US: Stop & Shop extends 10% pay increase
Stop & Shop will extend the 10% wage increase it has been paying hourly store associates since March through July 4, according to a press release from the Northeastern grocer. The extra pay will go to about 56,000 workers at Stop & Shop’s more than 400 stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The chain initially agreed to provide its workers with a pay increase on March 20, as the pandemic was building steam, and announced in April that it would continue the increase through the end of May. Stop & Shop announced the continuation of the pay increase in conjunction with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), which said it worked with the chain to arrange the extension.
US: iFresh expands online grocery delivery service to additional states
iFresh, Inc. (“iFresh” or the “Company"), a leading Asian American supermarket chain and online grocer, announced that the Company is expanding iFresh’s online grocery delivery service to Florida, Maryland, and Massachusetts, in addition to New York. Residents who live within a 60-mile radius of certain iFresh chain stores will be offered grocery delivery services via iFresh’s online store. The new store locations providing delivery services and their respective mile ranges are as follows: Miami: 551 NE 167th St., North Miami Beach, FL 33162; mile range: 45-55 miles. Orlando: 2415 E Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL 32803; mile range: 45-60 miles. Rockville: 15108 Frederick Road, Rockville, MD 20850; mile range: 45-55 miles. Boston: 733 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA 02170; mile range: 45-55 miles
US: Costco reopening food courts, reviving samples to lure back shoppers
Nearly all of Costco Wholesale’s food courts will be reopened by the middle of June, finance chief Richard Galanti said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call. About 20% of the food courts were reopened at the end of the quarter. Costco, based in Issaquah, has also eliminated some food items, but didn’t say which ones. Another big part of the Costco in-store experience are the free food samples. Vendors also love them, as they’re key to getting customers to try new items. The company said today that it will start a “slow rollout” of some form of sampling in mid-June, but it won’t be stuff on open trays, picked up with fingers. “I can’t say anymore,” Galanti said cryptically.
Mexico: Femsa says it will pay $398mln in taxes
Mexican conglomerate Femsa said it will pay $398mln in taxes after reaching an agreement with authorities, marking another win for Mexico’s government, which recently collected a similar sum from retailer Walmart de Mexico. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has threatened to make public the names of 15 companies he said owed a total of $2bln in taxes, part of his efforts to boost collection in the country with the lowest take in the 37-nation Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
UK: Iceland supermarket announces 2,500 tonne food waste reduction
Supermarket Iceland has announced that it has reduced its food waste by nearly a quarter (23.2%) in the past two years, reducing the amount wasted by almost 2,500 tonnes. The announcement comes 12 months after Defra’s Food Waste Champion Ben Elliot called on businesses to “step up to the plate” and drive forward plans to cut food waste. Iceland set out to do this by using the “target, measure, act” approach - set out in the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap launched in 2018 by WRAP and the IGD.
Eat The Kiwi: new online grocer delivering to Hong Kong’s Discovery Bay
Launched by the founders of The Produce Company, a New Zealand-based food distributor, Eat The Kiwi is Hong Kong’s newest online grocer, now delivering to Discovery Bay. The team specialises in bringing high-quality food to Hong Kong, sourced directly from New Zealand farmers and producers. “Going straight to the source means we know exactly where and who our food comes from”, says marketing director, Rebekah Bradley. “It also means we get better prices - a benefit we share with our customers”. Eat The Kiwi flies in fresh vegetables twice a week, meaning minimal time is lost getting produce from farm to table.
UK: Sainsbury’s new Chief Executive adapts senior team to get closer to customers
On his first day as Chief Executive Officer, Simon Roberts has made two changes to the Sainsbury’s operating board. Clo Moriarty, previously Chief Digital Director, will take on the new role of Retail and Digital Director. Mark Given, Sainsbury’s Chief Marketing Officer, has been promoted to the Operating Board. The appointments, effective immediately, were announced by Simon Roberts to colleagues as he became the new Chief Executive Officer.
Spinneys introduces incubator for micro F&B suppliers in UAE
Supermarket brand Spinneys has launched its incubator programme for micro food and beverage (F&B) suppliers in the UAE, it announced on May 31. As part of its corporate sustainability initiative Let’s Do Better Together and to support local food production as well as stimulate economic growth in the sector, the initiative aims to fast-track supermarket listings for innovative F&B businesses. Via the incubator programme, micro F&B businesses will be given the opportunity to list their products at Spinneys for a year, with no start-up fees and generous payment terms.
UK corner shops and independent grocers ring up 63% rise in sales
Corner shops and independent grocery stores have reported a 63% surge in trade as shoppers turn to local outlets during the coronavirus crisis. Sales at independently owned retailers, many of which trade under brand names such as Spar, Londis and Budgens, soared by more than double the pace of the fastest growing grocery chain, the Co-op, in the three months to 17 May, according to grocery market data from the analysts Kantar.
China: Hong Kong April retail sales tumble 36% as virus hammers demand
Hong Kong’s retail sales slumped by 36% in value terms in April from a year earlier, falling for the 15th consecutive month, pummeled by the outbreak of the coronavirus that has put many retailers on the brink of collapse. Months of anti-government unrest have also weighed on the retail sector in Hong Kong. Sales dropped to HK$24.1bln ($3.11bln), government data showed. They had tumbled 42.1% in March and 44% in February. In volume terms, retail sales in April fell 37.5%, compared with a 44% drop in March and a 46.7% plunge in February.