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Kuwait supermarket is open to selling Brazilian brands

Groupe Casino is in talks to sell its discount store chain Leader Price to low-cost rival Aldi

Online supermarkets & DIY stores increasingly popular in The Netherlands
More and more Dutch consumers are buying their groceries and tools for home projects online. Web stores like Albert Heijn, Jumbo and Picnic are seeing their turnover grow with double digits every year, and DIY stores are also showing impressive growth, according to the Twinkle 100, a ranking of the 100 most popular online sellers based on turnover, NOS reports. For the first time in Netherlands history, the Twinkle 100 has a supermarket in the top 3. Albert Heijn moved up from fifth place last year, to third this year. Though the supermarket chain is still far behind first and second place and Coolblue. Jumbo also made it into the top 10 this year and online supermarket Picnic jumped from 25th place last year to 11th this year. Retail expert Laurens Sloot is not surprised that supermarkets are catching up on the online market, he said to NOS. But that does not mean that physical supermarkets will one day be a thing of the past. "Of everything we buy in the supermarket, we now do around 4% online", he said to the broadcaster. "Some people think we will order about 10% of supermarket products via a website in 2030. If that is achieved, it still means that we'll get 90% at the supermarket on the corner."

France: Casino in talks to sell discount chain Leader Price to Aldi
Debt-laden French retailer Casino is in talks to sell its French discount store chain Leader Price to German low-cost rival Aldi, Casino said. The move, which confirms a report by French daily Les Echos, comes as Casino CEO and controlling shareholder Jean-Charles Naouri is hunting for ways to ease the company’s debts - and those of parent company Rallye - in part via asset sales. Casino said in a statement that following an expression of interest from Aldi France, the two groups had “entered into discussions with a view to have Aldi France submit a binding offer”, Les Echos said earlier that Casino was poised to sell Leader Price, which had 2018 sales of 2.5bln euros ($2.8bln), to Aldi in a deal estimated to be worth 400mln euros.

Supermarket in Kuwait open to Brazilian brands
Mishref Coperative Society, a co-op that owns 54 supermarkets in Kuwait, is open to selling Brazilian brands. The co-op already sells chicken and duck meat from Brazil, but may import more and other products, Mishref trade manager Greegana Rohana said. Rohana explained to ANBA and the group, however, that it’s not the co-op executives that import the products that arrive at their retail outlets. As a cooperative, Mishref works with 3,000 local suppliers, which provide the retails with both local and imported items. Rohana said the selection of foreign brands is made by those suppliers. The executive promised to help putting Brazil’s embassy to Kuwait City in touch with their main partners so that Brazil may have more room at their supermarket chains. He said that most of the items sold in the stores are locally produced, but there are some from the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, French, United States, and others.

Holland: Hema gets started with self-scanning
Hema is experimenting with self-checkouts and online ordering from the shop floor: the chain of department stores has developed a 'shelf scanner', so that customers can scan their own products and pay for them using contactless payments. Hema's innovation lab is working on a mobile self-checkout service. The chain’s new 'shelf scanner', which may be integrated in the retailer's app, should make it possible to 'scan, pay and walk away', all without having to go through a checkout. "Shopping behaviours have changed. A new generation of shoppers know exactly what they want - no waiting around": this is the explanation provided in a promotional video by Nowlab, who developed the system in collaboration with Hema. In their own words, the innovation is aimed at ‘grab and run’ shoppers who have less time to spend in the shop.

India: Swiggy, Dunzo open doors to dark stores to go hyperlocal
Food delivery company Swiggy and personal concierge startup Dunzo have both tied up with wholesalers that run dark stores to do hyperlocal deliveries, three people aware of the companies’ operations said. Dark stores are establishments that are located far away from High Street locations and often do not cater to walk-in customers. Hyperlocal deliveries, such as the ones that Swiggy and Dunzo attempt, are completed in two ways - through dark stores and in partnership with retail stores. Swiggy and Dunzo have tied up with wholesalers for the first, while they have teamed up with Jumbotail for the second.

