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EPA honored Sprouts Farmers Market for reducing food waste

Walmart: Flippy the robot

US: Sprouts honored by EPA for reducing food waste
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized the outstanding accomplishments of a Sprouts Farmers Market store and 13 other businesses and organizations participating in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge (FRC), part of the Trump Administration’s Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative. This year’s FRC national awardees employed innovative approaches and engaged in a range of cost-effective and practical actions to prevent and reduce food waste, according to the EPA.

US: Walmart may bring robots to store kitchens & delis
Walmart may be bringing robots to its kitchens, as it currently is testing new technology that essentially acts as a fry cook, Yahoo Finance has reported. The new robot, named Flippy, reportedly can grill 150 hamburger patties per hour. Developed by Pasadena, California-based Miso Robotics and costing between $60,000 and $100,000, the robot is being tested at Walmart's headquarters, in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Amazon Web Services launch new region in Sweden
Amazon Web Services, Inc., an company, announced the opening of the AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region. With this launch, AWS now provides 60 Availability Zones across 20 infrastructure regions globally, with another 12 Availability Zones and four regions in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, Italy, and South Africa all coming online by the first half of 2020. The AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region is AWS’s fifth in Europe, joining existing regions in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK. Tens of thousands of customers across the Nordics - Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden - already use AWS. Developers, startups and enterprises, as well as government, education and non-profit organizations can leverage the new AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region to run their applications in Sweden, serve end-users across the Nordics with lower latency, and leverage advanced technologies such as analytics, database, mobile services, server-less, and more, to drive innovation. Customers can get started at:

Australia: Woolworths reveals organic supermarket concept in Double Bay
Supermarket Woolworths has unveiled a fresh-food-focused concept store, known as ‘The Kitchen’, in the Sydney suburb of Double Bay on Wednesday 12. The store features a range of organic fruit and vegetables, partially sourced from locals Green Camel Organic Produce, based an hour out of Sydney, and offers a ‘flexitarian’ range of plant-based burgers, sausages and tofu. An expanded Macro Wholefoods market range is also available, as well as an on-site florist, juice bar, barista-made coffee, take-away options and an eat-in cafe.

Italy: Nova Coop rolls out new superstore outlet in Turin
Italian regional cooperative and retailer Nova Coop has launched a new superstore in Turin. Located in Via Botticelli, the store has been designed to offer consumers an innovative shopping experience, including a range of information and consulting services, opportunities to discover new products, and an all-day catering service. The design of the store has been inspired by the concept of ‘Presto e Bene’ - Fast and Good - which aims to provide customers with a simple and rewarding shopping experience. The store was developed by the Retail Design studio, along with support from Kiki lab and Kkienn.

The Netherlands rank first on UN’s ecommerce index
The Netherlands are the new number one on the annual B2C E-commerce Index from UN conference UNCTAD. The Dutch have surpassed Luxembourg, which now finds itself on a 19th position. The top three is completed by Singapore and Switzerland. The B2C E-commer Index measures an economy’s preparedness to support online shopping. This year, the index covers 151 countries, seven more than in the previous edition. The countries are ranked based on several indicators, such as postal reliability, individuals using the internet and the amount of secure internet servers.

Google Pay launches in France
Google Pay has continued its global expansion and is now also available in France. Customers from six different banks in France can start using Google’s mobile payment service. Google Pay can also be used at several online services and retailers in France. With the launch, Google has joined a crowded market, as Samsung Pay and Apple Pay are already available in this European country. In France, Google gets support for Visa and MasterCard from six banks and credit card companies: Boon, Boursorama Banque, Edenred France, Lydia, N26 and Revolut. A seventh player, Up, is said to be next.

Singapore: 4 supermarket chains launch campaign to reduce plastic bag use
Four major supermarket chains here have teamed up with the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) and DBS Bank to launch a campaign to reduce plastic bag usage in Singapore. The One Less Plastic campaign, launched on Wednesday, December 12, is being fronted by FairPrice, Sheng Siong, Prime Group - which runs Mahota and Prime Supermarket - and Dairy Farm Group, which runs Cold Storage and Giant.

France: Casino invests in its Cdiscount
France-based Casino has signed a deal with Natixis Payments and acquired online services start-up Stootie to expand the range of solutions met by its ecommerce subsidiary Cdiscount. The partnership will jointly develop an e-wallet and integrate Dalenys as payment service provider partner for Cdiscount. From 2019, Cdiscount users will be able to purchase goods in one click, without entering their bank details. They will also be able to choose to pay in full or in instalments and can receive cashback on purchases. Natixis will provide e-wallet expertise through its S-money digital platform and Dalenys will help roll out the e-wallet. Cdiscount will benefit from Dalenys’ expertise ahead of the implementation of new online transaction security protocol 3DS 2.0, which is expected to be rolled out in 2019.

Sumitomo to open supermarket in Vietnam
Sumitomo Corp. will open its first Vietnamese supermarket this month, using its modern Japanese-style retail expertise to draw increasingly well-off middle-class consumers in a country still dominated by traditional markets. Fujimart Vietnam Retail, a joint venture between the Japanese trading house and local retail and real estate conglomerate BRG Group, will launch one store in Hanoi by year-end. Two more are expected to open there in 2019.

Poundland: Q4 and full year update
Poundland's parent company Pepkor Europe has revealed its latest financial results for Q4 and the full year ended 30 September 2018. A positive year in terms of sales for Pepkor Europe as it expands its footprint across the continent with its three brands: Poundland, Dealz and PEPCO. Q4 sales: €781mln (£691mln), +12.9%. FY sales: €3,049mln (£2,696mln), +10.6%. FY Stores: 2,360, +12.6% (861: Poundland and Dealz. 1,499: PEPCO).

UK: Sainsbury's and Asda seek extra time for merger inquiry
Sainsbury’s and Asda, the two British supermarkets that want to combine their businesses, have asked for a delay in the competition inquiry into their proposed 7.3bln pound ($9.3bln) deal. A deal between second-ranked Sainsbury’s and the British arm of Walmart, the number three player, could see the combined group leapfrog Tesco as market leader and is being assessed by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Sainsbury’s and Asda said the current timetable did not give them, or the CMA, sufficient time given the unprecedented scale and complexity of the case.

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