FreshDirect has added 2-hour on-demand delivery in NYC

Meijer: Free support to blind and low vision customers

US: Target adds hundreds of fresh, frozen groceries to curbside pickup as Americans look for safer ways to shop
Target is adding 750 fresh and frozen items, such as fruits, vegetables and meat, to same-day order pickup and drive up services. The retailer will offer the expanded assortment at over 400 stores by the end of the month and more than 1,500 stores by the holidays. Target had already planned to add the items to same-day services this year, but that effort has taken on new urgency as grocery becomes a crucial sales driver and customers look for safer ways to shop.

US: H-E-B offers more pay increases as pandemic bonuses end
As pandemic bonuses wind down, H-E-B said that it would institute permanent “merit” pay increases for its workers. The food retail chain phased out its “Texas Proud” pandemic pay program in favor of what it calls “accelerated and enhanced pay increases for store, manufacturing and supply chain hourly non-management partners”. Through the Texas Proud program, workers earned $2 more per hour in honor of all the work associated with helping to operate retail locations deemed essential. H-E-B did not detail the amount of the new increases.

US: FreshDirect adds 'Express' delivery service in NYC
Online grocer FreshDirect has added 2-hour on-demand delivery in Brooklyn, Manhattan and parts of Queens, according to a company announcement. Customers can access the FreshDirect Express option in the grocer’s app and on its website. FreshDirect is also expanding pickup service to high-demand areas like Philadelphia, the Hamptons and Washington, D.C. The company currently offers pickup service from its Bronx headquarters and in Hackensack, New Jersey. The service allows people to shop from a curated selection of the company’s products, including items like wild Alaskan salmon, local grass-fed steak, fruits and vegetables from local farms and a selection of beer, wine and spirits. The company has seen a 50% increase in new shoppers converting to loyal customers since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with numbers continuing to rise, CEO David McInerney said in the release.

US: Meijer among first Midwest retailers to support low vision customers with free Aira app
Meijer announced it is offering free support to blind and low vision customers by partnering with the Aira app to increase accessibility and ease in their shopping trip. The Midwest retailer is among the first in the Midwest to provide customers free access to the app while shopping at any of its supercenters or neighborhood markets.

US: Schnucks invests in local produce and goods
In tandem with the peak of local produce season, Schnuck Markets Inc. has unveiled a plan to purchase more than $5mln of local produce and goods this year from farmers who live and work in the communities served by the St. Louis-based grocer. To that end, Schnucks has formed a partnership with logistics and marketing platform, which helps major retailers source produce from local, independent farms, to build on the retailer’s existing relationships with farmers while also forging new ones. The collaboration will also help ensure that products from the farms meet Schnucks’ strict quality standards.

China: Walmart taps Varcode’s technology to improve food safety
Walmart China has teamed up with Varcode to provide the retailer with a digital technology that allows it to track the freshness of perishable foods by scanning a barcode using a mobile app. “For a young company, we’re honored to be selected by Walmart on food safety”, said Joseph Battoe, Varcode’s CEO. “They are world-class in logistics and supply chain”. Walmart China’s deal with Varcode is part of the Walmart Food Safety Innovation Pipeline, an initiative to prevent contamination of perishable items at the retailer. The technology provider said it will begin working this summer with the discounter’s food safety and produce teams.

Portugal: Continente recognised as a 'COVID SAFE' brand by APCER
Portuguese food retailer Continente has announced that it has been recognised as a ‘COVID SAFE’ brand by the auditing firm, APCER. The retailer also claimed that it was the first food distribution brand in Portugal to earn this recognition. Organisations that comply with the guidelines of the health and labour authorities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic qualify as ‘COVID SAFE’ brands. APCER has developed the concept and it conducts the audits before declaring a brand ‘COVID SAFE’.

Russia: Magnit announces sustainability commitments
Russian retailer Magnit has announced a comprehensive sustainability strategy, in which it pledges a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases and a 50% reduction in food waste by 2025. The strategy covers five specific areas - environment, sustainable sourcing, employees, communities and health and wellness - and forms part of the business' commitment to lead environmental impact reduction in the Russian retail sector, it said.

Switzerland: Aldi introduces Nutri-Score system for private label
Aldi Suisse is to roll-out the Nutri-Score system to its private label brands Fresh Cut and Good Choice from the beginning of July. These brands feature a number of convenience products, such as different varieties of sandwiches, ready-made salads and pre-cooked pasta or meat dishes. The Nutri-Score labelling will initially be introduced on various salads and ready-made Asian dishes, ahead of its rollout across the entire Fresh Cut and Good Choice range.

UK's Tesco Q1: Online sales surge as pandemic impacts
Tesco has reported a huge increase in growth for the 13 weeks ending 30th May 2020 as it responded impressively to the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Group sales: +8.0% (+7.9% LFL). UK sales: +9.1% (+8.7% LFL) inc. online +48.5%. ROI sales: +19.7% (+20.5% LFL) inc. online +50.9%. Booker: +6.1% (+0.6% LFL) inc. online +106.3%. Central Europe exc. Poland: +3.3% (+3.9% LFL).

UK: John Lewis poaches Co-op's Wicks as department stores boss
Britain’s John Lewis Partnership has poached the Co-operative Group’s Pippa Wicks to be the boss of its department stores division, it said. The employee-owned retailer said Wicks, currently deputy chief executive of the Co-op, will start as executive director of John Lewis in August.

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