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Maxima Latvia will invest over €1mln in new digitalisation initiatives

Lidl is strengthening its commitment to the Balearics

UAE: Spinneys responds to surging online demand with delivery launch in Dubai
Spinneys Dubai launched its own online grocery delivery service in the emirate, in response to strong demand from customers. The locally-owned supermarket said its new e-commerce offering is a direct response to consumers’ changing preference to shop for groceries online, which Spinneys says will grow even further. “Demand for home grocery deliveries has never been higher”, said Sunil Kumar, CEO at Spinneys. “Launched amidst the economic challenges caused by Covid-19, our new service will offer our customers an efficient, convenient and safe way to shop for their groceries”.

UK: SPAR sales grow 2.6% in 2019
SPAR UK saw a year-on-year growth in retail sales per store of 2.6% for the year ending 31 December 2019. Total retail turnover reached €3.34bln (£2.98bln) in 2019. As highlighted in SPAR International’s Annual Report 2019, SPAR UK worked with SPAR International with a focus on refreshing the SPAR store format and aligning shopper missions for a customer-centric shopping experience. The review saw a core ‘Look & Feel’ created for stores across the UK, whilst each store has its own design layout and product allocation based on the store profile and shopper missions within the store.

The Balearic Islands: Lidl goes local
The Lidl supermarket chain is strengthening its commitment to the Balearics by making more local products available in its 23 stores on the Islands. "The aim is to encourage people to buy Balearic products, to contribute to the continuity of small producers who are facing closure because the State of Emergency has reduced their market access”, said Lidl. The company is joining the Consell de Mallorca’s call to promote agri-food products from the archipelago. Lidl has increased the amount of fruit and vegetables it buys from local farmers to more than 15,000 kilos of produce a week, which includes eggplant, zucchini, onion, potato, cucumber, white pepper and Ramallet tomatoes.

May UK retail sales show uptick from depths of April
The latest release from the British Retail Consortium Retail Sales Monitor (BRC-RSM) shows that UK retail sales fell by 5.9% in May, the second worst monthly outturn in the history of the measure. However, this shows some relative improvement on April, the absolute worst to date. Though the month saw the beginning of the reopening of ‘non-essential’ retail, footfall was restricted both by shopper reticence and the imposition of new social distancing in-store, while the much more general re-opening is not scheduled until 15 June. Still benefiting from the limbo that persists in the out-of-home sector, food and grocery retail has been one sector to see a sustained upside to the pandemic episode, with its role as a key service in maintaining national resilience and supporting the vulnerable guaranteeing its need for continuity.

Jan-Willem Dockheer new Brand President of Delhaize Serbia
Delhaize Serbia further strengthens its leadership team with the appointment of a new Brand President, Jan-Willem Dockheer. He will formally join the company on September 1 in Belgrade. Dockheer brings broad leadership experience in multiple industries across multiple geographies. He previously served as the general manager of Albert Heijn’s “To Go” convenience stores, where he accelerated its expansion to multiple new channels and sharpened the concept with innovative solutions that raised the overall shopping experience.

Latvia: Maxima to invest in digitalisation
Maxima Latvia will invest over €1mln (US$1.12mln) in new digitalisation initiatives in 2020. These will help the retailer to automate processes and introduce new and user-friendly tools, which are important in limiting the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). New innovations include the development of artificial intelligence (AI), which notifies employees when products need to be restocked. AI is also used at self-service checkouts, to notify the store manager when a certain amount of people are waiting in line, increasing the efficiency of checkouts.

UK: Farm retailers report significant rise in new customers
Farm retailers across the UK are reporting an unprecedented surge in new customers amid the coronavirus pandemic. Research by the Farm Retail Association (FRA) reveals that 92% of farm retailers have seen a “significant” rise in new customers since lockdown rules began in March. In addition, the poll found that 79% of farm retailers have introduced a click and collect service because of coronavirus, including in the form of completely contactless drive-thrus. Another 67% of farm retailers said they had introduced home deliveries. As a result, farm shops across the UK have processed an estimated 1.4mln-plus orders for home delivery or collection since the government’s lockdown measures began.

US: UNFI reports third quarter fiscal 2020 results
United Natural Foods, Inc. (the "Company" or "UNFI") reported financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2020 (13 weeks) ended May 2, 2020. Third quarter fiscal 2020 highlights: Net sales increased 12% to $6.67bln compared to $5.96bln in last year's fiscal third quarter. Net income increased 54% to $88mln; Adjusted EBITDA increased 32% to $222mln. Earnings per diluted share (EPS) of $1.60; Adjusted EPS increased 130% to $1.40. Net debt reduced by $302mln compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2020. Updates fiscal 2020 guidance, which includes the impact of retail included in continuing Operations.

US: FMI Signature consumer research evaluates impact of COVID-19 on grocery shopper habits
FMI - The Food Industry Association released its annual U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends report, which extensively tracks consumer grocery shopping habits. Prepared by The Hartman Group, the 2020 report provides a clear picture of grocery shopping habits before the pandemic, attitude shifts that took place during COVID-19 and offers a glimpse of what might come next for the food industry. Prior to the pandemic, U.S. grocery shopper trends were following a familiar pattern. Weekly household trips to the grocery store remained high, at 2.7 trips per week, and shoppers continued to utilize several different channels (4.1) and banners (5.0) to meet their monthly grocery needs. In the early weeks of COVID-19, we saw weekly trips to the grocery store by households increase to 3.6, while 40% of shoppers reported they were shopping fewer stores for their household grocery needs.

Canada: Empire progresses FreshCo discount expansion, announcing first 2 Alberta locations and 4 new Manitoba locations
Empire Company Limited ("Empire" or the "Company") announced the next six locations for the expansion of its FreshCo discount banner in Western Canada, including the first FreshCo locations in Alberta. With this announcement, the Company has now confirmed 28 of approximately 65 locations in Western Canada. In fiscal 2018, the Company announced plans to convert approximately 25% of its underperforming Safeway and Sobeys locations to FreshCo over a five-year period.

US: Instacart surges past Walmart in online grocery market
The online grocery delivery company reached 57% of weekly market share in April. According to a new report in The Information based on purchasing data gathered by Second Measure, Instacart’s explosive growth during the COVID-19 pandemic has not just been remarkable in isolation - but in relationship to its competitors, including Walmart, Shipt, Amazon, FreshDirect, and PeaPod.

Canada: Dollarama beats sales estimates on consumer stockpiling
Canadian discount retailer Dollarama Inc beat estimates for quarterly sales, as consumers bought more groceries and other essentials per visit to its stores amid the coronavirus crisis. Dollarama said it witnessed a 22.6% increase in average transaction size even as the number of transactions declined 17.9%, as consumers visited less frequently yet bought larger quantities of goods. Same-store sales, excluding temporarily closed stores, rose 0.7%, while analysts on average had expected a 1.76% decline. As of June 8, 32 Dollarama stores were temporarily closed, it said.

US: Stop & Shop and King Kullen terminate Merger Agreement
Stop & Shop and King Kullen announced that they have terminated their Merger Agreement through which Stop & Shop was to acquire King Kullen. A joint decision was made not to proceed with the acquisition because of significant, unforeseen changes in the marketplace that have emerged since the agreement was signed in December 2018, largely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Both companies have put forth an incredible amount of effort to work through unanticipated challenges that have arisen, and we regret that we’re not able to move forward. King Kullen has a strong legacy on the island, and we wish them continued success”, said Gordon Reid, President of Stop & Shop. “Stop & Shop remains committed to the Long Island community, to serving our customers in the market well, and to investing in our associates and our stores in Nassau and Suffolk Counties”.

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