France-based Casino said first quarter sales rose 7.9% in organic terms, while it enjoyed same-store sales growth of 6.4% across its three divisions: France Retail, Cdiscount and Latam Retail. Total net sales fell by 0.8%, to €8.3 bn, due to the store disposals and closures it undertook in 2019. The retailer, as part of its Q4 results announcement, had already removed guidance for its 2020 full financial year.
Coronavirus impacted all geographies and businesses
Casino said all its operations had been affected by the pandemic, which led to ‘ unprecedented growth in demand… for food retailing, and particularly for the Group’s formats (convenience, urban stores and ecommerce)’. In France, the retailer said growth at its food banners was 9%, which increased to 12% once its hypermarkets had been removed. Online the increase in sales was even more marked, with Cdiscount reporting a 40% rise in gross merchandise value sales.
France: same-store growth seen across all banners
In its home market, Casino said organic growth stood at 3.1% and same-store growth was 5.8% for the quarter. Same-store growth was seen across all its formats with Franprix, its supermarkets and ecommerce operations standing out. Casino said its ecommerce operations had enjoyed same-store growth of 43%, ‘particularly led by home delivery, Drive and click & collect solutions’.
By banner, Casino said:
- Monoprix was particularly boosted by its ecommerce performance. Casino highlighted its on-going relationship with Amazon Prime Now, which processed 20,000 orders daily by the end of the quarter, versus 6,500 at the beginning of the year, and sales through its own site, which was driven by ‘rapid growth in click & collect solutions. It also highlighted the opening of its warehouse based on Ocado technology, which has been beta tested since 18 March, and will become fully operational ‘in the coming weeks’
- Casino Supermarkets benefited from their urban locations, while ecommerce sales were ‘boosted by an acceleration in the Drive segment… the roll-out of home delivery in more than 65 cities… and a new partnership with Uber Eats’.
- Franprix’s very dense urban store network supported its strong performance, while this was supported by its enhanced ‘ecommerce solutions with click & collect and home delivery services
- Géant Hypermarkets saw food sales rise 2.9%, which it said benefited, versus other hypermarket operators, from an ‘adapted retail space and the acceleration in the Drive segment, an expansion of its home delivery service and a partnership with Uber Eats
Latin America operations see same-store growth of 8.5% during Q1
Casino said its subsidiaries in Latin America had continued to see good growth during the quarter, with a ‘marked… acceleration in sales in the last two weeks of March in all formats due to the Covid-19 epidemic’. In Brazil, Casino said GPA Food was boosted by the continued strength of the performance of its Assaí banner, with organic sales up by 23.8%, which itself benefited from the opening of 40 new stores over the last two years.
The retailer said while in-store sales across its banners had risen by 16% in the last two weeks of March, it had seen an increase of 150% in orders through its food ecommerce operations. It said ‘food delivery solutions James Delivery and Cheftime recorded very strong levels of business, with increases in the number of orders of +862% and +90%, respectively’.
At Éxito, net sales rose by 12.1% on a same-store basis. Growth was seen across all markets; Colombia, at 9.7% on a same-store basis, Uruguay, 11.8%, and Argentina, 46.0%.