First up, here’s a look at which grocery stocks saw flowers in the first week of May trading.
Whole Foods (WFM) stock has remained relatively flat into may as investors wait to see what the next moves will be from the organic grocer. The company is experiencing more pressure to sell from investors as New York–based mutual fund manager Neuberger Berman, which has a 2.4 percent stake in the organic grocer, urges the board to “immediately engage advisers” to review their options. Options that include, said The Wall Street Journal, a sale or a joint venture.
Kroger (KR), Albertsons and Amazon are all in the mix as potential buyers. At the time of writing, WFM was trading at $26.70, up 0.04 percent from Thursday’s (May 4) close and relatively unchanged from the opening bell in the last week of April.
Costco (COST) looked to finish the week on an up note after hitting all-time highs during mid-week trading. The big-box giant saw share values rise above $182 on Thursday morning, holding steady there until Friday rolled around. At the time of writing, COST was trading at $180.42, down 1.11 percent and teetering on the edge of falling further, though it still has some way to go before it would see a loss for the week.
Kroger, meanwhile, had a bit of a bumpy start to May, losing out on the bit of growth it had built up in the month of April by dropping 3 percent over the course of the week. KR shares were trading slightly up mid-morning Friday at $29.25, 0.10 percent above market close on Thursday. There’s still a long way to go until Kroger releases its Q1 2017 earnings — the release is currently slated for the middle of June — so things still have a chance to turn around.
Last up, shares of international food retail group Ahold Delhaize (AD) got a little boost during late-week trading after nearly two months of steady share decline. At the time of writing, KR was trading at €19.60, up 2.62 percent from Thursday’s close and trending upward. The push comes after hitting a year-to-date low of €18.56. What a difference two weeks can make. (A 5.60 percent difference, to be pedantic.)
In international food and retail grocery news, Uber just recently launched UberEATS in India.
Starting with Mumbai, a city with an estimated 20 million residents, the food delivery service looks to expand to six additional Indian cities before the end of the year.
“Mumbai is home to a booming food industry with a vibrant food culture offering both global and local cuisines,” Bhavik Rathod, head of UberEATS India, said in a statement. “The introduction of UberEATS in India, with Mumbai as the first city, is a major step in our global expansion and showcases our commitment to the region,”
For Uber, India is a major opportunity across its rideshare and delivery offerings — especially after the company left China. But UberEATS has some stiff competition in Mumbai from FoodPanda and local food delivery services Swiggy and Zomato.
And UberEATS could also be in for some stiff competition once Amazon makes its Indian grocery debut.
Amazon hopes to take advantage of loosened restrictions on foreign retailers in India by expanding its online grocery venture in the nation of some 1.3 billion. As of now, Amazon is waiting on India’s Trade Ministry for approval.
If approved, the online retail giant looks to invest $500 million to sell groceries, mostly local produce and culinary staples, direct to consumers via its online platform.
To be fair, Amazon already has a small grocery project in India.
Back in 2015, the company launched its Prime Now service in Bangalore, which included some restricted and hyper-local grocery delivery. However, Amazon’s looking for something much more significant these days.
Sure, prepared food delivery and grocery delivery are arguably different beasts. Maybe the tech giants can all just get along and enjoy the digital revolution. While the world’s still waiting on Amazon Go to open to the public, the online retail giant has plenty of other food-related projects to work on, including private-label products and AmazonFresh.
Of the latter, Deutsche Post DHL was recently announced as the exclusive supplier of AmazonFresh orders in Germany. While the nation of over 80 million is Amazon’s second largest market overall, the online retail giant hasn’t seen much success there as of yet in the grocery realm.
Amazon faces competition from brick-and-mortar bargain grocers Aldi and Lidl, who have a high density of physical locations, which accounts for some the lack of online interest. Amazon will also have to square off against country’s second largest grocer, REWE, which has reportedly upped investments in online groceries in anticipation of the online retail giant’s arrival.