Amazon: Pinduoduo pop-up store

Carrefour and Fnac Darty: Exclusive operating agreements

South Africa: Checkers supermarket promises to deliver groceries in an hour
South African supermarket chain Checkers, owned by Shoprite Holdings, is looking to grab a larger share of the growing online shopping market by pioneering a new one-hour grocery delivery service named Sixty60. It is South Africa’s first 60-minute mobile app grocery delivery service from a supermarket chain, Checkers says, as it looks to respond to customers’ demands for convenience. “In our time-pressed society, providing consumers with a swift, on-demand grocery delivery service is like giving them back time: today’s most precious commodity”, Neil Schreuder, Chief of Innovation and Strategy at Shoprite Checkers said in a statement.

China: Amazon launches pop-up store on Pinduoduo
Amazon has launched a pop-up store on Chinese ecommerce platform Pinduoduo. Pinduoduo is a group buying platform that allows shoppers to use their social network to make group purchases and benefit from discounts. Shoppers can invite their contacts to create a group to get a lower price for their purchases. Amazon has now opened a pop-up store on the platform that will run until the end of December. The store offers a range of around 1,000 overseas products. The move follows Amazon’s announcement in April that it would shut down its domestic ecommerce marketplace business in China by mid-July to focus on cross-border business.

Uganda: French retail chain Carrefour to open outlet in Kampala
Competition among chain stores in Uganda is set to tighten with the coming of a new player: Carrefour from France. Proprietors are planning to open two stores in Kampala soon, a move that is expected to cause some buzz in the less developed retail chain industry. Ranked the world’s second-largest supermarket chain after Wal-Mart Stores, Carrefour will open its maiden outlets in Uganda at the Oasis Mall, located along Yusuf Lule Road, and another at Metroplex Mall in Naalya. “Uganda will be Carrefour’s 16th market (country) world-wide and second in East Africa”, the retail chain said on its Facebook page.

New Zealand: Countdown plans to open Auckland centre for online shoppers
Countdown will open the country's first dedicated online store in Auckland in response to the rapid growth in online delivery sales. Inside, the store would look similar to a regular supermarket, but bigger and without the normal shop-fit out. It would have a produce area, a bakery and deli, grocery aisles and a chilled food section. But there would be no customers. Countdown digital general manager Sally Copland said the store, which was under construction in Penrose, would open in April. The centre would fulfil online delivery orders for Mt Wellington, St Johns, Three Kings, Ponsonby, Mt Eden, Grey Lynn Central, Botany, Manukau City Mall, Meadowlands and Manurewa, Copland said.

France: Casino parent Rallye extends observation period with creditors
Rallye and other shareholders of French retailer Casino agreed with bankers to extend by six months an observation period of proceedings with creditors and confirmed their objective to have a draft rescue plan cleared by early 2020. Casino chairman and chief executive officer, Jean-Charles Naouri, in May had placed parent companies Rallye, Finatis and Fonciere Euris under protection from creditors in a bid to save the group from collapse. Casino has been struggling in France, where a price war among supermarkets has dented retailers' profit margins.

Portugal: Lidl doubles exports in two years, reports suggest
Lidl Portugal has doubled its exports in two years, establishing itself as one of the leading contributors to the growth of the country's economy, reports suggest. Last year, the supermarket chain exported 206 product ranges worth €148.5mln, registering growth of 48.5% when compared with data from 2017. The retailer helped 86 Portuguese suppliers to export their products to 30 countries across Europe and the US. The most popular Portuguese exports include olive oil, cod, savoury spreads, bread, and pears, among others.

South Africa: Big supermarkets told to drop exclusivity clauses in mall leases
South Africa’s biggest supermarket chains could be forced to drop exclusivity clauses in shopping mall leases if they fail to do so voluntarily, the country’s competition watchdog said in findings from a sector inquiry. The grocery retail market inquiry was initiated in November 2015 to deepen understanding of a sector dominated by Shoprite Holdings and its chain Checkers, Pick n Pay Stores, Spar Group and Woolworths Holdings. The inquiry found "features in the South African grocery retail sector that may prevent, distort or restrict competition", inquiry chairman Halton Cheadle said as the final more than 600-page report was unveiled.

