Illinois expansion plans accelerated by Jet Foods

Big Y: New Fresh & Local Distribution Center

US: The Giant Company aims to hire 4,000 more associates
Regional grocer The Giant Company plans to add 4,000 new part- and full-time workers to meet ongoing strong consumer demand for groceries heading into the holiday season. Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based Giant said it aims to fill both front- and back-end positions. Jobs include positions at its new store at 6301 Grayson Rd. in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, slated to open October 23, as well as at other stores across the chain, such as cashiers, stocking staff, and associates in the deli and other fresh departments.

Canada: Voilà by Sobeys launches new curbside pickup service in Nova Scotia
Empire Company Limited ("Empire" or the "Company") is expanding its e-commerce offering to Atlantic Canada with the launch of "Voilà by Sobeys Curbside Pickup". Now available at three Sobeys store locations in Nova Scotia, the new service offers a freshness guarantee and products at affordable prices with no hidden fees. Orders are assembled with care by Voilà by Sobeys teammates and delivered directly to customers' cars to provide a contactless experience. Customers can order online at or by downloading the Voilà mobile app.

US: Jet Foods accelerates expansion plans in Illinois
A new grocer promising to bring a "best in class" shopping experience to the Chicago area plans to open stores in Carol Stream, Park Forest and Des Plaines before Thanksgiving. Jet Foods, a new grocery chain started by longtime Chicago-area grocer Nat Caputo, will start hiring for the Carol Stream and Park Forest stores in the next two to three weeks, John Everest Thomas told the Daily Herald. Thomas is CEO of Jet's Chicago-based parent company Freedom Development Group. The company's real estate holdings include commercial retail, office and residential properties in Chicago, Aurora, Elgin, Waukegan, Elkhart, Indiana, and St. Paul, Minnesota.

US: Big Y opens Fresh & Local Distribution Center
Big Y Foods Inc. has revealed the name and logo for its new Fresh & Local Distribution Center, which is slated to open fully in early 2021. The grocer currently has more than 500 partnerships with local farmers across its two-state New England footprint. The distribution center provides local farmers and food producers with an efficient, one-stop location, which spares them the time and expense of having to make deliveries to individual stores. The facility also boasts state-of-the-art technology and temperature controls to maintain and deliver products at the peak of freshness.

US: Wegmans says next North Carolina stores will open in the spring
Wegmans intends to open a pair of stores it is currently building in North Carolina in the spring, according to the East Coast supermarket chain. Without being specific, the company said in an article posted to its website that its location in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, will open in the early spring, followed in the late spring by a store in Wake Forest, North Carolina. The East Coast supermarket chain intends to hire about 400 employees for each of the two stores and intends to begin training workers who will be assigned to the locations at its existing stores in Raleigh and West Cary, North Carolina. 

Amazon reportedly looking at network of 1,000 ‘hubs’ to speed delivery
The one-upmanship between retail behemoths Walmart and Amazon continues this week, with a report that Amazon plans to open up to 1,500 small delivery hubs in cities and suburbs across the U.S. to offer speedier delivery and gain ground in the current retail theater - serving the at-home consumer. Citing people familiar with the plans, Bloomberg reported that the retail giant is looking to get ever more granular with its warehouse and distribution strategy.

Prisma expanding in Tallinn, plans for provincial Estonia too
Finnish supermarket chain Prisma plans to expand in Estonia, with three new stores planned for the next year. The chain, which already operates in Tallinn, Narva and Tartu, will be adding to its roster in the capital, the company says. Its stores range in size from a small metro-style outlet in Tallinn's old town through to hypermarkets in the Rocca al Mare center, west of the city center, and other malls in Tallinn and Tartu.

UK: Supermarket Waitrose to close four stores; 124 jobs at risk
British supermarket chain Waitrose, part of the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership, plans to close four stores in December because it cannot make them profitable, it said. The stores are in Caldicot, Wales; Ipswich Corn Exchange, eastern England; and Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton in central England. The Wolverhampton store is being sold to market leader Tesco. Waitrose said 124 employees, or partners as it calls them, face the risk of redundancy, while 140 workers in the Wolverhampton store will transfer to Tesco.

UK: Lidl sets ambitious new targets in its war on plastic
Lidl has announced ambitious new targets in plastic and packaging reduction as part of its strategy to eliminate plastic waste despite the challenges posed by Covid-19. Among the targets includes commitment to reducing own-label plastic packaging, targeting a 40% reduction by 2025 across the German grocer’s British business. The retailer has also committed to reducing the total amount of own-label packaging by 25% by 2025.

Italy: Coop Lombardia opens 'autism friendly' store in Monza
Coop Lombardia has opened an 'autism-friendly' supermarket in Monza in Italy in collaboration with two associations for relatives of autistic people, PizzAut and Alla3. The store, a first of its kind in Italy, has implemented measures such as soft lights, no loud noises, priority status at the cash desks, specially trained personnel, and images that explain what can be found in store aisles. In line with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) criteria developed by experts on the subject, the store uses simple images to illustrate actions according to a routine.

Belgium: Carrefour announces partnership to drive e-commerce capabilities
Carrefour has announced plans to bolster the 'productivity and profitability' of its e-commerce capabilities, following the signing of a strategic partnership. The retailer has announced a partnership with Food-X Technologies, a provider of scalable end-to-end solutions for online grocery fulfilment, implementing the group's software-as-a-service (SaaS) based system in Belgium by mid-2021.

Amazon Prime enters Turkish market
With 150mln subscribers in 19 countries, Amazon Prime has now entered the Turkish market. According to a statement released by the company, Prime membership combines Amazon’s shopping and streaming services under a single roof, offering privileges such as same-day delivery in certain provinces alongside Amazon Original content.

UK: Iceland challenges supermarket rivals to publish 'plastic footprint'
Frozen food retailer Iceland has published its own "plastic footprint" and is calling on other grocery chains to do the same. It says greater transparency over how much plastic is used in packaging and transporting food will lead to a reduction in plastic waste. All major chains are cutting back on plastics use. But Iceland is asking the government to make reporting on such use mandatory and to set targets for its reduction.

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