|Bid||231.70 x 0|
|Ask||231.70 x 0|
|Day's Range||226.50 - 231.90|
|52 Week Range||187.05 - 293.40|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.42|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||17.31|
|Earnings Date||Oct 2, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.07 (2.94%)|
|1y Target Est||269.93|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- This Christmas, instead of a free-range turkey, how about a beef-less Wellington washed down with a few glasses of “Nosecco”? And rather than falling asleep watching the Queen, why not tune in to your inner self with a spot of meditation?This might not sound like traditional festive fun, but now that the craze for all things vegan has crossed the Atlantic, it’s what British retailers are betting on to lift sluggish supermarket sales and see off brutal conditions on the high street, at least for a spell.A rough estimate suggests that across the big U.K. supermarket chains, meat-free offerings of traditional Christmas fare are up by between 40% and 400% this year. This underlines how veganism has moved from niche to mainstream over the course of 2019 as more consumers cut out animal products altogether, or reduce their meat intake with a “flexitarian” diet. Just look at the popularity of the vegan sausage roll introduced by baker Greggs Plc. There’s likely to be at least one vegan at any big Christmas gathering, and so being able to cater for them with plant-based canapés is crucial. And while many families won’t ditch the turkey altogether, they may well replace another meat protein, such as beef or gammon, with a fancy nut roast, savory yule log or vegetable wreath. Sales of plant-based substitutes still represent a small share of the overall grocery market, but they can have a significant influence over shopping habits. Being able to buy a good selection of food for a vegan daughter, for example, is likely to determine where shoppers fill up their grocery carts for the whole family. No wonder the category has become a key battleground.There’s another reason why it’s worth supermarkets’ while to go vegan. Plant-based versions of festive favorites such as pigs in blankets tend to be more complex to make and require innovative ingredients. J Sainsbury Plc is this year offering party food made from the blossom of the banana tree, which can be used as a substitute for fish. This builds on the popularity of the jackfruit, a tropical fruit that is a good alternative to pulled pork. All of this added value means supermarkets can charge a premium.QuicktakeThe Vegan EconomyThat won’t last forever though. The U.K. arms of the German discounters Aldi and Lidl are piling into this market too. Lidl has two Christmas-specific vegan lines, while Aldi has nine, including pastry crowns and vegan cocktail sausage rolls. Neither had a plant-based offering last year. Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc recently cut the price of its foods that are free from certain ingredients, such as gluten, while Tesco Plc has launched an affordable plant-based range.In another sign of the times, supermarkets this Christmas season are bulking up on party drinks that are low in alcohol, or contain none at all. Not only do they tend to be premium products, particularly non-alcoholic spirits, but retailers don’t pay duty. So, while they can charge the same or more for a fancy but sober drink, they get to keep a bigger slice of the selling price.It helps that the market is growing rapidly, as many consumers, particularly younger people captivated more by their social media feeds than their real social life, reduce their alcohol intake. Beer led the way, spawning Budweiser’s Prohibition Brew and Brewdog’s Nanny State, with wines and particularly spirits exploding this year. Demand from supermarket shoppers follows the trend in clubs and pubs where “mocktails” are now a staple of the cocktail menu. Going on the wagon is usually associated with January, but the run-up to Christmas can also be a time for restraint as people become more conscious of pacing themselves through rounds of festive events, not to mention all of those designated drivers. Asda, the U.K. arm of Walmart Inc., estimated that December sales of low- and no-alcohol drinks are double those of the average month. It’s all part of the new mood around Christmas, characterized by rising environmental awareness and a focus on health and wellness. Throw in the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit and the general election, and there are fewer celebrity blockbuster Christmas advertisements this year, with most retailers returning to traditional themes such as family and nostalgia for the past.Even tree trimmings are falling in with the trend. The Sanctuary range from John Lewis features pastel hued baubles including Buddha heads and an ornament depicting a woman reclining in a luxurious bubble bath. Its focus is on serenity — something that’s often in short supply over the busy festive season.After the decorations come down, consumers may continue to embrace plant-based diets with Veganuary, which has rocketed in popularity over the past five years. Dry January will bolster sales of no- and low-alcohol ranges. But beyond that, it could well be retailers themselves that are in need of some self-care. The months following the holidays are often lean ones, as consumers rein in spending after the excess of Christmas. It can also be tricky for supermarkets to accurately gauge demand and control waste when consumers switch in and out of different food and drink trends so dramatically. This year could be particularly hard if the election is followed by the return of fretting over Brexit. So these swings will be an extra burden to manage.The New Year hangover may still be with us, even if it is an alcohol-free one.