BJ’s Wholesale Club adds fresh and frozen grocery items to buy online, pickup services

Lidl US plans to open 50 new stores by the end of 2021

US: SpartanNash brings contactless payments to shoppers
SpartanNash, seeking to keep up safety efforts during the pandemic, has revealed that 155 of its stores in nine states now offer consumers the option to use contactless payments for purchases. Contactless payment options include tap-to-pay credit cards, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Garmin Pay, Fitbit and Bronco. Such payment methods can add convenience for store guests by increasing the speed to checkout, as well as increased safety and sanitation by reducing the number of touches during the checkout process.

US: BJ’s Wholesale Club adds grocery to buy online, pickup services
BJ’s Wholesale Club has added fresh and frozen grocery items to it buy online, pick up in-club service. The expansion of the service is currently available in select clubs and will be available at all locations by the end of October 2020. Members can order from a wide variety of fresh and frozen items in addition to general merchandise products, grocery items and sundries on or the BJ’s app for pickup in-club. 

US: Lidl to open 50 new stores, create 2,000 jobs by end of 2021
Lidl US has taken the wraps off plans to open 50 new stores by the end of 2021. The stores will be located in Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia, bringing the grocer’s total number of U.S. stores to more than 150. The $500mln-plus investment in the new stores is anticipated to create about 2,000 new jobs across these communities, according to Lidl, which offers such benefits as health care insurance for all full-and part-time employees.

Amazon Go’s cashierless tech may come to Whole Foods as soon as next year
Amazon may be looking to bring the cashierless tech found at its Go convenience stores to Whole Foods supermarkets as early as next year, the New York Post reports. Amazon may start implementing the tech in Whole Foods sometime during the second quarter of 2021, according to the New York Post’s source. This technology, which is currently available in more than 20 Amazon Go convenience store locations, uses cameras, sensors, and computer vision to let customers walk out the store with groceries in hand and avoid cashier checkout lines.

SPAR Italy partner Aspiag Service develops new DC
Aspiag Service, DESPAR Italia’s partner for the Northeast and the Emilia-Romagna region, is developing a new 57,000m2 distribution centre (DC) near Bologna, in Castel San Pietro Terme. The new DC is expected to be completed in 2021. The SPAR Partner presented the project earlier last week, announcing that the new DC will be servicing retail stores in the central part of Italy. Thanks to its strategic position on the North-South axis, the DC will be serving as a logistic hub for other nearby warehouses, complementing the DESPAR supply chain network for Emilia-Romagna and beyond. The new DC will incorporate sustainable logistics, based on agreements between DESPAR and the local government.

Denmark: Coop CEO Peter Høgsted to retire by end of 2020
Coop Denmark has announced that its chief executive officer Peter Høgsted is to retire by the end of this year. Høgsted took over as the top boss in 2013 and was responsible for leading a major transformation in the company. He focused on quality, digital transformation and established Coop as a responsible grocery retailer in the country.

Online grocery sales hit new highs in Ireland: Kantar
Online grocery sales in Ireland saw a growth of over 125% in the latest 12 week period to 9 August, resulting in a record market share of 4.6% and sales amounting to €75.1mln, according to the latest data from Kantar. The overall sales of take-home groceries slowed to 18.0% year-on-year during this period as COVID-19 restrictions eased. In the latest four weeks, Irish shoppers spent €930mln on groceries, the lowest since February, data showed.

Bright idea in Belgium: UV zappers to disinfect shopping carts
Wiping down supermarket trolleys with disinfectant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 may soon be a thing of the past, at least in Belgium, where engineers have come up with a machine that bombards shopping carts with ultraviolet light to sanitise them. The invention is being tried out in 3 stores, where shoppers take a trolley, wheel it into a metal box and close a door. 10 seconds later the door pops open and, with their own hands freshly sanitised, they head off to do their shopping. “We wanted to make it even simpler than a microwave”, said Jean Demarteau, a member of a social enterprise cooperative in the town of Namur called OpenFlow whose volunteers design objects to help tackle the novel coronavirus.

Ireland: Buymie expands its operations to Cork, creates 50 jobs
Online grocery delivery provider Buymie is launching its services in Cork with the creation of up to 50 jobs for so-called personal shoppers. The service is being launched in partnership with supermarket chain Lidl Ireland. Buymie's services were previously only available in Dublin and a number of outlying commuter towns until May of this year when it entered the UK market. The group formed a partnership with retailer Co-op in the city of Bristol and its surrounding area.

France: Casino Group disposes of 5% equity in Mercialys
French retailer Casino has announced the 'additional and definitive' disposal of 5% of Mercialys equity through the Mercialys total return swap (TRS). The move is a part of the company’s asset disposal plan and will see the group cash-in €26mln. The proceeds will be allocated to the escrow account dedicated to gross debt reimbursement, the company said. In terms of voting rights, the disposal reduces Casino’s stake in Mercialys to 20.3% from 25.3%.

Nepal: E farm connecting urban farmers to capital city
E farm, a digital platform for agriculture development has introduced a concept of connecting farmers from urban areas with the capital city. To address lack of market for local products because of imported vegetables, E farm has been purchasing agriculture produces from rural districts across the country and delivering it at the consumers’ doors in the capital city, according to the agriculture development platform. E farm has been purchasing and delivering agro produces even during the Covid-19 pandemic, said Founder of E farm Parmeshwar Shrestha. “Along with purchasing fruits and vegetables from rural areas, we also have our own farm at Dhapakhel. From there, we are delivering fruits, vegetables and meat to the consumers’ doors”, he added.

Jumbo Belgium to open first store in East Flanders
Dutch retailer Jumbo has announced plans to enter the East Flanders region in Belgium with the launch of a new supermarket in Beveren by the end of this year. The retailer will also open a new store in Sint-Lamberchts-Herk in the Limburg province. It will be the third Jumbo store in Limburg, after Lanaken and Pelt, the retailer added. Peter Isaac, managing director of Jumbo Belgium, said: “We want to grow to around a hundred Jumbo stores over time, and to achieve this ambition, we are actively looking for employees in all provinces of Flanders. In this way, we can introduce people throughout Flanders to the Jumbo formula. I am confident that we will get this done.”

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