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Conad has added more stores to its Spazio Conad banner

Aldi: New automated traffic light system at entrances

Foodpanda in the Philippines expands into groceries
Food-delivery service Foodpanda in the Philippines has expanded into grocery deliveries. Partnering with major retailers such as 7-Eleven, the company said it has introduced a “Shops” function on the Foodpanda app. “Shops provide Foodpanda users more options and upgrades so they will never have to run out of everyday essentials”, said Paolo Biondi Te, head of grocery at Foodpanda in the Philippines.

Germany: Nature boost for Berlin as Amazon funds city climate protection
Germany’s capital Berlin will serve as a testing ground for a European project backed by online retailer to work out how best to revive and expand city green spaces, which can help protect residents from rising heat and floods. From June, environmental charity The Nature Conservancy (TNC) will work with the west Berlin district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf to map its surface and put together a plan to plant more trees, grass and flowers, and restore wetland areas. Amazon will provide 3.75mln euros ($4mln) for the work to reduce climate change risks and boost species biodiversity in 3 urban areas in Germany over the next 5 years, the company said in a statement.

UK: Aldi launches traffic light system for store access
Aldi is implementing a new automated traffic light system at entrances, to control the number of customers going in and out of stores. The nationwide roll out of the new technology starts from this week following a successful trial. Traffic lights will signal when customers can enter stores based on individual store customer limits that are in line with two-metre social distancing rules. NHS and blue light worker priority access remains in place. These workers are encouraged to go to the front of the queue and other customers will be asked to continue to respect this. The traffic light system will run alongside the current measures already in place at all Aldi stores to ensure social distancing.

Italy: Conad adds more stores to its new banner, Spazio Conad
Conad has added more stores to its Spazio Conad banner as part of the relaunch of the former Auchan Retail Italia store network in Italy. Last week, Conad Nord Ovest opened two Spazio Conad superstores - in Palazzolo sull'Oglio and Rivoli. By mid-2020, the retailer aims to rebrand half of the 69 stores acquired from Auchan to Spazio Conad, which currently operates 19 outlets.

Pricer: Exclusive framework agreement signed with Dutch supermarket chain PLUS Retail
Pricer AB announces that the Dutch co-operative supermarket chain PLUS Retail, with more than 265 supermarkets across The Netherlands, has signed a framework agreement for the deployment of Pricer’s electronic shelf label platform. There are no minimum commitments for volumes or values under the agreement. Orders under this framework agreement will be included in Pricer’s order intake for the quarter in which they are received. “We look forward to supporting PLUS Retail in optimizing the store operations and improve the customer experience by using both cloud-based services as well as innovative shelf-technology”, says Helena Holmgren, CEO at Pricer.

UK: Car wash for supermarket trolleys being rolled out at Lidl
Inventors have come up with a machine they say could help Britain combat coronavirus - a 'car wash' for supermarket trolleys. The innovative design apparently provides a way of rapidly cleaning shopping carts. Clean Trolley, the company behind the drive-thru contraption, claims it can wash 30 in under 30 seconds - and make them completely virus-free. Clean Trolley was invented in the Netherlands and is being distributed in Britain by Lancashire-based company Wilkinson Mobile Catering.

UK: Grocery growth accelerates as lockdown eases
British take-home grocery sales rose by 14.3% during the 12 weeks to 17 May, the fastest rate since comparable records began in 1994, according to the latest figures released by Kantar. Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, comments: “The most recent three-month period now includes both the pre-lockdown rush to the shops in March, and eight weeks of stay-at-home advice from Government - a combination which has resulted in the fastest growth in take-home grocery sales for over 25 years. While these are bumper figures, it remains true that the overall picture for some grocers will be less positive, as supermarkets continue to feel the impact of a considerable reduction in on-the-go spend on meals, drinks and snacks. Those categories usually add up to £1bln over the course of 12 weeks and they aren’t included in these numbers”.

India's Avenue Supermarts Q4: Key takeaways from DMart management commentary
Avenue Supermarts, the company that owns and operates the DMart chain of stores, reported fourth quarter numbers better than what most analysts were expecting it to. Quarterly revenue grew 23% year-on-year, but much of the growth came in January and February. For March, the growth was 11%, because of the nationwide lockdown in the last week of the month. Overall, revenue growth was helped by contributions from the 38 new stores added during the year, a record addition in a year. In its business update, the company said only 50% of their stores were operational during the lockdown, and those had low footfalls. Even in operational stores, sales consisted primarily of daily provisions and grocery items.

Walmart's Mexico unit pays scaled-down tax of $358mln after government talks
Walmart de Mexico paid $358mln in taxes after talks with the Mexican government over an even larger sum authorities had aimed to charge the retailer for the sale of a restaurant chain, the company said. The pact comes as President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador seeks to tighten tax enforcement in a country with the lowest take in the 36-nation Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Lopez Obrador said collection was up this year from the first 5 months of 2019. “This was the amount that we arrived at in collaboration,” Walmex’s director of corporate affairs, Claudia de la Vega, said in an interview, adding that the company worked directly with the tax authority (SAT) to review its income taxes from 2014 to 2018.

Ahold Delhaize USA announces Ira Kress as President, Giant Food
Ahold Delhaize USA announced Ira Kress has been appointed President, Giant Food, effectively immediately. “Ira has been a dedicated leader for Giant Food for 36 years and we are proud to appoint him to this role”, said Kevin Holt, president, Ahold Delhaize USA. “Ira has been serving as interim president of Giant Food since last summer, and he has continued to lead the brand with success. He is an excellent leader, with a strong focus on serving customers, engaging associates and supporting local communities. During his role as interim president, Ira has continued to successfully grow sales, market share and build strong associate engagement during an unprecedented time for our industry”.

US: Dollar General expands fresh produce offerings
As Dollar General strives to capture more consumer grocery spending, fresh produce has taken on increasing importance to that plan, as a new initiative in Louisiana shows. The discount retailer announced that two recently remodeled stores in Baton Rouge, the state capital, now have fresh vegetables and fruit for sale. The retail chain also said that it offers a “curated assortment of produce” in about 650 of its more than 16,000 locations. This focus on fresh fruits and vegetables stems from the retailer’s broader efforts to expand its grocery selections as well as local political pressure. Dollar General said its new produce offerings reflect the ongoing push by Baton Rouge’s mayor to educate residents about how to improve their own nutritional habits and otherwise encourage wider consumer access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

US: The Giant Co. helps shoppers save on fresh food
The Giant Co. is now offering the Flashfood app, which enables shoppers to buy fresh food items, including produce, meat, deli and bakery products that are nearing their best-before dates at considerably lower prices. The app is now available at four Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Giant stores. “The Giant Co. is committed to doing everything it can to preserve the communities we live and work in for future generations, and reducing food waste is central to our efforts”, noted Sepideh Burkett, the grocer’s VP of store support. “Working with Flashfood, not only will we be providing our customers with savings on safe, high-quality food items, but we’ll also continue to minimize our environmental impact by diverting even more food waste away from landfills”.

US: Saladworks enters supermarket produce sections
Fast-casual Saladworks began expanding into grocery store settings in the Philadelphia area in 2019. Boosted by early success, the brand will pursue more grocery store opportunities in Delaware, Maryland and New York, as well as in airports, military bases and office buildings. CMO Mark Mears and Head Chef Katie Cavuto have used some innovative operational and culinary strategies to set down roots in the produce section, and they’ve shared some insights with Progressive Grocer.

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