Online-only supermarkt Picnic has almost tripled its turnover

Amazon Retail India: Directly working with farmers to source fresh produce

China: Yonghui drops plans to increase stake in Chinese retailer after national security probe
Efforts by Chinese supermarket chain Yonghui Superstores to increase its stake in another Chinese retailer have met resistance, possibly due to national security concerns. Yonghui has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Wuhan State-Owned Assets Management Ltd. Co., agreeing to drop its previous plans to become the biggest shareholder of retailing peer Wuhan-based Zhongbai Holdings, Yonghui said in a statement. Wuhan State-Owned Assets Management is wholly owned by Wuhan State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, which has a 34.9% stake in Zhongbai, making it the biggest shareholder. Yonghui is the second-biggest shareholder with a 29.9% stake, according to public data. The memorandum of cooperation was signed after negotiations held at the request of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), according to the statement.

Holland: Online-only supermarket Picnic triples turnover
Dutch online-only supermarket, Picnic, has almost tripled its turnover in 2018, while at the same time reducing its net loss. With recently raised new capital, the company is looking for further growth in the near future. The Dutch company, that has also expanded to neighbouring cities in Germany, raised its turnover from 44.4mln euros to 117mln. It is still a long way off from reaching the break-even point, but did manage to lower its net losses from 41.6mln euros to 36.7mln, reports, despite a series of investments to accommodate its stellar growth. The number of employees more than doubled (from 155 to 351), new electric delivery vans were purchased and the German activities expanded.

Pakistan: Carrefour signs partnership agreement with Daraz
Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, signed a partnership agreement with the leading online marketplace Daraz last week at the Daraz head office in Karachi. This collaboration is a strategic alliance enabling Daraz’s online shoppers to shop from over 3,000 products offered by Majid Al Futtaim’s Carrefour stores, across numerous categories. The agreement was signed between Jean Marc Dumont, Country Manager of Carrefour Pakistan at Majid Al Futtaim Retail and Ehsan Saya, Managing Director at Daraz.

Chinese giants dominate Asia’s online grocery market
China’s two e-commerce giants are driving the most growth in Asia’s online grocery market according to a new report from international researcher IGD. JD and Alibaba now boast a combined grocery-sales growth which in value terms is outstripping that of the overall market. Asia’s online grocery market has a current value of US$99bln, according to IGD, which projects expects it to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.4% to reach US$295bln by 2023. IGD’s forecasts show that’s grocery sales will grow 28.8% by 2023 to reach $9.8bln and Alibaba’s grocery sales will grow to $9.5bln, with a CAGR of 25.6%.

Gran Canaria: SPAR invests in new and modernised stores
SPAR Gran Canaria has opened another two new stores and invested in the modernisation of two existing supermarkets. The investment has further strengthened the SPAR Partner’s offering, broadening its retail network and bringing an improved shopping experience to customers. A new 120m2 SPAR store was opened in the residential area Sansofé at the end of October, utilising a modern and innovative store design. In addition to a wide range of dry groceries, it also has a great fresh produce section with an extensive offer of locally sourced products. SPAR Gran Canaria celebrated the opening of a new SPAR on the island: SPAR Polígono Residencial de Arinaga at the end of November. The new store, with a sales area of over 100m2 has an innovative design and is a modern, energy efficient store. The fresh fruit and vegetables, with a focus on local products, a deli department and instore bakery offering freshly baked bread has been enthusiastically welcomed by local shoppers.

Amazon partners with Indian farmers to deliver fresh produce
In order to get fresh produce to its consumers, the ecommerce giant Amazon Retail India announced that it is running a farm-to-fork pilot project in Pune, where it will be directly working with farmers to source fresh produce. According to an ET report, two sources familiar with the development said that the ARIPL, a wholly-owned food retailing entity of Amazon, is working with dozens of farmers in the state. The company has set up several cold chain storage hubs in the regions to supply fresh produce through its online channels like Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry. If this works, Amazon plans to expand this programme across the country, aggressively.

