Walmart: 2 new experiences

NGA has helped to bring a new accreditation program for pandemic outbreak prevention

US: Stop & Shop investing heavily in e-commerce offerings
Online operations at Stop & Shop have been exploding, with the retailer hiring more than 750 associates since March to support e-commerce. Now, it's adding three new warerooms and at least 50 more pickup locations to expand customer reach. The company currently operates one warehouse and 21 warerooms, which are typically attached to a Stop & Shop store and average 7,000 to 10,000 square feet. Stop & Shop has also expanded its partnership with Instacart, making same-day delivery from the third-party service available at 321 of Stop & Shop's more than 400 stores.

US: Walmart dreams up seasonal experiences
As families face a summer of social distancing and canceled group events, Walmart has come to the rescue with two new experiences to help parents and kids have fun and make memories. Camp by Walmart is a free celebrity-filled virtual camp that takes many of the rituals of that beloved American institution into families’ backyards, while a touring drive-in movie theater, presented in partnership with Tribeca Enterprises, will turn the mega-retailer’s parking lots into outdoor cinemas.

US: National Grocers Association backs pandemic-recovery push
The National Grocers Association (NGA) said that it has helped to bring a new accreditation program for pandemic outbreak prevention, response and recovery to the independent food retail industry. Called GBAC STAR, the program is a “new, comprehensive cleaning, disinfection and infection prevention program to grocery retailers”, the NGA said, adding that it was working with the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) on the program.

Spain: Mercadona supermarkets install facial recognition systems to keep thieves at bay
Spain’s most popular supermarket chain has installed facial recognition systems in 40 of its stores in Mallorca, Zaragoza and Valencia. The early detection system, as it’s being referred to, “only and exclusively” detects people with restraining orders issued against them by Mercadona supermarkets or its employees as well as those with a final sentence issued against them by a judge. Mercadona has ensured that under no circumstances will information on other customers be stored as all data and footage is deleted after 0.3 seconds, "the time it takes to blink" the company says.

Australia: Woolworths cites technical issues after spamming fine
Australia’s Woolworths Group Ltd has paid a fine of A$1mln ($691,500) for over 5mln breaches of anti-spamming law, saying that the breaches resulted from technical errors and the treatment of shared email addresses. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) imposed its largest-ever fine after finding the supermarket retailer sent marketing emails from October 2018 through July 2019 to customers who had unsubscribed from its mailing list.

Conad to invest €1.5bln to boost market leadership in Italy
Italian retailer Conad has announced plans to invest €1.5bln in its operations between now and 2022, in order to strengthen its market position, implement continuous improvements to its existing network, and build its presence in areas in which it currently boasts a low market share. Conad posted a turnover of €14.2bln in 2019 (+5.9% on 2018), with turnover at the retailer growing steadily over the past decade - it posted sales of €9.8bln in 2010.

UK: ‘Turning point in retail’ How Tesco helped scrap law to bring lower prices to customers
Tesco campaigned heavily to scrap a law that put suppliers at the heart of dictating the price of goods, and its founder - Jack Cohen - is said to have played a pivotal role. Today, Tesco is the largest food retailer, dominating the market with a more than 25% share, alongside the other Big Four supermarkets of Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons. But the company has endured a fascinating journey over the last century since Mr Cohen first set up a market store in Hackney selling surplus Army supplies. His business expanded rapidly, with more than 100 stores across the country by 1939 and in 1961 the opening of its new Leicester store became the largest supermarket in Europe.

Russia: X5 Retail Group completes RUB10bln corporate bond offering
Russian food retailer X5 Retail Group has completed a rouble-denominated bond offering of RUB10bln (€130mln) issued by LLC X5 Finance. The coupon rate for the bonds, which have a 3-year put option, was set at 5.65% p.a. The proceeds from the offering will be used to finance the retailer’s current expenses, including debt refinancing to improve the structure of its debt portfolio, the company added.

Amazon to open robotics fulfilment centre in Australia
Amazon announced it plans to open an Amazon Robotics fulfilment centre (FC) in Western Sydney to expand operations in the country. The new 200,000 sq. m. facility will open in late 2021 and aims to deliver a faster, more consistent experience for customers across Australia. The FC will use robots to speed order processing time by moving shelves to employees, therefore reducing the time taken to stow items for sale or pick for customer orders. The space allows for 50% more items to be stored per square metre, with a total capacity of 11mln items.

Lidl: A plan for Italy of 2,000 hires and 50 new stores
50 new stores on the national territory and 2000 hires by the end of the year: and the plan with which Lidl Italia aims to give new impetus to the national economy, which has been severely tested by the lockdown following the Covid-19 health emergency. With “Lidl for Italy” - this is the name of the plan, presented in Milan in the new store in Via delle Forze Armate 314 - the company will structure its investments on three pillars: real estate and logistics; job creation; enhancement of the Italian agri-food chain.

Mercadona announces it will re-launch its online service across Spain in September
The famous supermarket chain Mercadona has recently announced that it will be re-launching its online delivery service on September 1.
During the coronavirus crisis, the fear of going out to the supermarket was palpable and consequentially the supermarket chains who offered home delivery through online services were near collapse due to the increased demand. Mercadona has announced that their online shopping service and home delivery will be 100% back in action on September 1 across all of Spain’s regions.

UAE: ZOOM partners with Talabat to launch home delivery service
ZOOM, the UAE’s leading, home-grown convenience store, partnered with Talabat home delivery to enhance its e-shopping offering for customers. The partnership follows an increased demand for online shopping, offering customers a contactless shopping experience, by delivering essential products and fresh products to their homes at the click of a button. ZOOM’s expansion into online delivery comes as convenience stores look for new, safe ways to serve customers following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Groupe Casino offloads Vindémia business for €219mln
Groupe Casino has finalised the sale of its Vindémia business, which operates a number of stores on the islands of Reunion, Madagascar, Mauritius and Mayotte, for an enterprise value of €219mln. The group said that proceeds from the sale amount to €207mln, based on an estimated net financial debt and working capital requirement at 30 June 2020, of which €186mln has been received. The completion of the sale follows the granting of approval by the French Competition Authority.

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