Aldi will open more than 70 stores by the end of the year

Walmart Canada: Major $3.5bln investment over the next 5 years

US: Lowes Foods highlights produce prep stations in new ad
Lowes Foods has launched a new marketing campaign called “Choptober” to highlight its Pick and Prep stations that slice, dice, seed and prepare fresh produce for customers while they shop in stores. At the heart of the campaign is a humorous ad that plays on personal injury lawyer commercials, which includes a phone number that will connect customers with an actual hotline where they can select from produce that caused personal injuries like “guacamole elbow” or “onion eyes.” The campaign includes similarly themed ad spots on TV, video, social, display and digital, which will run for 6 weeks this summer. New York City-based ad agency Walrus developed the concept for Lowes Foods.

US: Discount grocer Aldi to open more than 70 stores by end of year as part of national expansion
Discount grocer Aldi said that it will open more than 70 stores by the end of the year, with hopes of attracting new customers and wooing some away from grocery rivals, including Walmart and Kroger. The expansion plans will bring stores to the greater Phoenix area for the first time, according to a news release. It will add more stores to states including New York, Texas, Kansas and California. The company will open a new regional headquarters and distribution center in Loxley, Alabama in 2021 to support growth along the Gulf Coast in southern Alabama, Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. Aldi U.S. is part of a privately held German company, Aldi Sud, which opened its first U.S. stores in 1976.

Canada: Walmart announces major $3.5bln investment for growth and customer experience transformation
Walmart Canada is announcing a major $3.5bln investment over the next 5 years aimed to generate significant growth and to make the online and in-store shopping experience simpler, faster and more convenient for Walmart's customers. The investment will impact every aspect of the business leading to a faster e-commerce experience, 2 new distribution centres to speed up the flow of products, re-invented and "smarter" stores, an enhanced omni experience and modern digital tools to ensure associates can best serve customers.

UK: Walmart revives talks about Asda supermarket sale
Walmart has restarted discussions about selling a majority stake in Asda, its UK supermarket, after putting the plans on hold to focus on the pandemic. The US retail giant had said in February that it was in talks with potential investors in the business. That came after UK regulators blocked Walmart's plan to merge Asda with Sainsbury's last year on fears it would raise prices for consumers. A Walmart spokesman said it was the "right time" to revive the talks.

UK: Morrisons to introduce 4 day working weeks at HQ - with a small catch
Morrisons is reportedly set to shake-up its head office working practices by introducing 4 day weeks - although staff will still be required to work 1 Saturday a month. According to The Yorkshire Post, the move will affect the Big 4 grocer’s 1500 staff across its Bradford headquarters as well as the Coalville offices for its clothing brand Nutmeg. The changes include a reduction of weekly hours from 40 to 37.5 - working 9 instead of 8 hours a day over 4 days, plus a 6-hour day 1 Saturday per month.

Auchan signs four country deal with Glovo
Following trials last year in the Ukraine, Auchan Retail has entered a long-term partnership spanning 4 European countries (Spain, Portugal, Poland and Ukraine) with on-demand delivery platform Glovo. Auchan stated that the tie-up will accelerate its digital reach and food e-commerce activities in these countries. For Glovo, it will strengthen its position as a local leader in home delivery. The new initiative will mean that Auchan’s and Glovo’s Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Ukrainian customers will be able to place online grocery orders. These will be prepared by local Auchan staff and then delivered by Glovo delivery drivers within 1 hour.

Carrefour to open first hypermarket in Andorra
Carrefour has announced plans to open its first hypermarket in Andorra, following the signing of a franchise agreement between Carrefour Partenariat International and Groupe Pyrénées, the principality's leading commercial enterprise. The planned 6,000 square metre store will open in September, and feature a Bon Appétit on-site catering offer as well as a myriad of other services. Over the next 2 years, Groupe Pyrénées will work alongside Carrefour on the development of several stores in Andorra, the retailer said.

UK: Poundland reveals ecommerce pilot as part of transformation scheme
Poundland has announced a new transformation programme that features changes to stores, pricing, and the overall breadth of its offerings - including an ecommerce pilot. The discount retailer added that it hopes its transformation could help lead the recovery of the UK’s town centres and high streets as the country exits the coronavirus lockdown.

Italy: Retailer Maiora earmarks €70mln for investments
Italian regional retailer Maiora will invest €70mln during 2020 on new store openings, the refurbishment of existing outlets and the expansion of its e-commerce services. 6 openings are planned for 2020, which includes the recently opened Eurospar in Pescara and the upcoming Interspar in Silvi Marina near Teramo. 20 existing stores will be restyled - following the reopening of an Interspar store in Scalea near Cosenza, work is now underway on the Despar store in Lamezia Terme near Catanzaro.

UK: Online grocery sales grow by 92% despite easing of lockdown
Online grocery sales increased 92% year-on-year in the 4 weeks up to 12 July 2020, increasing at a slightly faster pace than the previous 4 weeks despite the recent easing of lockdown restrictions. This is according to Kantar figures, which showed that eCommerce now accounts for 13% of all UK grocery sales, up from 7.4% in March. This highlights the huge ramping up in online delivery capacity by supermarkets and grocers during the Covid-19 crisis. The data also found that take-home grocery sales increased by 16.9% in the 12 weeks to 12 July, which is the fastest rate of growth since 1994.

China: Covid-19 boosts Hong Kong e-commerce market
Hong Kong’s e-commerce market stands to benefit from the Covid-19 pandemic as more consumers resort to buying goods online to avoid catching the virus. The local market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.9% between 2019 and 2024 to reach HK$226bln (US$29bln) by 2024, according to revised estimates by data and analytics firm GlobalData. This year, e-commerce payments are set to record a sharp rise of 13.4% amid a shift from in-store to online spending, the company says, citing data from its e-commerce analytics.

Denmark: Coop steps up food waste reduction measures
Coop Denmark has announced that it has teamed up with Stop Spild Lokalt to step up the donation of surplus food in a bid to reduce wastage. Stop Spild Lokalt is a voluntary organisation that distributes surplus food to the needy across Denmark. As part of the agreement, the retailer will donate surplus food from 200 stores to the organisation during holidays and on a regular basis.

SPAR Switzerland expands network with first store in Klosters
At the beginning of July, SPAR Switzerland opened its first SPAR Supermarket in Klosters in the northeast of the country. The spaciously designed, customer-friendly neighbourhood store is located in a popular tourist area, part of the extended famous Davos ski resort. In addition to numerous local and regional specialities, the store also offers an extensive range of fresh products.

Finland: Kesko reports 10.1% growth in sales in June
Finnish retailer Kesko has reported a 10.1% growth in sales from its continuing operations to €1.02bln in June 2020. In comparable terms, sales increased by 12.6%, the retailer added. The retailer’s grocery trade division accounted for sales worth €511.0mln, up 11.3% compared to June 2019.

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