France: Carrefour and Fnac Darty are strengthening their partnership and continuing to deploy Darty shop-in-shops in Carrefour hypermarkets
Carrefour and Fnac Darty announce advanced discussions for the deployment of some 30 Darty shop-in-shops in Carrefour hypermarkets in France, under exclusive operating agreements. The first two pilots opened in November 2018 in Carrefour hypermarkets in Ville-du-Bois and Limoges confirmed the operational feasibility and pertinence of wider-scale deployment, creating value for both banners’ customers, employees and suppliers. The groups are finalizing the operating procedures for a deployment in 2020 and 2021. This project will be subject to prior approval by the Competition Authority.

Amazon has 1.1mln active sellers in Europe
There are over 1.1mln active sellers on Amazon marketplaces located in Europe. That’s an increase of 25%, compared to the situation last year. The most percentage growth can be found on Amazon Turkey and Amazon Italy. Someone can be defined as an active Amazon seller, when he or she has products listed for sale. Currently, there are 1.16mln active sellers on the six marketplaces Amazon has in Europe: The United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Turkey.

Costa Rica: Glovo delivery drivers protested Monday
Several workers of the Glovo delivery app held a protest Monday afternoon in the area of Montes de Oca, San Pedro (San Jose) and including burned some of their delivery bags. The protest is against the company; one of the main reasons is the constant change in the work rules. They complain that their complaints are often ignored by the company.

New Gondola Law will increase competition in Argentina’s supermarkets
A new law is currently under review in Argentina, which, if passed, will regulate the grocery retail market, with the aim of better promoting competition. The ‘Law of Gondolas’ has been approved by Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies and has now been passed to the Senate for final approval. The law consists of several conditions aimed at making promotional space on gondola’s more equal. This will support smaller manufacturers and farmers who are looking to get their products into major retailers’ stores. Marcela Passa, president of the Commission for the Defence of Competition, said the initiative seeks to combat "the unjustified rise in the price of food".

Groceries and glutes: US supermarkets add boutique gyms and yoga classes
Supermarkets are trying to entice shoppers with more than just food. Hy-Vee is teaming up with high-intensity training gym OrangeTheory to build studios attached to two of its stores. In Morristown, New Jersey, ShopRite opened a store with a fitness studio that offers yoga and Zumba classes for its shoppers with loyalty cards. And Whole Foods' flagship store in Austin, Texas, partners with barre, spinning and yoga studios in the area for classes on its rooftop plaza. "Grocers are understanding that to bring people back in store they must create these activities", said Jamie Sabat, director of trends and consumer forecasting at consulting firm Streetsense. "They want to create this hangout factor in the store".

Canada: Loblaw widens assortment with online marketplace
Canadian supermarket Loblaw has launched an online marketplace to expand product assortment through its PC Express click-and-collect and delivery service, according to a company press release. The marketplace will offer products and brands that Loblaw has not historically stocked and will span categories like baby, home, toy, pet and kitchen. Customers can order from the online marketplace for home delivery or in-store pickup. Once the marketplace launches, Loblaw will introduce additional third-party companies in five expanded categories and will continue to add new products.

Ahold Delhaize USA bolsters product data capabilities
Retail Business Services, the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, has embarked on a new initiative to strengthen the product data capabilities of Ahold Delhaize USA companies. Through the work, backed by Syndigo, Retail Business Services will join the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) to enable access to best-in-class product data for the retail banners it supports. “Customers expect clear, consistent, accurate information about the products that they purchase online or in stores”, noted Chris Adams, VP of category management services for Quincy, Massachusetts-based Retail Business Services. “By joining GDSN, we’ll be able to better equip the local brands with product data and in turn, customers will experience increased accuracy and transparency”.

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