Israel: Online supermarket startup raises $14mln as shoppers shun stores amid coronavirus crisis
The coronavirus epidemic has played into the hands of the Israeli online supermarket startup Quik. The company is moving up its business plan by two years and has secured a 50mln shekel ($13.6mln) investment, The Marker has learned. As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders increasingly strict directives on staying home and many hesitate to head to their local supermarket, Quik has become the startup of the moment. It operates what it says is Israel’s only online grocery, picking up the goods customers order from some 30 partner stores around the country.
Aldi extends Farm Africa partnership
Aldi has extended its partnership with Farm Africa for a further 2 years to support young farmers in rural western Kenya to boost resilience to climate change and improve the quality of their fresh produce, making their farming businesses more sustainable. Since it began in 2016, the ‘Growing Futures’ partnership has reached over 500 young farmers, helping them to increase production of fresh produce and develop links to local and international markets. This means that they now have a stable source of vegetables for their family as well as a source of income. Learnings from the partnership have also been shared with around 4,000 other young farmers in Kenya, maximising its impact.
India: Ninjacart to supply vegetables, fruits directly to apartments during lockdown
Fresh produce startup Ninjacart plans to supply vegetables and fruits via its kirana store network directly to apartments and housing societies, in all the seven cities it operates in, during the nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Bengaluru-based Ninjacart delivers up to 1,500 tonnes of fruits and vegetables to retailers on a daily basis, with the highest demand from kirana stores. The move comes even as leading e-commerce companies have faced challenges in delivering essentials over the last few days.
India: Amazon & Walmart struggle to cope as India enters lockdown
India’s largest online retailers including Amazon.com Inc., Walmart Inc.-owned Flipkart and Alibaba-backed fresh grocery delivery service BigBasket are facing severe disruptions and shutdowns, after authorities announced some of the strictest coronavirus-related restrictions in the world. The country’s 1.3bln people are in a three-week lockdown, sending many to scour the web for food and daily essentials. But unlike in China, where online fresh grocery services offered a lifeline during its Covid-19 outbreak, Indian authorities are stopping food trucks on highways, and shutting down warehouses and rice mills. They’re also preventing delivery and supply-chain workers from doing their jobs, sometimes through use of force.
Ireland: Musgrave hires hundreds of new staff to boost supply chain capacity
Musgrave is hiring hundreds of new staff on a temporary basis in response to increased demand it is seeing across its stores across Ireland. The company has reached out to representative groups of businesses that have been impacted by coronavirus, such as the Restaurants Association of Ireland and the Irish Hotels Federation. In addition, Mugrave’s retail partners across the country who operate SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak stores are also hiring directly.
India: Big Bazaar enters doorstep delivery service amid coronavirus lockdown
As the online delivery space shrunk with Flipkart, Amazon, BigBasket and Grofers suspending or curtailing operations amid the 21-day lockdown, supermarket chain Big Bazaar has entered the fray, with launching doorstep delivery services in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Belgaluru and Gurugram. However, within no time, even Big Bazaar was flooded with calls, forcing the company to issue a statement, saying that "In light of the recent announcement, we are receiving an unprecedented number of requests for doorstep delivery. There could be a delay due to the restrictions on movements".
US: Target withdraws forecasts, curbs spending to meet virus-related demand
Target Corp withdrew its financial outlook and said it would scale back on planned investments to focus on meeting surging demand as Americans stock up on essentials and stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. The big-box retailer said it now plans to remodel only about 130 stores in 2020, down from 300, moving the rest of the projects to 2021. Target added it would open fewer small format stores than it had previously planned. “It’s become very clear that we need to be disciplined about making sure our stores and supply chain is focused on serving our guests without any unnecessary distractions,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Cornell said.
US: Trader Joe’s shuts three stores due to employee coronavirus exposure
Trader Joe’s said it has temporarily closed three stores because an employee at each location either tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or is receiving treatment for a suspected case. The closings include Trader Joe’s stores in Manhattan, New York (grocery store on 142 E. 14th St. and wine store on 138 E. 14th St.); Plainview, New York (425 S. Oyster Bay Rd.); and Elkridge, Maryland (6610 Marie Curie Dr.).
US: Raley’s banners, Union reach tentative agreement
Following months of complex negotiations, Raley's stores operating under the Raley’s, Bel Air and Nob Hill banners in Northern and Central California have come to a tentative agreement with the union representing 4,400 of its associates. “The three-year agreement includes improved funding of pension benefits, enhanced health care benefits with no employee premiums, and significant wage increases”, noted Jacques Loveall, president of Roseville, California-based United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) 8-Golden State, adding that he saw the contract as “one of our best ever, a big ‘win’ for Union members”.
US: H-E-B rolls out grocery delivery service for seniors
Going one better than the many supermarkets that have instituted dedicated “senior hours” at their stores, Texas grocer H-E-B has established the Senior Support line to provide populations most at risk of contracting COVID-19 a convenient way to order essential products. H-E-B’s approach takes the concept of protecting at-risk populations to a new level. In partnership with its Favor Delivery service, which it acquired in 2018, the company has launched a low-cost solution that gives seniors access to personal shoppers by phone, allowing them to have essential food and supplies delivered to them while remaining in the comfort and safety of their homes.
US: Fairway Market announces auction results
Fairway Market, together with its debtor affiliates in their Chapter 11 cases in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (Case No. 20-10161) has announced winning bids for 6 Fairway stores on a going concern basis (five New York stores to Village Supermarket, Inc., a Wakefern member, and one store to Seven Seas Georgetowne, LLC, a Key Food member) and the sale of two real estate leases to Amazon Retail LLC. Village's winning bid includes four of Fairway's Manhattan stores as well as Fairway's production and distribution center for a purchase price of approximately $76mln. Seven Seas' winning bid is for the Georgetowne store in Brooklyn for a purchase price of approximately $5mln. Amazon's winning bid is for the leases in Paramus and Woodland Park in New Jersey for a purchase price of $1.5mln.