Amazon is expanding its autonomous delivery bot to Atlanta and Franklin, Tennessee

Empire: Project Horizon

US: Walmart to spend another $428mln on employee bonuses
Walmart Inc said it would spend another $428mln on bonuses this year, to compensate its U.S. employees for catering to a surge in demand for essential goods during the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States’ largest employer said the new spending brings the total expenditure on employee bonuses to $1.1bln this year. The company said full-time hourly employees will get a $300 bonus, while part-time and temporary employees will get $150, adding that drivers, managers and assistant managers will also receive a bonus.

Amazon autonomous delivery bot expands to Atlanta and Tennessee's Franklin
Amazon is expanding its autonomous delivery bot Scout to Atlanta and Franklin, Tennessee, in an effort to keep up with demand during the coronavirus pandemic. "We're thrilled to bring Amazon Scout to two new communities. Adding Atlanta and Franklin to our existing operations gives Scout devices the opportunity to operate in varied neighborhoods with different climates than they operate in today", Sean Scott, vice president of Amazon Scout, said in a blog post. "Amazon also has a significant presence in these areas through our corporate offices and logistics facilities. And, we know they are both great places to find world-class talent that can help us continue inventing for customers".

Canada: Empire unveils Project Horizon: new 3-year growth strategy for core business expansion and e-commerce acceleration
Empire Company Limited ("Empire", or the "Company") outlined its new three-year strategy to deliver an incremental $500mln in annualized EBITDA by the end of fiscal 2023. Building from the overwhelming success of Project Sunrise, Empire's previous three-year strategy, the Company is well positioned to accelerate a new ambitious growth plan.

US: Kroger names new president of 84.51°
Kroger's data science subsidiary 84.51° has elevated its chief operating officer to president. Milen Mahadevan will be responsible for the day-to-day leadership, management and vision for 84.51° to deliver best-in-class results for The Kroger Co. and its consumer-packaged-goods partners. Mahadevan replaces former CEO Stuart Aiken, who was recently named chief merchant and marketing officer for Kroger.

Marley Spoon offers Dinnerly in Germany
Marley Spoon has started offering Dinnerly, its affordable food delivery service, in Germany. The spin-off sells meal kits that starts at 2.99 euros per serving. Dinnerly was first launched in July 2017 and presented as the first affordable meal kit offering. Marley Spoon, which started in Berlin but has since made its focus the United States, is now launching this service in Germany.

UK: New Groceries Code Adjudicator named
Mark White will take over the role of Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) when Christine Tacon steps down later in the year. Tacon had been due to depart in June after 7 years in the role. However, it was announced in April that she would continue as GCA for a period of up to 6 months in order to provide continuity to the sector during the coronavirus pandemic. White will work alongside her as Deputy GCA to allow for a handover of responsibilities.

France: Chronodrive enables local suppliers to go directly to shoppers
In partnership with Direct Market, a B2B marketplace for local products, Auchan Chronodrive is set to enable local producers to sell directly to shoppers. Driven by products’ sourcing, range and availability will differ by location, but will enable shoppers to purchase from a local range of fruits and vegetables, groceries and drinks produced at nearby farms.

Germany: Aldi Süd launches What’s Next programme to accelerate product innovation
Aldi Süd has launched a new programme, called What’s Next. The objective is to accelerate the development of new products that are aligned with the latest trends. The new programme was launched in early 2020. Aldi Süd is looking for startups and companies with innovative food and non-food product ideas. It encourages businesses to present their ideas and products with the promise of an opportunity of a listing at Aldi stores.

Japan's iconic Don Don Donki to open Malaysia's 1st store
YTL Corp Bhd's wholly-owned YTL Land Sdn Bhd has announced that the iconic Japan brand specialty store Don Don Donki will open its first store in Malaysia in early 2021. The brand will make its debut here after expanding into Southeast Asia with the first-ever Don Don Donki store launched in Singapore's famous shopping street Orchard Road in December 2017. It will be owned and operated by Pan Pacific Retail Management (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian sub-subsidiary of Pan Pacific International Holdings listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which owns and runs the famous discount store chain Don Quijote in Japan.

Ahold Delhaize and Deloitte research reveals European consumer preferences on customer data collection and use
Ahold Delhaize and Deloitte published the outcomes of an extensive online survey into European consumers’ perspectives on the collection and use of personal data. Across Europe, 15,000 respondents indicated that consumers in general are willing to share their personal data, with interesting differences among nationalities, age groups, and online grocery shopping behavior, and that they have a strong level of trust in grocery retailers.

INTERSPAR Austria trials filling stations for organic food products
INTERSPAR is the first major food retailer in Austria to offer filling stations for unpackaged and loose organic food products, such as cereals, nuts, and pulses as well as pasta, rice, and dried fruit. A large selection of these products is part of the SPAR Natur*pur range, the largest organic brand in Austria. Products sourced from local suppliers complement the range. Already over 40% of the fruit and vegetable range at SPAR and INTERSPAR stores in Austria is unpacked. Customers can purchase reusable produce bags instore or make use of paper bags or free organic bags made from renewable raw materials.

France: Système U spotlights local production
As part of its on-going aim to buy produce as close as possible to its stores and to support local producers, Système U is working with the Eureden cooperative, Paulic Meunerie and the Leroux bakery to enable it to sell 100% Breton-produced products. The organisations say the agreement will mean local production guarantees a minimum price for producers, and leads to the lowest carbon footprint for the products too. To enable all parties to invest in the process, the farmers sign a three year contract too.

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