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Ocado Group Plc’s new deal in Japan is appetizing, but it’s probably bitten off more than it can chew.(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The online grocer that’s specialized in automating how orders are filled said on Friday that it will provide Aeon Co. with its technology, initially in the region around Tokyo. It hasn’t put a value on the deal, but Ocado expects the contract to cover sales of about 1.5 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) by 2025, rising to about 7 billion pounds by 2035.To achieve that, analysts at Bernstein estimate that it will need to build about 20 automated warehouses, the same number envisaged in Ocado’s biggest deal to date with U.S. supermarket group Kroger Co.It’s not surprising that Ocado Chief Executive Officer Tim Steiner has been tantalized by licensing the company’s software in Asia. Japan is the world’s fourth-biggest grocery market, according to industry researcher IGD. There’s also potential in other parts of Asia.But Ocado already has a lot on its plate, not least the Kroger partnership, where success is crucial to enhancing its credibility with clients and investors alike.The shares slumped earlier this month on concerns that its roll-out at one of the U.S.’s biggest traditional grocery retailers was progressing slower than expected. Ocado is also facing a new challenge from startup Takeoff Technologies. Like Ocado, which was started by three former Goldman Sachs bankers, its executives have Wall Street as well as grocery industry experience. But, rather than building giant state-of-the-art warehouses, it concentrates on making the process of picking groceries directly off of supermarket shelves for home delivery more efficient. This model has also been favored by Tesco Plc in the U.K.Ocado sought to reassure investors recently that the relationship with Kroger was on track, announcing the sixth location for what in industry jargon is called a fulfillment center. But given the importance of this contract, the fact that the U.S. is still the world’s biggest grocery market and that the group had been chasing tie-up there for years, it would have been better to keep it as its priority.When it comes to the capital available for investing in these big international partnerships, shareholders can take heart. Ocado’s sale earlier this year of a 50% stake in its U.K. online grocery business to Marks & Spencer Group Plc for up to 750 million pounds, boosted its coffers.Ocado said it had 1 billion pounds of headroom. With each warehouse costing about 30 million pounds, it has scope to build 30. Even with all the recent contract wins, it doesn’t expect to have to build more than 30 distribution centers, so it should have enough capital for its current commitments. Management bandwidth is another story. Next year, Ocado will be juggling the Kroger contract, getting Aeon off the ground and overseeing the transition to M&S becoming its grocery supplier in the U.K. That’s a lot to do. And let’s not forget its other contracts with Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA in France, Sobeys Inc. in Canada and Coles Group in Australia.The Aeon contract will also require yet more developers to prepare the technology too. Ocado estimates it will need to take on an extra 400 people to get the job done.Investors shrugged off any such concerns on Friday, with the shares rising as much as 15%. But Ocado has a history of unexpected items in its bagging area, from not having enough capacity in its warehouses to a fire at one of its robotic fulfillment centers in the U.K. earlier this year. Over-filling its delivery box increases the risk of more unpleasant surprises.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
British retailer Marks & Spencer has appointed the chief executive of rival Tesco's F&F Clothing division to be the boss of its struggling clothing and home business, it said on Friday. M&S, one of the best known names in British retail, said Richard Price, 52, would re-join the group as managing director, clothing & home next year. The appointment sent shares in M&S up 2.7% by 1540 GMT, paring losses over the last year to 33%.
The number of bosses leaving the FTSE 100 reached a record on Thursday after BHP (BHP) announced chief executive Andrew Mackenzie will leave after six years at the helm of the Anglo-Australian miner. A total of 20 bosses from the UK’s blue-chip index of top stocks have been replaced or announced their departures so far this year, according to research by AJ Bell. The same thing is happening across the Atlantic where 172 U.S. chief executives stepped down in October, the highest on record, according to recent research.
After failing to merge with Walmart-owned Asda earlier this year, J Sainsbury is dusting itself off with a plan to cut costs and woo customers with lower prices.
Tesco will next week become the first major British supermarket group to offer a subscription customer loyalty scheme, the latest weapon in its fight to stem the market share gains of German-owned discounters. Along with other leading UK grocers Sainsbury's , Asda (part of Walmart ) and Morrisons , Tesco has been losing share to Aldi [ALDIEI.UL] and Lidl, who have been aggressively opening new stores. The big four have been fighting back with initiatives that aim to differentiate their offers versus the discounters, and Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, said on Tuesday it would launch an enhanced version of its Clubcard scheme from Nov. 8.
