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Costco tests new kiosk ordering system

H-E-B has acquired delivery service Favor

US: Peapod opens 4th PA wareroom
Ecommerce grocer Peapod, in partnership with sister division Giant Food Stores LLC, has opened its newest wareroom in North Coventry, Pa., to serve up to 25% more shoppers in the Philadelphia area. This is the fourth Peapod wareroom in Pennsylvania, and will bring 120 new jobs to the North Coventry community. Its investment came after Peapod experienced double-digit growth in the region for the past three years.

US: Costco tests ordering kiosks at California food courts

Two Costco stores in California are testing out a new kiosk ordering system in their food courts, according to the Orange County Register. The pilot stores are in Tustin and Pacoima. An interviewed Costco employee said that Tustin kiosk has been "a great success," and said wait times have been cut "substantially." The touch-screen system allows customers to order their meal, pay with a credit card, and then grab their food at a pickup window. There is no word yet on if Costco will be testing the kiosks in other locations.

US: Dollar General extends Nielsen relationship
Dollar General has expanded its relationship with Nielsen to broaden the application of the market research firm’s insights and solutions to support Dollar General’s strategic initiatives and in-market activation. Through the expansion, the Chicago-based firm will continue to be the sole measurement provider of the Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based dollar chain’s account-level sales, trading areas and custom product hierarchy. The two have partnered for 14 years to support Dollar General’s most strategic merchandising and marketing initiatives that have driven the retailer's growth.

US: H-E-B acquires delivery service Favor
In a move to expand its online presence in a digitally focused retail climate, H-E-B said it has acquired the on-demand delivery service Favor Delivery, which will become a wholly owned subsidiary. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Through this partnership, H-E-B officials say the company aims to accelerate its path to becoming a digital retail industry leader in Texas, enabling customers to choose how they shop, pay for and receive products. With Favor, which delivers everything from lunch to household items, H-E-B gains access to the company’s consumer-facing technology and on-demand advanced delivery system. H-E-B will also leverage Favor’s data-driven approach to capture valuable insights to deliver the best customer experience possible.

Mexico's Walmex posts fourth quarter growth despite high inflation
Mexico’s biggest retailer Walmart de Mexico reported fourth-quarter net profit and sales growth despite rising inflation last year in Mexico that crimped consumer spending. The company, known as Walmex, said its fourth-quarter net profit rose 1.7% over the same quarter last year, boosted by same-store sales across Mexico and Central America.

Aldi starts in bella Italia

Under the marketing slogan "una nuova idea di spesa!" (a new shopping idea), Aldi Süd revealed its plans for the conquest of the Italian market. After two years of planning via its Austrian arm, Hofer, Aldi Süd (Aldi South) will open ten outlets on March 1 in Lombardy and Venetia. The stores in Bagnolo Mella, Cantù, Castellanza, Curno, Peschiera del Garda, Piacenza, Rovereto, San Donà die Piave, Spilimbergo and Trento will be served by the retailer's first DC in Oppeano, near its head office in Verona.

UK: Co-op ups its focus on the London market

Within its wider programme of store development for 2018, Co-op has revealed it is committing £28mln of investment specifically within the Greater London area. This will see the business add a record 30 new stores within the capital, as well as seven existing stores refreshed to the latest branding and standards. Amongst the first phase of stores to open in 2018 are locations at Walthamstow, Colliers Wood Station, Cricklewood, Colindale Station and Paddington.

Holland: Jumbo gets set to open 2 new Jumbo City stores in Amsterdam
Jumbo is to open two Jumbo City stores in Amsterdam at Ferdinand Bolstraat and Eerste Constantijn Huygensstraat. At present, Jumbo operates three stores in Eindhoven, Den Bosch and Groningen. The retailer is planning to grow the format to operate a minimum of ten stores in the future.

Lidl opens 700th UK store
Lidl has opened five new stores to take the fast growing discounter's total number of UK stores to 700. The new stores in Edinburgh, Stockton on Tees, Hull, Polegate (East Sussex) and Rosehill (South London) prove that Lidl's accelerated store opening plans are on track. Last July CEO Christian Härtnagel announced that Lidl would double its store opening rate to 50-60 per year for the foreseeable future and 30 stores have now opened since then. A further 30 stores are also being upgraded in 2017/18 as part of the retailer's £1.45bln investment plan.

Marks & Spencer launches UAE online shop
Marks & Spencer unveiled its new and improved e-commerce website for the UAE. “Online shopping continues to grow in popularity, as customers look for more choice and greater convenience. We know that our customers want a seamless shopping experience, whether shopping with us online or at our stores,” said Stephen Rayfield, Vice President, Retail, M&S. Tailored content on the new M&S website will showcase products and promotions that are relevant to the UAE.

AUS: 7-Eleven new store fit-out
7-Eleven is trialling a new store fit-out in certain stores across three states, to place more emphasis on customer needs. 7-Eleven GM corporate affairs Clayton Ford said the business is always working on being innovative to meet customer needs. “We are trialling a new small format across a number of locations on the Eastern Seaboard. There’s one store in Brisbane, two in Sydney, and three in Melbourne,” he said. Two additional stores will be opening in the coming weeks.

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