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Whole Foods predicts purple veg surge | Rewe names new CEO

Woolworths wins claim over suppliers | Ocado's growth dips

Amazon: No, we're not opening 2,000 stores -
Two days after The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon plans to open "more than 2,000 brick-and-mortar grocery stores under its name," the company knocked down the idea as false. "It's absolutely not correct," Amazon spokeswoman Pia Arthur said in an emailed statement Wednesday. "We have no plans to open 2,000 of anything. Not even close." The online retailer also batted down the claim by the publication that Amazon envisions opening a 30,000-to-40,000-square-foot store that would resemble a discount grocery chain like Aldi. "No plans to build such a store exist," she added. (cnet.com)

Retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico to invest $1.3bn in Mexico

Retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico said on Wednesday it will invest $1.3bn in logistics in Latin America's No. 2 economy, in what is perceived as a show of commitment to Mexico at a time of uncertainty after the election of Donald Trump. The investment in Mexico will not result in any jobs being moved from the United States, Wal-Mart spokeswoman Jo Warner told Reuters. "The investment is funded by Walmex and is necessary for expansion of Wal-Mart's Mexican business," she said. (Reuters)

AU: Woolworths wins court case over supplier payments
Woolworths won a court victory on Thursday against the competition regulator, as a judge dismissed claims the retailer had pressured suppliers to make payments to fund an earnings shortfall. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) accused Woolworths of seeking about A$60.2mn ($43.84mn) in payments from suppliers to help boost flagging earnings under a scheme the company called Mind the Gap. The watchdog argued the scheme took advantage of Woolworths' superior bargaining power against about 800 suppliers, in contravention of consumer law. It wanted Woolworths to refund suppliers and pay related costs. (Reuters)

China: Metro tapping into convenience; offering fresh fruits

Metro is testing out convenience stores under the banner My Mart as the demand for proximity shopping rises. My Mart offers Metro’s exclusive imported products, private label lines and fresh fruits, as well as about 100 ready-to-eat items. (igd.com)

Whole Foods: Purple veg will be popular in 2017

On Tuesday, Whole Foods released its predictions for 2017’s hottest food trends—a list that’s compiled by experts who track consumer behavior at more than 400 of the chain’s stores. One of the more colorful food trends of the new year is “purple everything,” the company says: such as purple asparagus, purple cauliflower, and purple sweet potatoes, among others. (fortune.com)

UK: Online supermarket Ocado's sales growth dips
British online supermarket Ocado reported a 13.1% rise in fourth-quarter sales, representing a slight slowdown from the previous quarter. The company said on Thursday that gross retail sales were 398.1mn pounds ($504mn) in the 16 weeks to Nov. 27, up from 351.8mn pounds in the same period last year. Third-quarter growth was 13.6%. (Reuters)

German Rewe names new CEO
Germany's Rewe Group has announced that Lionel Souque is to take over as CEO at the start of 2019, replacing the current CEO, Alain Caparros. Souque will take up his position on 1 January 2019, having been with Rewe Group since 1996. He previously led the group's full-range division and its digital business segment. (esmmagazine.com)

Kantar Study: Dollar General and Walmart least expensive

Dollar General and Walmart tied for the least expensive overall basket, at $27 each, in Kantar Retail's Opening Price Point Study, which seeks to determine how select retailers meet the grocery and consumable needs of shoppers looking for the lowest absolute shelf prices. Dollar General and Walmart outperformed competitors Aldi, Family Dollar, Stop and Shop and a number of others with the least expensive overall basket. In addition to overall basket price, the survey analyzed each store on edible baskets, non-edible baskets, and HBA sub-baskets. (chainstoreage.com)

ICA November sales in Swedish stores rose
ICA Gruppen said sales in Swedish ICA stores increased by 2.9% in November 2016 compared with the corresponding month last year. Sales in like-for-like stores increased by 2.4%. (Reuters)

Online grocery delivery urDoorstep to expand across India
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Ahold Delhaize will plough cash reserves into online expansion

Royal Ahold Delhaize NV announced plans to buy back €1bn ($1.1bn) of shares and will plough money into online expansion as its cash reserves swell following the merger of the Dutch and Belgian retailers. (internetretailer.com)

Norway's NorgesGruppen promises to stimulate consumption of vegetables

The CEO of Norwegian retailer NorgesGruppen, Runar Hollevik, has signed an agreement to improve public health put forward by Health Minister Bent Høie, the company announced Wednesday. The agreement will reduce the amount of saturated fat, salt and sugar in Norwegian diets, and increase consumption of vegetables, coarse bread, and fish. It was signed by dozens of senior officials from the food industry. "The agreement is unique. I know of no other country in the world that has achieved such a deal," Høie said. (esmmagazine.com)

US: Southeastern Grocers adds five stores to Fresco Y Más banner

With strategic conversions and expansions underway for its umbrella of banners, Southeastern Grocers is looking to tap in on the growing influence of the Hispanic demographic. The company simultaneously unveiled five new Fresco y Más stores this morning in response to strong consumer demand. (delimarketnews.com)

US: Costco reports 3.2% rise in quarterly revenue
Warehouse club retailer Costco Wholesale Corp reported a 3.2% rise in quarterly revenue, helped by higher traffic in stores and higher sales of fresh foods. Net income attributable to the company rose to $545mn in the first quarter ended Nov. 20, from $480mn a year earlier. Total revenue rose to $28.10bn from $27.22bn. (Reuters)

Russia: Lenta opens 11 stores acquired from Kesko
Lenta announced the opening of 11 new stores acquired during the purchase of the Kesko food retail business in Russia (“KFR”), previously operating under the K-Ruoka brand. Yesterday, 10 hypermarkets and one supermarket opened in Saint-Petersburg and the Leningrad region, now operating under the Lenta brand. (eprretailnews.com)

Unpacking sub-Saharan Africa’s online retail industry
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