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German wholesaler Metro Group will be focusing on online sales for corporate customers and building a fresh food supply chain in Myanmar.

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As Auchan looks to drive its Vision 2025 strategy faster it has announced operational changes in France and the launch of Horizon International Services. Meanwhile, at a local level it continues to evolve its channel presence, driving growth in its small store estate and with its online fulfilment.

Horizon International Services is officially launched

Following approval from the relevant competition authorities, Auchan, Casino, Metro and DIA have officially announced the launch of Horizon International Services. First announced in July 2018 the alliance will cover 47 countries across Europe, Asia and Latin America where the four companies operate.

Announcing the launch, a press release from Metro said: “Horizon International Services will enable Auchan Retail, Casino Group, METRO and DIA to pool their resources to forge balanced and innovative relationships based on a catalogue of common, scalable services, in the best interests of all actors in the supply chain, from the manufacturer through to the consumer.

Auchan Retail France appoints new management committee

Lineaires has reported that Auchan Retail France has established a new management committee. The new structure will see the retailer move away from organising itself by channel, choosing instead to group itself into eight multi-format geographical regions and one that covers franchising and partnerships.

The new management committee, with someone to be appointed to the Grand-Est region in the future, will be made up of:

  • Serge Lalleman, Nord-Pas-de-Calais
  • Olivier Barbry, Normandie / Picardie / Littoral
  • Christophe Carreyre, Centre / Loire-Atlantique
  • Frédéric Davignon, Île-de-France / Paris intra-muros
  • Olivier Louis, Île-de-France / Paris grande couronne
  • Béatrice Felter, Auvergne / Rhône-Alpes
  • Anthony Nobis, Occitanie / Méditerranée
  • Emmanuel Zeller, franchising and partnerships

Auchan reopens Pedestrian Drive in Paris…

Adding further to the competitive environment in Paris, Auchan has reopened its Drive site in rue Saint-Charles in Paris under the Auchan Drive banner. First opened in April 2014 the store enables shoppers to collect orders made on, and through its app between two to four hours of making the purchase.

…Expands partnership with OMV for MyAuchan banner in Romania

Auchan and OMV have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that could lead to the expansion of their partnership. If carried through the MoU could lead to the addition of further MyAuchan stores on the latter’s forecourts. The two companies have been working together since 2017, when the trial of 15 MyAuchan stores on OMV’s forecourts began. The stores were opened in both urban and rural areas to enable the two to test the effectiveness of the business model.

Commenting on the results, OMV’s directorate for downstream oil, Radu-Sorin Caprau, said: “The results so far are encouraging, and we are happy to negotiate the expansion of the partnership and have more MyAuchan proximity stores on our Petrom stations. This association aims to add more substance to the promise of the Petrom brand, with MyAuchan stores perfectly complementing Petrom’s classic benefits: affordable, efficient fuels and stations anytime…

For subscribers wanting more on Auchan’s outlook, read our strategic outlook for the retailer.

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’.

Challenges in Germany and Russia overshadow results

Metro said in its home market total sales fell by 1.3%, which was affected by the closure of a store, while like-for-like sales contracted by 0.2%. In Western Europe (excluding Germany) Metro noted that total sales increased by 1.2%, while like-for-like sales rose by 1.0%, aided by a ‘ strong development in France, Italy and Spain’.

In Eastern Europe (excluding Russia) Metro was able to report that total sales, in local currency terms, grew by 6.3%, while like-for-like sales rose by 6.4%. The company said that in the region ‘almost all countries… contributed to this [result]’.

Metro said in the key country of Russia, total sales declined by 2.8%, in local currency terms, while like-for-like sales decreased by 2.4%. In volume terms, though, Metro said it had enjoyed an increase in sales of 3%. Despite the contractions, Metro said the results were positive and underlined how they had ‘benefited from an attractive pricing model as well as the expansion of the franchise format Fasol’.

In Asia, total sales, in local currency terms, rose by 6.9%, while like-for-like sales rose 5.9%. As part of the results announcement, Metro confirmed it was considering strategic options for its operations in China. It has been previously suggested that it could sell a majority stake in the business to a local company.

Real disposal continues against a weakening backdrop

Metro said its Real hypermarket business saw a slight decrease in like-for-like sales, by 0.6%, while total sales fell by 1.7%, affected by two temporary store closures. It also reported that its online business had shown ‘a dynamic development’, with its gross merchandise value rising by 65% to €171m.

Metro said it expected to complete the disposal of Real as a whole, standalone business within the next two to four months. Metro’s chief executive, Olaf Koch, said the disposal process was being challenged by competition regulations, but non-binding offers were expected soon, with a binding offer to come later.

Companies in Spain pledge to making food healthier, DIA makes more leadership changes, and Makro accelerates the digitalisation of the HoReCa industry in Spain.

Reducing sugar, saturated fats and salt

The minister of health, consumption and social welfare, Maria Luisa Carcedo, has signed agreements with 20 associations that represent 398 food and drinks companies to reduce the average amount of sugar, saturated fats, and salt in products by 10% by 2020. The plan covers 13 food groups including: soft drinks, ready meals and breakfast cereals. 

The strategy fits into the government’s strategy of nutrition, physical activity and prevention of obesity. Spain has one of the highest obesity rates in Europe with 37% of adults overweight and 17%. The figures are worse for children with 40% overweight and 18% obese. The agreements are a step towards preventing obesity and countering inequalities in health, with the government keen to use a collaborative approach between the public and private sector.

According to Europa Press, leading retailers and manufacturers like Mercadona, Consum, Kellog’s, Coca Cola, Pepsico and Bimbo are involved. Businesses will need to reformlate their products and make the first move to gain a competitive advantage.

Further changes to personnel at DIA

The group has created a new executive committee of seven members, headed by CEO Borja de la Cierva. With these most recent changes DIA aims to make its offer more appealing to customers, simplify processes and drive efficiencies.

Makro driving digital transformation

InfoRetail reports that Makro has driven the digital transformation of 12,000 bars and restaurants in Spain during 2018. Its initiatives fit into Metro AG’s international plan to digitalise the hospitality industry, and bring it on par with other industries like travel. To support the sector, Makro will launch a digital platform service to aid companies with their digital transformation.

The first electric lorry is tested in Spain

According to International Supermarket News Lidl and Mercadona have been chosen to test Man's heavy duty 26-ton electric truck. Germany-based Man Truck & Bus will run distribution tests in Madrid, the first location chosen outside Austria. The initiative is expected to be rolled out in 2025. The truck currently takes over four hours to charge, and it is hoped by 2025 the time will have reduced. Man Truck and Bus partnered with SPAR Austria last year and has been testing its electric truck there since September 2018. 

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