Ahold Delhaize USA brands announce commitment to sustainable chemistry, transparent products and packaging
In its latest move to make products and packaging more sustainable, Ahold Delhaize USA announced that each of its local brands - Food Lion, Giant Food, GIANT/MARTIN’S, Hannaford, Peapod and Stop & Shop, and its U.S. services company, Retail Business Services, which develops private brand products for each of the local brands - have implemented a new sustainable chemistry commitment. Under the new commitment, Ahold Delhaize USA companies will restrict certain chemicals from products and packaging, work with suppliers to ensure products meet high standards for ingredients, beyond what’s required by law today, and collaborate with suppliers to address the root causes of contaminants.

US: Owatonna picks up three big projects, including a Costco distribution center
Costco Wholesale Corp. will soon begin building a distribution center in Owatonna, its first in Minnesota. The 354,000-square-foot building is the largest of three that are rising this fall and winter on the west side of Interstate 35 that bisects the city about 60 miles south of Minneapolis-St. Paul. “Everything west of I-35 is industrial park”, says Troy Klecker, Owatonna’s development chief. “All of this is happening there.” Daikin, a maker of industrial air conditioners, and Minimizer, a maker of parts for semi-trucks and trailers, are also building new facilities in the Owatonna park.

Amazon vows to be carbon neutral by 2040, buying 100,000 electric vans Inc Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos pledged to make the largest U.S. e-commerce company net carbon neutral by 2040 and to buy 100,000 electric delivery vans from a start-up, as employees and consumers around the world plan protests to address climate change. Cutting emissions is a challenging goal for Amazon, which delivers 10bln items a year and has a massive transportation and data center footprint. “We know we can do it and we know we have to do it”, Bezos said.

US: Macey’s debuts 1st Associated Food Stores-licensed store
The new Macey’s grocery store in Highland, Utah, owned by Ridley’s Family Market, is the first ever to be licensed by Associated Food Stores (AFS). That means all business operations will be performed in accordance with AFS policies and procedures, while the Ridley’s organization will maintain ownership. “Innovation is key to our business model, and this is the latest example of that”, said Darin Peirce, VP of the wholesaler’s Associated Retail Operations division. “We’re excited to see how both organizations will benefit from this pioneering partnership.” For his part, Mark Ridley, of Jerome, Idaho-based Ridley's Family Market, noted that he was “excited for the opportunity to partner with Macey’s in such a new and dynamic way.”

US: Food Lion opens new store in former Bi-Lo territory
With innovations, constructions, and remodeling news abounding, it's hard to ignore what Ahold Delhaize has been up to. Especially when its grocery banner, Food Lion, is planning on opening up another store, in another Bi-Lo location, this time in Goose Creek. The new location will be the third Food Lion to operate in the area and the 15th in the Charleston region. “Food Lion is excited to be able to offer a new, easier shopping experience for Goose Creek customers”, Media and Community Relations Manager, Benny Smith, said. “We expect to open sometime later this year”.

US: H-E-B gets greenlight for $16mln projects
H-E-B has been expanding its infrastructure by leaps and bounds this year, with two tech hubs planned in Austin and San Antonio, but the retailer isn’t ready to stop there. The grocer recently announced its plans for two construction projects in West Houston - a distribution site expansion and a store renovation, which will cost an estimated $16mln. The retailer recently received building permits for both projects, according to the Houston Business Journal. The addition to its 6625 Windfern Road distribution center in Houston is set to cost $12.5mln. The permit allows the construction of a 99,831-square-foot, hi-pile warehouse addition and/or remodel. The news source reports that this project comes on the heels of another soon-to-be-completed facility just a half a mile away at 10000 1/2 Genard Road, which will be H-E-B’s second snack manufacturing plant in Texas.

US: Stop & Shop to hold job fairs for e-commerce arm
Stop & Shop is holding job fairs to fill over 250 part-time positions for its Peapod Warerooms to support its pick-up and delivery channels, according to a press release, including driver and clerk positions. Job fairs will take place across Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island on Saturday, September 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Part-time employees at Stop & Shop work from 12 to 28 hours per week and receive paid training, competitive pay, discounts, paid time off and career advancement opportunities.

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