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We round up the latest trading updates and news for Japan's four largest retailers, Seven & i Holdings, FamilyMart UNY, Lawson and AEON.

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As reported by Convenience Store, BP is to make its Wild Bean Cafe food-to-go proposition available to independent dealers within its network.

Full roll out expected by the end of 2019

BP’s new Wild Bean Cafe franchise scheme will initially be trialled in independent stores over the next three to four months, but is expected to reach full roll-out by the end of 2019. The scheme will be made available to independent forecourt dealers selling BP fuel.

Speaking to Convenience Store, Martin Tolson, Wild Bean Cafe food implementation manager, commented: “The market is in a significant period of change, with key challenges such as lower carbon usage and higher operating costs. Beyond the fuel supply, we want to help the retailer with other aspects of their business, and Wild Bean Cafe has 20 years of heritage, with a focus on quality and speed of service. It is very much designed for the customer on the move, so they can get coffee and food at their convenience”.

Multiple formats

For independent dealers, the format will range from a smaller self-service unit to a serve-over counter that is staffed. The self-service proposition will include bean-to-cup coffee and hot grab-and-go food, whilst the larger counter will offer freshly prepared food and a larger coffee machine, with greater choice.

BP will supply the independent dealers with staff training and food safety support.

Food-to-go is key to success

As forecourt operators look to strengthen their food offer, food-to-go is becoming increasingly key to success. Forecourt retailers are becoming increasingly credible food-to-go destinations, sometimes through their own range developments and other times, through working with brand partners to bring high profile brand appeal. Exclusive brand partnerships can help give forecourts a competitive advantage, and partnering with BP gives independent dealers a simple, yet tried and trusted way to serve the growing food-for-now mission. BP’s Wild Bean Cafe concept includes options that span day-long missions, such as croissants, sandwiches and pizzas, attracting footfall throughout the day. The range of formats available in the franchise scheme ensures the right offer is present for each location.

Want to stay up to speed with our latest food-to-go insights? Sign up to our monthly food-to-go newsletter here.


We visited Philadelphia to see three new flagship stores which have recently opened in the city.

Giant Heirloom Market

The most recent store to open is Giant Heirloom Market, operated by Giant Food Stores, a subsidiary of Ahold Delhaize. This is a new format for the company, developed to enable it to tap into the urban opportunity. At 9,500 sq ft, and featuring a contemporary design, it incorporates several innovative elements including a dedicated plant-based foods section, a produce chef, kombucha taps, a do-it-yourself olive oil blending station and a central gathering area and workspace. Shoppers can also use the retailer’s self-scanning technology. Three further locations will open in Philadelphia neighbourhoods this year.

Source: IGD Research

Sprouts Farmers Market

Located in a 32,000 sq ft former rail shed, Sprouts Farmers Market chose Philadelphia for the launch of its next-generation concept. A key feature of the new concept is the Market Corner Deli, where the retailer offers a range of food-to-go, coffee, juices and a salad bar. These are new additions to the offer and form part of its strategy to broaden its appeal and gain a greater share of existing shoppers’ spend. The retailer has also made a stronger feature of its meat and seafood counters, extending them out from the perimeter wall. In this location, the heritage building is a stunning backdrop to its fresh, natural, organic and wellness-focused proposition. The retailer plans to open 30 additional stores this year, reflecting this new concept.

Source: IGD Research


Wawa is one of the most innovative convenience retailers in the US, operating almost 850 stores. Over half of these are forecourt-based. Last December, it opened its largest standalone store in the heart of Philadelphia’s downtown. Also opening in a historic building, the 11,500 sq ft store incorporates several unique design elements including a Coca-Cola wall of light, three seating areas and specially commissioned murals. The store also reinforces Wawa’s foodservice credentials with a large made-to-order kitchen hub, extensive range of coffees, including new reserve blends, and a feature bakery.

Source: IGD Research

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Reitangruppen has reported its 2018 results, with REMA 1000 discount turnover increasing by 4.8% to €7.3bn, while Reitan Convenience turnover increased by 1.4% to €1.7bn.

