China: Walmart says it will invest $425mln to expand presence in Wuhan over the next 5 years
Walmart’s China branch announced at an investment conference hosted by the Wuhan city government that it was committing 3bln yuan ($425mln) to expand its presence in the origin point of the coronavirus pandemic over the next 5 years. According to Walmart China, the company will be putting up at least 4 new Sam’s Club stores, 15 additional shopping malls, and more community stores in the capital of China’s Hubei province. The U.S.-based retailer already has 34 stores and 2 distribution centers in the city, where the global coronavirus pandemic first emerged in December.
Russia: X5 rolls out self-service tech made in-house across all geographies
X5 Retail Group, a leading Russian food retailer that operates the Pyaterochka, Perekrestok, and Karusel retail chains, has begun installing self-checkout (SCO) machines developed in-house at Pyaterochka proximity stores across all of its geographies. Through mass implementation of self-service technologies, X5 seeks to minimise contact between customers and store personnel. With 1,435 self-checkouts already installed at 369 stores, the plan for 2020 is to have a total of 12,000 units operating. The self-checkout system is the first hardware and software product developed entirely in-house by X5’s innovation lab. Compared to similar self-service systems, X5’s machines cost four times less to mass-produce while offering superior functionality. Five Russian enterprises are engaged in the assembly process, which creates additional jobs for the local population.
Japan: Food Supply wholesaler launches 'drive-through greengrocer' in Tokyo
Food Supply, a fruit and vegetable wholesale company in Tokyo’s Ota Ward, has launched a “drive-through greengrocer” to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and minimize its food waste. The company, which usually provides produce to around 5,000 restaurants, has seen over 70% of its client base at least temporarily close. Now, customers park their cars in designated spaces, and a Food Supply staff member will load the trunk with a 5-kilogram bag of domestically produced rice and a mix of fruit and vegetables for ¥5,000. Customers pay from their cars without exiting the vehicle.
India: Flipkart, Spencer's to pilot hyperlocal grocery delivery
Flipkart said it will soon commence a pilot of hyperlocal delivery of groceries and essentials in Hyderabad along with Spencers in yet another tie-up that will see online retailers use their fleets to ensure delivery of essentials. Consumers will be able to order groceries and essentials starting this month from the “Spencers store" on the Flipkart app. The app will host combo-packs that will club a few essential items that shoppers can order. Flipkart delivery executives will be able to collect orders from a select group of Spencers stores in the city and deliver them to shoppers.
Poland: Spar adds personal shopping service to reduce congestion in stores
Spar Poland has introduced a new personal shopping service to help customers reduce the time spent instore. From 7 April shoppers at selected stores will be able to use specially developed order forms to compile a shopping list. The completed list can be left in a designated location near the store’s entrance for fulfilment. Once the order is ready, the customer is contacted to arrange collection and payment at the cash desk, thereby reducing their time spent in store.
Brasil: Carrefour's e-commerce surges, but coronavirus costs curb gains
Carrefour Brasil has seen its e-commerce sales more than triple over the past month as Brazilians have stocked up on food and other supplies during coronavirus lockdowns, but the cost of new hiring and other measures to cope with the pandemic may offset those gains, its chief executive told Reuters. “We’re boosting volumes and, in return, our producers keep the prices unchanged”, Noël Prioux, CEO of Carrefour’s Brazilian unit added, highlighting recent spikes in the prices of beans, milk, vegetables and fruits as more people cook at home rather than going out to eat.
Amazon to hire 75,000 more to address increased demand due to coronavirus crisis
Amazon has already hired over 100,000 new employees in the past four weeks as a result of the uptick in demand it’s seeing due to the global coronavirus pandemic, but it’s looking to add 75,000 more workers in the U.S., across both full- and part-time positions. The company revealed the expanded hiring efforts in a blog post, where it also announced that it will be upping its total spend on pay increases to over $500mln in light of growing need.
US: Giant Eagle looks to the future, adding 2nd store for kerbside-pickup-delivery only
Giant Eagle will expand its curbside-pickup-delivery center format to Garfield Heights in a week, the store announced. The company sees the conversion of the Howe Avenue store in Cuyahoga Falls as a pilot-program success because of the volume of orders it can handle during the social-distancing measures that are in place to fight coronavirus. The Garfield Heights store will finish in-store-customer business Friday, April 17. It will be converted Saturday, April 18, into a clearinghouse to allow employees to do the shopping and loading, and be ready to handle orders Sunday, Giant Eagle spokesman Dan Donovan said. Customers can begin to reserve slots for online orders starting Friday, April 17. That store, at 5744 Transportation Blvd., is just east of Canal Road and south of Interstate 480.
US: Restaurant chain Just Salad launches grocery delivery
With coronavirus forcing many restaurants to close or offer takeout and delivery only, fast-casual chain Just Salad has begun selling groceries. Just Salad launched Just Grocery, an on-demand delivery service offering food, pantry items and meal kits to Manhattan residents. Customers receive their orders in 90 minutes or less, the New York-based company said. Products available through Just Grocery include fruit and vegetables, lettuce and greens, proteins (chicken, beef, tofu and eggs), dairy (cheese and almond milk), Just Salad house-made dressings, nuts and grains, multigrain bread, rice and beans, beverages (Just Salad tea, Just Salad cold-pressed juice, Just Salad spring water, La Croix sparkling water and Coca-Cola), snacks (Hippeas puffs, PopChips, Kind bars, and Protein Bakery brownies and cookies), and household items (paper towels and bathroom tissue).
US: Target-owned Shipt has added 70,000 new shoppers
Shipt, the same-day grocery delivery service owned by Target Corp., has added 70,000 new shoppers in the last month or so as orders have surged because of the coronavirus pandemic. Shipt is on track to double its number of delivery people by the end of April, Kelly Caruso, the company’s CEO, wrote in a blog post on Shipt’s website. That would bring the total number of shoppers, who like Uber drivers are independent contractors, to 200,000.