Food Lion To-Go grocery pickup service is rolling out to 50 more stores

Whole Foods Market will install a robotic barista

US: FreshDirect surpasses job creation promise to New York City
Over the past three years, online grocer FreshDirect has hired more than 1,500 employees from the Bronx, going above and beyond a commitment it made to New York City that it would hire at least 1,000 employees from the borough as part of the company’s move to the South Bronx. “Having 1,000 Bronx residents on staff meets our goal and is an important milestone for locals who stood with FreshDirect and publicly supported the project,” noted David McInerney, CEO and co-founder of the e-grocer. “Moreover, it underscores our commitment to the city on our local hiring.”

US: Mercato introduces unlimited free, same-day grocery delivery with Mercato Green
Mercato, the online grocery eCommerce platform for independently owned grocery and specialty food stores, announced the launch of Mercato Green. The delivery membership program allows consumers in more than 25 states across the U.S. to receive unlimited free, same-day deliveries from their favorite local grocers. Mercato will also plant a tree for every order placed by a Mercato Green member. There are two Mercato Green membership plans - both come with a 14-day free, unlimited trial. The Neighborhood plan covers deliveries up to three miles from the store, and the City plan covers up to 10 miles. Both plans provide a deep discount for consumers who are looking for the convenience and reliability of same-day delivery from their favorite neighborhood grocers.

US: Nontraditional food channels poised to grow significantly
As consumers look beyond conventional supermarkets to meet their food and beverage needs, such nontraditional channels as club stores, limited-assortment stores, e-grocers and specialty stores are poised for accelerated growth at the expense of more mainstream food retail venues, according to a study by Pentallect, a Chicago-based strategic consulting and business improvement firm. Pentallect estimates that the nontraditional food channels currently account for $210bln in consumer expenditures, and projects 7% annual growth for these channels over the next five years, versus 3.5% for foodservice and 1% for traditional retail, which encompasses supermarkets, supercenters, mass/drug, and dollar stores. The nontraditional channels are projected account for 30% of food industry growth over the next 5 years.

US: Whole Foods to test robot barista
Whole Foods Market will install a robotic barista to provide in-store coffee service at its new Houston-Midtown location through a partnership with Austin-based Briggo, according to a press release. The store is set to open November 7. Briggo, which says it is the creator of the world's first gourmet, robotic barista, will use a variety of syrups, fresh dairy and Whole Foods' Allegro brand coffee as well as its own beans to craft drinks "in minutes". Customers can choose from coffees, cappuccinos, seasonal lattes, tea drinks and other gourmet iced and hot coffee. Shoppers can use in-store touchscreen kiosks to order their drinks and can also order ahead on the Briggo mobile app.

US: New data indicates shopping at ALDI is simpler, faster and more cost-effective
ALDI is excited to share new study results from Kantar that indicate ALDI is easier to navigate and a faster, more fun grocery retailer to shop than Walmart Supercenters. The study findings concluded 77% of the participants who identified as primary grocery shoppers and shopped at ALDI agree the store is "simpler to shop" compared to other grocery stores. It also showed it is at least 20% faster to shop at ALDI than at Kroger and Walmart stores. Every inch of an ALDI store is intentionally designed to provide a more streamlined experience, offering shoppers exactly what they need, nothing more and nothing less.

US: Food Lion To-Go pickup service expanding to 50 more stores
The Food Lion To-Go grocery pickup service is rolling out to 50 more stores, which are located in Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place each new location at 8:45 a.m. on October 14, with the first pickup offered at no charge. “We are so excited to expand this convenient service to more stores in the Food Lion footprint and enable customers to spend more time on what matters most to them”, said Deborah Sabo, SVP of marketing at Salisbury, North Carolina-based Food Lion. “With the Food Lion To-Go service, our associates become personal shoppers and are able to handpick the freshest produce and best cuts of meat, just as they would for their own family. We look forward to continuing to nourish our neighbors with this new convenient service”.

Brazil retail sales rise in August, but only just
Brazilian retail sales rose for the third straight month in August, official figures showed, although the rise was far less than expected and the previous month’s increase was revised sharply lower. Overall, the weak growth in August’s sales volumes and the downward revision to July’s increase suggest the foundations of Brazil’s consumer-led economic recovery may not be quite as strong as previously thought. Retail sales volumes excluding cars and building materials rose 0.1% in August from July, government statistics agency IBGE said, the third monthly gain in a row but less than the 0.3% economists had expected.

Uber to buy Chile's Cornershop as it sets sights on delivering groceries
Uber Technologies Inc said it would buy a majority stake in Chilean online grocery provider Cornershop as the ride hailing company seeks to widen its fast-growing food delivery app to include groceries and other goods. The deal for an undisclosed sum, which follows Uber’s disappointing IPO in May, would see it expand Santiago-based Cornershop, which now operates in Mexico, Chile, Canada and Peru into “many more countries around the world”, Cornershop Chief Executive Oskar Hjertonsson said. The app provides delivery of “groceries to your front door in one hour” from retailers including Costco Wholesale Corp, Walmart Inc and Mexico’s Chedraui.