REMA 1000 turnover increased by 4.8% to NOK 70.2bn (€7.3bn)

REMA 1000 turnover including franchises increased by 4.8% to NOK 70.2bn (€7.3bn). Operating profit increased by NOK 243m to NOK 1.9bn (€197.9m), which represents a 0.2% increase in operating margin to 2.8%.

Norway: revenue growth of 4.4%

In Norway, which accounts for most of the REMA 1000 business, revenue increased by 4.4%, while like-for-like revenue increased by 1.6%.

Denmark: revenue growth of 11%

Meanwhile in Denmark, REMA 1000 saw revenue increase by 11% to DKK 15,407m (€2.1bn), while like-for-like revenue increased by 4.9%

Henrik Burkal, CEO of REMA 1000 Denmark has partly REMA’s success to the fact that all stores are operated as franchisees, with each franchisee only able to run one store.

REMA 1000 also launched over 20 new stores in Denmark in 2018, bringing its total store count to 326. This year, the discounter plans to launch 15 to 20 new stores in the country, with it seeing the potential for 400 stores in the future.

REMA 1000 2018 highlights: new DC, store data system and chicken factory

During the year, the discounter has established new distribution centres, a new store data system and a new chicken factory.

Reitan Convenience: turnover increased by 1.4% to NOK 16.1bn (€1.7bn)

Reitangruppen’s convenience channel, Reitan Convenience has reported its results for 2018, where turnover increased by 1.4% to NOK 16.1bn (€1.7bn), alongside operating profit of NOK 409m (€42.6m).

Norway: turnover declined by 0.9%...

Most formats saw turnover decline, with Narvesen kiosk sales declining by 1.9% to NOK 2,280m (€237.5m). Meanwhile, 7-Eleven City store turnover declined by 4.2% to NOK 705m (€73.4m) and 7-Eleven forecourts saw turnover decline by 0.3% to NOK 820m (€85.4m).

Meanwhile the Northland concept, which operates just five stores saw turnover increase by 41% to NOK 109m (€11.4m).

…While in Sweden turnover increased by 2.2%

Most formats saw turnover increase, with Pressbyrån kiosk sales increasing by 3.8% to NOK 2,862m (€298.1m). 7-Eleven City store turnover also increased by 5.5% to NOK 861m (€89.7m).

…In Finland turnover increased by 1.5%

The retailer’s R-Kioski banner saw turnover increase by 1.5% to NOK 3,001m (€312.6m), while comparable sales turnover increased by 5.0%

…In Denmark turnover increased by 0.6%

Denmark accounts for the highest share of 7-Eleven sales in the Nordics, including 7-Eleven City stores and 7-Eleven gas stations. At the 7-Eleven City stores, turnover increased by 1.2% to NOK 2,008m (€209.1m), while at 7-Eleven gas stations, turnover declined by 1.0% to NOK 750m (€78.1m).

Earlier this year, 7-Eleven Denmark invited us to see a new concept convenience store in Copenhagen. IGD Retail Analysis subscribers can access our exclusive store visit presentation here.

Source: IGD Research

Smaller Baltic markets reported strongest growth

  • In Latvia, Narvesen store turnover increased by 6.2% to NOK 616m (€64.2m), while like-for-like sales increased by 6.5%
  • In Lithuania, Reitan Convenience store turnover increased by 14.9% to NOK to NOK 339m (€35.3m), while like-for-like sales increased by 12.3%
  • In Estonia, R-kiosk store turnover increased by 5.3% to NOK 281m (€29.3m), while like-food-like sales increased by 2.9%

Reitan Convenience highlights: new stores, coffee shop acquisition

During 2018 Reitan Convenience established around 50 new stores and acquired the Baltic coffee shop chain Caffeine, which has 60 stores in the region.

2019 will see the introduction of a new YX 7-Eleven forecourt concept

This year, Reitangruppen will introduce a new forecourt concept under the YX 7-Eleven.

IGD Retail Analysis subscribers can learn more about 'Global best practice in forecourts' including what's shaping development and how the format could innovate in the future.

Source: IGD Research

Want to keep up to date with the latest news from Reitangruppen and other leading grocery retailers? Sign up for IGD’s free Retail Analysis international newsletter.


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