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Union blasts Kroger for ending COVID-19 wage boost

J.C. Penney files for bankruptcy protection
J.C. Penney Co Inc filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday with plans to permanently close some stores and also explore a possible sale, making it the latest brick-and-mortar retailer to crumble as prolonged store closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic drive a final stake through long-troubled businesses, according to Reuters

The U.S. department store chain, known for selling family apparel, cosmetics and jewelry at roughly 850 locations, said it reached an agreement with existing lenders for $900 million of debtor-in-possession financing to aid operations while it navigates bankruptcy proceedings in federal court in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The real reason the pandemic is causing Aldi to thrive
America's retail industry may be getting hammered by the coronavirus, but there are a few companies that are thriving in spite of the gloom. The combined effect of job losses and staggering grocery price hikes around the country have given discount retailers like Aldi and Dollar General a boost, even though both stores had already been thriving before the pandemic.

The German discount retailer is scoring points with American buyers because of its business model, which offers a no-frills shopping experience and a limited range of products. Aldi also manages to win over the hearts and minds of its most loyal followers by giving customers what they want, which is to give shoppers quality products without the bells and whistles (via LiveChat). "Aldi is perfectly positioned as the low-priced leader. A family with five kids and a rescue pet spending $200 a week of groceries at a typical supermarket chain is spending $120 to $140 a week at Aldi," retail strategist Burt Flickinger told CNN.

Union blasts Kroger for ending COVID-19 wage boost
The Kroger Co. is ending a $2-an-hour coronavirus pay bump for front-line workers and replacing it with one-time bonuses, a move that's drawing criticism from the union that represents many of the grocery chain's employees. Detroit news

The company said in a news release that "Thank You Pay" bonuses of $200 for part-time workers and $400 for full-time workers will be paid in installments on May 30 and June 18.

Despite coronavirus, retailers keep produce supply fresh
There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic is changing everything about the way people live and shop — and savvy supermarket operators are adapting to the new normal and ensuring that they are still supplying what customers need. 

That’s especially true in the produce department, where sales during the beginning of the coronavirus crisis were low due to consumer fears about items being touched by others and the desire to buy more long-lasting food.

That caused a drop in fresh produce sales, as people turned more to center store and prepackaged food products, and many consumers started buying groceries online, where produce sales are historically a smaller share of the basket. Supermarket news

SPAR flags losses at Polish business to hit half-year earnings; shares fall
South African retailer and wholesaler SPAR Group (SPPJ.J) on Friday warned of lower half-year headline earnings, due to losses at its Polish business that was under restructuring, sending its shares down over 2% in early trade.

The grocery chain, which also sells building materials and medicines, said headline earnings per share (HEPS) was expected to be 17% to 27% lower between 434.6 cents and 382.2 cents for the six months to March 31.
Reuters forecasts revenue above estimates on demand for daily essentials
China’s Inc on Friday forecast second-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates after an upbeat quarter, riding on a surge in online orders of groceries and daily goods from consumers sheltering at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The web retailer’s strategy of holding inventory and having full control of its in-house delivery network helped it to compete with larger rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which outsources its logistics operation to third-party firms.

Aldi UK partners Deliveroo for grocery home delivery
Aldi UK, the British arm of the German supermarket discounter, said it would trial grocery home delivery for the first time in partnership with Deliveroo.

From Monday, Aldi will offer a rapid delivery service from a store in Nottingham, central England, before extending the trial to a further seven stores across the East Midlands in June.

If successful, the service could roll out to further Aldi stores by the end of 2020, it said.

Tesco's slavery review reports abuses in Malaysia
U.K.-based multinational groceries chain Tesco PLC has found abuses against migrant workers at its stores and distribution centres in Malaysia and Thailand, it said in its annual modern slavery statement.

The company listed allegations based on interviews with 168 migrant workers in Malaysia and 187 in Thailand that included passport retention, unexplained and illegal wage reductions, heavy indebtedness to labour brokers and excessive overtime work.
Channel news Asia


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