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Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage: Q2 fiscal 2022 results

Sprouts continues focus on new products to grow basket size

US: Ingles Markets tallies another double-digit sales gain in Q2
Ingles Markets kept up its fiscal 2022 sales momentum with a double-digit net sales increase in the second quarter. For the quarter ended March 26, net sales climbed 16.3% to $1.38bln from $1.18bln a year earlier, Asheville, North Carolina-based Ingles said. Comparable-store sales results weren’t immediately available.

US: Meijer redirects more than 1mln pounds of food waste through Flashfood program
Meijer announced its customers have diverted more than 1mln pounds of potential food waste through its Flashfood sustainability initiative. Since the program's expansion across the Meijer footprint in 2021, customers have purchased more than 1mln pounds of food nearing its sell-by date at a discount, preventing it from potentially entering landfills. The initiative represents the retailer's commitment to offering both sustainability and value to its customers.

US: Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage announces second quarter fiscal 2022 results
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. announced results for its second quarter of fiscal 2022 ended March 31, 2022 and raised its outlook for fiscal 2022. Highlights for Second Quarter Fiscal 2022 Compared to Second Quarter Fiscal 2021: Net sales increased 4.9% to $271.8mln; Daily average comparable store sales increased 4.3%; Operating income increased 32.2% to $8.9mln; Net income increased 35.1% to $6.4mln; Diluted earnings per share was $0.28, up 33.3% from $0.21 in the second quarter of fiscal 2021; and Adjusted EBITDA increased 11.8% to $16.1mln.

Canada: Shopify reaches deal to buy logistics company Deliverr for US$2.1bln
Shopify Inc. says it has signed a deal to buy logistics company Deliverr Inc. in a deal valued at about US$2.1bln. Under the agreement, Shopify will pay about 80% of the purchase price in cash and 20% in Shopify shares.

US: Sweetgreen losses widen despite 67% jump in quarterly sales
Sweetgreen reported mixed results for its first quarter. Its losses widened, primarily due to a $21mln increase in stock-based compensation. Revenue climbed 67%, fueled by a 35% increase in same-store sales and a 10% increase in menu prices.

US: With Q1 sales up, Sprouts continues focus on new products to grow basket size
Sprouts Farmers Market, the Phoenix, Arizona-based natural retailer, reported positive comparative store sales and an increase in comparative transactions in the first quarter of 2022. Sprouts reported increases in net sales, comparable store sales and EBITDA for the first quarter ended April 3. Net sales totaled $1.6bln, a 4% increase from the same period in 2021. Comparable store sales saw growth of 1.6%. Gross margin was 37.3%, flat when compared with the same period a year ago.

Uber loses $5.9bln as Asia investment values fall
Ride-hailing and delivery group Uber has made a $5.9bln (£4.7bln) loss, mostly due to its stakes in other companies. The firm said almost all of the loss was a result of the fall in the value of investments in businesses including 2 Asian ride-hailing giants - China's Didi and South East Asia's Grab. Shares in Didi and Grab have plunged since listing in New York last year.

Holland: Albert Heijn removes free plastic bags from fruit and vegetables section
Dutch retailer Albert Heijn has removed free plastic bags from its fruit and vegetables department, in a move that it says will save 243,000 kilograms of plastic per year. From now on, customers can use sustainable fresh bags that are washable and suitable for multiple use. Shoppers use plastic bags at Albert Heijn to collect various items of produce, such as loose apples or green beans.

Lidl the only supermarket growing in Northern Ireland
Data from Kantar shows that grocery sales in Northern Ireland were down 6.3% over the year to 17 April. Looking at individual retailer performances, all the main multiples recorded significant declines in sales on a year-on-year basis. However, Lidl appears to be benefitting from shoppers watching their pennies and was the only retailer to achieve growth over the past year (+0.6%).

Spain: DIA shares update on transformation strategy
Spanish retailer DIA has provided an update on its transformation strategy, which aims to bring its stores closer to customers. The transformation plan also includes a new store operating model, focused on freshness, daily supply, and labelling that promotes transparency, including nutritional, origin, and sustainability criteria, with its own eco-labels. Another novelty at this stage is the 'Nueva Calidad DIA', a guarantee seal that promotes its own brand, the retailer added. Fresh produce, with daily delivery across fruit, fish, meat, eggs, and refrigerated products, also occupies a preferential place in this healthy offer and with the best value for money.

Belgium: Unmanned Colruyt store performs within expectations
After 6 months, Colruyt Group makes a first evaluation of its autonomous city store in Ghent’s Belfortstraat. Expectations are met, the technology works. Okay Direct is especially popular when other shops are closed. Customers are positively surprised by the range of products on offer: the fresh products are particularly popular. Drinks are also sold well, says spokesperson Hanne Poppe to Het Nieuwsblad. According to her, the results are in line with expectations.

New Zealand: Questions over Countdown's winter price freeze on 'essentials'
A Countdown spokesperson said fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy were susceptible to seasonal conditions and export prices and, as a result, prices changed frequently. “Cheese has had two increases since February, for example. We’ve been able to include some carrots, pumpkin and onions, and if we can add more fruit and veg over the next few months, we will”.

UK: Morrisons pitches last-ditch rescue deal for ailing convenience retailer McColl’s
The supermarket giant Morrisons has proposed a last-ditch rescue deal for McColl’s Retail Group that would preserve the majority of its 16,000-strong workforce. Sky News has learnt that Morrisons tabled a proposal that would see the convenience store chain's lenders being taken on in full and its pension scheme protected.

Australia: Grocery delivery company Send collapses with 300 staff at risk
An Australian company that promised to deliver groceries in under 15 minutes has collapsed putting the jobs of 300 staff in Sydney and Melbourne at risk. The company called Send aimed to take a share of the $122bln grocery market in Australia by offering everything from fresh produce, dairy products and snacks at retail prices. The start-up was available in 46 suburbs in Sydney and Melbourne and had 46,000 registered users, but now its gone into liquidation.

Ireland: Mulrines signs new €8mln contract extension with Lidl
Lidl Ireland has announced that it has signed a new contract extension - worth more than €8mln - with Donegal juice and smoothie producer Mulrines. The new multimillion deal will see Mulrines’ juices and smoothies feature on shelves across Lidl’s stores throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as a number of stores in Great Britain.

Australia: Harris Farm Markets commits to Canberra flagship store
Fresh produce chain Harris Farm Markets is set to launch a flagship store at the Majura Park retail precinct in Canberra. Construction of the 4500sqm purpose-built store will commence mid this year with trading set to commence in time for Christmas next year. 

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