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The latest in retail and loyalty, July 2019

Russian retailers began to accept plastic bottles

Magnit selected stores started to accept used aluminum cans and plastic bottles (200ml to 2l). Items are collected into special pandomats. In exchange, 18+ shoppers will be rewarded by 10% discount for “White Bear” products or souvenirs of AB InBev Efes.

X5 Retail Group in cooperation with Unilever announced in June that they agreed to launch a partnership programme for installation of reverse vending machines (RVM), which are branded kiosks that accept used consumer plastic containers for further recycling. Shoppers who return plastic bottles in Moscow shops of Perekrestok and Karusel will get discount coupons for Unilever products. Discount and assortment aren’t announced yet.

Waitrose launches packaging-free trial

Waitrose has unveiled its vision of environmentally conscious shopping, offering customers the chance to buy food and drink that is completely free of packaging as part of a ground- breaking trial for a large retailer. In a new drive to try to eliminate unnecessary plastic and packaging, shoppers will be able to fill their own containers with a range of products from a series of dispensers, using the first dedicated refill station installed by a major UK supermarket, with prices typically 15% cheaper than the packaged alternatives. A choice of 160 loose fruit and vegetables will be available, along with four different wines and four beers on tap to be taken home in reusable bottles and nearly 30 products including pasta, rice, grains, couscous, lentils, cereals, dried fruit and seeds available from dispensers. For the borrow-a-box scheme, customers will pay a £5 deposit which is refundable when the container is returned.

Shanghai welcomes Aldi!

Aldi’s first two stores in China are now open to shoppers. The stores represent a new trading format for Aldi and are the first of up to 100 planned in China. The Aldi stores have a more modern layout than Aldi stores in Europe.

Lidl teams up with Boxed on delivery

Lidl is tapping into Boxed’s technology capabilities to offer online ordering and on-demand delivery to Lidl shoppers. The programme kicked off in June and it allows shoppers to browse the entire Lidl assortment on This is Boxed’s first partnership with a major retailer and just the beginning of a new way the company said it wants to work with businesses and how it sees itself playing a role in the future of grocery.

Instagram to ramp up retail shopping

Instagram has laid out its long-term vision to ramp up retail shopping by introducing new functions, such as letting users hold items in their digital carts and buy goods without leaving the app. The platform is also introducing ads in its Explore browsing section, giving brands the opportunity to seamlessly promote items as more than 50% of accounts visit this section for inspiration. This will allow Instagram to generate significantly more advertising revenue. The new shopping capabilities, coupled with the boost in ad placements, will enable Instagram to create an app similar to those of Amazon or Alibaba, where shoppers are immersed into a comprehensive ecosystem with multiple touchpoints. Brands can leverage this relationship to build long-term loyalty, gain key insights on upcoming trends to inform new product development, and continuously engage shoppers through digital content.

Magnit launches grocery delivery via Broniboy

Magnit will start delivering grocery via intermediary Broniboy in the Krasnodar region of Russia. The service will be tested in the framework of Magnit’s omnichannel ecosystem, which includes the development of ecommerce and its own payment service. Shoppers can buy products via Broniboy app. Broniboy company will handle the full circle of delivery: from order to delivery which is promised to be ‘’as fast as possible’’ (promise of Broniboy: delivery within 40 mins, otherwise order is for free).

Albert Heijn Netherlands to introduce Nutri-Score food label

Albert Heijn will introduce the Nutri-Score food label in the Netherlands, the latest example of how Ahold Delhaize’s local brands are increasing efforts to make healthier eating an everyday reality for customers. Using colors from green to red, Nutri-Score provides customers with at-a-glance guidance on the nutritional quality of a product. The system is based on international research and uses an algorithm to calculate the nutritional makeup of the product, including fiber, protein, calories, saturated fat, sugar and salt.

Alibaba plans Hema stores across China’s large cities

Alibaba plans to open a branch of its Hema supermarket chain in every Chinese city with over 1 million people. According to CEO HouYi, there are 200 prospective cities in China where the retailer aims to open Hema supermarkets over the next 12 years. Alibaba has been rapidly expanding its brick and mortar presence as a part of its ‘New Retail Strategy’, to connect online and offline spaces. Alibaba has also set sights on department stores and a home improvement chain (Paywall).

Edeka Germany increases Picnic stake to 35%

Edeka has increased its stake in Dutch e-grocery Picnic to 35%. In 2018, the retailer acquired 20% stake in Picnic via Edeka Rhein-Ruhr. Having launched its service in Germany in 2018, Picnic now delivers to 35,000 customers in 3 regions close to the Dutch border. Delivery is free over a minimum order value of EUR25.

QFC thinks about another “loyal” target group...

At QFC they also take into consideration the dog-owner’s shoppers. As these loyal companions normally are not allowed into the stores, QFC partnered up with Dogspot to create a safe and clean place for the dogs to wait while you are doing your groceries. Pets have always been a great potential in attracting shopper.

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