Amazon plans to open a new warehouse in Germany and create more than 2,800 jobs

First time since Fukushima nuclear disaster: supermarket opens in Namie town

India: Ratnadeep opens its first store in Bangalore
Hyderabad-based Ratnadeep Supermarket has opened its first store in Bengaluru at Indiranagar. Spread across 4000 sqft, the store will offer superlative customer convenience and a pleasant shopping experience to Bangaloreans. The brand has an advantage in terms of product navigation and customer friendly visual representations of the products on display. “The imported assortment, stock keeping units and quality merchandise are an added advantage with easy availability and proven authenticity of different brands compared with what is available in the general market and other stores”, says Sandeep Agarwal, MD, Ratnadeep Supermarket.

Japan: Supermarket opens in Namie town for first time since Fukushima nuclear disaster
Supermarket chain Aeon opened a new store in Namie town, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sunday, for the first time since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster in 2011 caused the evacuation of the town. Namie, along with neighboring Futaba and Tomioka towns, were subject to government evacuation orders in the wake of the crisis. The evacuation order for Namie was partially lifted in 2017, but 49.9% of former residents said they would not return, citing concerns over the lack of medical and commercial facilities, as well as the fact that they had established lives elsewhere.

Spain: Auchan FY2018 turnover up 1.4%
Auchan Spain has announced its FY2018 results, reporting a 1.4% increase in turnover to €4,597mln. The growth rate is 0.1% higher than the previous year. In 2018, Auchan generated €109mln of investment, of which 40% will be set aside for “the opening of new centres and teaching changes”. The remainder will be put towards “the renovation of stores, the implementation of sustainability measures and the continuation of the digitalization plan”. The retailer finished the year with 366 stores, ten more than the year before. The new openings include one hypermarket and nine supermarkets, one of which is franchised. Auchan invested €17mln into opening its eight own supermarkets and a petrol station. The new supermarkets are in Madrid, Zaragoza, Navarra, La Rioja and Barcelona. They all operate under the My Alcampo banner and three are based on the '7d7' model, and so are open every day from 07:00 to 01:00. Auchan also invested €25mln into converting its centres to the Alcampo brand. This included, 45 own stores and eight franchises, which have changed their label from Simply to Alcampo; Alcampo Supermarket for supermarkets and Alcampo for convenience stores.

UAE: Chairman of popular supermarket chain dies
The chairman of the holding company of Dubai’s popular Baqer Mohebi Supermarkets’ chain has died. The outlets remained closed on Saturday. Dr Zainal Mohebi passed away in Dubai on Friday “after a long illness”, according to a condolence message on, the website of Habanos, a Cuban cigar brand marketed in the UAE by Baqer Mohebi Enterprises (BME). BME, which operates the Baqer Mohebi Supermarkets’ chain, is a company of the family-based Zainal Mohebi Holdings (ZMH), whose chairman and founder was Dr Zainal Mohebi.

Holland: Albert Heijn trials driverless robot that delivers groceries to your door
The largest Dutch supermarket chain, Albert Heijn, has begun a trial of a ‘delivery robot’ that sends groceries out to its customers without the need for a driver. The electric vehicle, which has a range of eight kilometres, is being tested within the confines of Eindhoven’s High Tech Campus as it is not allowed on the open road. The Aitonomi robot has been developed by the Swiss-German technology firm Teleretail. Staff pack the groceries into the ‘bezorgrobot’ before the vehicle makes its way to the delivery address using cameras and sensors. Customers will still need to step outside to collect their shopping.

Amazon plans to open new warehouse and create 2,800 jobs in Germany
U.S. online retail giant Amazon plans to open a new warehouse in Germany this year and create more than 2,800 jobs with permanent contracts in what is its second-biggest market after the United States. That will bring Amazon’s total staff in Germany to more than 20,000 across more than 35 sites by the end of 2019, the retailer said in a statement. It added that its 13th warehouse in Germany would be in the western city of Moenchengladbach.

Spain: Eroski reflects on success of 2018
Spain-based Eroski generated sales of €5.39bln and an operating profit of €163.62mln in 2018. The cooperative has identified its strategic focus surrounding “differentiation, with health and sustainability as the main axes”. While presenting Eroski’s 2018 Report, Eroski's president, Agustín Markaide, announced: “We have reinforced our leadership in the north, where we have concentrated on the transformation of our network so far… As a result, our operating results continue to improve appreciably and confirm the good health of the business and our solid stability in recent years”.

