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Associated Wholesale Grocers plans to construct a new all-in-one distribution hub

Food Lion to purchase 62 BI-LO and Harveys Supermarkets from Southeastern Grocers

US: H-E-B tops customer satisfaction pandemic ranking
H-E-B leads other food retailers in customer satisfaction during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a new report. The grocery store chain achieved an 80% customer satisfaction mark in the newest Bond Brand Loyalty "Covid-19 Consumer Tracker" study. H-E-B scored higher than such other food retailers as Costco and Walmart, each of them scoring 61%. Publix and The Kroger Co. were behind them, with scores of 59% each.

US: Grocery retailers feel impact as nationwide protests escalate
Just like the rest of the nation, grocery retailers are watching and waiting as the strife from protests over the death of George Floyd is exploding in cities coast to coast. Through the weekend, protests were ongoing in more than 30 cities, with curfews imposed in most of them, according to published reports. More than 60,000 National Guard troops have been activated in at least two dozen states and the District of Columbia. Food retailers of all stripes and in all geographies - ranging from Target and Walmart to Cub Foods and Coborn’s to Stop & Shop and ShopRite - have been affected, whether by forced closings and/or damaged stores or looting, vandalism and curtailed hours.

US: Associated Wholesale Grocers planning new distribution hub
Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) has revealed plans to construct a new all-in-one distribution hub in Hernando, Mississippi, that will employ almost 600 people, according to a published report. Pending incentive approval, the facility is slated to be completed in 2023. “We are excited to be able to significantly expand what we stock and ship to our member stores while becoming more efficient and cost-effective in our operations”, David Smith, CEO of Kansas City, Kansas-based AWG, said in a release quoted by the Memphis Business Journal. “This new facility will be a critical component in our plan to build a safer, better and more efficient supply chain”.

Ahold Delhaize announces U.S. brand Food Lion has agreed to acquire 62 stores from Southeastern Grocers
Ahold Delhaize announces that Food Lion, its second largest brand in the United States, by sales, has agreed to purchase 62 BI-LO and Harveys Supermarkets from Southeastern Grocers. The stores are located in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia and will be converted to Food Lion stores, as part of the brand's continued expansion in the southeast of the U.S. Food Lion, based in Salisbury, North Carolina, operates more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 77,000 associates. As part of the asset deal Food Lion expects to hire more than 4,650 associates to serve customers at the 62 acquired stores.

UK: Morrisons new Doorstep Delivery service passes 100,000 orders
Morrisons’ new telesales shopping service - aimed specifically at ensuring vulnerable and elderly people can get the groceries they need - has now received 100,000 orders. It is one of a number of measures that Morrisons has introduced in response to the Coronavirus pandemic to ensure that no customer gets left behind. Morrisons launched the service in April after receiving many calls from customers who were self isolating, elderly or vulnerable and were not able to visit a shop. Over 100,000 orders have now been delivered to customers across the UK with many saying that it has been a lifeline. Some customers had little food left in their cupboards and were worried about how they would stock up when they didn’t use the internet.

Grocery shopping online in China booms, even after stores reopen
Grocery shopping online is poised for explosive growth in China, with more than half consumers saying they are buying more online even after stores reopen. According to research by GlobalData, consumers in the region got used to purchasing online during the Covid-19 lockdown and the habit has stuck. The data shows 56% of Chinese consumers are now grocery shopping online more frequently than before the pandemic hit. “The impact of Covid-19 will leave a permanent mark on how we shop for groceries”, said Globaldata retail analyst Thomas Brereton, “with demand for home fulfilment soaring around the world as consumers follow the ‘stay at home’ message from many governments. With a population of 1.4bln, the potential value growth in the Chinese online grocery market is phenomenal”.

Spain: Caprabo promotes local produce amidst COVID-19 crisis
Spanish retailer Caprabo has launched a campaign aimed at promoting and increasing awareness of local products amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative, which runs for the month of June, includes information and discounts of up to 50% on more than 150 SKUs from small producers and agricultural cooperatives in Catalonia. The campaign includes fruit, vegetables, dairy products, eggs, pastries, cookies, cooked legumes, nuts, rice, oil, deli foods, as well as denomination of origin wines and sparkling wine.

Estonian supermarket chain Selver installs automated store technology
Selver, an Estonian supermarket chain, has introduced fully automated store or locker technology at one of its 50 or more locations. The store was developed, manufactured and supplied by Cleveron, a technology company which produces a range of automated item-dispensing systems, often using the word “robot” to describe them. The Cleveron 501 is a stationary automated store that enables customers to receive online-ordered groceries without human contact. The first robotic grocery locker is situated on the outskirts of Tallinn, in front of Peetri Selver.

SPAR reports global growth of 4.35% and retail sales of €37.1bln for 2019
The world’s largest food retail voluntary chain, SPAR International, has reported sales of €37.1bln for the year ending 31 December 2019, representing a 4.35% increase in revenue on a constant currency basis. At the end of the year there were 13,320 SPAR branded stores operating across 48 markets worldwide in four continents, an increase of 208 stores over the previous year. Consistent expansion has seen over 1,200 new stores added to the SPAR global network in the last four years. The brand was launched in two new markets in 2019, Kosovo and Armenia, further strengthening the brand in Central and Eastern Europe - one of the key growth regions for SPAR in recent years.

JD fosters local stalls and small stores in China
Chinese e-commerce giant JD is moving to stimulate small and medium enterprises nationally by providing supply chain and service support for the employment of more than 5mln people. The firm is accumulating around 50bln goods as a part of its “Spark” economic support plan designed to benefit SMEs, stall owners and shopkeepers. The plan is focused on three areas: ensuring supply, assisting operations and promoting employment. The firm will also provide each small shop with US$14,000 in interest-free credit to make purchases.

Petition calls for Coles and Woolworths to bring in change to protect Australian producers
There are growing calls for Australia’s leading supermarkets to introduce a shopping aisle specifically for Australian made products, as the nation looks to rebound from the economic collapse triggered by the coronavirus outbreak. An online petition set up in April has called on Coles, Woolworths and IGA to introduce the aisle to allow Australians to support local businesses at a time when the agricultural industry has been brought to its knees by prolonged drought, and many businesses are feeling the strain due to coronavirus restrictions. “Its time to start paying a few dollars extra and supporting local business, which in turn supports us”, the petition reads.

Denmark: Salling Group appoints Anja Madsen as director of føtex
Salling Group has announced the appointment of Anja Madsen as the director of its supermarket chain føtex, effective September 2020. In her new role, Madsen will succeed Thor Jørgensen and lead the continued development of the Group's supermarket activities. CEO of Salling Group, Per Bank, commented: “Anja [Madsen] comes with a very strong background from some of the very best in retail. With a skill set that is unprecedented in Danish retail, and with her customer insight and her tireless focus on customers, she is the perfect fit to build on the good development of føtex”.

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