Walmart to acquire online retailer Eloquii

Kroger to trial grocery pick-up program at Walgreens stores

Ahold Delhaize USA to sell Italian grocery brand products
This fall, Ahold Delhaize USA supermarkets plan to offer a selection of Fior Fiore brand products from Italian grocery chain COOP Italia. Under a partnership between Ahold Delhaize USA’s Retail Business Services unit and COOP Italia, the Fior Fiore products - including appetizers like olives and bruschetta, oils and dressing, pasta, pasta sauce, pastries and snacks - will be sold for a limited time at Food Lion, Giant Food, Giant/Martin’s and Stop & Shop stores, as well as by online grocer Peapod.

US: Schnuck Markets goes bigger in digital
Schnuck Markets Inc. is looking to grow its digital presence as it grows its physical presence. The regional grocer has entered a multiyear partnership with fellow St. Louis-based company World Wide Technology (WWT) to develop an omnichannel experience that reinforces relationships with current customers and helps draw new ones. “We’ve been working with World Wide Technology for six months or a bit longer now, and they’ve helped us with not just launching Schnucks Rewards but also looking at other ways to address the customer experience, whether that’s being able to order ahead, find out where items are in-store, refill a prescription and other areas we know customers would like assistance in,” said Chace MacMullan, director of brand and digital marketing at Schnucks.

US: Walmart to acquire plus-size online retailer Eloquii
Walmart is adding to its online coterie of brands with its acquisition of plus-sized online retailer, Eloquii. The big box retailer has been building up an online collection of labels since its roughly $3bln acquisition of in 2016. Those brands now include ModCloth, Bonobos and Allswell. Walmart did not disclose the deal's value, but a person familiar with the terms told CNBC it valued Eloquii at roughly $100mln. It had interest from other retailers in the sale process, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. Recode first reported the deal price.

US: Kroger to test grocery pick-up program at Walgreens stores
U.S. grocer Kroger Co said it is exploring a partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc to allow its customers to order online and pick up groceries at some of the drug retailer’s stores. Grocers across the United States have been implementing new ways to draw more shoppers to their stores as they face intense competition from online retailer, Inc, and its unit Whole Foods. Kroger said the pilot program will be tested across 13 Walgreens stores near Kroger’s Cincinnati headquarters.

Greece: Sklavenitis to focus on fresh, local produce
Sklavenitis, the leading Greek supermarket chain, is planning to open a number of stores where the emphasis will be on fresh products while another project foresees the showcasing of small Greek producers. The vehicle for the former will be small outlets that previously belonged to the Marinopoulos chain that Sklavenitis has absorbed, while the products of small Greek producers’ will have their own areas inside the group’s hypermarkets. The latter is already being piloted in cooperation with Kathimerini’s Sunday cooking supplement Gastronomos.

Belarus food retailer Eurotorg plans imminent London listing: sources
The biggest food retailer in Belarus, Eurotorg, is planning to list its shares in London in the coming weeks, sources familiar with the matter said, potentially valuing the company at more than $3bln. About $300mln of shares are slated to be sold in the first international listing by a Belarusian business, one of the sources said, adding that the offering of global depositary receipts could be launched as soon as next week.

Auchan France to build urban farms
According to LSA, Auchan France has secured hundreds of hectares of farmland through its real estate branch Ceetrus. The farmland is situated around 50 stores outside Paris and will be used to grow produce for Auchan stores. Auchan France has decided to make its "good, healthy, local" slogan a reality by positioning itself in the urban farm segment. About 50 sites will be involved in the project. Each site will use a hundred hectares of land, which Auchan hopes to turn into urban farms by 2020. The land is owned by Auchan, but the retailer will involve local farmers and nearby residents. The urban farms will work closely with Auchan stores to provide customers with seasonal, local and environmentally-friendly products. Products will be “grown locally by and for locals" and sold under a new brand. The name of which is yet to be revealed.

