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Raley’s is using a remodel of its Bel Air Market to test new foodservice concepts

Smart & Final has become the first-ever grocery partner of the California State PTA

US: Google redesigns its Shopping service
Google has launched a redesigned version of its Google Shopping service in the US. The upgraded Google Shopping service is now available in mobile and desktop format in the US. The redesign is intended to bring together shopping information across the internet and from local stores for a simpler, more convenient shopping experience. Shoppers can find and compare millions of products and have the option to buy online, at a nearby store, or directly from retailers on Google.

US: Bashas’ to deploy NCR Emerald POS platform
Bashas’ will implement NCR Emerald, the next-generation, cloud-enabled point-of-sale (POS) platform offered on a subscription basis for grocers. Set to launch at Bashas’ faster than typical POS deployments, the platform aims to streamline store operations and drive efficiencies with NCR Emerald’s complete solution of software, hardware and services. “After many years using NCR technology in our stores, we evaluated other vendors and chose to keep NCR in the family”, said Edward N. Basha III, CEO of Chandler, Arizona-based Bashas’ and grandson of Eddie Basha Sr., who founded the business with his brother Ike in 1932.

US: Smart & Final, California State PTA form partnership
Grocery warehouse store chain Smart & Final has become the first-ever grocery partner of the California State PTA, consisting of more than 730,000 members and 3,400 local associations. Under this partnership, Smart & Final has developed a program for PTA community building and fundraising events. California State PTA’s Member Perks Program and online newsletters will feature special coupons and deals for PTAs to buy food and service items, California State PTA will receive 2% of all purchases made through the program, and local PTAs will be able to apply for community grants.

US: Raley’s sets out on foodservice exploration in store remodel
Raley’s is using a remodel of its Bel Air Market in Folsom, California, to test new foodservice concepts, including an in-store coffee shop under a partnership with Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters. Just before the weekend, Raley’s held a soft launch of the new Chocolate Fish café and foodservice department to give customers an opportunity to sample the new offerings. The West Sacramento, California-based grocer said its partnership with the coffee vendor is exclusive to Bel Air in Folsom and the first of its kind.

Carrefour Brasil signs deal with family-owned Super Nosso supermarket chain
Food retailer Carrefour Brasil is handing over the management of its 17 supermarkets in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais to a family-owned chain, in a deal that aims to address the peculiarities of regional markets in a vast country. The Brazilian subsidiary of France’s Carrefour SA said it is dropping its own brand in all of the 17 supermarkets in the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte to take them under the Super Nosso banner within a year, it said in a securities filing. Super Nosso, in turn, will take over the management of the 17 supermarkets, increasing the number of stores operating under its own brand to 49. Carrefour Brasil will continue to take in revenue from sales, the filing said, but financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Germany: Kaufland partners with 'Too Good To Go' to fight food waste
German retailer Kaufland has announced a partnership with the food waste prevention app 'Too Good To Go'. Presently, the service is available in five Kaufland outlets in Aachen, Bad Durrheim, Bad Kreuznach, Heidelberg-Rohrbach and Oranienburg. By ordering through the app just before store closing hours, customers can avail discounts on food items sold in the form of a 'lucky bag'. The 'lucky bags', normally priced at €10 each are sold for €3 on the 'Too Good To Go' app, Kaufland added.

Switzerland: Migros announces wage increase
Swiss retailer Migros has announced it will increase wages by between 0.5% and 0.9%, commencing 1 January. The group said that the agreement was put forward following 'constructive dialogue' with its internal and external social partners. "We are pleased that together with our internal and external social partners, we have been able to achieve a joint solution that is acceptable under the demanding market conditions", commented Sarah Kreienbühl, member of the directorate general of Migros-Landes-Gesamtarbeitsvertrag (MGB).

Germany: Edeka increasing Netto online offer
Edeka is upping its ecommerce focus and will significantly expand the online offer of its discount banner Netto. Netto currently offers around 1,000 grocery and health and beauty products on its online platform but this will be increased to 2,000. The move means that around 40% of Netto's total grocery assortment will be available online, including a wide range of items such as confectionery, coffee and ready meals. A significant proportion of the offer comprises of its private label products, but select branded products are also available, including some items that are not stocked in stores. The online platform also offers a large range of non-food products including pet food and pet care amongst other categories.

