Profi to test its new strategy

Asda enters the convenience market through a trial

Australia: Foodland stores eliminate fruit and veg plastics
Pasadena and Frewville Foodland are making massive strides when it comes to sustainability and encouraging eco-friendly shopping. The supermarkets are the first in Australia to eliminate single-use plastic fruit & veg packaging throughout their stores and are introducing compostable bags for fresh fruits and vegetables, deli and baked goods.

Romanian retailer Profi turns a supermarket into “test store”
The public in Ploiesti, a city 60km north of Bucharest, will serve as a test group for Romanian retailer Profi, which has redesigned one of its local supermarkets to trial its new strategy. At the same time, the chain redesigned its logo [Profi], adding the specification: "zilnic preturi mici" (low prices daily) to describe its new, aggressive price policy, "in line with consumer demand", the company said in a press release.

Spar Hungary open to co-operating more closely with local food producers
In consultation with the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture (HCA), Spar Hungry are reviewing which departments could increase the volume of produce sold from local suppliers. The goal is to increase the quantity and quality of products found in Spar stores nationwide sourced from the Hungarian food industry. There is a particular focus on fresh products, including fruits and vegetables, dairy products, poultry and meat.

UK: Morrisons is creating 2,240 cleaning roles as part of hygiene boost
Morrisons is investing even more money to boost its hygiene standards. The investment is part of a new programme which will see every store receive a three-week deep clean, new equipment and extra cleaning staff. It follows after the supermarket had already spent £25mln to implement store safety measures - such as Perspex screens, PPE for colleagues and floor markings and visible signage during lockdown. A total of 2,240 brand new cleaning job

roles will be created, including a new Market Street Hygiene Assistant in all stores - to clean food preparation areas across Market Street.

New CEO and CFO for Ahold Delhaize Serbia
Jan Willem Dockheer (CEO) and Ester Veninga (CFO) are the new “duo” that will manage affairs in Ahold Delhaize Serbia in the coming period. The Ambassador with his team met the new management and discussed Ahold-Delhaize’s vision for operations in Serbia, digital innovations, agriculture cooperation and much more.

Spar Group sees sales up, but faces delays in Poland development
South Africa's Spar Group has seen sales rise in Ireland, Switzerland and its Southern Africa base, however the development of its Polish operations has been hampered by COVID-19 restrictions, the company said in a trading update. In an update covering the 48-week period to 28 August 2020, the group, which recently announced a number of forthcoming management changes, said that its core Southern Africa business increased sales by 4.8%, with its Spar operations growing by 8.7%, or 7.5% on a like-for-like basis.

UK: Asda trials new in-store and convenience concepts
Asda announced it is further delivering on its ‘test and learn’ strategy with a number of leading brands that will complement the supermarket’s existing customer offering. The strategy, which launched last year, will now see the supermarket enter the convenience market through a trial with forecourt operator EG Group and collaborate on an in-store concept with B&Q, the UK’s leading home improvement retailer.

Germany: Aldi empire wracked by family feud
An heir to the Aldi dynasty has declared war on his own family, accusing his mother and siblings of defrauding the company. The legal action by a Nicolay Albrecht, a grandson of Aldi founder Theo Albrecht, marks the latest twist in a long-running feud inside the billionaire family that once prized itself for keeping an obsessively low profile. In his formal legal complaint, Nicolay Albrecht accuses his mother Babette, his two sisters and their lawyer of enriching themselves at the company’s expense and contrary to two legal rulings from 2017 and 2019. In addition, he says he has been excluded from the latest of these payouts, said to be worth around €30mln annually.

UK: Supermarket delivery slots booked out 'faster than usual' as fears of second lockdown rise
Supermarkets have reported an increase in demand for their online delivery services following warnings earlier this week that the UK could be set for a second coronavirus lockdown. Ocado and Sainsbury’s said their delivery slots were being snapped up rapidly this week amid the nationwide rise in COVID-19 cases. A statement posted on the Ocado’s website this weekend revealed that slots are being booked "faster than usual". Sainsbury's said it is trying to keep up with "high demand" from online customers, according to The Mirror.

Walmart now approaches innovation in terms of 'days or weeks or months', US CEO says
Walmart's decision to merge grocery pickup into its main shopping app earlier this year is allowing the company to use data and customer insights collected by its in-store and e-commerce supply chains to benefit both grocery and general merchandise operations in ways it hadn't been able to before making the change, John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart's U.S. operations, said during KeyBanc Capital Markets' Future of Technology Series. Walmart is using artificial intelligence (AI) to predict when people are likely to buy certain products, what they will purchase and even if they will opt to pick up merchandise or have it delivered, Furner said, adding the collected data has helped the company adjust, as customers have quickly embraced e-commerce this year. 

US: Farmstead offers in-house software to other retailers
Following the debut of Whole Foods Market’s delivery-only store in Brooklyn, e-grocer Farmstead has revealed that as well as expanding its own brand nationally, it’s making its in-house grocery delivery software Grocery OS available to other national and regional grocers, to help those businesses compete more effectively with online behemoth Amazon, parent company of Whole Foods.

Amazon puts out call for gig workers to pick orders at Whole Foods
Amazon is recruiting gig workers to shop for and deliver groceries for Whole Foods Market customers who place online orders, according to a Bloomberg report. Drivers can sign up for the program, known as Shop and Deliver, by reviewing an online tutorial about how to pick, pack and safely handle groceries and passing a quiz. ​The program is related to Amazon Flex, an initiative the e-commerce provider launched in 2015 that uses independent contractors to deliver packages.

US: Kroger adopting visual AI technology
The Kroger Co. has teamed with visual artificial-intelligence company Everseen to help it transform the customer experience. The technology began rolling out at Kroger stores this past March and will continue to deploy in the coming months, with plans for the solution to be installed at 2,500 stores across the country.

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