Spain: Retail sales recover in August
Spain retail sales recovered in August, figures from the statistical office INE showed. Retail sales climbed by adjusted 0.3% year-on-year in August, reversing a 0.5% drop in July. On an unadjusted basis, retail sales grew 0.3%, following a 0.7% decrease a month ago. Compared to July, retail sales climbed 0.3% in August. This was in contrast to July's 0.4% drop. Data showed that food products sales gained 0.4%, while non-food product sales rose only 0.1%.

Germany's Lidl to open first 16 stores in Serbia on October 11
German discount chain Lidl plans to open its first 16 stores in Serbia on October 11, the company said. The stores will be opened in 12 Serbian cities - Belgrade, Bor, Zrenjanin, Kragujevac, Leskovac, Nis, Novi Sad, Smederevo, Sombor, Subotica, Uzice and Sabac, Lidl said in a statement. Lidl will keep opening stores across Serbia in November as it plans to continue the expansion of its retail network in the country, the company said.

1st UK physical store for Only 5 Pounds
Only 5 Pounds, an online single price point variety discounter, has opened its first physical store. The discounter has opened its first store in Northampton's town centre after trading solely online since 2015. Only 5 Pounds also has two pick up locations in nearby Kettering and Milton Keynes where shoppers can collect their online orders, and this service will also be available in the new store. Delivery charges are for every 20 items bought, creating an incentive for shoppers to buy many products in one transaction. UK charges currently vary between £5 and £15 for every 20 items. Only 5 Pounds is also attracting shoppers outside of the UK. The discounter delivers across Europe with delivery charges between £12 and £24 for every 20 items.

Belgium: Colruyt to start home delivery
Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt has announced it will start home deliveries in major cities like Antwerp and Brussels somewhere in 2019. The market leader feels obligated to follow its competitors Delhaize and Carrefour. COO Frans Colruyt has revealed that his company will start delivering orders made through its web shop Collect&Go, which currently only works through pick-up points. However, the chain with the legendary austerity will not implement the service throughout Belgium: only inhabitants of its major cities will be able to get products delivered to their homes. The service would start next year in Antwerp, Brussels and Ghent, while expansion to Liège and Namur is also envisaged.

Mercadona nears 25% of Spanish grocery market: Kantar Worldpanel
Market share data from Kantar Worldpanel has shown that Spanish grocery leader Mercadona is close to securing 25% of the market, with the grocer currently on 24.7% share. This has been brought about by ‘refurbishment of its stores, an expansion of its range that is improving the retailer’s image, and its continued commitment to developing their fresh offer’, Kantar Worldpanel said. Mercadona is currently investing in its logistics facility in Huévar, near Seville, with a view to improving its fresh logistics operation.

Holland: Albert Heijn launches new service for post-vacation customers
Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn has announced a new service - Appie Fly - that will allow Transavia airlines passengers to order food that can be picked up at their airport of arrival in the Netherlands. Presently, the service is only available in Rotterdam The Hague Airport. Customers can place their orders online, while checking in for their flight to the Netherlands. The service includes a ‘Welcome Home Box’, which can be picked up from the Appie Fly collection point in the arrival hall of the airport. The box, which is sufficient for two people, offers two varieties of breakfast and is priced at €12.50 each.

UK: Poundworld founder to establish new discount chain
The founder of the Poundworld chain, Chris Edwards, has said that he plans to open up to 100 budget stores under a new discount banner, Onebelow. Speaking to the Financial Times, Chris Edwards said that Onebelow will mark a return to the strict ‘round pound’ concept - a nod to rival Poundland’s recent decision to offer products at a range of price points. Following its sale to TPG Capital in 2015, Poundworld similarly adopted a multiple price strategy. “We are still in contact with suppliers in the Far East,” Edwards told the paper. “We’ve had a good response from them and from landlords.” Edwards plans to open the first Onebelow store next year, with aspirations to open more than 100 such outlets by the end of next year.

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