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Carrefour is adding Smartscan to its Belgian app

Walmart China: Self-service smart scales in select stores

Australia: Woolworths CEO plans to increase home delivery services to cope with surging online demand
Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci says the supermarket chain will soon be able to expand its home delivery service to cope with a surge of demand for online grocery sales. Mr Banducci told Sky News Woolworths has significantly increased its digital and e-commerce investments as online sales for the third quarter rose 34% to $817mln. The health crisis had its benefits and drawbacks for Woolworths: while food sales surged to $11.1bln in the last quarter, the businesses is planning to invest $275mln towards safety and hygiene measures.

Walmart uses AI to streamline in-store shopping for produce in China
Walmart China is deploying self-service smart scales in select stores. Walmart’s China operation is initially implementing the AI-powered Retail AIFresh self-service scale solution from Malong Technologies at 100 stores. Malong participates in Omega 8, a communication platform designed to connect Walmart and innovative technology companies to develop scalable technology solutions which deliver rapid value. During use, customers place bagged items (e.g. fruits, vegetables and other loose/dry goods) on the scale and the RetailAI Fresh system identifies the product without any change to customer or shopping behavior. Customers are provided with a "one-tap" ready-ranked list to select on-screen to print a payment label.

Belgium: Carrefour adds smartphone scanning to app
Supermarket chain Carrefour is adding Smartscan to its Belgian app, which allows customers to scan and pay their purchases in-store using their smartphone. This eliminates the use of a handheld scanner, and thus reduces the risk of spreading the coronavirus. The introduction of Smartscan had been planned, but was sped up by the coronavirus crisis: in these times it is paramount that customers keep their distance from each other and from supermarket employees, and avoid physical contact as much as possible. The new function allows customer to scan their purchases using their smartphone, and use the resulting code at a self-checkout or show it to a cashier at a normal checkout.

Lidl closes UK branch after workers contract Covid-19
Lidl has closed one of its branches, becoming the first supermarket in the UK to close its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. The German discounter was forced to close its Middlesbrough branch on Friday after several staff members were tested positive for Covid-19. The store remained closed over the weekend due to a shortage of staff amid the outbreak.

Slovenia: SPAR introduces SPAR ‘Online Basic’ service
SPAR Slovenia launches a new online shopping service that offers only 250 of the most essential food items. The new service allows customers to choose from 250 of the most popular food items, out of the thousands of items available throughout the store, making the online shopping experience easier and quicker, since the time needed to prepare orders in-store is significantly reduced. Pick-up is available at one of twelve INTERSPAR hypermarkets around the country.

Holland: Retail turnover 3.5% up in March
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that the Dutch retail sector achieved 3.5% year-on-year turnover growth in March 2020. The volume of sales increased by 2%. Turnover was up in the food sector, but down in the non-food sector. Furthermore, online sales increased by almost 29%. Shops selling food, beverages and tobacco achieved 12.2% more turnover in March 2020 than in the same month last year, the largest increase since 2005. The volume of sales increased by 9.3%. Supermarkets saw a turnover growth of 13.1%, while turnover of specialist shops increased by almost 5%.

Coronavirus to accelerate UK grocery's digital shift, says Sainsbury's boss
The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating a digital shift in UK grocery shopping as Britons embrace home delivery, click and collect and technologies such as in-store scanning, the boss of Sainsbury’s said. Since the crisis started Sainsbury’s, Britain’s No 2 supermarket group, has increased online delivery and click and collect slots by nearly 50%, while sales volumes have nearly doubled. In Sainsbury’s stores shopper participation in “Smartshop”, which enables customers to use in-store handsets or their smartphone to scan their shopping as they go round the store, has gone “through the roof” said Chief Executive Mike Coupe.

US: Island Pacific - First Filipino grocery chain to offer same-day grocery delivery with ShopHero
ShopHero, a progressive grocery eCommerce provider located in Provo, Utah has announced a strategic eCommerce relationship with American grocery chain Island Pacific Supermarket. With 16 locations across California and Las Vegas, Island Pacific partnered with ShopHero to launch a safe, at home shopping experience for their patrons. ShopHero is providing a fully branded solution that compliments Island Pacific’s in-store experience and highlights the unique cultural aspects of the chain. “Island Pacific Supermarket is extremely proud of being the first Filipino supermarket chain to provide online shopping with same day delivery in the United States”, said Jeff Lim, CEO of Island Pacific. “Thanks to ShopHero, our online business was fully operational in 23 days, and our launch was a remarkable success!”.

US: Walmart expanding Express Delivery to 1,000 stores to meet demand amid coronavirus crisis
Walmart is escalating its delivery strategy to customers, most of whom are still living under stay-at-home orders, and at the same time bolstering its retail competition with Amazon. The nation's largest retailer is expanding its two-hour Express Delivery service to nearly 1,000 stores in early May and expects to reach a total of nearly 2,000 stores in the following weeks, the company said.

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