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Grocer Metro faces cost headwinds - The Globe and Mail
Marina Strauss
- Retailing Reporter


The Globe and Mail

Published
Wednesday, Apr. 16 2014
retailers  Marina_Strauss  Metro  Loblaws  grocery  supermarkets 
april 2014 by jerryking
globeadvisor.com: Labour costs in spotlight as grocery wars shift to front lines
October 1, 2013 | Report on Business |MARINA STRAUSS.

Grocers are grappling with consolidation, as well as essentially zero inflation this year, forcing them to try to reduce costs, said Sylvain Charlebois, a food policy professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario. "Margins are very tight," he said.
Marina_Strauss  retailers  grocery  supermarkets  unions  Loblaws  Metro  Wal-Mart  Target  Sobeys  Safeway  UFCW  Sylvain_Charlebois 
october 2013 by jerryking
Grocery wars spur industry consolidation - The Globe and Mail
Grocery wars spur industry consolidation Add to ...

MARINA STRAUSS

RETAILING REPORTER — The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Aug. 14 2013
Target  Sobeys  Loblaws  Shoppers  Metro  grocery  supermarkets  competitive_landscape  consolidation 
august 2013 by jerryking
Wal-Mart expansion eggs on Canadian food fight
Apr. 24 2013 |The Globe and Mail | MARINA STRAUSS.

the most immediate threat isn’t so much the newest player, discounter Target Corp., which is getting a lot of attention as it opens its first stores here, but rather low-cost titan Wal-Mart Canada Corp. It has launched an aggressive $450-million expansion this year after snapping up former Zellers stores from Target, building up full food offerings in Wal-Mart supercentres while Target offers only a limited fresh food selection.....Ontario is ground zero for the fiercest food fight in years after Wal-Mart rushed last fall to open its new supercentres before Target rolled out its first 24 outlets in that province last month, with 100 more opening across the country in 2013.

An uncertain economy has put pressure on supermarkets such as Metro and industry leader Loblaw Cos. Ltd. to find new avenues of growth, including the burgeoning ethnic market.
...The grocers are also focused on improving their fresh offerings to serve as a key differentiator, investing in its distribution to ensure that products get to stores faster and stay fresh longer.

And they’re betting more on loyalty programs, trying to sway customers by offering them deals that are personalized for them, and in the process collect more data to monitor customer demands more precisely.
Marina_Strauss  food  retailers  ethnic_communities  Loblaws  supermarkets  Wal-Mart  Metro  grocery  Target  big-box 
may 2013 by jerryking
Going small the best route for cash-rich Metro
January 30, 2013 | G & M pg. B2 |by Sophie Cousineau.

Metro is a great operator with an outstanding track record. Its first-quarter results, which on Tuesday reported first-quarter profit of $121.4­ mil1ion compared with $103.7 ­million in the year earlier period, prove it yet again. Yet the Quebec grocery chain has had it relatively easy in recent years. Its main competitor, Loblaw, was its own worst enemy, struggling with its merchandising and its computer systems. Metro dominates the Quebec market with an estimated market share among conventional food distributors.

But the market is changing. WalMart Canada is expanding unreand Target is emerging as a formidable foe from the ruins of Zellers. To say that the competition is heating up is an understatement. These American retailers are shaking a Tabasco bottle over the Quebec and Ontario markets, dotting these provinces with super-sized stores and bountiful grocery aisles.

Target is not considered as serious as a menace as Wal­Mart. Many of Target's stores are located in shopping malls where Metro has exclusivity rights on the sale of food. Wal-­Mart, which started sending out food flyers to Quebec homes, is another story.
But even with an acquisition as important and as as Safeway’s, Metro could never “outscale” or even come close to it. And while Metro has two discount banners. its namesake stores don"t venture into price wars nor would they want to
go on the American retailers' turi war. By putting the accent on the freshest fruits and vegetables and the best shopping experience, Metro is taking a different tack from its American competitors.
Getting scale in the pharmacy business would make a lot more sense for Metro. As a pharmaceutical distributor and a drugstore operator under the Brunet banner, Metro is a regional Quebec player. Yet for there to be an acquisition, Metro needs a seller. While Jean Coutu Group Inc. is aging, the Coutu family has nevel expressed the slightest interest ir selling the business they control through multiple voting shares. Moreover, they are focusing their energy on Canada after retreating from the American market.
supermarkets  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  retailers  price_wars  pharmacies  grocery  ethnic_communities  scaling  Jean_Coutu  Wal-Mart  Target  Metro  competitive_landscape  Sophie_Cousineau  merchandising  shopping_malls 
january 2013 by jerryking
THE EVE OF BATTLE
Oct 2006 | Canadian Grocer 120. 8 (): 38-39,41,43. | Andrew Allentuck

Wal-Mart's success in the U.S. was built on conquering the fragmented and relatively inefficient grocery market, says [John Chamberlain]. But Canada is likely to be different. "It it were a slam dunk, Wal-Mart's Supercentres would have been here a lot sooner. If you read into the time they have taken to arrive, there is a recognition that this market is going to be very challenging." As award-winning Business Week senior writer Anthony Bianco said, in The Bully of Bentonville (Random House, 2006), "It is far from certain that even Wal-Mart can thrive in a Wal-Mart world."

What will Canadian retail grocery be like a few years down the road? Chamberlain figures that Wal-Mart will take over packaged goods. "It can dominate the field. Everybody knows what a box of detergent should cost and nobody wants to pay 40% more at a competitor," he says. By sheer massive buying power, with savings passed along to consumers, Wal-Mart will take a lot of the centre store grocery. Rut in differentiated goods, from lettuce to meat, bakery to meal replacement, the market may not tumble to Wal-Mart. To the extent that people are prepared to pay more for quality or even just differentiation, Wal-Mart will have trouble maintaining its winner-takes-it-all momentum, he suggests.

There is also the union question. In China, faced with the pro-union policy of the incumbent government, the company has agreed to work with them. Chinese unions are not trenchant opponents of management. Rather, they work at "promoting good relations between employers and workers," reports the Wall Street journal. If unions did capture Wal-Mart Supercentres, they might raise payroll costs and hinder the company's aggressive cost reduction strategy. Wal-Mart may remain hostile to unions in North America. It shut its Jonquière, Que. store after it was certified by the United Food and Commercial Workers union. The February 2005 shutdown sent a message that was undeniably clear. Bomb threats and temporary store closings followed, Bianco recalls. The cost of Wal-Mart's image was huge, but, as Bianco admits, "The allure of cut-rate prices and convenient locations is not easily resisted."
ProQuest  buying_power  Wal-Mart  grocery  Metro  Sobeys  Loblaws  fragmented_markets  retailers  CPG  winner-take-all 
july 2012 by jerryking

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