India: Amazon taps AI, ML to keep bad apples from its shelves
Amazon India plans to use advanced computer vision, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to manage quality assurance for fruits, vegetables and other farm produce sold on its platform. In an interview, Rajeev Rastogi, vice-president of ML at Amazon India, said the company has developed computer vision programs that recognize defects such as cuts and scratches on tomatoes and onions to figure out when they have gone bad.
M&S warns EU proposals on Northern Ireland trade risk more friction and cost
British retailer Marks & Spencer warned the UK government that proposals set out by the European Union to ease the transit of goods to Northern Ireland risked increasing the administrative burden rather than reducing it.
SPAR Kosovo expands its online service featuring key products
SPAR Kosovo has expanded its online services, available throughout the country. Based on customers’ demand for an easy-to-use home delivery option, SPAR Kosovo responded with a nationwide online grocery platform featuring over 600 basic grocery and homecare items.
Ocado Retail becomes ‘first supermarket’ with net zero HQ
The joint venture between Ocado and Marks & Spencer has said it is the 1st supermarket in the world with a net zero head office. Ocado Retail has paid for 1000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which it expects to emit from its Hatfield headquarters over the next 7 years, to be removed from the atmosphere. It reached the deal with Climeworks, a carbon capture company based in Zürich.
Indian court orders antitrust body to rule on Amazon-Future dispute within 2 weeks
An Indian court ruled that the country's antitrust body has 2 weeks to decide whether Amazon misled authorities while seeking approval for a 2019 deal with India's Future Group, a group of Indian retailers said.
UAE: Etisalat Group to acquire 100% of elGrocer
UAE telecom operator Emirates Telecommunications Group Company (Etisalat) has signed an agreement with elGrocer to acquire 100% of elGrocer DMCC, it announced. The deal is to support Etisalat’s digital ambitions by unlocking synergies that drive a diversified and integrated product portfolio, a statement said.
Poundland opening or revamping nearly 50 stores before Christmas
Poundland has revealed that it is opening or making significant changes to nearly 50 stores in November and December. The investment is part of the value-orientated retailer’s ‘transformation’ programme that includes new openings, extensions, conversions, and the rollout of its new chilled and frozen food offer.
South Africa's Woolworths sees slide in profit after Australian lockdowns
Woolworths Holdings expects first-half profit to fall by more than 20% due to extended lockdowns in Australia and civil unrest at home, the South African retailer said, sending its shares down more than 6%.
Deliveroo encouraged to seek more partners by Hop grocery trial
Deliveroo has seen a "really encouraging" response to its Deliveroo Hop dark-store rapid grocery trial, and said it would explore more partnerships with retailers using the model. Chief Executive Will Shu said Deliveroo Hop was achieving an average delivery time of 11 minutes.
UK: Blakemore’s financials robust despite small annual fall in group sales
Disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic has been blamed for a 5% fall in turnover at AF Blakemore for the latest financial year, but the group says it is now well positioned for growth. The wholesaler and Spar operator reported group sales falling from £1.053bln to £1.001bln for the year ending 24 April 2021, with pre-tax profits in line with the previous year at £6.1mln.
Philippines: MerryMart recorded stronger earnings in January to September
Billionaire Edgar “Injap” Sia II’s growing business empire saw mixed results in the 1st 9 months of year. His supermarket chain, MerryMart Consumer Corp., booked stronger earnings after adding new stores and the acquisition of the 75-year-old Carlos SuperDrug chain in Quezon province on July. But his venture with fast food tycoon Tony Tan Caktiong, DoubleDragon Properties Corp., saw earnings drop due to extraordinary gains in the previous year. In its filing, MerryMart booked a net income of P23.1mln, up 58.6%, while total revenue rose 15.92% to P2.81bln.
Canada: Loblaw reports Q3 profit, revenue up from year ago
Loblaw Companies Ltd. beat expectations as it reported its 3rd-quarter profit rose compared with a year ago, helped by strong demand in stores and online. Canada's largest grocery and pharmacy chain says it earned a profit attributable to common shareholders of $431mln or $1.27 per diluted share for the 16-week period that ended October 9. The result compared with a profit of $342mln or 96 cents per diluted share in the same period last year. Revenue in the quarter totalled $16.05bln, up from $15.67bln a year earlier.
US: Food Lion announces $50mln deposit to support diverse-owned lending at M&F Bank
Food Lion, an omnichannel retailer serving towns and cities across 10 states, announced a $50mln deposit supporting M&F Bank, the second-oldest minority-owned bank in the United States. M&F Bank has branches located in Durham, Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The deposit will provide the bank with greater financial opportunities for the communities it serves including loans to small businesses, investments in technology and financial literacy programs.
US: Target Corporation reports 3rd quarter earnings
Target Corporation announced its 3rd quarter 2021 financial results, which reflected growth in both sales and profitability on top of record increases a year ago. Comparable sales grew 12.7% in the 3rd quarter, reflecting comparable store sales growth of 9.7% and comparable digital sales growth of 29%. Total revenue of $25.7bln grew 13.3% compared with last year, driven by total sales growth of 13.2% and a 22.3% increase in other revenue. Operating income was $2.0bln in 3rd quarter 2021, up 3.9% from $1.9bln in 2020.
Canada: Metro Q4 profit up from a year ago, sales edge lower
Metro Inc. reported its 4th-quarter profit rose compared with a year ago as its sales edged lower. The Montreal-based grocery and drugstore retailer says it earned $194mln or 79 cents per diluted share for the 12-week period ended September 25, up from a profit of $186.5mln or 74 cents per share in the same quarter a year earlier. Sales in the quarter totalled $4.09bln, down from $4.14bln in the same quarter last year when the company says it saw exceptionally strong sales due to the pandemic.
Walmart and Target clash with investors over strategy to keep prices low despite inflation
Investors are selling off shares of Walmart and Target after the discounters pledged to absorb some higher costs rather than passing it on to consumers. Both Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and Target CEO Brian Cornell say they are playing the long game to win new customers, deepen loyalty and keep up sales momentum. “It’s all about market share, market share, market share”, said Brian Yarbrough, a retail analyst for Edward Jones. “And typically when you’re focused on market share that can come at the expense of profitability”.