International Retailers Aldi lonely people
In the UK, ,Aldi has reported a worrying -79% fall in operating profit in 2021, to £60.2m, but remains upbeat on the acceleration of trading in the second half as COVID restrictions ease and rising living costs send even wealthier Brits to the discounters. Still, sales rose only +0.9% to £13.6bn. In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, delivery outfit HappyFresh has shut its doors after seven years in business. It has, however, secured fresh funding and will resume operations in its hometown. Not unrelated, in the US, Instacart, which was valued at US$39bn in 2021, has slashed its internal valuation to the tune of about 40% a year later – to be expected as post-COVID shoppers weight the inconvenience of a shopping trip with delivery fees in an inflationary ambit. Next up, Oman has a new SPAR, bringing a much-needed touch of green to that arid landscape, after SPAR International granted a licence to local trading conglomerate Khimji Ramdas, which has interests in trading, distribution, retailing, training, restaurants, and manufacturing. Finally, back to the UK, where the cost-of-living crisis has put Tesco under pressure to further up the pay of its hourly workers to match those of rivals. Tesco’s staff are currently on a minimum of £10 an hour after a +5% increase in July.
Comment: A deeply unsettled ambit, with inflation hitting a post-COVID shakeup, and slamming into a labour shortage, on the corner of Ennui and Dread.