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Aldi US invests $40m in PA | Costco opens first store in France

Walmart not considering bid for Whole Foods

Costco opens first store in France
American retailer Costco has opened its first French store this week in Villebon-sur-Yvette, northern France, reports Le Monde. The new warehouse store features around 3,800 wholesale products, 500 of which are devoted to luxury brands. Customers pay an annual fee to become a member, and consequently prices are between 20% to 40% lower than in standard supermarkets. (esmmagazine.com

Over 25% of grocery shoppers open to conversational commerce
According to IGD, 28% of shoppers are interested in using voice-activated devices at home to add food or grocery items to their online baskets. The new research suggests ‘conversational commerce’ is just one innovative technology improving grocery convenience for shoppers – others include refrigerated click & collect lockers and online grocery subscription services where customers receive deliveries automatically. IGD’s analysis suggests the grocery market is now worth £10.4 billion, while in the last month alone, 41% of British shoppers have bought some of their groceries online, with 60% of consumers believing they will be shopping online for groceries in the next two or three years. (essentialretail.com

US: Wisconsin to allow delivery robots
Wisconsin has become the third state to legalize the use of the automated robots. Virginia and Idaho passed passed similar legislation earlier this year. The Wisconsin law places an 80-pound weight limit on the robots, and doesn’t permit the machines to travel faster than 10 miles per hour. The robots are also required to have a person in the loop to take over control in case something goes awry, according to ReCode. (chainstoreage.com)

Aldi investing nearly $40 million in Pennsylvania
Aldi is not yet satisfied in its battle to come out on top in the U.S. retail industry wars. The grocer has revealed it will be investing upwards of $36 million into the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania market. In addition to its continuation of its $1.6 billion remodel plan, the Aldi has also committed to opening new locations by 2018. Please, click here to read more at delimarketnews.com

Exclusive: Wal-Mart not considering a bid for Whole Foods - source
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is not actively considering making an offer for Whole Foods Market Inc, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday. Whole Foods, which accepted a $13.7bn offer from Amazon.com Inc last week, has not received any rival bids as of Friday, a second source said. Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is confidential. Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Hitt declined to comment on whether the company is considering a bid for Whole Foods. Whole Foods and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (Reuters)

US: Supervalu closes on acquisition of Unified Grocers
Supervalu completed its previously announced acquisition of Unified Grocers Inc. in a transaction that officials from the Minneapolis-based company describe as “a significant step forward for the growth of our wholesale business.” The deal, which was announced in April and is valued at $390 million, is comprised of $114 million in cash for 100 percent of Unified Grocers’ shareholders, plus the assumption and pay-off of Unified’s debt of approximately $276 million. (groceryheadquarters.com

E-commerce opens door for ethnic communities: Alibaba
The Internet has made New Zealand a great place for ethnic minorities to grow a business, according to Chinese mega-company Alibaba. The giant online marketing company will be present at EPIC, the Ethnic People in Commerce conference taking place in Auckland on June 30. Piers Smulders, Alibaba's business development manager in New Zealand, is a keynote speaker and said there were "significant opportunities" for ethnic communities here wanting to tap the Chinese consumer. Many Kiwi businesses were already using Alibaba's services, and some – particularly those in the honey, wine, fruit, dairy, seafood, health supplements and skincare categories – were exceeding expectations. (stuff.co.nz

Major German supermarket set to open in southeast Queensland
German supermarket giant Kaufland has its eyes firmly on southeast Queensland. It is understood the company has been talking to local councils about a suitable location for a distribution centre, which when finalised will kickstart the establishment of its so-called 'hypermarkets'. A leading commercial agent said the company liked to "fly under the radar" and not engage with local agents. "They are very controlling but I have heard they are talking to Ipswich, Logan, Brisbane and other councils about land for a distribution centre," he said. (qt.com.au

AU: Metcash' profit falls
Food and grocery wholesaler Metcash’s full-year net profit has fallen 20.6%, but cost savings and higher sales have helped it restart dividends. The company says net profit for the year to April 30 fell to $171.9 million, but sales revenue rose 5.4% to $14.12 billion, helped by a 53rd trading week and revenue from the home timber and hardware business that was acquired in October 2016. The IGA and Foodland supplier on Monday said that in the first six weeks of FY18, sales in the food business had continued to be impacted by competitive pressure and difficult economic conditions in Western Australia. (news.com.au)

UK: Tesco to raise store staff wages by 10.5% 
Tesco, Britain's biggest private sector employer, is to raise pay for hourly paid store staff by an inflation-beating 10.5% over the next two years, it said on Friday. "This reward package sees our biggest investment in store pay for a decade," said Matt Davies, Tesco's UK CEO. (Reuters)

UK: Nisa eyes £120m debt deal amid convenience sector shake-up
Sky News has learnt that Nisa, which trades through about 1,400 members under brands such as Nisa Local‎, is close to finalising new banking facilities with HSBC and Wells Fargo.
The new arrangements, which would replace an existing £100m deal with Barclays, would give Nisa Retail additional headroom to expand, according to insiders. (news.sky.com)

Auchan acquires Ukrainian retailer Karavan
Retail group Auchan has acquired the Ukrainian supermarket chain Karavan, adding nine hypermarkets to its retail network in the Eastern European country. Karavan operates stores in Odessa, Kiev, Kryvy Rih, Zaporizhia and Lviv, with over 58,000 square metres of selling space. (esmmagazine.com


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