Instacart acquires Unata

Kroger: New technology to nearly 200 stores

Amazon eyes Australian grocery sector
Amazon has renewed its Whole Foods trademark in Australia, suggesting it has its eye on its $100bln grocery market, which is cause for concern for Coles and Woolworths. E-commerce titan Amazon has taken action on its interest in Australia’s grocery market, with the renewal of the trademark for its supermarket chain at Australia’s office of intellectual property in December, according to Business Daily.

US: iFresh announces engagement with Western Union
Leading Asian American grocery supermarket chain and online grocer iFresh Inc., announced that it has engaged Western Union Company, a leader in global payment and money transfer services. Effective immediately, four of the six iFresh locations in New York City will provide Western Union services, including Money Transfer, Money Order, and Bill Payments. Western Union services will be rolled out in the remaining two iFresh locations in New York City during 2018.

US: Kroger is rolling out a new technology to nearly 200 stores
Kroger is rolling out a new technology to nearly 200 stores, and it could change grocery shopping as we know it. The technology, called Kroger Edge, will be installed on store shelves where paper price tags currently hang. It digitally displays pricing and nutritional information, as well as video ads and coupons for various products. The technology gives Kroger the ability to instantly change prices and activate promotions across its stores, enabling it to undercut sales at other chains and freeing up employees who would otherwise change prices by hand.

US: Instacart acquires digital grocery provider Unata

Instacart is acquiring Unata, their fellow e-commerce and digital grocery services provider, according to a press release. The purchase price was not publicly announced. Unata will retain its name and Toronto headquarters, and operate as an independent subsidiary of Instacart. Unata CEO Chris Bryson will retain his position and report to Instacart's chief business officer, Nilam Ganenthiran.

Spar Oman launches ‘Natural’ concept at Madinat

To deliver the freshest and healthiest foods to customers and satisfy the growing demand for organic food and drinks, Spar in Oman has launched a ‘Natural’ concept at its Madinat as Sultan Qaboos branch. Spar Oman’s organic fruits and vegetables have been sourced from a family farm in Oman which produces leafy vegetables, fruits, eggs, poultry, milk and meat.

Dark clouds gathering over Carrefour, Belgium

Carrefour Belgium is in danger of a new reorganisation. The chain of stores is barely growing, and some of the hypermarkets aren’t profitable enough. The unions are fearing for a new social bloodbath. There’s fear that management will announce job cuts

South Africa: Shoprite sales in healthy growth
Shoprite, Africa’s biggest retailer, posted sales growth of 7.8% for the six months to December 2017 in its South African supermarkets as internal inflation declined to 0.4%, underscoring the resilience of the business despite the country’s sluggish economic prospects. In the corresponding six months, the Cape Town headquartered group’s sales had grown by 7.4% through the reduction of basic commodity prices.

France: Casino 4Q revenue fell slightly
Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA said that final-quarter sales fell 0.3% from the year earlier, with total growth falling in both its France and Latin American retail units. The retailer, which operates a variety of supermarket brands in France and other countries, reported total sales of EUR10bln ($12.2bln) for the three months ended Dec. 31, down from EUR10.3bln, while there was a decline in total sales growth at its convenience stores and Casino supermarkets in France.

Britain’s cheapest major supermarket has been revealed
Morrisons has been declared Britain’s cheapest supermarket in 2017. The discount store beat off stiff competition from Asda, which won the title in 2016. According to consumer affairs group Which? the supermarket came out cheapest across a range of 75 day-to-day products.

Sales at retailer Carrefour Brasil rise 5.3% in fourth quarter
Brazilian food retailer Carrefour Brasil said its fourth quarter gross sales rose 5.3% from last year to 13.63bln reais ($4.23bln). The company said gross sales for full-year 2017 jumped 7.2%, to 49.65bln reais. Same-store sales, a measure of revenue from stores open at least 12 months, rose 1.4% in the fourth quarter.

Spar Netherlands to roll out 130 Express stores at Texaco forecourts
Spar Netherlands has announced that it is rolling out its Spar Express stores at Texaco filling stations in the country, following a successful pilot phase. From early 2018, around 130 new Spar Express outlets will be added exclusively to Texaco stations in the Netherlands, with plans to re-brand two stores a week in order to complete the conversion by mid-2019 at the latest.

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