UK: Ocado warns it is unable to prepare for Brexit border delays
Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner, speaking on BBC’s Today programme, warned it was “just not possible” for the company to prepare for huge delays at the border, with inadequate storage to keep more than a week of stocks. “To buy a week of inventory we would have to double the size of our facilities and our facilities are full so we’d have to buy replica facilities for that one week. It’s just not possible”, Steiner told the BBC.

US: Food Lion rolls out anti-hunger reusable bags
Food Lion is providing customers with an easy and affordable way to help eradicate child hunger and food insecurity by selling specially designed reusable bags as part of its Summers Without Hunger campaign. Shoppers can buy the bags through August 6, or while supplies last, for $1 at any Food Lion store, and the grocer’s hunger relief charity, Food Lion Feeds, will donate the equivalent of five meals to the Feeding America network of food banks with the purchase of each bag. Food Lion guarantees a minimum donation of $100,000 - the monetary equivalent of 1mln meals - from the campaign.

US: Giant/Martin’s offers online grocery service at 100th store
Giant Direct, Powered by Peapod, Giant Food Stores’ online grocery service providing both pickup and delivery, will now be available at 100 Giant stores and Martin’s Food Markets - where the offering is known as Martin’s Direct - across four states. To mark the momentous occasion, Giant Food Stores President Nicholas Bertram and Store Manager Tim Dinsmore were present at a July 12 ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the 100th store to offer Giant Direct, at 255 South Spring Garden Street in the grocer's hometown of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Giant also plans to present a $1,000 donation to Project SHARE, a Carlisle-based organization that each month provides groceries and other essentials to more than 1,000 local needy families.

US: Kings introducing 1st-ever meal kits
Kings Food Markets is bringing out its first-ever line of meal kits - a line of fresh seasonal offerings hand-packed in-store with ingredients sourced from local purveyors. Each kit from the upscale grocer serves two and is packaged in a fully compostable bowl to minimize packaging waste. “Our customers have told us that they are looking for fresh, flavorful and easy solutions for getting dinner on the table, and these Provisions Meal Kits will be the first under our new Provisions banner,” explained Stephen Corradini, chief merchandising officer at Parsippany, New Jersey-based Kings.

US: Smart Foodservice Warehouse launches Shipt delivery
Smart & Final Stores Inc.’s Smart Foodservice Warehouse Stores has brought same-day delivery via Shipt to 15 markets across the West. Delivery from Smart Foodservice Warehouse locations began in Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland, Oregon, as well as in selected cities in the Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Utah.

US: Big Y to boot plastic bags at checkout in August
Big Y Foods Inc. will discontinue single-use plastic bags at the checkouts from its 80-plus supermarkets and specialty stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut as of August 1. To help cushion the blow for shoppers who haven’t yet switched to more eco-friendly options, the Springfield, Massachusetts-based grocer will offer discounts on reusable bags throughout August. Big Y has been complying with single-use plastic bag bans in several Massachusetts communities since 2014. Because of recent changes to laws in various towns across its New England market area, however, the company has moved up its original 2020 timeline to eliminate single-use plastic bags at checkouts at all of its locations, with the aim of streamlining operations and further support sustainability.

US: Publix's $400mln distribution center gets green light
Despite a December speed bump, Publix continues its push to build a new $400mln North Carolina distribution center, and the retailer is one step closer with this latest approval. Last summer Publix announced its plan for a campus containing multiple facilities devoted to product distribution. The facilities include a 1.1mln-square-foot refrigerated warehouse, a 120,000-square-foot food manufacturing facility, a 1.3mln-square-foot dry warehouse, plus parking and staging areas for tractor trailers, parking for associates, and additional support buildings.

Amazon to create 1,000 jobs in metro Atlanta
The e-commerce giant announced it would open a warehouse facility in metro Atlanta that will create 1,000 jobs. The company said the 700,000-square-foot facility - a bit smaller than an average mall - will bridge Gwinnett and DeKalb counties and house workers who will pack and ship customer orders. Employees will also be hired to handle finances, information technology and other roles.

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