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Asda: First supermarket to trial Electric Assisted Vehicle

Mercadona plans to open four more supermarkets in Portugal

Australia: Woolworths rolls out high-tech 'eStore' built to handle online orders
Woolworths has become the first retailer in Australia to launch a "dark" automated e-commerce store designed to pick and pack online orders faster than ever before. Largely automated, the store uses a network of conveyor belts and storage units to deliver products to team members who then hand-pick customer orders. The storage units can hold up to 10,000 grocery products, while team members will continue to pick fresh fruit, vegetables and meat from the shop floor.

Amazon sends legal notice to India's Future Group over Reliance deal - ET Now Inc has sent a legal notice to a promoter of India’s Future Group over the retailer’s deal with Reliance Industries, ET Now reported, citing sources. In August, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance said it would acquire the retail and wholesale business as well as the logistics and warehousing business of Future in a deal valued at $3.38bln, including debt.

Ireland: Aldi doubles number of products available for home delivery
Retailer Aldi has increased the range of products available for home delivery through its partnership with Deliveroo, doubling it to more than 330 products. The on-demand grocery service was launched in June with 2 stores taking part. Some 140 essential items were initially included in the service, with orders picked and packed by Aldi staff for delivery by Deliveroo’s network of delivery riders within 30 minutes. The service has expanded to include all of south Dublin, Cork City, Galway City and Meath, with 9 stores now offering Deliveroo as an option for deliveries of staple items such as pasta, rice, flour, fruit and veg, along with cleaning products.

New Zealand: Supermarket workers get $2-an-hour pay rise
A Countdown supermarket worker says a new pay rise will make a world of difference to many of his colleagues. Around 7000 unionised workers at the supermarket chain have received their first pay under a collective agreement signed last November, which will pay workers with 12 month service a minimum of $21.15 an hour - the "living wage" last year. First Union said that for many workers, the deal would raise their wages by almost $2 an hour. Non-unionised workers will get their raise in December.

UK: Asda is the first supermarket to trial Electric Assisted Vehicle
Asda has become the first supermarket to trial a new form of electric assisted cargo bike, allowing customers to receive their weekly food shop with zero carbon emissions. The first-of-its-kind Electric Assisted Vehicle was used by the retailer as part of a 2 week trial to make deliveries from its Cambridge store, as it looks at potential solutions to reach customers who live in proposed pedestrianised areas and zero emission zones where future access for traditional delivery vehicles could be limited.

UK: Iceland chief on the 'abundance of opportunity' despite global pandemic - and how supermarkets came together to feed the nation
The chief of supermarket chain Iceland says there is an "abundance of opportunity ahead of us" despite the global pandemic tearing through industries and causing hundreds of thousands of job losses. Richard Walker said the Covid-19 crisis saw supermarkets show unprecedented efforts to collaborate, and that the 6 month period has given many firms the chance to reflect upon "what's broken within our society".

Philippines: MerryMart opens first Cebu branch on October 10
Opening its first branch in Cebu on October 10, 2020, MerryMart is expected to make waves as it offer a complete range of groceries, fresh meat, fruits, vegetables, personal care, and household needs, as well as medicines and prescription drugs at affordable prices and in a well-appointed store interior that will give the Cebuano customers the comfort, safety, and convenience that they deserve.

'Green Specialized Store' implementing the Zero-Waste concept for the first time in South Korea
The first zero-waste supermarket store has been up and running since May in Seoul. The agricultural counsellor visited this store to experience the culture of Korea’s eco-friendly consumption and further laid the groundwork for cooperation on upcoming food waste campaigns. ORGA Whole Foods is well known as LOHAS supermarket in Korea, affiliated with the parent company Pulmuone.

Mercadona to end year with 20 stores in Portugal
Mercadona plans to open four more supermarkets in Portugal between now and the end of December, taking its store total in the country to 20. Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercadona said that it plans to continue with the implementation of its strategy for the Portuguese market, reports Spanish daily El Confidencial. Since its arrival in Portugal in 2019, Mercadona has set itself the goal of opening 10 new stores per year, with the aim of reaching 150 outlets. However, the lockdown period temporarily blocked the company's expansion plans.

UK: Morrisons to add quieter hours in all stores every Sunday
Morrisons is introducing ‘quieter hours’ on Sundays with no music, checkout beeps or PA announcements for the first hour of shopping. For stores that open from 10-4pm, quiet hours will operate from 10am-11am. Quieter hours currently operate every Saturday between 9am-10am in all Morrisons stores.

Canada: Goodfood announces launch of Goodfood WOW, a new unlimited same-day grocery delivery service
Goodfood Market Corp. (“Goodfood” or “the Company”), a leading online grocery company in Canada, is proud to announce the launch of Goodfood WOW, its new unlimited same-day grocery delivery service, in the Greater Montreal Area. This new service is scheduled to expand to other major Canadian cities over the next year. 

US: Instacart supports getting seniors online with dedicated service
Instacart, the leading on-demand online grocery delivery company in North America, has launched a new service to support seniors with shopping online. The Senior Support Service has been developed to help shoppers aged over 60 adopt online grocery delivery and stay safer ahead of the upcoming cold and flu season. This is a period when many will face increased health risks, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many older shoppers are less familiar with using mobile apps for tasks, including online grocery shopping. The service aims to build their confidence with using a delivery service such as Instacart.

US: Dollar General debuts new Popshelf stores
Dollar General has rolled out its newest retail store concept Popshelf, with the retailer's signature bright-yellow branding and recent focus on fresh nowhere to be found. The company is opening the first two Popshelf stores in Nashville this fall. 

US: Kroger embraces Ghost Kitchens
The Kroger Co. is launching two on-premise ghost kitchens via the food retailer’s partnership with ClusterTruck. The service, which provides freshly prepared meals on-demand to consumers, is set for two more stores in the Indianapolis, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio, areas via the launch of on-premise ClusterTruck kitchens. More specifically, Kroger’s first on-premise kitchen is now open in Fishers, Ind. (9799 East 116th Street). Later this year, a second location will open in Dublin, Ohio (7625 Sawmill Road).

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