Australian grocer Woolworths Group said that an inflation-driven shift away from dining out was helping to lift sales, sending its shares higher after its half-year profit beat forecasts despite cost pressures. Woolworths and smaller rival Coles Group have experienced wild swings in Australian consumer behaviour since COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 sparked grocery stockpiling. Sales cooled once lockdowns lifted in 2021, and again through 2022 as soaring energy and wage bills pushed up shelf prices. But cost-of-living pressures - from soaring power bills to nine interest rate hikes since last May - were now starting to benefit supermarkets as shoppers opted against out-of-home consumption, Woolworths said.
Spanish supermarket group DIA has contracted investment bank Societé Générale to explore the possible sale of its business in Portugal, according to local media reports. Reports suggest that DIA is considering the divestment of its Portuguese retail business, Minipreço, due to the weak financial performance of the division. According to ESMmagazine.com, f the four markets in which it is present, Portugal saw the lowest growth in 2022, reporting sales of €596 million, an annual increase of 0.5%. This compares to 5.4% growth in Spain to €4.43 billion, 10.9% in Brazil to €889.5 million, and 30.8% growth in Argentina to €1.36 billion.
French retailer Carrefour has entered the Mongolian market, in association with partner Altan Joloo and its subsidiary Sansar, reports ESMmagazine.com. The retailer has opened two new stores in the country, operating under the Carrefour hypermarket and Carrefour Market banners. The partnership will also enable all Sansar stores, more than 20 to date, to gain access to Carrefour brand products. Oyundari Enkhbaatar, CEO of Altan Joloo Trade LLC, commented, “We are extremely proud and delighted to partner with Carrefour, one of the world's leading retailers. We plan to rebrand our 20 Sansar stores and create a minimum of 20 new Carrefour supermarkets and hypermarkets in the coming years to strengthen our position in Mongolia."