Introducing Mygroser, Malaysia’s first independent full-range online Grocery
Mygroser has begun allowing sign ups for accounts at The service allows consumers to save money on transport and parking, save time by avoiding busy stores, avoid multiple trips for products that are out of stock, and enjoy fresher products all the time. Mygroser is Malaysia’s first independent fully online grocery store that delivers fresh meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit and fairy, frozen food, dry food, groceries, premium products and daily essentials. With products for household needs, as well as the pantry demands of offices and businesses, MyGroser is the quick, convenient and safe way to find, select, purchase and have groceries and everyday essentials delivered to you.

Holland: Picnic equips delivery vans with solar panels
Online supermarket Picnic is going to equip some of its electric vans with solar panels. The trial is a new step in the online supermarket’s policy of making deliveries in the most sustainable way possible. The 'Picnic Solar' pilot project will take place in the cities of Utrecht, Amersfoort and The Hague. One delivery van in each city will be equipped with solar panels that are to be placed on the roof of the vehicle. For the Picnic Solar project, the online supermarket is collaborating with Wattlab, a developer of solar energy applications. If the project goes well, Picnic wants to equip a larger proportion of its fleet with solar panels.

Lidl launches online in Slovakia
Slovakia has become the latest market in which Lidl has launched an online store. The site is non-food only and live now. Lidl has been continuously accelerating its ecommerce developments. Since the beginning of 2019, Lidl has launched grocery ecommerce operations in three countries and a non-grocery range online in Poland.

Japan's Seven & i Holdings: total sales flat up 0.8%
Seven & i recorded a 0.8% increase in total group sales to JPY5997.4bln (US$55.8bln), with operating profit rising 2.8% to JPY205.1bln (US1.9mln) year-on-year (yoy). Revenue from domestic convenience store operations was flat, up 0.4% to JPY488.1bln (US4.5bln) yoy. 7-Eleven Japan's key growth measure, existing store sales, fell 0.6% in H1. This was due to a 3.1% fall in customer numbers, despite a stronger average spending per customer. The retailer added 158 net new stores to its convenience network in Japan during the half, reaching 21,034 outlets. Total store sales operations at 7-Eleven Inc (U.S and Canada) increased 1.6% to JPY1,948.3bln (US$18.1bln), driven by strong processed food, fast food and non-food sales. The retailer’s main supermarket banner Ito-Yokado posted decline in merchandise, lifestyle and foods sales. This had a significant impact on consolidated superstore revenue, which fell 2.7% to JPY922.9bln (US$8.6bln) yoy.

Germany: Edeka's first organic supermarket opens in Hamburg
German retailer Edeka has launched its first organic supermarket - Naturkind - in Hamburg-Altona. The supermarket offers a range of fresh regional and seasonal organic food items, and is equipped with serving counters for meat, sausage, and cheese. Store owner, Benjamin Hirche, said: "In addition to the service counters, the Naturkind organic specialty store also [houses] a milk filling station, juicer, salad bar and [offers] an extensive range of unpackaged goods". The store, with a 500 square-meter sales area, offers around 7,000 items. It is operated by 15 employees and one apprentice.

Metro confirms Wumart in talks to buy China business
German retailer Metro said it was in advanced talks with China’s Wumart about a partnership regarding Metro’s China operations, sending Metro’s shares up 2% after the company confirmed an earlier Reuters report. “This partnership would include the sale of Metro’s entire indirect participation in Metro China to a subsidiary of Wumei for an enterprise value of 1.9bln euros ($2.10bln)”, Metro said in a statement. Metro would retain a 20% stake in Metro Wumart China joint venture going forward, the German retailer said, adding that completion of the potential transaction would be subject to approval by regulatory authorities.

South Korea: Convenience-store chain CU to accept cryptocurrency
Major South Korean convenience-store chain CU is preparing to accept payments in cryptocurrency. The chain, which operates more than 13,000 outlets in the country, will use the Chai payment system to trade in Terra, a won-backed stablecoin that has garnered investment from many large Korean firms. CU parent firm BGF Retail partnered with Chai earlier this week to allow buyers to pay by presenting a barcode from the Chai mobile app.

UK: Lidl plan to launch 'online delivery service' which lets you shop from home
Budget supermarket Lidl has announced news that will delight customers. While most major supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda offer home delivery service, Lidl so far do not, meaning shoppers can currently only shop in store. At present, Lidl's website only provides information about what it has in stock but customers are unable to purchase goods, The Mirror reports. But that all looks set to change after the budget supermarket started recruiting for a new "digital project manager". The new position will "identify new business opportunities to drive revenue" as well as "contribute not only to individual projects but also to the ongoing formation and success of other functional areas".

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