US: Kroger-Albertsons tie-up spurs union lobbying to stop merger
Thousands of unionized retail workers from the US Mid-Atlantic to the West Coast are lobbying regulators and lawmakers as part of a broader effort to nix the $25bln merger between supermarket operators Kroger and Albertsons. Four local chapters of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International told Reuters they are assessing their options for lobbying and coordinated action against the deal, including potential strikes. The chapters together represent about 100,000 Kroger and Albertsons workers including those in Colorado, Wyoming, California, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia and Tennessee.
US: Go Grocer widens Chicago presence
Go Grocer is on the go in the Windy City. The Chicago chain that marries convenience, fresh-to-go foods and ultra-fast delivery announced that it is opening a new location in the Old Town neighborhood on the city’s north side. The store, set to welcome shoppers the first week of November, is now the 14th Go Grocer in Chicago and is located at 1325 N. Wells Street. Go Grocer has continued to expand as other rapid-delivery businesses have faltered, crediting its “bootstrapped” business model and its offerings of curated locally-sourced items, fresh produce, meat and dairy products, chef-prepared fresh meals and rapid free delivery from a native app.
US: Giant Food launches Loop, a circular reuse platform
Giant Food announced that local shoppers can now purchase a selection of products in reusable packaging thanks to a new partnership between Giant Food and Loop, the circular reuse platform developed by TerraCycle. Customers can walk into any of the 10 participating Giant supermarkets and purchase more than 20 products from leading consumer brands, all packaged in reusable containers instead of single-use packaging.
Walmart doubles down on Africa despite a decade of frustration
In 2011, a US retail giant Walmart Inc made a bet on Africa, buying a majority stake in a South African retailer Massmart in what many investors saw as a step toward dominating the continent’s vast untapped market. It didn’t go according to plan. More than a decade later, Massmart’s balance sheet is burdened with debt, its books are deep in losses and it’s drowning in lease obligations on commercial properties.
World’s first AutoStore solution with frozen food zone to be installed by StrongPoint
StrongPoint ASA, a leading grocery retail technology provider, has been chosen to design and install the world’s first AutoStore solution purpose built for food management with three temperature zones: ambient, chilled and now, frozen. StrongPoint is AutoStore’s first and only grocery-focused distribution partner.
Bid deadline for India’s Future Retail extended due to low interest – sources
The resolution professional for India’s debt-laden Future Retail Ltd has extended the deadline for potential buyers to submit their bids for the retailer, due to tipid interest, two banking sources said. The deadline had ended on October 20, but has been extended to November 3, according to an updated document released by the resolution professional (RP).
Luxembourg: ‘Onperfekt’ gives a second chance to imperfect food
While food is being distributed to people in need in Ettelbruck, many other establishments simply throw food away, although it often still being perfectly edible. To prevent this, three friends launched the Onperfekt (“Imperfect”) initiative in early 2020 to distribute food that does not meet the “beauty standards” of modern supermarkets. They started with a pop-up market in Hosingen before opening their own store in Marnach. At 8am, Julia Gregor and Nathalie Malget are restocking the shelves of their store. They mostly sell fruits and vegetables, but also spices, beer, dairy products, and on Saturdays also bread.
Germany: Wholesaler Metro sees double-digit growth in sales in fourth quarter
Wholesale giant Metro AG has reported an 11.8% increase in sales in the fourth quarter of its financial year, or 12.1% growth in euro-denominated terms. The group said that growth was driven by all segments of its business, including store-based, delivery and Metro markets, and that sales growth for the period was ‘in line with expectations’. It added that the execution of its sCore strategy is ‘progressing well’.
Egypt: Ezdehar considers launching two funds for debt instruments, SMEs
Emad Barsoum, the Founder and Managing Director of the private equity fund manager Ezdehar, revealed that his company finalized the investment map of its Ezdehar Mid-Cap Fund II until 2025, amounting to $175mln. He added that the company currently considers three investment opportunities, one of which is expected to materialise before the end of this year, following its majority stake acquisition in supermarket chain Zahran Market.
Sweden: Axfood posts net sales growth of 36.1% in third quarter
Swedish retailer Axfood has reported a 36.1% increase in net sales to SEK18.7bln (€1.7bln) in the third quarter of its financial year. Retail sales amounted to SEK14bln (€1.3bln), up 15.5% year-on-year, while operating profit amounted to SEK975mln (€88.4mln).
2022: 74% Dutch consumers buy online
During the first quarter of this year, 74% of Dutch consumers bought services or goods online. This is a decrease of 3% when compared to the same period a year earlier. Consumers also bought less physical than digital products online. Last year, 77% of Dutch consumers ordered something online. This is related to the lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in more people ordering online. These findings are from the newest research on IT-use by Dutch households by Statistics Netherlands on Q1 2022. Over 6.000 people aged 12 years and older participated in the research.
New Zealand: Still fresh after 100 years: Family-run fruit and veg market celebrates centenary
Shires Fruit and Vege Market has been part of the fabric of Dannevirke for 100 years, not just providing fresh produce, but also being part of the community. The Tararua business has been in the same family for a century, passed down through three generations after its founder Chhiba Patel arrived in New Zealand from India as a 16-year-old. Chhiba changed his name to W Shire, or Bill Shire, and started trading as W Shire and Co. His grandson Suresh said: “Being the first Indian-operated fruit and vegetables store in New Zealand at that stage he decided to call it Shire, meaning county of course, getting away from the Patel name.”
Deliveroo expects lower sales growth amid ‘ongoing economic uncertainty’
Deliveroo has reduced its full-year sales expectations and is “financially adapting” amid “ongoing economic uncertainty”. Deliveroo’s order volumes dropped by 1% however, its average order value has increased by 9% to £23.40 globally. In the UK and Ireland this has increased by 6% as of the same time last year and up 3% since its second quarter update to £25. Sales growth also rose by 11% in this market to £944mln as Deliveroo’s orders grew by 5% to 37.7mln.