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Shipt is partnering with Fresh Thyme Farmers Market

Rouses Markets: Drone delivery pilot program

US: GrubMarket now major supplier of California cherries
GrubMarket, which delivers mainly local and organic groceries to businesses and consumers, has completed the acquisitions of Growers Produce Inc. and Cali Fresh Produce Inc., 2 produce wholesale companies with established customer bases across both coasts, the Midwest and other parts of the United States. Both companies maintain long-established relationships with producers of California cherries and other seasonally grown produce in the state. These acquisitions will make GrubMarket a major supplier of California cherries nationwide, as well as beefing up its sourcing ability regarding a wide assortment of California fresh produce, particularly fruits.

US: Stop & Shop ends ‘appreciation pay’ for workers; Markey calls for reinstatement
Stop & Shop has discontinued its “appreciation pay program” for its grocery store workers amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Quincy-based supermarket chain paid employees an extra 10% from March 20 through the Fourth of July. Some are now calling on Stop & Shop to continue paying its workers extra, noting that coronavirus cases are spiking nationwide. Senator Ed Markey, of Massachusetts, joined UFCW Local 1445 outside Stop & Shop South Bay in Dorchester to demand that Stop & Shop reinstate the “hazard pay”.

US: Walmart's front-end experiment adds service to self-checkout
Walmart is conducting an experiment at a supercenter in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to find out if swapping traditional checkout lanes for a cluster of self-checkout stations staffed by a team of roaming associates can help it serve customers more effectively, according to a post on the retailer’s website. Walmart has installed 34 customer-operated checkout stations in an open area at the front of the 180,000-square-foot store. The new stations entirely replaced the store's former checkout lanes. All of the store’s cashiers have been reassigned to more flexible “host” roles, which allow them to move around and assist customers with aspects of their orders beyond ringing up items. Associates in the new checkout area direct customers to available registers, help them operate the checkout equipment and can scan and bag items upon request. 

US: Rouses Markets to deliver with drones
Rouses Markets is looking to drones to help solve the last-mile delivery challenges many grocers are facing as e-commerce orders increase. The Gulf Coast food retailer has partnered with Deuce Drone for a delivery pilot program this fall with an Aerial Drone Delivery Interface System (ADDIS) at the Rouses on Airport Boulevard in Mobile, Alabama. "Drone delivery offers the fastest, safest delivery store to door. We should be able to get groceries to customers in 30 minutes or even less", said Donny Rouse, CEO of Rouses Markets. "Plus it’s more cost efficient, meaning we can save customers time and money".

US: Shipt partners with Fresh Thyme to bring same-day delivery across the Midwest
Leading same-day delivery marketplace Shipt announced that it's expanding its offerings by partnering with specialty retailer Fresh Thyme Farmers Market - making it more convenient to conquer your healthy living goals. Customers in 30 metro areas across the Midwest region will have access to this new offering from Shipt and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, giving more than 10mln households this option for same-day delivery.

Uber integrates with Cornershop to expand grocery deliveries across the Americas
Uber is doubling down on its “deliver anything” ethos with the news that it’s vastly expanding its grocery delivery business. The company announced that it’s integrating its platform with Cornershop, an on-demand grocery delivery platform that operates in Latin America, Canada, and - soon - the U.S. Uber announced plans to acquire a majority stake in Cornershop last October, and although the deal was supposed to clear all regulatory hurdles in early 2020 this has yet to happen - which may be why Uber called this integration a “partnership” during an online briefing with journalists. However, Uber did say it expects the deal to close outside of Mexico “in the coming days”, and the duo is continuing to work with the competition authority in Mexico, where Cornershop is head-quartered.

Retail sales growth driven by online in South Korea
The data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy showed that the country’s retail sales were up by 2% YoY (year-on-year), driven by increased online sales of sanitary items and food products in the face of coronavirus. Total retail sales reached US$9.65bln in May, up from US$9.5bln the previous year. Online was the key growth driver, with sales up by 13.5%YoY. In particular, online food sales were up significantly by 39%YoY.

Italy: Supermercato24 rebrands as Everli, targets expansion
Italian online supermarket platform Supermercato24 has rebranded as Everli, following what the company said was a 'large rebranding and repositioning project'. The group is seeking to develop the brand overseas, following the recent acquisition of the Polish Szopi platform and the subsequent launch of its service in Poland. According to the business, it has more than doubled its revenue and tripled its user base in the past year, and sees the growth of online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to double down on its plans.

Germany: Edeka buys remaining 10% of Netto
Edeka owned a majority stake in its discount chain, Netto Marken-Discount, however Tengelmann held a 10% share. Edeka has now signed a deal to purchase this stake, giving it full ownership of the discount banner. The deal will complete on the 1st of January, 2021.

Russia: X5 Retail Group introduces Okolo delivery service
Russian retailer X5 Retail Group has introduced a new express delivery service, Okolo, which aims to facilitate speedy deliveries from shoppers' local stores. Okolo, which translates in English as 'nearby', relies on partnerships with local small businesses, offering express delivery in cities across Russia, particularly in the food and ready-to-eat segments.

Saudi Arabia: Tamimi Markets opens new branch in Dammam
Tamimi Markets, a fast-growing supermarket chain in Saudi Arabia, opened their new branch on July 1 in the Ash Shulah district of Dammam. The area, also known as Al-Fakhriya, is an up-and-coming neighborhood, with limited options for groceries for its residents. The supermarket opening, therefore, has delighted many. The new branch supports the company’s expansion goals and aims to reach the largest segment of customers.

Aldi and Lidl unleash price war in Germany
In Germany, a reduction in VAT leads to an unseen price war, with rivals Aldi and Lidl using comparative advertising to claim price leadership. In order to boost consumption, the German government has decided to temporarily reduce VAT rates: the standard rate decreases from 19% to 16% and the reduced VAT rate for food from 7% to 5%. The reduction applies from 1 July until the end of the year, and is part of a broader economic stimulus package. However, there is an unintended side effect: food retailers - and especially hard discounters - seize these measures to start a new price war.

Reflexis hooks Maxima Latvia as a customer
Latvian retailer Maxima has selected Reflexis ONE as it looks to improve store productivity and efficiency. It will leverage Reflexis Real-Time Task Manager and Q-Walk across 175 stores for its 7,400+ employees in the region. The aim is to increase the efficiency of store compliance and auditing via mobile device technology and a platform for centralised access to audits and reporting systems.

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