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Germany-based Metro has reported its first quarter results saying total sales fell by 0.6% to €8.0bn. Metro said in local currency terms sales had risen by 2.1%, with the fall in sales ‘due to the negative development of the Russian and Turkish currency’. However, the company was able to report that like-for-like sales had risen by 2.3% during the period, with it noting this was ‘mainly driven by Eastern Europe (excluding Russia) and Asia’.

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Lidl has appointed Roman Heini as its chairman, replacing Michael Aranda who will assume new responsibilities on Lidl’s management board in Europe.

Underscores commitment to US market

The appointment of Roman Heini, effective March 1, reinforces Lidl’s commitment to the US, 18 months after it entered the market. Heini joined Lidl last October from Aldi, having worked for the retailer for 18 years, including leading its UK business and serving as the chairman of the advisory board for Aldi Süd in Germany.

Source: Lidl

Focus on tackling “priority projects”

In his new role, Heini will work with Lidl US CEO, Johannes Fieber. He joined the business last summer, having previously held the same role for Lidl in Sweden. With just over 60 stores currently trading, Lidl’s progress has been slower than anticipated. However, it comes as a pivotal time having recently acquired 27 Best Market stores to support its expansion in New Jersey and New York and pushing ahead with its geographical expansion with its first stores in Atlanta. He will focus on tackling the “priority projects” which are likely to include delivering stronger growth from existing stores, raising brand awareness and looking for other strategic acquisitions to drive faster expansion.

Closer alignment with Europe

The appointment of Heini, and Fieber’s last year, indicate that Lidl’s model in the US will be more closely aligned to its European operations going forward. Lidl entered the US market with a differentiated format, operating a larger footprint and introducing a unique look and feel. However, it recently opened a store in Aberdeen, Maryland with a total footprint of 25,000 sq ft, compared to 36,000 sq ft for its first wave of US stores. The business has also flexed it property search to include leasehold sites, while the acquisition of Best Market highlighted a new route to expansion.

Aldi on-track for 2,500 stores

Aldi remains Lidl’s most formidable hard discount competitor in the US. It remains on-track to operate 2,500 stores by the end of 2022, opening 80-100 new stores each year. It has also flexed its offer to incorporate more fresh, natural and organic ranges. It is in the process of investing $5bn in the business, including spending $1.6bn to remodel 1,300 of its older stores.

Resurgence at Save-A-Lot

In addition, Save-A-Lot, the other primary hard discount retailer in the market, is also aiming to capitalise on channel opportunities. Having been acquired by private equity group, Onex Corp., in 2016 it is led by CEO Kenneth McGrath. He oversaw Lidl’s plans to expand into the US and held the CEO role at Lidl Ireland. Last year, it revealed a new-look store concept that represents a significant step forward for the business. However, for all three discounters, the greatest opportunities will come from gaining share from supermarket retailers, rather than competing directly with each other.

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Dm prepares to launch a new private label range, in-store merchandising an online platform all designed to target men.

Targeting men with new zone and product range

Dm will launch new areas in stores dedicated to male health and beauty in 1,950 of its branches.

Space and execution of this will vary by location, but will feature differentiated shelf design, helping male shoppers locate and shop the offer in-store.

Source: dm

Dm’s new private label line ‘powered by dm’ will feature in the dedicated area. The new premium range offers 21 products including shampoos, shower gels and deodorant, all designed for men.

Product packaging is also made from up to 95% recyclable material, aligning with the retailer’s wider commitments on sustainability.

Online and in-store initiative

At the same time as the new in-store initiatives, Dm will also launch a new male-focused online platform, SEINZ.COM. Products on sale will include the new private label range, as well as other popular brands for men's personal care, styling and shaving.

The platform will also include inspiration and information on men’s care, covering topics such as whitening, shaving and styling.

Christoph Werner, managing director responsible for marketing and procurement, commented on the new concept, “Men are also much more concerned with care and beauty today. In order to meet the wishes and expectations of our male customers even better, there is now HIS. at dm.”


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Aldi Nord and South’s strategy continues to evolve as they announced, for the first time, discount offers on permanently listed brands.

Expand offers to the permanent range

In Germany, Aldi Nord and Sud will be offering reduced prices on branded products from their permanent ranges. Aldi used to limit these offers to temporary listed products or brands, as seen last year.  The first offer starts next week with Kerrygold butter and 20% off on a 1.25L bottle of Coca Cola. The promotion will be an ongoing activity with new brands from the permanent range spotlighted every week.

Source: Aldi Nord

Closer relationship

This is the latest example of the two retailers working closer together. Earlier this year, they announced their common engagement and campaign to promote healthier nutrition. In 2018, some private labels were harmonised between the two companies. This standardisation is expected to continue and could lead to potential change in terms of supply chain.

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