Fastest growth in 15 years for Irish grocery sales

Carrefour agree to buy food retailer Wellcome Taiwan

Australia: Woolworths to reward over 100,000 staff with shares for virus efforts
Australia’s biggest supermarket chain Woolworths Group said it will reward more than 100,000 of its staff with free company shares for their efforts during a period of upheaval amid bushfires and the coronavirus buying frenzy. The company said it would give full-time employees up to A$750 ($510) of shares each to keep or sell, while part-time staff would get shares on a pro-rata basis. Casual staff would get cash bonuses or store discounts.

UK: Co-op expanding robot delivery service amid growing demand
The Co-op is extending the use of robot deliveries across the Milton Keynes area due to demand for the service almost doubling since the start of the coronavirus lockdown. The convenience retailer became the first to trial same-day autonomous robot deliveries in the UK when it teamed up with Starship Technologies in April 2018. The service has now been made available from eight Co-op stores, with six new stores added since March. Starship has waived its delivery charge for NHS workers during the lockdown period, with the robots also programmed to pause to ‘clap and cheer’ at 8pm on Thursday evenings when the country thanks carers and key workers.

Irish grocery sales see fastest growth in 15 years: Kantar
Take-home grocery sales in Ireland saw its fastest rate of growth in the past fifteen years, increasing by 25.4% in the latest 12-week period ended 17 May, according to the latest data from Kantar. Retail analyst at Kantar, Emer Healy, commented: "The jump in grocery sales over the most recent three-months in large part reflects the fact that it includes both the pre-lockdown surge in shopper spend and the eight weeks of stay-at-home advice from Government, bringing almost all meals into the home". Healy also pointed out that these gains will be offset by a drop in the sales of on-the-go meals, drinks and snacks, impacting the overall performance of some supermarkets.

Chinese online grocery operation Dada seeks $280mln in U.S. IPO grocery delivery operation Dada Nexus Ltd. updated its prospectus for a U.S. initial public offering of as much as $280.5mln, moving a step toward becoming the first Chinese company to list in the U.S. after new legislation passed the Senate last month that would make such listings more difficult. The Shanghai-based company plans to offer 16.5mln American Depositary Shares (ADSs) at $15 to $17 each, according to a prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Senate bill cracking down on Chinese listings hasn’t cleared the House of Representatives.

Logile expands into UK with Booths deal
Northern England supermarket chain, Booth’s, has selected Logile’s store planning and workforce management suites. Booths will implement the software solutions throughout its store locations, petrol stations, warehouses and corporate office. This marks US venture Logile's first UK-based customer. The retailer will deploy engineered labour standards built by Logile as the initial step in optimising labour and increasing operational efficiency. Booths is also implementing Enterprise Standards Manager, Enterprise Labour Model, Sales & Labour Planning, Forecasting & Staff Planning, Employee Scheduling, Time & Attendance and Enterprise Reporting software solutions.

France's Carrefour expands in convenience stores in Taiwan
French retailer Carrefour said it had agreed to buy food retailer Wellcome Taiwan from Asia’s Dairy Farm, making it the number two player in Taiwan’s convenience stores market. The transaction, with an enterprise value of 97mln euros ($108.00mln), covers the purchase of 224 stores as well as a warehouse and is expected to close by the end of the year, the statement said. Wellcome Taiwan posted net sales of around 390mln euros in 2019.

Shop workers to strike at big name supermarket chain in Spain’s Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca over virus safety
Staff are set to go on strike at a big name supermarket chain in Spain’s Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca. The CCOO and UGT unions want members at Lidl supermarkets to strike for 24 hours this Thursday (June 4) after failing to reach an arbitration agreement over safety rules as State of Alarm rules are eased. Unions are upset over the lack of anti-coronavirus protocols implemented by Lidl bosses, and accused them of “lacking goodwill” when they made an appearance at mediation. The CCOO said that Lidl’s labour relations are based on mistrust and conflict and in a statement said that “the company is refusing to address even the most basic questions”.

US: Bact-Off introduces world's first antimicrobial & germ free plastic shopping cart handle
Bact-Off, a self-care consumer packaged goods company, in partnership with Smart Plastic Technologies, announces the introduction of a simple, snap on plastic handle enabled with Smart Plastic's SPTek GARD™ antimicrobial additive for retail. Given current global health concerns, this product provides a solution to support shoppers seeking a clean and healthy in-store shopping experience. It is now available on Amazon and at select retailers in the near future.

US: Bi-Lo adds delivery service to most stores through Instacart
Bi-Lo has struck a deal with Instacart to provide delivery service to customers of most of the grocery chain’s stores, according to an email sent to Grocery Dive. The more than 70 stores where the service is available are located in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Customers may schedule orders up to two weeks in advance through Instacart’s "order ahead” feature, which the e-commerce provider launched in early April as part of its effort to handle increased demand driven by the pandemic. Orders will be left at customers’ doors by default. Bi-Lo also offers delivery services through Shipt, which began partnering with the grocery chain in 2018.

US: GrubMarket expands to the Seattle area with the acquisition of Hung San Foods
GrubMarket announced it has completed the acquisition of Hung San Foods, a leading supplier of quality produce and specialty foods, serving grocery stores and restaurants in the Seattle area. Hung San Foods was formerly an independent, family-owned food supplier with a portfolio of clients including grocery stores, supermarkets, single unit restaurants, chain restaurants, schools, and large institutional accounts across the Seattle region. This is GrubMarket's first acquisition in the Pacific Northwest, and the company will continue bolstering and building its strategic portfolio of wholesale companies within that region.

US: Rainbow Blossom Natural Foods Market selects the OpSense platform to protect their perishable inventory and keep food fresh
OpSense, a real-time monitoring Software as a Service platform, was recently installed at Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Market locations to provide around the clock visibility into the temperature and humidity of the walk-in freezers, refrigerators, and cold storage cases. Nathan Simmons, Grocery Category Manager, commented: "With OpSense in all our stores, we have peace of mind that our perishables are at the optimal temperature 24/7. We know we'll get an alert if the situation changes".

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