France: Saint-Martin Boulogne demonstration in Auchan to protest the working conditions
Crates that no longer work properly, an increasing pace of work, and rising stress among employees. This is what prompted the CGT to demonstrate, this Tuesday, in the Mall Auchan Saint-Martin Boulogne, France. The union wanted to alert customers about the working conditions of employees, including cashiers. The strikers demand “better recognition” and the change of the crates of the store, without affecting the work of the cashiers. According to the union, several employees have been on sick leave for burnout in recent months. Management indicates that it has not found absenteeism greater than usual. Regarding the crates, the director admits that they are not recent, but that the well-being of the collaborators is “a daily concern”.

New Zealand: Countdown to roll out low-sensory 'quiet hours' nationwide
Countdown will roll out its weekly 'Quiet Hours' in stores nationwide after receiving very positive feedback from customers. The supermarket chain has been holding low-sensory shopping sessions in a small number of stores over the last year. During Quiet Hour, bright lights are dimmed, the radio is turned off, checkout volumes are lowered, staff avoid collecting trolleys and stocking shelves and no PA announcements are made (except in emergencies). It's intended to create a calming environment for people prone to overstimulation, such as those on the autism spectrum, who often find loud noises and bright lights stressful and distracting.

Sweden: ICA sees like-for-like sales up 2.7% in September
Swedish retailer ICA has posted a 2.7% increase in like-for-like sales in September 2019. Total sales for the period, compared to the same month the previous year, were up 3.0% to SEK 9.6bln (€880mln). The group's Maxi ICA Stormarknad banner saw the biggest increase in like-for-like sales, up 3.4% for the month, while total sales at the banner were up 3.9%. Its ICA Supermarket banner saw sales rise by 2.6% on a like-for-like basis, and by 1.9% on a total sales basis, while ICA Kvantum saw a 2.4% like-for-like rise (+3.9% total sales).

5 Dutch companies to further boost Artificial Intelligence in the Netherlands
Five Dutch companies Ahold Delhaize, ING, KLM, NS and Philips aim to further boost the AI ecosystem in the Netherlands by accelerating and promoting the development of AI technology and nurturing AI talent in the country. This effort will add educational capacity, foster the development of the AI community in the Netherlands and reiterate the position of the Netherlands as a competitive and relevant global AI hub. The goal of Kickstart AI is to bridge the AI gap between the Netherlands and other countries, like the UK, the US and China, that have made notable progress in this area. In order to keep the country’s position as a pioneer and inventor of technologies, the Dutch government, companies, organizations and universities have ground to cover in terms of structural investments and availability of global AI talent. The five companies “kickstarting” AI are, for the first time, uniting forces in this kind of joint initiative and taking highly needed decisive action.

UK: Lidl is planning to start selling food online - and it could be more successful than budget rivals
Lidl customers may soon be able to purchase their groceries from the comfort of their own homes, as well as in physical stores, with the budget chain poised to launch a new online platform. The German supermarket is hiring a digital project manager, who will be tasked with “helping to deliver a new online platform with the aim of acquiring new customers and driving online sales", according to a job advert posting. Lidl opened its first British store in 1994 and now operates more 760 branches here. While it does have a UK website, it does not currently sell groceries online.

Holland: Record growth for
Meal delivery company reports that the number of orders has increased by no less than 87 % in the third quarter. Moreover, the company is now profitable for the first time. A total of 41.6mln orders were placed in the third quarter. In Germany, the number of orders increased by 136 % as a result of the acquisition of former competitor Delivery Hero. Moreover, the company has made a profit for the first time, according to CEO, Jitse Groen: "While we continue to prioritise growth over profits, the company is now EBITDA positive in both the Netherlands and the Germany segment, and for the company as a whole."

Montenegro: Voli announces €10mln EBRD loan
Voli, Montenegro's largest retailer, has announced that it has received a €10mln loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). In a statement, the EBRD said that the funds would support the expansion and upgrade of Voli's retail network, including the opening of four new stores, including a supermarket and convenience store, as well as the refurbishment and expansion of five existing stores. Voli boasts a market share of around 30%, and operates 66 food retail stores across Montenegro. The new openings will be located in 'underserved regions' outside major urban areas.

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