Online retailer Amazon has launched a dedicated grocery section on its US site Amazon.com. The section offers more than 10,000 non-perishable bulk grocery items and includes brands such as Kellogg, Campbell's, Del Monte and Kraft. The launch follows reports earlier this year that the retailer was expanding its grocery offer through its Health and Personal Care category. However, analysts remain unconvinced that the model can work, claiming that Amazon is "not best placed for grocery". Nick Gladding, analyst at Verdict Research, said: "Food and grocery is quite different to Amazon's core offering of books and CDs. They will need the infrastructure to deliver and this is not a simple operation."
Supermarket chain Pyaterochka's first-quarter pre-tax profit rose 30% to $47m on sales up 41% to $438.9m. The chain, which earlier this month merged with Russian grocer Perekrestok, said that like-for-like sales for the quarter increased by 7%. Perekrestok reported a 70% increase in first-quarter pre-tax profit to $22.8m, on
sales up 45% to $323.4m. Like-for-like sales increased 15% for the quarter. Pyaterochka plans to open 130
stores by the end of 2006, while Perekrestok is aiming to open 40 new stores.
Number two supermarket chain Albertsons has reported a first-half net profit to 4 May of $167m, up 67% from the year before. However, total sales for the period were relatively flat at $9.9bn, while like-for-like sales fell by 0.2%. Meanwhile, shareholders have cleared the way for a consortium of retailers led by US grocer Supervalu to acquire Albertsons.
Albert Heijn, the operating company of Dutch retailer Ahold, and subsidiary Schuitema have acquired 29 Konmar stores from Dutch supermarket chain Laurus for a combined price of E110m. Ahold said that the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter, was an opportunity for Albert Heijn and Schuitema to acquire large stores in prominent locations in the Netherlands.
Marsh Supermarkets has received an unsolicited bid for $13.625 a share. The grocer, which operates stores under the Marsh, LoBill and Village Pantry fascias, said that it had received the bid in a letter from investment group Drawbridge Special Opportunities Advisors and Cardinal Paragon. Earlier this month Marsh agreed to be acquired by the private equity firm Sun Capital Partners for $11.125 a share.
Grocery wholesaler Metcash's full-year pre-tax profit to 30 April rose 19.5% to AU$226.9m on wholesale sales up 10% to AU$7.7bn. Metcash said that its profit had been boosted by its recent acquisition of Foodland's Australian wholesale business.