Norway: REMA extends Carrier’s turnkey refrigeration deal
Carrier Commercial Refrigeration has signed a two-year contract extension with Norwegian discount supermarket chain REMA to continue supplying turnkey commercial refrigeration equipment, installation and service. The latest contract, which builds upon a successful four-year agreement, designates Carrier as the sole commercial refrigeration provider for more than 650 REMA stores across Norway, while continuing to accompany the expansion of REMA stores in Denmark - reaching 1,000 stores for both countries in October this year.
Hong Kong: 7-Eleven and M&S partner Deliveroo
7-Eleven and Marks & Spencer have partnered Deliveroo to offer customers on-demand grocery delivery in Hong Kong. Shoppers in Hong Kong will shortly have access to 1,000 (c.200 from 7-Eleven and c.800 M&S) additional grocery products on Deliveroo. The service provider has over 7,000 riders in Hong Kong and can deliver items in as fast as 30 minutes. The Deliveroo and 7-Eleven partnership initially covers 40 7-Eleven stores, offering approximately half of the store’s popular items. Further expansion is expected as this is the first stage of a multi-phase partnership. While the Deliveroo and M&S partnership allows customers to order grocery items from 11 M&S stores in locations such as Central, Kowloon Bay, Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui.
Australia: Retail tech startup Tiliter raises $7.5mln for cashierless AI shopping technology
Investor demand for innovative emerging companies remains strong with Australian AI tech startup Tiliter completing a $7.5mln capital raise, led by Investec Emerging Companies (IEC). Eleanor Venture, a tech investment syndicate for angel investors, and New York's Cornell University also participated in the funding round.
UK: Asda targets 2040 for net zero carbon emissions
British supermarket group Asda committed itself to generating zero carbon emissions by 2040, joining rival Sainsbury’s in making the pledge. To coincide with its pledges, Asda launched its first sustainability trial store in Middleton, Leeds, northern England, which is designed to help shoppers reduce, reuse and recycle. Some 53 fresh produce lines are sold in a loose and unwrapped format including 29 new lines such as cauliflowers, mushrooms, apples, cabbages and baby plum tomatoes.
China: JD reveals Singles Day plans in its Beijing headquarters
JD hosted a press conference on October 19 to announce plans for its upcoming Singles Day Grand Promotion at its headquarters in Beijing. At the conference, JD Vice President Simon Han provided further color on JD’s plans for the upcoming shopping festival, with a focus on how customers can get the most out of their Singles Day experience. Han explained that 2020 was a very trying time for China and the global economy. With China’s epidemic prevention and control now entering a period of normalization, Singles Day is key in the continued revitalization of consumers.
US: Shipt, H Mart team on same-day delivery
Delivery service Shipt has formed a 12-state partnership with Korean-American grocer H Mart that gives more than 10mln households access to same-day delivery of a variety of Asian products. Shipt’s team of shoppers can leave the order at the door for a contactless delivery, ensuring the safety of customers and shoppers. “H Mart is excited to bring top-quality Asian groceries to Shipt customers”, noted Brian Kwon, president of Lyndhurst, New Jersey-based H Mart, which has more than 90 stores in the United States. “I hope our fresh, delicious and healthy food will bring much joy and many smiles to our customers, families and friends”.
U.S. retail sales blow expectations in September; dark clouds gathering
U.S. retail sales accelerated in September, rounding out a strong quarter of economic activity, but the recovery from the COVID-19 recession is at a crossroads as government money runs out and companies continue to layoff workers. “Although sales growth is strong, it will slow through the rest of this year and into next year”, said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “The slowing will be even larger if Congress does not pass another stimulus bill. Unemployment remains pervasive throughout the U.S. economy”.
US: Whole Foods predicts 2021 food trends
Each year, a trends council of more than 50 Whole Food Market team members narrows down everything going on in the industry to the top 10 anticipated food trends for the coming year. For 2021, retailers can expect hard kombucha, upcycled foods, leveled-up breakfasts and jerky made from produce to gain traction. “There have been radical shifts in consumer habits in 2020. For example, shoppers have found new passions for cooking, they’ve purchased more items related to health and wellness, and more are eating breakfast at home every day compared to pre-COVID”, said Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, chief marketing officer at Whole Foods, based in Austin, Texas. “Food trends are a sign of the times, and our 2021 trends are no exception”.
US: Albertsons piloting pickup lockers
Albertsons is piloting pickup lockers at selected Jewel-Osco stores in Chicago and Safeway stores in the San Francisco Bay area. The introduction of the lockers comes as retailers increasingly focus on providing customers with contactless solutions for ecommerce and other services. They will complement its existing fulfilment models which include store pickup, in-house delivery and partnerships with last-mile delivery companies. As with the broader market, the retailer has experienced incredible ecommerce growth since the start of the pandemic, with digital sales up 276% in Q1.
US: Thrive Market achieves B-Corp certification
Thrive Market has unveiled its B-Corp certification, making it the biggest online grocer, first major national grocer and largest non-GMO food retailer in the United States to receive this designation. According to Thrive, it earned its B-Corp certification largely because of its Zero Waste fulfillment centers effort, new curated packaging, and commitment to organic and regenerative organic agriculture. Further, the company’s supply chain poverty alleviation efforts, which include trade terms, positive labor conditions and support for underserved suppliers to reduce poverty, also played a role.
US: New Kroger partnership is all about the pandemic
The Kroger Co. is looking to leverage pandemic-related cook-at-home trends with a new innovation. The grocery chain is teaming up with shoppable recipe platform Whisk to allow users of the service in 35 states to shop recipe ingredients from Kroger stores for delivery or pickup. The new capabilities enable Kroger to better meet the 40% of consumers cooking more at home during recent months and the millions of Americans living in 35 states that live within reach of a Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Ralph’s, King Sooper or other Kroger banner earlier in their food inspiration and grocery shopping journey.
US: Target gives new bonuses to workers
Target workers are getting another bonus. The retailer said that it will award more than 350,000 frontline team members another $200 bonus. This bonus will go to all eligible hourly team members in stores and distribution centers - including seasonal hires - plus hourly team members who support Target’s guest and team member contact centers.