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Lidl: Newest store in the U.S. will open soon

Target: Fulfilment capabilities expansion with Deliv tech acquisition

Stacey Kravitz named new UNFI Canada president
Grocery distributor United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) has promoted Stacey Kravitz to president of UNFI Canada, succeeding Peter Brennan, who is retiring. Plans call for Kravitz, currently senior vice president of sales for Canada, to take the reins as president effective August 2. UNFI said late yesterday that Brennan will stay in his current role through August 7 and remain with the company as a consultant until October to help Kravitz transition into her new post.

US: Shoppers mob Ingles Markets for pandemic supplies
Pandemic-related demand propelled same-store sales at Ingles Markets by a whopping 17.5% during the second quarter. The Asheville, North Carolina-based operator of 200 stores also reported that net sales for the second quarter ended March 28 totaled $1.14bln compared with $1bln for the second quarter of fiscal 2019. Ingles says gross profit for the quarter totaled $291.6mln, or 25.5% of sales. Gross profit for the prior-year quarter was $244.3mln, or 24.4% of sales. Operating and administrative expenses for the quarter totaled $228.4mln, compared with $216.5mln for the prior year. Increased labor and personnel costs accounted for most of the increase.

Lidl’s U.S. expansion targets Atlanta area
Lidl will soon open its newest store in the U.S., an effort supported by the Germany-based food retailer’s growing fulfillment network. The new store is located in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, the fifth Lidl location in that state, and the 99th Lidl store in the U.S., the company said. The pandemic means the store will open without a ribbon cutting and other dramatics. The store will operate under pandemic hours, opening from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays set aside for senior citizen shoppers.

Ahold Delhaize USA ups omni investments
Ahold Delhaize increased online sales expectations for its U.S. stores and said it would accelerate omnichannel investments after reporting first quarter results that were heavily impacted by COVID-19. Same store sales at Ahold Delhaize USA increased 13.8% during the first quarter, aided by a 33.8% comp increase in March and 42.3% online growth throughout the quarter. Those figures are comparable to results reported by other food retailers who were trending well at the start of the year before experiencing an unprecedented sales surge around mid-March that was then followed by a shift toward digital shopping methods as social distancing took hold.

US: Hy-Vee rolls out 2-hour express grocery pickup
Hy-Vee Inc. has introduced a two-hour express pickup option as part of its Hy-Vee Aisles Online grocery-ordering service, enabling shoppers to pay a fee to get their orders faster. A “Get It Faster” option has been added to Aisles Online time slots where the two-hour pickup option is available. There will be a limited number of two-hour pickup orders offered for $9.95, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily, at all Hy-Vee store locations with Aisles Online services. Customers will receive the same email and text notifications as they do for regular pickup orders.

US: Publix reaches milestone in produce & milk donations
In the two weeks since its launch, Publix Super Market’s initiative to support farmers and feed those in need has resulted in the purchase of more than 1mln pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables and 100,000-plus gallons of milk to donate to Feeding America member food banks. “We’re proud of the success this initiative has had in supporting farmers and families affected by the pandemic”, noted Publix CEO Todd Jones. “As a food retailer, feeding families is our greatest opportunity to give back, and we are grateful to be able to do so while supporting produce and dairy farmers. During such challenging times, we are even more committed to supporting those in need and doing good, together”.

US: Meijer plans automated supply chain facility
Michigan-based grocery chain Meijer is developing a fully automated dry grocery supply chain facility on a 160-acre property adjacent to its existing 1.7mln-square-foot distribution center in Tipp City, Ohio, according to the Dayton Business Journal. Scheduled for completion in August 2022, the $160mln facility “will serve Meijer stores throughout Ohio, Southern Indiana and Northern Kentucky, and it ‘will play a key role in Meijer's continued growth’ in northeast Ohio, according to a memorandum”.

US: Target expands fulfilment capabilities with Deliv tech acquisition
Target is in the process of acquiring technology assets from Deliv which specialises in grouping deliveries together for last-mile delivery. The same-day delivery company is winding down its operations, and while Target is not acquiring the company, Deliv’s CEO, Daphne Carmeli, along with several other employees, are set to join Target. The company, which works with multiple US retailers, is planning on operating through to August 4.

Russia: X5 Retail Group reports online sales in April nearly 5 times larger than a year ago
X5 Retail Group, a leading Russian food retailer that operates the Pyaterochka, Perekrestok and Karusel chains, announces that in April 2020, online sales through and Delivery.Pyaterochka amounted to RUB1.7bln (USD23.04mln incl. VAT), which represents a year-on-year increase of 4.7 times (in April 2019, the online supermarket was X5’s only online sales channel. X5 express delivery was launched in December 2019). According to Company estimates, this result makes X5 Retail Group the #1 player in online grocery delivery in Russia. April 2020 online sales accounted for 2% of X5’s turnover in Moscow, the Moscow region and St Petersburg, where online services are available. At the end of the month, X5 was delivering more than 23,000 orders per day, and that number continues to grow.

UK: GroceryAid recognises Costcutter
Costcutter Supermarkets Group has been awarded gold status by GroceryAid, in recognition of its support. The award recognises companies that have supported GroceryAid’s three critical pillars of support - awareness, fundraising, and volunteering. Costcutter has held a number of fundraising events, which have raised more than £13,000, since becoming an active supporter of GroceryAid in 2017. The group has also run internal awareness campaigns and worked with suppliers and colleagues to raise funds for the cause.

Italy: Conad tests disposable handle covers for shopping carts
Italian supermarket chain Conad has launched the trial of a disposable handle cover for shopping trolleys as part of its efforts to comply with COVID-19 hygiene regulations. ‘Keeper’ is a disposable, recyclable plastic-free product made from FSC-certified cardboard, according to a report in Il Resto del Carlino. Shoppers can access the product free of charge from the dispensers at Conad outlets and place the product on the handle of the trolley, creating a protective barrier. Initially, the retailer aims to introduce 'Keeper' in 14 Conad hypermarkets, supermarkets and superstores in Forlì and surrounding areas. The patent is owned by Forli-based, Grafiche Mdm, which is collaborating with Conad regional member Cia-Conad for the launch.

CP ALL to open 7-Eleven stores in Cambodia
7-Eleven has signed a master franchise agreement with CP ALL (Cambodia) Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of CP ALL in Thailand, to develop its stores in Cambodia. CP ALL will build and operate the stores to modernise the retail environment and bring greater convenience to shoppers. The first 7-Eleven stores in Cambodia will be ready in 2021. It will have popular products, beverage and snacks from around the world and fresh food developed with regional recipes as part of the convenience offerings.

First Siam Makro store in Myanmar opens its doors
The first Siam Makro store in Myanmar has opened its doors as the Thai-based cash & carry operator eyes the fast-growing food service sector in the rising country Myanmar. Located in Myanmar, the more than 7000sqm store offers more than 10,000 lines of fresh food, dry food, and other products. “Makro was big, huge”, a shopper told news outlet Myanmore. “We had to book one day in advance to actually go there. There are more local products now than from Thailand. Everyone was wearing a mask when we went there. There are social distancing activities among the queuing at the entrance and each cashier”.

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