’s Massmart Sales Growth Slows on Lower Retail Spending", Bloomberg, July 09, 2013

Target's Cartwheel Digital Coupon Program Goes Slow-But-Steady Route

Target Corp. released some details of the one-month old Beta launch of its Cartwheel digital coupon program. Representing the first digital campaign developed entirely in-house, the program reported more than $275,000 in redeemed digital coupons. Bestselling products included Fresh Berries, Fruittare Popsicles, Dove Hair Care, and Market Pantry milk, the company said. After logging into a website using their Facebook account, users can select from a wide range of deals. Shoppers can then purchase the items at a store and redeem their coupons with their smartphones.

"Target pushes out its Cartwheel slowly but surely", Star Tribune, June 28, 2013

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