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Kroger to make $1bn contribution to its benefit plans | Lidl US fires back at Kroger

Amazon files for meal-kit trademark; Blue Apron shares tumble

US: Fresh Market promotes rebrand roll out
Fresh Market continues to lean into its rebrand, sliding its position from gourmet specialty chain to traditional grocer. The retailer has been marking the change via special events at several of its North Carolina and South Carolina locations from July 12 to the 16. Under the leadership of alternative investment manager and parent company, Apollo Global Management LLC, the store has rolled out lower prices and a greater selection since being acquired in March of 2016. Please, click here to read more at supermarketnews.com.

Inserra supermarkets ShopRite implements organic and fair trade program
Inserra Supermarkets ShopRite Inc. (Inserra) of Mahwah, NJ, continues to demonstrate its commitment to community, nutrition, and sustainable food systems through the introduction of a comprehensive produce program with Taste Me, Do Good*. The Taste Me, Do Good* organic fair trade line of produce items provides Inserra shoppers with premium-quality fruits and vegetables. (caryl.com)

New Southeastern Grocers CEO has big plans
Southeastern Grocer is in the middle of remodeling stores and reorganizing its chains to make sure they're the right fit for the communities they serve, interim President and CEO Anthony Hucker said. He said he hopes to lead the company on a permanent basis as the retailer works through expanding its Harveys Supermarkets and Fresco Y Mas chains, revamping its Winn-Dixie stores and other efforts meant to make Southeastern more competitive with organic and value-focused food retail rivals. (retailleader.com)

Lidl US fires back at Kroger
Lidl is firing back at Kroger and denying any wrongdoing after Kroger accused the German-based supermarket of trademark infringement in a recent lawsuit. “Kroger has offered a striking absence of evidence in support of its claims,” Lidl said in court papers filed in a Virginia US District Court on Friday. Lidl said Kroger’s claims of copyright infringement are an attempt to tarnish the German chain’s reputation and undermine its US launch by painting it as a “copycat.” (businessinsider.nl)

Strack bid: $72.7M plus inventory
A last-minute bid for assets in the Central Grocers bankruptcy auction took Jewel Food Stores by surprise, and after considering the offer, the Albertsons division declined to bid further, court documents filed over the weekend showed. Indiana Grocery Group, whose backers include members of the Strack and Van Til families that once owned the chain, bid $72.7m plus inventory for the 19 stores in the “Stalking Horse” package during a July 6 auction. Jewel’s bid of $70m plus up to $30m for inventory had been set as the leading bid going into the auction. (supermarketnews.com)

Kroger to make $1bn contribution to its benefit plans
Kroger, the biggest U.S. supermarket operator, said on Monday it would make a contribution of up to $1bn to its under-funded benefit plans. The company will issue debt to pay for its pension liability, Kroger said in a regulatory filing, adding its overall balance sheet obligations will not change. Kroger said contributions to the plan are "strategic opportunities" due to the current interest rate environment and potential changes to the U.S. tax code, among others. Certain benefit balances of the fund could be transferred to other retirement plan options or a lump sum payout. Kroger, which had total debt of $13.44bn as of May 20, said it would incur a one-time expense following the settlement, but noted that the expense would not affect its 2017 earnings forecast. (Reuters)

US: Food Lion’s ‘Local Goodness’ expands
Food Lion’s successful Local Goodness marketing and merchandising campaign, launched in North Carolina in 2016, is expanding to more store departments and three other states this year. "With market trends toward fresher, healthier eating, our customers increasingly appreciate local produce not only because of its perceived freshness, but because buying these products supports their communities," noted Chris Dove, director of produce category and merchandising for Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion. (progressivegrocer.com)

Blue Apron shares tumble after Amazon files for meal-kit trademark
Shares of meal-kit service Blue Apron slumped to new lows on Monday in the wake of Amazon.com's move to register a trademark for a possible rival service. In a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on July 6, Amazon registered a trademark application for "prepared food kits composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or vegetables" that is ready for cooking and assembly as a meal. Amazon's planned service is identical to the one offered by Blue Apron, one of the largest meal-kit delivery services in the United States. (Reuters)

iFresh to open Asian-American grocery store in Long Island
Asian-American supermarket chain and online grocer iFresh will open its first store on Long Island next year. The company is expanding on Long Island to meet the increasing demand for specialty Asian produce, seafood and other groceries that are not found in mainstream supermarkets, company officials said, adding that the purchasing power of Asian-Americans has been growing rapidly. (newsday.com)

Aldi Nord, Aldi Süd publish interim sustainability report
Germany’s Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd have published an interim report on their companies’ sustainability progress, following the goals that were established by the retailers in 2016. In an effort to increase sustainability, Aldi Nord has significantly expanded its range of bio products. Aldi Süd also made progress on its goals for sustainability and environmental protection, the report said.
 
Italy: Eataly reports loss
Italian food emporium Eataly Distribuzione, which operates the Eataly franchise worldwide, has reported a loss of €11m in 2016, compared to a profit of €713,000 the previous year. Revenues of its Italian and foreign units dropped by €32m, to €178.8m, with EBITDA down to €14,000 compared to €13m in 2015, reports Il Sole 24 Ore. (esmmagazine.com)

AUS Aldi loses its crown after years
For the first time in three years, the German discount chain has lost the top spot in consumer research firm Canstar's supermarket satisfaction survey, with South Australian grocer Foodland now boasting the most satisfied customers. The rankings, based on a survey of 2,931 shoppers conducted by Colmar Brunton, gave Foodland five stars for customer service, store layout, food freshness, product variety and overall satisfaction in 2017. Foodland, owned by Metcash, received four stars in the remaining three categories, value for money, special deals and quality of private label products. (chinchillanews.com.au)



Publication date: 7/18/2017
Author: Jan Willem de Jongste
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


 


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