Food Lion: 92 remodeled South Carolina stores

Food 4 Less: home delivery

Amazon workers in Minnesota walk out as Prime Day orders roll in; workers also strike in Germany
Shopping with Amazon on Prime Day, likely to be one of the online retailer’s biggest sales days of the year, may mean crossing a digital picket line. Amazon workers in Minnesota and Germany are striking in protest of working conditions and wage practices, just as Prime Day kicks off. Those in Europe have staged protests during sale days in past years. But the action in Minnesota is the first major strike of workers in the United States during the company’s annual Prime Day event. It may also be a sign that the company’s increase to a $15 minimum wage last year is not enough to satisfy workers’ needs.

US: Food Lion debuting 92 remodeled South Carolina stores
Food Lion will take the wraps off 92 newly renovated stores in the greater Myrtle Beach, Florence, Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina, markets, as well as in Lumberton, North Carolina, on Wednesday, July 17. The stores received their overhaul thanks to a $158mln capital investment, which, in addition to the remodeling costs, included the hiring of 2,000 additional associates and charitable donations to local communities.

US: Food 4 Less introduces home delivery
Kroger banner Food 4 Less has launched a new home delivery service through Instacart that will service all 129 Food4Less and Foods Co. locations in California, Illinois and Indiana. Customers make their purchases through the "delivery" tab on the grocer's website, which includes 40,000 offered products. They then select a one-hour delivery window between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. "We strive to provide our customers with the best shopping experience and believe that offering home delivery adds a new convenience when shopping at Food 4 Less", said Bryan Kaltenbach, president of Food4Less/Foods Co. "Our customers are busier than ever. Providing home delivery is another way Food 4 Less is giving our customers the shopping experience that they desire." 

US: Whole Foods workers say conditions declined after Amazon takeover
Since being bought by Amazon two years ago, employees at Whole Foods say their working conditions have declined markedly amid increasing pressure to focus on pushing Amazon Prime deals and memberships, widespread understaffing, increased workloads and labor budget cuts. Amazon announced in June 2017 it would buy Whole Foods. In interviews with 24 Whole Foods employees across the US, workers described an increasingly pressured environment and the erosion of Whole Foods’ corporate culture. Workers interviewed were reluctant to speak on the record for fear of retaliation.

Spain: Caprabo celebrates 60th anniversary
Spanish retailer Caprabo has celebrated its 60th anniversary with the unveiling of a photography exhibition charting the history of the group, located at its first store on Carrer de Sant Antoni Maria Claret, Barcelona. The retailer has also placed a commemorative plaque on the front of the store, which opened its doors on 11 July 1959, the first self-service supermarket to open in Barcelona. Such was the novelty of the store at the time, was that customers lined up on the street to wait for shopping baskets to be distributed, Caprabo said. Some 700 products were available in the store when it opened, with the store praised by local media as boasting a "magnificent presentation" and "advanced refrigeration facilities". The success of the first store was such that Caprabo opened a second store in Barcelona, on Calle Mandri, five months later. The store is still trading today, in the same space (500 square metres), however the product count has risen to 7,000 SKUs. Today, Caprabo operates a network of 320 supermarkets. Since 2007, it has been part of the Eroski Group, which accounts for 20% of the business.

Holland: Struggling speciality supermarket group Marqt closes two big stores
Specialty supermarket group Marqt is to close its two large stores and concentrate on outlets of around 350 square metres where the focus will be on best-selling items, RTLZ reported. The large branches on Amsterdam’s Rembrandtplein and on the Hofweg in The Hague will shut down and staff will be transferred to other shops as the company again shakes up its strategy. Marqt, founded 10 years ago, continues to make a loss and said earlier last month that it would start looking for ‘strategic alliances’ as its complete supervisory board stood down. More information will be made public in the autumn, the spokeswoman told RTLZ.

UK: Iceland opens 100th Food Warehouse store in Blackpool
Iceland opened the doors for the 100th Food Warehouse store in Blackpool earlier this week. The frozen food and grocery retailer reportedly invested more than £750,000 in the new 10,000sq ft store at Blackpool Retail Park in South Shore, and created 30 new jobs for the area. According to the Blackpool Gazette, hundreds of locals queued on opening day earlier this week.

UK: Pret partners with Deliveroo on delivery
Leading UK food-to-go specialist Pret A Manger has joined the Deliveroo delivery platform, creating a partnership to use it exclusively as its customer delivery provider across the country. The Deliveroo service will launch immediately in 120 Pret outlets (roughly one third of the UK total), and then roll-out to additional stores in the course of 2019. The Pret menu to be available for delivery will include favourites such as the Bang Bang Chicken wrap, along with new items introduced this year such as the Best Ever BLT. Pret customers will be able to order through Deliveroo from 8am to 8pm.

Holland: Retailer Jumbo acquires Agrimarkt chain
Dutch retailer Jumbo has announced the acquisition of supermarket chain Agrimarkt, which comprises six stores in the south west of the Netherlands. The transaction, the financial details of which were not disclosed, includes stores in Goes, Middelharnis, Roosendaal, Vlissingen, Oud-Beijerland and Terneuzen. Some 360 people are employed both at the stores and at the Agrimarkt headquarters, the majority of whom will transfer to Jumbo from the current owner of Agrimarkt, agricultural cooperative CZAV, once the deal is completed. The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, and it has been submitted to the relevant competition authorities for approval.

Spain: Euromadi forecasts growth of 11% in 2019
Spain-based Euromadi plans to increase its sales in Spain by 11% to €21.5bln in 2019. The buying group also hopes to increase its private label sales by 5% to €1.4bln by the end of the year. Euromadi has outlined 18 initiatives within its Strategic Plan 2016-2020, designed to improve its partners' competitiveness. The initiatives will focus on digitalisation and the use of big data to better understand its shoppers, thereby improving the shopping experience; the logistics of frozen assortments; and innovation. Meanwhile, Euromadi added three partners to its alliance in 2019. These include: Makro Cash & Carry, which joined on 1 January, Perfumeries Douglas, 1 July, and Supermercados Codi, which is expected to join on 1 August.

UAE: Union Coop's H1 net profit surges 20%
Union Coop, the largest consumer co-operative in the UAE, said it has registered a net profit of Dh284.6mln ($77.4mln) for the first half of 2019, up 20% over the last year's figures of Dh237.7mln ($64.7mln). Announcing the results for the first six months, Union Coop said the increase in net profit was parallel to its effort to reduce the prices of its products. The price cuts on products for the first half amounted to Dh268.5mln, which is 18.63% more price reductions compared to the same period last year.

Israel: Uber and Lyft are pushing the online grocery business underground
The growing use of ride-sharing apps is pushing the online grocery business underground, according to CommonSense Robotics, a company that is using propriety technology, including artificial intelligence, to fulfill its mission of delivering online grocery orders within one hour. CommonSense said construction on its second “micro-fulfillment” center is underway. The facility will be located on the -1 level of a parking lot of Tel Aviv’s Shalom Meir Tower, below ground level. The fulfillment center will be 18,000-square-feet with an average height clearance of just 11 feet and three temperature zones to accommodate fresh, chilled and frozen items. CommonSense said with more people using apps like Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. these tight, and unused, urban spaces are prime real estate for the grocery delivery business. “With the rise of ride-sharing apps and micro-mobility in cities, car ownership is on the decline and parking lots are increasingly sitting vacant”, the CommonSense announcement said.

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