Foodstuffs world premiere trial ‘checkout trolley’ tech

Groupe Casino brings Franprix to Belgium

Iceland named Britain’s best online store for the third year running
Iceland has been named Britain’s top online store in the annual Which? supermarket survey for the third consecutive year. Iceland achieved an overall customer score of 74% with five-star ratings for its convenient delivery slots and drivers’ service, and four-star ratings for its range of products, value for money, and the quality of both its own label and fresh products.

Spar Georgia continues expansion, reaching 42 stores in 2017

Spar Georgia has said that it had a successful 2017, entering three new local markets and opening a number of new stores. The retailer ended its third full year of trading with a total of 42 supermarkets across the country. So far this year, Spar Georgia has continued this expansion strategy, and recently opened its 44th supermarket in Tbilisi.

Coop Danmark opens organic Irma store in Copenhagen
Coop Danmark opened a new supermarket in Copenhagen last month, which has the highest share of organic products in the country. The new Irma ØKO was launched on 18 January, offering a wider range of organic products than the retailer's standard Irma supermarkets. Coop says that Denmark has the highest share of organic grocery sales in the world, with organic products accounting for almost 10% of total grocery sales. However, at its new store, organic grocery accounts for 86.2% of sales.

Groupe Casino brings convenience store chain Franprix to Belgium
French supermarket group Casino will take its first steps in Belgium, after having opened a first Franprix convenience store in Brussels. It will be a trial to test the Belgian waters. “It is only a trial and not the precursor of an expansion outside of the French market”, a Casino spokesperson told French LSA. Franprix is mostly located in and around Paris, where it has 750 locations. Closer to Belgium, it has two convenience stores in Lille.

Goodman is building Hungaryʼs largest warehouse for Auchan
French-owned international retailer Auchan Retail will increase its commercial capacity in Hungary with a new, integrated logistics center at the Üllő Airport Logistics Center near Budapest. The 87,200 square-meter greenfield facility will be the largest of its kind ever built in Hungary. Expected to open in late 2018, the new center at Üllő will handle Auchan Retail Hungary’s food and non-food logistics for both existing and planned new stores, while also supporting the company’s online commerce countrywide.

New Zealand: Foodstuffs to trial ‘checkout trolley’ tech
New Zealanders will be the first in the world to trial new artificial intelligence technology that brings the checkout to the trolley when they shop for groceries at a Foodstuffs store in coming months. New Zealand-based artificial intelligence company Imagr is launching its Smartcart technology at a Four Square store in the Auckland suburb of Ellerslie. The store will be the flagship Foodstuffs retail outlet to trial the computer vision technology retrofitted to shopping baskets and carts that recognises products as soon as they are placed inside – eliminating the need for barcode scanning, checkouts and queueing.

Chinese online retailer raises $2.5bln for logistics arm Inc said it had raised $2.5bln for its logistics arm, as the second-largest Chinese e-commerce firm seeks to further bolster its position in online retail in its home country and beyond. JD Logistics was valued at $10.9bln prior to the new funding, which was led by Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia China, China Merchants Group and Tencent among others, the company said in a statement.

Russia: X5 identifies ‘dark store’ opportunity
X5 launched an online store,, in April 2017, to service the Moscow area. Now it plans to open fulfilment centres for the online store, otherwise known as ‘dark stores’. X5’s is currently supported by a number of Perekrestok hybrid-stores that are supermarket units combined with a warehouse. The online store services the Moscow area only and takes on around 500 orders a day. The ‘dark stores’ aim to relieve pressure from the Perekrestok hybrid stores as warehouse staff must fulfil online orders alongside in-store stocking. The ‘dark stores’ focus on online shopping only, helping them to process orders faster.

US: Price Rite adapting to changing times
A number of Price Rite locations statewide are undergoing a series of changes as the grocer introduces a new look to its Connecticut market. The supermarket chain rolled out several in-store changes to locations in Bridgeport and Danbury, as well as in Cromwell, New Britain and Wethersfield as part of a rebranding campaign to meet the shifting demands of customers. “We spent a lot of time looking at our stores and thinking about ways to create the best possible shopping experience for our customers,” said Jim Dorey, president of Price Rite Marketplace. “Visitors (who come) to the redesigned Price Rite Marketplace stores will find a bright, refreshed space featuring new in-store signage and additions like the ‘Sweet Spot’ dessert case.”

US: Aldi invests in existing stores around St. Louis as it plans new ones
Grocery discount chain Aldi is renovating dozens of its St. Louis area stores as part of a nationwide overhaul of its properties, and it’s scouting the region for new locations. Aldi reopened its University City store after the location underwent significant renovations since closing last year. The overhaul is part of a $1.6bln plan from the German grocer to renovate hundreds of stores nationwide. Roughly $49mln is being pumped into 37 St. Louis area stores. All of the renovations are expected to be completed by 2020. The remodeled stores will include a more modern design, natural lighting and environmentally friendly materials, according to the company.

Amazon to lay off hundreds
Amazon is laying off hundreds of employees, with the cuts primarily focused on the ecommerce giant’s consumer retail business, the company confirmed with Progressive Grocer. First reported by The Seattle Times, the cutbacks, said to be rare for a company that has been on a growth streak for several years – though still small for a company of Amazon’s size – will affect several hundred at the company’s Seattle headquarters and hundreds elsewhere across its global operations, the newspaper said.

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