Today In Retail: Alimentation Couche-Tard Ends Effort To Purchase Carrefour; Ulta Beauty Decreases Headcount Amid Pandemic
In today’s top retail news, Alimentation Couche-Tard has scuttled an approximately $20 billion effort to buy Carrefour SA, while Ulta Beauty has reduced its corporate and field management staff amid the pandemic. Plus, the race is revving up at supermarket aisles throughout the nation to add “smart” shopping carts.
Alimentation Couche-Tard has scrapped a roughly $20 billion effort to purchase Carrefour SA, according to a published report. Alimentation Couche-Tard said in a press release that “preliminary discussions around a transaction” were “no longer continuing,” but that the two firms opted to lengthen their discussions to examine partnerships, according to a statement.
Ulta Beauty has decreased its corporate and field management headcount. An Ulta representative said per a published report that the “decisions were made thoughtfully with a focus on resetting our corporate cost structure to operate more effectively and efficiently in the short-term as well as optimizing our enterprise capabilities to thrive in the long-term.”
The race is revving up at grocery aisles throughout the country to add “smart” shopping carts that can monitor the items that shoppers retrieve from the shelves and let them pay without standing in line. Kroger became the newest entrant when it launched the new “KroGO” shopping carts on an experimental basis at a grocery store outside of Cincinnati.
A program that sends millions of Americans into pharmacies for coronavirus vaccines could be a real boost for a vertical that has suffered during the pandemic. Even though pharmacies have generally remained open as “essential” businesses, experts say they’ve lost sales because of the outbreak. Experts say social distancing and masks have also cut down on non-pandemic illnesses such as colds, decreasing consumers’ need for items such as cough syrup.