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Flipkart and Walmart: Additional investment in fresh produce supply startup Ninjacart

Waitrose & Partners: First e-commerce platform launched outside of the UK

UK: Aldi doubles size of Deliveroo trial
Aldi is to double the size of its trial of on-demand grocery deliveries with Deliveroo this week. The trial, which has been ongoing out of 20 stores across London, Greater Manchester, Cambridge and the Midlands since early summer, is now being extended to a further 22 stores across the UK. The latest move will bring the trial to even more towns and cities across England, including Bristol, Liverpool and Brighton. Customers within a 6km radius of the 42 participating stores will be able to choose from around 400 essential Aldi grocery items.

Sweden: ICA sees 6.7% sales growth in september 2020
Swedish retailer ICA Gruppen has posted a 6.7% year-on-year growth in sales to SEK10.2bln (€980mln) in September 2020. Like-for-like sales for the period increased by 6.6%, the retailer added. The company’s Maxi ICA Stormarknad retail chain emerged as the strongest performer with a like-for-like sales growth of 8.1% (9.1% reported), followed by ICA Kvantum with a 6.9% like-for-like growth (7.1%). Proximity chain, ICA Nära saw like-for-like sales grow by 6.7% (7.0% reported) to SEK1.5bln (€140mln). ICA Supermarket reported sales worth SEK2.97bln (€290bln) in this period, up 4.8% on a like-for-like basis.

India: Walmart, Flipkart invest $30mln in Ninjacart
US-based retailer Walmart Inc. and Flipkart Group have made an additional investment in Bengaluru-based fresh produce supply startup Ninjacart, the companies said in a joint statement. According to a person familiar with the development, Walmart and Flipkart have invested around $30mln in Ninjacart. Both the companies first funded Ninjacart in December 2019. The latest investment will ensure access to good quality fresh produce for consumers and retailers, the statement said.

Supermarket chain Waitrose launches first international online grocery platform in UAE
Grocery brand Waitrose & Partners has launched its first e-commerce platform outside of the UK, in the UAE. The portal is home to a range of over 15,000 quality food and drinks items designed for customers who want to shop for their groceries online. Customers can choose from a variety of local produce from the UAE, including fresh fruit and vegetables, organic salmon and free-range eggs. Shoppers can also opt for Waitrose & Partners’ own brands.

Polish e-commerce company Allegro lights up Europe's IPO market
Shares in Polish e-commerce group Allegro leapt more than 60% on their debut, giving the company a market value of almost $19bln in Europe's biggest initial public offering (IPO) so far this year. Founded more than 20 years ago as a home-grown rival to eBay, Allegro is central Europe’s most recognised e-commerce brand and its website is attracting 20mln visitors a month as consumers go online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

7 out of 10 Belgians buy online
This year, 72% of Belgians make online purchases. Of all Belgians who are active online, 8 in 10 have bought something online in the past year. And 94% say they will do so in the future. Over half of Belgian consumers (56%) has bought something online at least once a month in the past 12 months. That’s an increase of 20% compared to the situation in 2019. 1 in 5 online shoppers in Belgium buy from the internet at least once a week, and they do this mostly in the evening. 2% even say they buy something online every single day. These and more findings come from the annual study by Comeos, among 2,000 Belgians. This year’s survey was conducted in the month of April, when Belgium was in a lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Amazon India's payments unit gets $95.5mln from parent ahead of festive season Inc has invested 7bln rupees ($95.51mln) in its Indian payments unit, ahead of the festive season, data from business intelligence firm Tofler showed. Amazon will begin its festive season sales on October 17, and has been trying to encourage payments through Amazon Pay with cashbacks and other rewards.

Ecommerce platform Kooomo reveals its latest platform updates
Global eCommerce platform Kooomo has announced a list of updates to its platform, diversifying its offering and fine-tuning its features to deliver an even stronger eCommerce platform. Ciaran Bollard, CEO at Kooomo, says: “Although many retailers have already been updating their eCommerce platforms over the past few months to ensure they are keeping pace with new consumer habits since the COVID-19 pandemic hit; with the golden quarter fast approaching, it’s never been more critical that retailers have a robust, engaging and intuitive platform, supported by the best technologies. Our team of developers are working around the clock to deliver the very best in eCommerce, consistently updating our platform”.

Walmart Canada hiring 10,000 more workers
As the second wave of the pandemic hits, Walmart Canada has announced plans to immediately hire 10,000 new workers for a variety of different roles. The new staff to be hired include e-commerce store associates (people who pick items for online orders and prepare these orders for pickup and delivery), fresh food associates, merchandising associates, customer experience associates (cashiers, greeters and customer service desk associates), warehouse associates and delivery drivers.

US: Meet Kroger’s virtual robotic chef
Say hello to the Robotic Kroji. Kroger has introduced a new Twitter account that turns user ingredient requests or photos of food into recipe suggestions, utilizing visual artificial intelligence embodied in an animated character known as KrogerChefbot, an addition to the animated army of toy spokespeople Kroger refers to as “Krojis” heading their Fresh for Everyone branding effort. The Cincinnati-based grocer says ChefBot will help its users pair groceries in the their refrigerators with a time-saving tool to reduce food waste and provide mealtime inspiration, while providing the retailer the opportunity to communicate with shoppers and provide them with personalized suggestions from Kroger’s database of recipes and fulfillment options.

US: 4 new Winn-Dixie stores coming to Florida
4 new Winn-Dixie stores are coming to Florida on November 11, including one in Jacksonville. According to a release, each store is being designed with a specialized approach to “provide customers with a unique shopping experience featuring the freshest produce and highest-quality meats and seafood.” The grocer is also expanding its sip and shop offer, where you can drink alcohol while shopping for groceries. The 4 new Winn-Dixie locations opening on November 11 include: 8855 W. Boynton Beach Blvd., Boynton Beach, FL; 1459 N.W. 23rd Ave., Gainesville, FL; 11700 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, FL; 11525 State Road 70 E., Lakewood Ranch, FL.

Amazon Exec: Quality is our advantage in grocery
A new physical grocery store and the world’s largest e-commerce site might dazzle consumers with technology and abundance, but from Amazon’s point of view, it’s all in service of an elevated quality of experience it believes to be its inherent advantage - and a key to victory - in a growing U.S. grocery business, Stephenie Landry, worldwide VP of grocery for Amazon, said in a livestreamed interview with Vox Media’s Jason Del Rey as part of Vox’s "Code Commerce" series.

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