Wal-Mart Stores' online business in the US has been growing but industry watchers believe the retail giant's expansion has been slower than the channel overall. The company has snapped up fledgling, pure-play business Jet.com, which recently added the delivery of fresh food delivery to its wider FMCG offer. Profitero's Keith Anderson looks at what the deal could mean for both businesses and for manufacturer suppliers.
In May, Wal-Mart's latest financial results took the eye, although in some ways the numbers prompted as many questions as answers. In the US, there were more entrants into online grocery, notably recently-launched pure-play jet.com. Elsewhere, Japan's Aeon and France's Picard teamed up to launch the frozen food chain in the Asian market, while France's competition regulator announced plans to investigate the buying partnership between Auchan and Systeme-U.
April saw Wal-Mart continue the expansion of its click-and-collect service in the US, while Kroger invested in a local retailer focused on natural and organic categories. Outside the US, there was notable news in emerging markets, with France's Casino exiting Vietnam and UK-based health-centric retailer Holland & Barrett embarking on its entry into India.
January brought further evidence of the seismic shifts taking place in the global retail sector. Established retailers have largely responded to these challenges through an emphasis on cost cutting and price slashing. Others, however, continued to benefit with the likes of Lidl, Casino and Intermarche all expanding in the month. Here is just-food's digest of the top retailer stories from the past 31 days.
UK baker Walkers Shortbread generates over 40% of its sales outside its domestic market. The family-owned biscuit firm's largest export market is the US. Dean Best spoke to Steve Dawson, CEO of Walkers Shortbread's US arm, about the company's business across the Atlantic and plans for growth.
Burton's Biscuit Co. is the UK's second-largest biscuit maker, producing iconic brands from Jammie Dodgers to Wagon Wheels and Maryland Cookies. Earlier this month, it emerged that the company's private equity owners, Apollo Management and CIBC, have hired advisors to look at options for the business, including potential sale. Apollo and CIBC took ownership of Burton's in 2011 and, since then, the company has focused its operations, developed its strategic initiatives to drive growth and shaken up its manufacturing base to improve profitability. Burton's chief marketing officer Stuart Wilson spoke to just-food about how management plans to drive continued growth in the biscuit sector.
A coalition of 40 institutional investors representing US$1.25trn in funds is urging 16 multinational food companies – including Kraft Heinz, Unilever, General Mills and Nestle – to take action on the "material risks" posed by industrial animal production.
Wal-Mart Stores has decided to pull its Price First private-label range in the US.
Diamond Foods, itself set to be sold to US snacks group Snyder's-Lance, this week took a stake in UK popcorn maker Metcalfe's Skinny. Our M&A pages featured a number of deals, including the move for Chinese dairy group Ambrosia by Irish co-op Ornua. At the ICR investment conference in Florida, the new owner of Green Giant, B&G Foods, said it was interested in more acquisitions in the frozen food sector, while Hain Celestial told delegates it could withstand greater competition in the US natural and organic sectors.
Bahlsen has secured listings for its Waffeletten cookies in Wal-Mart stores in the US.
Food manufacturers including Kellogg, Mars and PepsiCo have criticised the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil for failing to "address critical sustainability concerns" in the supply chain for the ingredient.
Retail giant Wal-Mart is putting pressure on its suppliers to improve animal welfare standards and transparency in supply chains while also reducing the use of antibiotics in animal rearing.
Kraft Foods Lunchables Uploaded has topped IRI's poll of the top NPD launches in the US during 2014.
Wal-Mart de Mexico CEO Scot Rank will replace long-time Grupo Lala chief executive Arquimedes Celis at the helm of the Mexican dairy company later this year.
US yoghurt business Powerful Yogurt is to launch a range of protein drinks as it continues to expand its portfolio.
Chaucer Foods has acquired a majority stake in Crunchies Food Co., the US snacks firm that filed for Chapter 11 after claiming the UK-based food ingredients group had tried to launch a hostile bid for the business.
Tesco's full-year results proved disappointing, as expected, and CEO Bill Stritz has said online retailing has played a huge part. Elsewhere first quarter results were out and Co-op saw heavy losses. It has now decided to get rid of some of the Somerfield stores and focus on its convenience offering. There were developments on the Michael Foods acquisition with Post Holdings announcing it had taken over the firm in a US$2.45bn deal. Other acquisitions this week included Daelman's purchase of UK firm Fabulous Bakin' Boys and PE firm Abraaj's acquisition of North African confectioner Kool Foods.
Wal-Mart has revealed growth plans for its wholesale store division in India including the opening of additional stores and an extension of its B2B e-commerce platform.
South-African retailer Massmart has announced the resignation of its CEO Grant Pattison.
Olive oil giant Deoleo this week announced its board had backed a takeover bid from private-equity giant CVC Capital Partners. Elsewhere, Mondelez International announced plans for another plant in Russia and the political party that looks set to be the major party in India's next government said it would ban foreign supermarkets entering the country's retail sector.
Food retailers eyeing India would have been surprised to hear the BJP political party, tipped to lead the country's next government, publish a tough stance on foreign investment in its retail sector. Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke hinted the food giant could be looking at further disposals and Wal-Mart said more affordable organic groceries would be available in the US after a tie-up with the recently-revived Wild Oats brand.
Wal-Mart has announced a notable push into the US organic food category with plans to list a range of products under the recently-revived Wild Oats brand.
Indian political party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is expected to lead the country's next government, has said it plans to ban foreign supermarkets from entering its retail sector.
Asda, the UK's second-largest grocer, has said it will create 12,000 jobs in the country in the next five years.
UK retailer Tesco has confirmed that it will invest GBP85m (US$132m) to establish a multi-brand retail joint venture with Trent Ltd, part of the Tata Group, in India.
South African retailer Massmart is set to open seven "low-income" stores in Nigeria during 2014, a spokesperson for the company told just-food today (17 March).
Sugar again grabbed the headlines after the World Health Organization revised its guidance on how much of the ingredient to consume. Elsewhere, a US retailer with over 2,400 stores could be created after Albertsons owner and private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management struck a deal that looks set to see it buy Safeway.
US retail giant Wal-Mart has called on the Indian government to relax regulations governing foreign direct investment in the e-commerce sector.
just-food is closed on Monday (29 August) for a public holiday but, while we down tools, catch up on some must-read insight and interviews.
When McDonald's announced last September it would switch to using only cage-free eggs in its US and Canadian stores, the pledge from the fast-food giant was seen as a tipping point for the issue in North America. This week came another notable move on cage-free eggs but this time in the retail sector.
Wal-Mart Chile SA in Retailing (Chile)
Wal-Mart Chile’s growth strategy is based on consistently maintaining low prices, along with offering a comprehensive range of services for its clients....
Grocery Retailers in the US
The US grocery channel is characterised by polarisation and consolidation. US grocery shoppers’ habits are becoming increasingly polarised as they are less interested in mid-market grocery products. C...
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