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8 new stores opened by Spar Kaliningrad

Ocado has introduced cloud-based technology and swarm robotics

India: Bigbasket signs 3 year e-procurement deal with SourceEzy
Bigbasket, an online supermarket, signed a three-year e-procurement deal with SourceEzy Technologies Pvt. Ltd, an e-procurement software and consulting firm, to source over 100 crore in the next three years. The contract will comprise the entire e-procurement requirement of the company including capital expenditure, operational expenditure, and services. "We use SourceEzy's software to capture internal requisitions, send out requests for product information and quotations, conduct e-auctions and send out online purchase orders to our vendors. The software is very user friendly and the consulting services received are exemplary," said Cdr (Retd) V.S. Ramesh, co-founder and chief projects officer of Bigbasket. (

Russia: Spar Kaliningrad opens eight new stores
Spar Kaliningrad has announced the opening of four Eurospar supermarkets and four Spar Neighbourhood stores over the last few months. Due to the Russian city’s proximity to Europe, at only 30km from Poland, the stores are catered more towards western European cuisines. Kaliningrad is located in the country’s most western region, sandwiched in-between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. The newly opened Spar Neighbourhood stores cater to a broad customer profile from students to tourists. All four new Neighbourhood stores have a fresh bakery section as well as deli counters, and some also serve freshly made pizza and sushi in-store. The four new Eurospar supermarkets target locals looking to shop in bulk. They too include the fresh food sections and additionally offer a fresh fish section and food-to-go items such as breakfast smoothies and sandwiches. (

UK: How robots are helping to shape the future of retail
Online U.K. supermarket Ocado has introduced cloud-based technology and swarm robotics to collect grocery orders. The company, which describes itself as "the world's largest dedicated online grocery retailer," says it has more than 580,000 active customers. Towards the end of last year, Ocado began operations at an automated warehouse in Andover, southern England. "There, we have thousands of robots flying around, and there's no way that human engineers could monitor those in real-time, let alone make sense of all the data that's being streamed back by those robots," Paul Clarke, Ocado's chief technology officer, said. "So all of it is being sent to the cloud and there we're building smart, machine learning based analytics to analyze that data." Clarke added that the business wanted to "pepper the planet" with automated warehouses, both for itself and business-to-business (B2B) customers. (

US: Ahold Delhaize halts Bfresh concept
Ahold Delhaize is halting development of its Bfresh concept. The company, which operates three Bfresh stores in Massachusetts, planned to build three locations in Philadelphia, but now says it will reevaluate the use of those sites. The company plans to fold its Massachusetts Bfresh stores along with its Eastside Marketplace store in Providence, Rhode Island into the Stop & Shop banner. The retailer said it will close its Bfresh location in Brighton, Massachusetts, this weekend, along with its Everything Fresh store in Philadelphia. “We will apply key learnings from Bfresh and the Eastside Marketplace — such as innovative technology, fresh prepared meals, a health-focused assortment and exciting ways to engage customers digitally and online — to Stop & Shop stores more broadly and to future alternative and small format store opportunities,” Mark McGowan, president of Stop & Shop said. (

US: Bristol Farms debuts new food hall format
Bristol Farms has opened a new 25,000-square-foot store in Woodland Hills, California, that features a new food hall format with epicurean market stations. The store features products from hundreds of local vendors, a large selection of European and “import-style” products, and some 4,000 natural and organic grocery items. It also includes a specialty coffee concept called The Daily, serving Intazza coffee. “We are excited to offer our customers an elevated shopping experience while maintaining Bristol Farms quality and food standards,” said Adam Caldecott, president and co-CEO of Bristol Farms, who said the store, located on Mulholland Drive, will become “the culinary destination for the community.” (

Amazon tells Australian retailers to prepare for orders Inc has told its Australian sellers to be ready to take orders on Nov. 23, according to a retailer, the first time the global retail juggernaut has given a start date for doing business in the world's No. 12 economy. Australia has long been home to Amazon-registered sellers, but until now they had been limited to sending goods offshore since the $550bln company did not have any warehouses in the country of 24mln people. This also meant Australians had to wait long and pay sizable shipping costs for deliveries. Amazon has, however, set up a distribution warehouse in Melbourne city, on the country’s east coast where four-fifths of the population live, and logistics analysts say this will help cut sometimes open-ended delivery times to one or two days. (Reuters)

US: Walmart is rolling out its massive online pickup towers to 500 stores
Walmart is adding online pickup towers to more than 500 stores. The massive towers, which stand at least 16 feet tall and 8 feet wide, rapidly retrieve online orders for customers who shipped their purchases to a Walmart store. The massive towers are located near store entrances. "Think of this as an ATM for parcel pickup," JP Suarez, Walmart's vice president of real estate, said at a recent conference. "We’re putting 500 of these towers in our stores, we love them." The towers are game-changers for online order pickups. Customers don't have to interact with employees to use the machines. They enter an order number or scan a barcode on their phones, and the package appears in a matter of seconds. Walmart tested the first pickup tower in a store in Bentonville, Arkansas — where the company is headquartered — last year. (

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