Botswana supermarket chain Choppies hits PwC with US$39.5mln lawsuit
Choppies Enterprises’ Senior Executives, CEO Ramachandran Ottapathu and founding member Ismail Farouk have served former auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) with papers, suing them for R653mln (US$39.5mln) for not signing off on the company’s 2018 accounts, which led to collapse in the value of their shares. The duo, according to Fin24, filed the lawsuit at the High Court in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital alleging that PwC didn’t complete the audit in part to pressure the company to hire PwC director Rudi Binedell as head of finance.
India: Tata Group looks to scoop 20% stake in BigBasket to expand its digital empire
Tata Group is looking to acquire a 20% stake in online groceries unicorn BigBasket to catch up with other conglomerates like Reliance and Amazon. This partnership with BigBasket could help Tata to bolster its digital arsenal. The strategic deal could come through by the end of October and buy two board seats for the Tata Group as well. The development comes as Tata Groups’ digital venture Tata Digital is underway to launch a super app to create a digital services behemoth offering a wide range of products in the retail space. The app is expected to be launched by December this year with US-based retail giant Walmart as an investor.
France: Carrefour boosts organic proposition with Bioazur acquisition
Carrefour has increased its presence in the organic products category with the acquisition of Bioazur by its subsidiary So.bio. Bioazur is a network of 5 specialist organic stores located in the southwest of France, in Albi, Castres, Rodez, Gaillac and Revel. "The So.bio and Bioazur brands complement each other perfectly, in terms of geographic location and know-how, enabling Carrefour to pursue its strategic ambition aimed at becoming a major and recognised player in specialised organic distribution", commented Benoit Soury, organic market director at Carrefour.
Finland: Kesko sees grocery sales up 4.5% in September
Finnish retailer Kesko has said that sales in its grocery trade division rose by 4.5% in September to €482.5mln, with its store performance offset by weaker foodservice sales. Sales at the group's K-food stores were up 8.6%, the group said, while Kespro sales decreased by 7.9%, due to continuing restrictions on restaurants and events due to COVID-19.
Amazon to dodge UK digital sales tax, but third party sellers will still have to foot the bill
E-commerce titan Amazon Inc will be exempt from the UK’s new digital services tax, however third party sellers and smaller businesses that use its platform will still be subject to the new levy. According to a report in the Times, the corporation will not have to pay the levy on goods that it sells itself, instead paying a 2% charge only on revenues that it receives from third-party sellers that pay to use its online marketplace to sell to customers.
Brazil: Grupo BIG rolls out 'next generation' supermarkets
Brazil’s Grupo BIG (former Walmart Brasil) has launched a new, 'next generation' supermarket format. The “Super Nova Geração” project, which follows the transformation of 100 hypermarkets in Brazil, will see the reformatting of the Nacional (in the South Region) and Super Bompreço (in the Northeast) stores. The aim is to offer customers a more modern and smart sales area, with a new layout and strategic assortment of fresh products.
US: Earth Fare has opened 13 stores in less than 4 months
Organic grocer Earth Fare opened its first Charlotte, North Carolina, store last week, the company’s director of grocery announced on LinkedIn. The store is the 13th location the supermarket chain has opened across 6 states since late June. The store, which spans 25,000 square feet, opened without significant fanfare or prior announcement, which Earth Fare’s director of marketing told the Charlotte Observer was a decision to avoid crowds due to the risks of COVID-19. The Charlotte location originally opened in 2007, but shut its doors along with about 50 other Earth Fare outlets when the company filed for bankruptcy in February this year, according to the Charlotte Observer. Now, the grocer is looking to reopen 4 additional stores to cater to the Charlotte market, the paper reported.
US: Save A Lot stores in Nashville acquired by local investor
Four Save A Lot discount supermarkets in Nashville, Tennessee, have been acquired by J. Word Enterprises LLC, an affiliate of real estate investment firm J. Word Properties. Financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed. The Save A Lot stores purchased by J. Word Enterprises are located at 5404 Charlotte Ave., 1113 Murfreesboro Pike, 1134 Gallatin Pike S. and 2400 Clarksville Pike in Nashville.
US: KeHE opens new distribution center to serve northeast region
KeHE Distributors opened its newest distribution center in North East, Maryland, to help better serve the needs of independent retailers in the northeast region of the United States. The 550,000-square-foot facility is conveniently located between Washington, D.C., and New York City, and brings KeHE’s network to 16 national distribution centers that provide natural, organic and specialty products to natural food stores, grocery stores and other specialty retailers throughout North America.
US: Acme Markets wins bid to buy 27 Kings, Balducci’s stores
Albertsons Cos.’ Acme Markets plans to acquire 27 Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lover’s Markets for $96.4mln in cash under a bankruptcy auction. Malvern, Pennsylvania-based Acme said that it expects to finalize the transaction later this fiscal year, pending customary closing conditions and regulatory and court approvals. KB US Holdings, parent of Kings and Balducci’s, put the chains up for sale in August upon filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
US: ShopRite’s new meal solutions concept stores
ShopRite is rolling out an innovative “Fresh to Table” concept at 3 stores, which it says “reinvents the produce and fresh departments to provide inspired, high-quality options for shoppers looking for a one-stop shopping experience”. The new store-within-a-store concepts can be found at ShopRite’s Greenwich and Burlington, New Jersey, stores, as well as its location in Monroe, New York. Created with fresh convenience in mind, the concept offers meal solutions in a variety of flexible grab-and-go formats, while also leveraging a host of digital innovations to help customers save time, said the company.