Talking shop

Talking shop

The just-food team check out the latest goings-on among food retailers.

Talking shop: The growth of the value variety retailer

4 April 2014

Dutch value retailer Hema last week announced its planned foray into the UK market with the launch of two London stores by the summer. The move follows the flotation of Poundland on the London Stock Exchange and underline value retailers becoming a more serious player in the UK. But do the country's major food retailers have a serious competitor on their hands? Hannah Abdulla reports.

Talking shop: Albertsons owner seeks strength in scale with Safeway buy

20 March 2014

Changing consumer behaviour is having a transformational impact on the US food and food retail sectors, as consumers alter where they shop and what they buy. The growing popularity of non-traditional channels has resulted in a jump in consolidation. Traditional supermarkets are seeking strength through scale, as evidenced by the deal that could see Albertsons owner Cerberus take control of Safeway. Dean Best reports.

Talking shop: Aeon responds to domestic challenge with Asia growth

17 March 2014

Japan-based retailer Aeon warned that its full-year 2013 profit is expected to come in well below expectations. The company was hit by weak domestic consumer sentiment in the 12 months to end-February, with efforts to stimulate supermarket sales failing to offset group-wide pressure on revenues. But Aeon management also took the opportunity to outline its medium-term growth priorities. Katy Askew reports.

Talking shop: Kroger mobile leadership takes loyalty to new level

3 March 2014

Digital and mobile technology is shaping the way retailers interact with consumers as the communication of offers and promotions becomes ever more personalised and interactive. Kroger's recent purchase of You Tech, a leading provider of digital couponing, demonstrates the group's commitment to leveraging digital marketing to reach US shoppers. Katy Askew reports.

Talking shop: Tesco looks to join the dots with multichannel strategy

26 February 2014

In the UK Tesco is cutting back its investment in opening stores and instead concentrating on expanding its multichannel capabilities. For Tesco, this means more than strengthening its online presence. Rather, the UK's largest retailer is determined to leverage the interaction between digital and physical retailing to build its relationship with UK consumers. But can this deeper relationship translate to a sales lift at Tesco's struggling large-format stores? Katy Askew reports.

Talking shop: Major US chains eye small-format growth

5 February 2014

The convenience channel has become a source of growth for larger grocers in a number of markets. Even in the US, home of the big-box store, major players have tested the water, albeit with patchy success. The likes of Wal-Mart are upping their focus on smaller stores and, although they will not represent a short-term threat to America's 'Cokes and smokes' c-stores, indie operators need to be wary. Hannah Abdulla reports.

Talking shop: Tesco faces "difficult decisions" at home and abroad

4 December 2013

Tesco clearly has a lot on its plate. On the one hand, the UK's largest retailer is focused on transforming its domestic business through a capital intensive programme of store refurbishments and a potentially margin-dilutive drive online. On the other, the need to reverse overseas volume declines in order to shore-up international margins is pressing. CEO Philip Clarke is attempting to perform a complex balancing act. Katy Askew reports.

Talking shop: Morrisons confident on online foray

22 November 2013

Morrisons, the UK's fourth-largest supermarket, has seen sales come under sustained pressure. The retailer has responded by filling in the gaps in its portfolio, augmenting its bricks-and-mortar supermarket base with a convenience and online offering. Will this be enough to bring positive sales momentum to the supermarket chain - or do other underlying issues persist?

Talking shop: Marks and Spencer - a house divided

5 November 2013

Marks and Spencer's first-half results paint a picture of a company divided. One the one hand, its food business is performing well, with rising like-for-like sales and improved profit margins. On the other, general merchandise continues to struggle, booking lacklustre sales and lower margins. With a swathe of plans to accelerate food growth, that side of the business looks ship-shape. However, a question mark hangs over whether its non-food performance is turning a corner. Katy Askew reports.

Talking shop: Tesco stresses finer points of difference

10 October 2013

Tesco relaunched its premium own-label range, finest, this week as part of the extensive revamp of its UK business. Ben Cooper reports.

Talking shop: What's next for a Burkle-led Fresh & Easy?

19 September 2013

Ron Burkle, the US billionaire investor who is to take on the bulk of Tesco's US Fresh & Easy arm, has said he believes the loss-making business gives his Yucaipa fund a base upon which to build. But it is not yet clear what his plans are. Dean Best looks at what could be next.

Talking shop: Delhaize CEO appointment brings uncertainty

4 September 2013

Shares in Belgian retailer Delhaize Group slid in morning trade today (4 September) as investors responded to the appointment of former Metro Group executive Frans Muller as CEO. While Muller has extensive retail experience, he comes to Delhaize from Metro's cash and carry arm and, significantly, has no experience of operating in Delhaize's largest market, the US. Katy Askew reports.

Talking shop: Whole Foods can see off natural, organic rivals

7 August 2013

For all the recent headlines around the IPOs of US natural and organic retailers Sprouts Farmers Market and Fairway Group Holdings, Whole Foods Market remains the one to watch, writes Dean Best.

Talking shop: The "hybrid" consumer, supply chains and tech dominate BRC event

27 June 2013

Catering to a bifurcated market, the prospect of shorter supply chains and the onward march of technology were key topics for food retailers at the British Retail Consortium's annual symposium, writes Chris Mercer.

Talking shop: Amazon's fresh step in fledgling US online grocery

13 June 2013

Amazon has made another stride in taking on US food retailers with the roll out of its fresh grocery business into the second most populous city in the US, Los Angeles. The move is sure to make other players in the market sit up and take notice but will it be enough to really shake up the US online grocery channel and give it the much needed boost it requires? Michelle Russell takes a look.

Talking shop: Delhaize better positioned in US following disposal

30 May 2013

Belgium-based retailer Delhaize is to sell its Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid's chains in the US to Winn-Dixie owner Bi-Lo. The move could reduce earnings in the short term but should provide the group with the opportunity to improve its balance sheet and, significantly, will help position its US operations for long-term growth. Katy Askew reports.

Talking shop: Is the time right for M&S's European push?

18 April 2013

Despite facing challenges at home, Marks and Spencer is bent on European expansion. In 2011, it re-entered France; yesterday (17 April) the retailer's new outlet in Amsterdam opened its doors. M&S said the move came as part of the group's drive to expand in Benelux countries and - more broadly - to become a leading international and multi-channel retailer. Katy Askew reports.

Talking shop: Morrisons core issues persist

15 March 2013

Morrisons' announcement that it is planning to launch an online grocery offering this year dominated the headlines in the wake of the group's full-year results. While the news is certainly of strategic significance for the UK's fourth-largest retailer, it should not overshadow ongoing problems that the firm is having in its core business.

Talking shop: Plassat aware more work ahead at Carrefour

8 March 2013

Carrefour's 2012 results offer signs of encouragement for the world's second-largest retailer. However, some analysts insisted much more work is needed. That is true but Carrefour CEO Georges Plassat recognises the challenges that still lie ahead.

Talking shop: Online opportunity in China, Thailand

5 March 2013

Online grocery retailing in China and Thailand promises great opportunities for international supermarket groups to crack these two diverse, challenging and potentially lucrative Asian markets. Andrew Don reports.

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