As northern rival Morrisons calls timeout on convenience stores, Asda could be set to trial smaller format shops as it makes moves away from its northern heartland into the south, according to The Daily Mail. The supermarket will open 11 stores in the greater London region over the next few months, with plans for a further 150 by 2018, the paper reports. And two of the new shops will be a trial of a smaller format for the grocer to compete with Sainsbury’s Local and Tesco Metro.
Discounter Aldi is also eyeing up further expansion in 2015 and is set to take on more floor space than Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco combined. It will add more than one million sq ft of floor space (about 60 stores) this year, according to research from the commercial property industry IPD and Colliers. Aldi is planning to add another 1.02m sq ft to its estate, with fellow discounter Lidl planning a further 340,000 sq ft, twice Tesco’s planned growth for 2015 (The Guardian).
A new survey will make pleasant reading for high street baker Greggs this morning. Market Force Information found that Britons prefer the chain to the traditional places for pick up a coffee Caffè Nero, Costa and Starbucks. It is more evidence, if evidence were needed, that CEO Roger Whiteside’s plan to turn the company from a bakery to a food-to-go specialist and coffee shop is working wonders. Greggs’ new blend has been flying out the shops, racking up sales of £1m a week at the end of 2015, with much more to come, according to Whiteside. Greggs scored highest for value in the national poll of 4,500 people, ranking second on friendliness of staff, speed of service and store cleanliness (The Daily Telegraph).
British dairy exports have soared to record levels in 2014, with sales of cheese to the US up 15% to £40m, rising sevenfold to South Africa and up a third to Denmark. Dairy exports overall rose 9% to a record £1.4bn, according to figures from the Food and Drink Federation (The Times £).