Italmark has rolled out a new store concept

Aeon has confirmed the site for the first Ocado Customer Fulfilment Centre in Japan

Lidl Ireland saw sales grow by '25% to 30%' during lockdown, CEO says
Lidl's Irish operation saw sales grow by between 25% and 30% during the COVID-19 lockdown period, according to its chief executive JP Scally. In an interview with The Irish Times, Scally said that Lidl's sales in Ireland are now "well in excess" of €2bln, however the exact figure, along with its profitability, were not revealed. Lidl operates 202 stores on the island of Ireland, including 40 in Northern Ireland, as well as employing 6,000 staff. It plans to open another 11 outlets by the end of next year, according to the paper, and is also spending €75mln on a new distribution hub in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, which it expects to open in 2022.

Aeon and Ocado secure first CFC site in Japan
Aeon has confirmed the site for the first Ocado Customer Fulfilment Centre in Japan. It will serve customers in Chiba province and the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. The first Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) will be located in Honda-cho, Midori-ku, Chiba-city. The CFC can hold a large range of approximately 50,000 products. It operates 24 hours, with picking operations using robotics and AI.

UAE: Carrefour teams up with Emirates Bio Farm to sow seeds for a healthier future
Carrefour, operated by Majid Al Futtaim in the UAE, has underscored its commitment to support local farmers and provide healthier organic products through signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Emirates Bio Farm - the largest private organic farm in the UAE. The partnership will see Carrefour source up to 450 tonnes of Emirates Bio Farm organic produce, which promises more affordable prices at Carrefour stores.

Holland: HEMA creditors agree to a debt reduction
Almost all creditors of the HEMA department store chain have agreed to a restructuring of the debts. “An important milestone” and “very good news”, said the company. The main group of creditors seized power at HEMA in mid-June. In exchange for canceling EUR300mln in debt, they get all of the shares. In order to continue with the plan, three quarters of creditors with bond loans totaling EUR600mln had to agree to it. Support came from just over 98% of the creditors. Next Monday, a court in England has yet to approve the plan. The new owners of HEMA want to get rid of the chain quickly. According to various media, the Dutch investment company Parcom has the best credentials.

IGD releases new UK market and channel forecasts
In its new UK Channel Opportunities report, IGD predicts that UK food and grocery market is set to grow by 10%, or £19.1bln, between 2019 and 2022. The report reveals the impact of COVID-19 on the overall market over the next 2 years, with a breakdown of expected implications and performance on individual channels. The pandemic has accelerated the shift to online, a channel IGD expects to mostly retain the loyalty of new shoppers gained during the pandemic. Discount will, however, become the fastest-growing channel in 2021 and 2022, driven by a rise in unemployment and shoppers looking to economise. Large stores will lose market share faster than previously expected and account for only half of grocery sales by 2022. For convenience stores, which many shoppers used for their main shopping trips during the lockdown, a challenge will be to retain this trade while also managing the transition back to impulse and food-for-now.

Italy: Italmark rolls out new store concept in Brescia
Italian regional retailer Italmark has rolled out a new store concept in the Elnos Shopping Centre in Brescia. The concept seeks to combine convenience, locally-sourced foods and a range of exclusive products, according to Gdoweek. The new store occupies part of the space formerly used by a Ipercoop hypermarket, and covers a total surface area of 3,079 square metres, of which 1,877 is sales space. The store boasts some 14,000 SKUs, with a strong emphasis on organic products (about 1,000 SKUs) and over 1,100 Consilia private label SKUs, of which 800 are gluten-free products.

Russia: Lenta opens two new stores in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg
Russian retailer Lenta has announced that it has opened two new supermarkets in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. The product offering in the two stores includes around 7,700 and 12,000 SKUs respectively, selected specifically for residents of Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. The assortment includes private-label products, national brands as well as local produce.

Malaysia: MPay to enable e-wallet payments for supermarket chain Hero Market
Fintech company ManagePay Systems Bhd (MPay) has inked a deal with supermarket chain Hero Market to enable the latter's retail assets in Malaysia with e-wallet cashless payment capabilities. Hero Market operates 24 supermarkets in Klang Valley, 3 supermarkets in Johor and 1 supermarket in Penang. In a filing with the bourse, MPay said the move was in the spirit of embracing the rising digital economy environment.

India: Reliance Retail to empower women through 'YSR Cheyutha'
The Reliance Retail which signed an MoU with the state government to participate in the YSR Cheyutha programme, envisages economic empowerment of women belonging to SC/ST/BC and Minority sections. Reliance Retail will support micro-grocery women retailers and women farmers through the JioMart Kirana programme and Reliance Fresh fruits and vegetables farmer connect programme, respectively, says a press release from JioMart.

Poland: Carrefour announces group layoffs, 400 people are to lose their jobs
The Carrefour Polska chain of stores informed that about 400 people are expected to leave middle management in hypermarkets. As explained this is to be done “on a collective redundancy basis”. It is about 3% of all employees of a French company in Poland. According to the release, the layoffs are part of the currently implemented phase of the strategy called “Carrefour 2022”, which “includes the simplification of structures and processes both in the stores and the company’s headquarters, as well as the adaptation and development of new employee competences”.

US: Shipt launches pay-per-order offering nationwide
Shipt, one of the country's leading delivery service providers, announced that consumers nationwide are now able to shop through Shipt without making a long-term membership commitment. In addition to its popular annual membership offering ($99/year for unlimited free deliveries of orders $35 or more), the company now offers customers and prospective customers the opportunity to pay per order, purchasing Shipt passes for one, three or five Shipt shops for $10, $9 or $8 per delivery, respectively.

US: DoorDash launches on-demand grocery delivery
Aiming to expand the products and services it offers to local businesses amid the pandemic, San Francisco-based DoorDash is teaming with grocery stores across United States to introduce on-demand grocery delivery via the DoorDash app for the first time. Now customers in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego and the Central Coast can order from Smart & Final, while items from Meijer and Fresh Thyme are available to shoppers in Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Detroit and Indianapolis. In the near future, DoorDash plans to add selection across the country with such grocers as Hy-Vee and Gristedes/D’Agostino, with the aim of providing more than 75mln Americans access to a grocery store through DoorDash.

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