Beyond Meat has been an incredible story in 2019. And another chapter will be written when the company reports third quarter earnings after the close of trading on Oct. 28.
German-owned discount supermarket Lidl GB has vowed to spend 15 billion pounds ($19 billion) with British suppliers over the next five years, commiting to increase sales of local meat, poultry and fresh produce. Lidl and rival Aldi have changed the shape of the UK grocery sector, stealing market share from industry leader Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons by offering cut-throat prices in no-frills stores. To deepen its relations with British suppliers, Lidl, part of the Schwarz retail group, said it would introduce longer-term contracts with suppliers to help them invest and expand.
The charity claims that laborers that supply Whole Foods reported working up to 14 hours a day in “oppressive heat with few rest breaks,” and often with “very limited access to toilets.”
When the little known Ken Murphy takes over next year as CEO of Tesco , Britain's biggest retailer, he will inherit something current boss Dave Lewis did not have the luxury of when he joined in 2014 - a strategy and a stable business. When former Unilever executive Lewis became CEO of Tesco on Sept. 1, 2014, the supermarket group was already reeling from a dramatic downturn in trading. Fast forward five years and Lewis, 54, has declared Tesco's turnaround complete.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- In the five years since Tesco Plc was plunged into the biggest crisis in its history, Dave Lewis, its chief executive officer, has executed an (almost) textbook turnaround of Britain’s biggest retailer.He’s now decided that his job is done and he will hand over the reins next year to Ken Murphy of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.“Drastic Dave” — a moniker Lewis picked up because of his cost-cutting zeal in a former job at Unilever Plc — took Tesco out of intensive care. He revived sales growth, restored profit, cut debt and reinstated the dividend. The shares are 18% higher than they were back in 2014, when Tesco announced a bombshell 250 million-pound ($307 million) profit black hole. That stock price increase is twice that of the FTSE 100 index.There’s still a vague sense of disappointment, though. One might have expected some Lewis initiatives, such as taking prices closer to those of the German-owned discount grocers Aldi and Lidl, to bear more fruit. While Tesco is managing to grind out incremental growth in an ever-more-competitive market, it’s hard to get too excited by that.Lewis did deliver on his key turnaround target: lifting the company’s operating margin to between 3.5% and 4% six months earlier than expected. So he’s making the wise move for a CEO of going out on a high note.But it’s curious that he didn’t appear to be in the running for two other high-profile CEO posts that have been filled recently, at the consumer goods giants Unilever Plc and Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc. Lewis doesn’t have another job to go to and plans to take some time off before thinking about his next move.The choice of replacement is certainly a surprise. Lewis’s natural successor was Charles Wilson, the popular ex-boss of Booker, which Tesco bought in 2018. However, he stepped back from running Tesco’s British arm last year due to illness. Murphy was joint chief operating officer at Walgreens’ British pharmacy chain Boots before being promoted at the American parent. So he does have experience in the fiercely competitive U.K. retail market.Still, he has no direct experience of the cutthroat grocery sector, which has been transformed by the price-slashing antics of Aldi and Lidl. This is Tesco’s greatest challenge. At least Murphy will benefit from the advice of Wilson, who still has a senior role at Tesco.While the supermarket giant has prospered from the weakness of its great rival J Sainsbury Plc, the latter appears to have gotten its act together lately. And while the British shopper has remained pretty immune to Brexit so far, a no-deal departure from the European Union might change that.It won’t be easy to balance these challenges against an investor base that’s expecting a special dividend or buybacks from next year. Already Tesco’s U.K. sales growth has slowed. That may reflect a broader deceleration across the grocery market, after a strong 2018, but a slowdown is a slowdown. Shareholders are naturally cautious about the management change, although the stock did rise 2% in a falling London market on Wednesday.At least Lewis didn’t hang around beyond his sell-by date, unlike so many other CEOs.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Lewis, who said the decision to leave was a personal one, will be succeeded by Ken Murphy, the company said. Murphy brings with him a wealth of commercial, marketing and brand experience within retail and wholesale business, Tesco said.
Tesco boss Dave Lewis, credited with saving Britain's biggest retailer from collapse in 2014, will step down next summer after declaring its turnaround complete, handing over to a relative unknown catapulted into one of the sector's top jobs. Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Tesco is five years into a recovery plan launched by Lewis after an accounting scandal capped a dramatic downturn in trading. Successor Ken Murphy, a former executive at healthcare group Walgreens Boots Alliance, will become the second outsider to lead Tesco, following in the footsteps of former Unilever executive Lewis.