Aldi: more than 1,000 jobs to add in tight labor market

Hy-Vee plans to open 12 supermarkets in Twin Cities

US: Shipt grocery delivery comes to California
This month, Target stores in California are slated to launch same-day delivery of groceries and other products via Shipt. Plans call for the rollout, announced Thursday, to begin in Northern California’s Bay Area on September 20 at Target locations in the East Bay, the North Bay, Peninsula, San Francisco and San Jose. The service then will be expanded to Target stores across Central and Southern California in the fall.

US: Standard Cognition beats Amazon to cashierless store in San Francisco
Startup Standard Cognition announced plans to open a cashierless store in San Francisco in the coming days. Named Standard Market, the store will operate with limited hours and is a testing site for Standard Cognition’s artificial intelligence that uses cameras to track the movement of shoppers throughout a store. This is Standard Cognition’s first public store. The startup, which has been working on its cashierless store tech since 2016, previously operated a private store in Palo Alto, California.

US: Sprouts Farmers Market gets the job done
Despite the impressive roster of competitors, organic grocer Sprouts Farmers Market is getting the job done. The company notched second quarter same-store sales growth of 2%. Earnings growth clocked in at 10% vs. the prior year. Sprouts continues to push forward with new store openings, recently eclipsing 300 locations in operation. Shares have gained 10% year to date. Sprouts Farmers Market CEO Amin Maredia tells TheStreet the company has focused on offering more unique products, while jumping in on digital via an Instacart partnership, to battle back larger foes such as Amazon owned Whole Foods, Walmart and Target.

US: Amazon Go expands into East Coast with 1st NYC Store
Amazon is planning to open one of its cashierless convenience concepts in New York, evidenced by several listings posted on the ecommerce giant's jobs page. The Seattle-based company is seeking at least three positions for a planned Amazon Go store in the Big Apple: store manager, assistant store manager and training lead associate. The new store will mark the format's entrance into the East Coast. Amazon Go's technology is the same as that used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning make up the "just walk out" technology, developed to automatically detect when products are taken from or returned to shelves, and to keep track of the items in a virtual cart. Shoppers check in by scanning a barcode on a dedicated mobile app, and, upon leaving, are charged via their Amazon account.

US: Hy-Vee will reignite its Twin Cities growth plan
Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee has plans to open 12 supermarkets in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area by the end of 2019, according to the Duluth News Tribune. The company first entered the market in 2015 in New Hope, Minnesota, and has since opened seven stores in the metro area. Cub Foods, the Twin Cities' market share leader, is expected to put more than 50 stores up for sale following parent company Supervalu's acquisition by United Natural Foods in July.

US: Aldi aims to add more than 1,000 jobs in tight labor market

Aldi is looking to hire more than 1,000 permanent positions at 380 stores in eight states including Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia and Michigan, according to reports. The company is hiring positions for in-store, warehouses and corporate roles through October. Aldi's goal is to add 25,000 new jobs across the company. With this hiring spree, the grocer plans to invest $5.3bln to remodel and expand to 2,500 stores by the end of 2022. “While many retailers are closing locations and facing a challenging retail climate, Aldi is expanding in every core area of our business, particularly our stores and warehouses,” Aldi U.S. CEO Jason Hart said in a statement. “We invite job seekers to be part of the largest expansion the company has seen as we advance our mission to help more than 100mln people save money on high-quality food every month by 2022.”

AUS: Coles expands Quiet Hour to 173 stores
Coles will dim the lights, turn down the music and reduce in-store distractions at 173 stores from tomorrow as it more than doubles the number of Quiet Hour locations. The supermarket said it was expanding the autism-friendly shopping experience to an additional 103 supermarkets nationwide to provide a “more inclusive shopping environment for all customers”. Quiet Hour, which received massive support from parents of autistic children after a successful trial in August last year, will now be offered in an additional 103 stores - 56 in New South Wales, 27 in Queensland and 20 in Western Australia - every Tuesday from 10.30am to 11.30am.

French second-quarter online retail sales up 14.4%: Fevad
Online retail sales in France rose 14.4% to 22bln euros ($25.40bln) in the second quarter, the country’s e-commerce federation (Fevad) said. The figures reflect growth in a sector that has seen Amazon and others make inroads, putting pressure on bricks-and-mortar retailers like Carrefour to accelerate their own digital offerings, cost cutting and purchasing alliances. Sales generated on web-based marketplaces rose 14%, while sales via apps on tablets and smartphones grew by 20%.

Holland: More companies added to Albert Heijn's 'Start-Up Shelf' initiative
Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn has announced the addition of four food start-ups to its 'AH Startup Shelf' initiative. The initiative gives food start-ups the chance to showcase their products for one week at selected Albert Heijn outlets. In addition to its store in Gelderlandplein in Amsterdam, the company has also introduced start-up shelves in its Eemplein store in Amersfoort, and in its Limburglaan outlet in Eindhoven.

China: Alibaba's Jack Ma to step down in September 2019
Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has said he plans to step down in a year. The news, in a letter sent by Mr Ma to Alibaba customers and shareholders, follows conflicting reports over the weekend on the timing of his exit. Mr Ma, one of China's richest men, will hand over the reins to Daniel Zhang, currently chief executive. Alibaba is one of the world's most valuable companies - its shares nearly doubled in value last year.

Supermarkets offer ‘cashback’ for first time in France
Shoppers will be able to ask for “cashback” from their supermarket cashier for the first time ever in France, as the Casino group prepares to roll the scheme out across 150 stores nationwide. Many Casino Géant hypermarkets and supermarkets are now offering the service, allowing shoppers to take out between €10-€50 in cash at the same time as paying for their goods at the till. While common in other countries such as the UK and USA, this is the first time that “cashback” has been available in France.

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