The corona crisis is shaking things up in European food retail: from an online boom to severe staff shortages, the same phenomena are popping up everywhere. An overview of the international state of affairs in food retail at this moment.
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The curtain may fall on more than 20,000 British shops, even after the confinement is lifted. The Centre for Retail Research even fears that a quarter of a million retail jobs will be lost for good.
The lockdown in France also affects farmers and growers: French distributors have now vowed to stimulate local fresh food products, through advertising or even by adjusting their offer.
In several European countries, such as the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, consumers are (soon) less likely to need their PIN code if they pay contactless in shops. By raising the amount for which PIN confirmation is needed, the risk of contamination is reduced.
Danish retailer Bestseller is laying off 750 people, Swedish giant H&M fears it will have to cut tens of thousands of jobs due to the coronavirus crisis.
The coronavirus, and a new strategy with fewer Latin-American wholesalers, have forced Nike third quarter net profit down by 23 % (December to February). Turnover did go up 5 %, but the sports retailer fears a steep decline in the next quarter.
Belgian supermarket chains Delhaize and Colruyt are joining forces in order to supply hospital staff with grocery deliveries, which will be free of charge. They invite competitors to join the scheme and widen its scope.
One of the worst hit industries will be fashion, a Moody's report says. As stores are forced to close, the spring collection can not be sold and will be out of fashion by the time stores can open again. Moreover, some chains will not have generated enough cash in order to buy the autumnal collections.
A remarkable alliance in these remarkable times: Aldi and McDonald's have agreed the discounter can take over staff from restaurants the fastfood chain had to close due to measures to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.
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EuroCommerce, the branch organisation of the European retail and wholesale sector, wants non-food retailers to be added to the European Union list of the hardest-hit sectors. They may suffer terrible damages, the organisation says.
Normally, Belgian 'healthy fast food chain' Foodmaker, was to open five new restaurants in the upcoming months. Due to the corona crisis, however, those plans are falling apart and the company must first of all try to survive now.
Although stores have not yet been ordered to close during the coronavirus crisis, most major retailers in the United States are taking matters into their own hands. Measures vary from limiting opening hours to general closures.
The Belgian supermarkets have jointly announced strict measures in an attempt to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. The number of customers that can shop at the same time is reduced, while the protection for store employees is upgraded.
During the current corona crisis, Amazon is only allowing the most necessary supplies into its American and European warehouses. The online retailer wants to keep space free for medical and urgent products.
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Despite the coronavirus crisis, H&M recorded an increase in sales in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. In the second quarter, however, the fashion retailer expects to be heavily impacted by the spread of the virus throughout Europe.
Now that 'normal' life is at a standstill, a real corona industry is emerging: distilleries, breweries and perfume makers are switching to the production of disinfectant alcohol. Even LVHM is replacing perfume bottles with hand gel.
Now that stores in Belgium and elsewhere are obliged by law to remain closed, retailers are looking at how they can compensate for the loss of sales. As part of this, they are looking at rental contracts, payment terms and other agreements with suppliers.
As of noon today, Belgium is entering a lockdown to safeguard its citizens against the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. All stores regarded as non-essential will have to close until (at least) 5 April.
Spanish fashion group Inditex (Zara) has had a good run in 2019, but is now bracing for the corona crisis. The fashion giant has set aside 287 million euros for future damages and has already closed 3,785 stores worldwide.
Europe goes in lockdown: countries close their borders, chains close their stores. Measures against the spread of the coronavirus become more drastic, but differ in each country. How will retailers cope?
A French judge has imposed a record fine of 1.1 billion euros on Apple, which would have disadvantaged independent distributors with price-fixing and exclusion.
Walmart will move forward with the planned sale of its British subsidiary Asda. Three investment companies are said to be interested in the supermarket chain.
Debenhams CEO, Belgian Stefaan Vansteenkiste, will leave the ailing department store chain in the next few months. Rumours say the search for a successor already has started.
Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd are working on the previously announced standardisation of their private brands. By the end of this year, most of the assortment will be modified.
The Belgian government has issued draconian measures in order to combat the spread of the corona virus. All shops, except those selling food or medicine, must be closed on weekends. Cafés and restaurants must even close completely, and that at least until 3 April. "Without urgent measures, 2020 will be the year of bankruptcies", analysts fear.
The arrival of Amazon in the Benelux is causing a landslide. Experts take a gloomy view: an immeasurable product range, very low prices and the cheap Prime membership are the ingredients of a deadly efficient ecosystem. What can local players do against that?
German sports fashion rivals Adidas and Puma have issued sales and profit warnings due to the corona virus. Adidas fears about a billion euros in turnover and half a billion in profits may go up in smoke as the pandemic rages over the world, causing shops to close and sports events to get cancelled.
Italian shoes and clothing brand Geox is going to close about eighty stores in the coming years, fifty of which are in Europe. Last year the Italian retailer’s net loss increased five-fold to almost 25 million euros.
Discounter Aldi has responded promptly to British market leader Tesco, who launched a price offensive last week: "We had a plan to price match Tesco but we didn’t want to put thousands of prices up."
Swedish furniture giant Ikea has started selling its articles via Alibaba's Chinese e-commerce platform Tmall. It is the first time in its 77-year history that the furniture giant sells through a third party.
Amazon is going to sell its cashless store technology to other retailers. To this end, the American e-commerce giant has already established a new division.
As of today, customers in the Benelux can visit amazon.nl for a range of more than one hundred million products in more than thirty categories. Before today, amazon.nl only sold books and Kindles; the Dutch had to go to the German site for the full product range.
Tesco has sold its last remaining Asian activities to CP Group. The company from Thailand pays 10.6 billion dollars (9.3 billion euros) for the 2,000 stores in Thailand and Malaysia. Britain's biggest supermarket chain now only retains a presence in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Central Europe.
Frits van Eerd, CEO of Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo, wants to expand into Wallonia - and from there, France. New markets can be conquered if a chain offers premium experience at discount prices, he says.
A new report links 83 large companies, including Adidas, H&M and Volkswagen, to forced labour in China. It says tens of thousands of Uyghurs are used as forced labourers at supply companies.