Giant Food: Free, weekly online nutrition and healthy living classes

Costco is planning to open its first store in Arkansas

Court of Appeal sides with Loblaw in $368mln tax evasion case involving Barbados bank
Loblaw Companies Ltd. is off the hook for $368mln in taxes, after the Federal Court of Appeal overturned a 2018 ruling that found the company used a Barbados bank as a tax shelter. The ruling from a three-judge panel sent the matter back to the Minister of National Revenue for reassessment. In an emailed statement, Loblaw said that it pays all of the taxes it owes. “We know that Canadians expect us to pay our taxes fully and fairly - and we do”, said the statement from Kevin Groh, Loblaw’s senior vice-president of corporate affairs and communication. “We are pleased that the Court of Appeal reversed the decision of the lower court, confirming that we were compliant in our tax filings and that we had paid all amounts due”.

US: H-E-B speeds up delivery for 'essential' items
H-E-B has launched two-hour grocery delivery for essential items, according to a press release. The delivery will be powered by H-E-B subsidiary Favor and will allow Texas shoppers to order products from all H-E-B, Central Market and Joe V’s stores without any membership fees or order minimum. Customers can choose up to 25 items from a pre-selected list of groceries and essentials including dairy, meat, produce, beer and wine. A Favor delivery driver will leave the items on shoppers’ doorsteps to remain contact-free. 

Foodora to shut down in Canada amid profitability challenges
Foodora says it is making plans to cease operations in Canada on May 11. The Berlin-based food delivery app says it has not been able to reach a level of profitability in Canada that’s sustainable enough to continue operations. It says the decision was made in part because it was competing against strong rivals and operating in a highly saturated market for online food delivery.

US: Costco plans to open store in Little Rock
One of the country's most popular wholesale retail chains is planning to open its first store in Arkansas. Little Rock Planning and Development Manager Tim Herndon confirmed that Costco had applied to set up shop in west Little Rock at the southwest corner of Chenal Parkway and Kirk Road. “There’s a revitalization of businesses looking at the city of Little Rock”, Herndon said. “I don’t know what drove Costco here, but they are among the first several entities contributing to the growth of commercial business here”.

US: Giant Food announces free, weekly nutrition-focused classes in new virtual format
Giant Food, the leading greater Washington D.C. regional grocery chain, announced that it will be offering free, weekly online nutrition and healthy living classes aimed at supporting the greater community, as well as individuals with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. At a time when the CDC recommends individuals postpone regular, non-urgent healthcare visits and instead use telemedicine when available, these free online classes serve as an extra preventative measure to ensure healthy living habits between doctor visits.

Lithuania: Supermarket Maxima goes to court in attempt to halt Tartu Lidl opening
Lithuanian-owned supermarket Maxima is going to court in an effort to stop the opening of a Lidl outlet in Tartu. The Tartu City Government issued a building permit for the store, run by German discount supermarket chain Lidl, on Kalda street in March, but last week Maxima submitted an application to the Tartu Administrative Court to revoke the building permit and apply primary legal protection, writes regional daily Tartu Postimees. Maxima cites an overabundance of stores in the area, the article said. As reported by ERR News last year, Maxima had already challenged the new store, in the Annelinn District of Estonia's second city.

UAE: Abu Dhabi Sheikh invests $1bln in top grocer LuLu
An investment firm backed by a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family agreed to buy a stake worth just over $1bln in LuLu Group International, which runs one of the Middle East’s largest hypermarket chains, according to people familiar with the matter. The company led by Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan acquired an almost 20% holding in the Abu Dhabi-based supermarket group founded by Indian entrepreneur Yusuff Ali, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.

Holland: Albert Heijn to launch temporary home delivery service on Sundays
Dutch retailer Albert Heijn has announced that it is to introduce a temporary home delivery service of groceries on Sundays, commencing 3 May, to meet the growing demand for the service in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Recently, the retailer recruited around 600 additional employees to collect and pack the groceries in its five home shop centres and deliver them to customers.

Life in lockdown Britain means fewer shopping trips but bigger bills
Britons made fewer shopping trips but spent more when they did venture out for groceries and bought different products as they adapted to life under the country’s coronavirus lockdown, industry data showed. Grocery sales in Britain rose by 5.5% year-on-year in the four weeks to April 19, market researcher Kantar said, with only stores deemed essential, such as food shops and pharmacies, allowed to stay open under a lockdown imposed on March 23. But while growth in April was significantly lower than a record of 20.6% in March, when Britons were building-up stocks for the lockdown, sales were still 524mln pounds ($652mln) higher than they were a year before.

UK: M&S launches new campaign backing British farmers
Marks & Spencer is set to launch a campaign that aims to champion the efforts of British farmers amidst the coronavirus pandemic and encourage more support for them. The six week campaign will span TV, social and in-store and will bring British farmers and growers at the forefront for customers. It will also highlight M&S’s ongoing commitments to sourcing meat, farmed fish, poultry, dairy, fruit and veg, and horticulture from nearly 10,000 farmers across the UK.

Holland: Supermarkets frantically hiring more staff for deliveries
As the number of online grocery orders skyrocket, supermarkets in the Netherlands are scrambling to hire more workers in order to keep up with the demand and limit waiting times for deliveries as much as possible. Supermarkets hired hundreds of extra employees over the past weeks, NOS reports. Not only do more customers now shop online for their groceries to avoid a visit to the supermarket and contact with strangers, their orders are also bigger than normal because they can no longer eat at work or eat out. Coop and Albert Heijn saw demand for their online services increase fivefold, they said to the broadcaster. Picnic's demand tripled. And Jumbo said online sales increased by half.

Ireland: Tesco expands ‘Click & Collect’ services
Tesco Ireland has announced that it has expanded its ‘Click & Collect’ services in ten locations in the country to help customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the expansion, the retailer has added new collection points as well as additional slots at existing Click & Collect sites. The initiative is part of the retailer’s response to cater to unprecedented growth in demand for home delivery or collection of groceries during the pandemic.

Holland: Sligro Food Group sees marginal growth in Q1 sales
Dutch wholesaler Sligro Food Group has reported a 1% year-on-year growth in sales to €533mln in the first quarter of its financial year, from €528mln in the same period last year. The company’s sales were impacted, however, as a result of the measures implemented by the government in response to the COVID-19 crisis, with the Netherlands and Belgium affected equally in relative terms, Sligro said in a trading update. The consolidation of De Kweker in the Netherlands contributed €25mln to the company’s net sales in the first quarter, €3mln lower as a result of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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