Holland: Jumbo supermarkets to take over 17 Hema stores, to sell food in station outlets
Supermarket group Jumbo is taking over 17 city centre locations from high street staple Hema as part of the commercial partnership between the two companies announced last month. In addition, Jumbo will become Hema’s food partner in six of the country’s biggest railway stations. All Jumbo stores in Belgium and the Netherlands will also start selling Hema household products. And finally, Hema will join Team Jumbo-Visma’s cycling and skating teams as a co-sponsor for a period of at least four years.

UK: Research shows consumers opting for foodservice delivery over grocery retail
Research from insight agency MCA has found that 54% of consumers either agree or strongly agree that foodservice delivery makes them less likely to cook at home. The insight, from MCA’s UK Foodservice Delivery Market Report 2019/20, was conducted through over 4,500 online consumer surveys and analysis of MCA’s market sizing and company tracking. The results look at the key trends affecting the market, the competitive landscape, the changing needs of consumers and the outlook for future development. The report highlights that the foodservice delivery market has grown 18% to £8.4bln in 2019 and the proportion of UK adults using foodservice delivery at least every 2-3 months is up 4% to 30.1mln active users, with the average consumer ordering delivery on average 2.35 times each month, up 9%.

Italy: Gruppo Selex to invest €330mln in new stores and renovation in 2020
Italian retailer Gruppo Selex will invest €330mln in opening new stores and remodelling existing supermarkets in the country next year, reports suggest. The budget was approved at a shareholders assembly held at the company’s headquarters in Trezzano. The funds will be used in opening 67 new stores and restructuring 81 existing outlets, the retailer said. Gruppo Selex is the third-largest retail group in Italy with 12 associated members and a 9.7% market share. It expects to close 2019 with a turnover of €11.1bln, up 4.2% year-on-year. The company's productivity per square metre remained stable at 1.2% when compared with 2018.

Germany: Edeka, Netto Marken-Discount introduce eco-friendly receipts
Edeka and Netto Marken-Discount have announced that they have introduced eco-friendly paper for cash register rolls. The FSC-certified recyclable thermal paper in blue-grey colour uses heat to make the typeface appear on the roll. The technology bypasses the use of chemical colours for printing and the receipts do not fade when exposed to light or moisture, making it long-lasting for documentation purposes. Direct contact of the blue thermal paper with food in the shopping bag is completely harmless, Edeka said in its statement.

Uber all set to sell Uber Eats’ India business to Zomato
Uber is in advanced stages of talks to sell its food delivery service Uber Eats in India to local rival Zomato as the American ride-hailing giant looks to cut its global spending, three people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. The deal currently values Uber Eats’ India business at around $400mln, one of the sources said. As part of the deal, Uber may invest between $150mln to $200mln in Zomato and get a sizable stake in the 11-year-old Indian firm, people said. A spokesperson of Uber declined to comment. A text to Zomato founder and chief executive Deepinder Goyal, who met Uber executives, remained unanswered.

US: Sprouts Farmers Market to open March 11 in Wilmington
Sprouts Farmers Market will open its first Delaware store off Concord Pike on March 11, the natural and organic food grocer announced. Sprouts will be taking over the space at 4801 Concord Pike next to the Concord Mall left vacant by the exodus of the longtime Barnes and Noble location there to a smaller space in the Concord Square Shopping Center to the south. Details about the grand opening celebration for the more than 30,000-square-foot store will be announced at a later date, officials said. “The Wilmington Sprouts marks the newest location in our eastern expansion and follows the tremendous success of our nearby Philadelphia store”, said Dan Croce, senior vice president of store operations for Sprout, in a statement. “We’re looking forward to serving our new neighbors in Wilmington and nearby Chester and Delaware Counties with healthy groceries at great prices”.

US: Giant Eagle saying goodbye to single-use plastics
Giant Eagle intends to eliminate single-use plastics in all of its operations by 2025, including bags, straws, serving containers for fresh foods, and bottled beverages. The initiative is starting with a six-month pilot program at several stores in Pennsylvania and Ohio that gets rid of single-use plastic bags, making reusable bags available for 99 cents, or 10 cents for every paper bag used. Customers who bring in reusable bags will receive a loyalty perk. Eliminating single-use plastic bags includes those in the grocer's product lines, according to Dan Donovan, senior director of communications at Giant Eagle, who spoke with Philadelphia's NPR station, WESA. He said that he hopes other brands will make similar changes.

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