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Majid Al Futtaim opens largest Carrefour online fulfilment centre in Saudi Arabia

Lidl intends to open its first store in Bosnia in 2022

Ireland: SuperValu expands drive-through
Musgrave's SuperValu is rolling out its drive-through service to 135 stores, according to the Business Post. SuperValu launched its first drive-through store in 2014 in Cork and will now roll this service out to 135 stores, with operational improvements. The updated service will have special drive-through booths, in the style of the model used by fast-food chains. Customers will park in designated bays and have their groceries placed in the car boot by staff, meaning a completely contact-free service.

German retailer Lidl to enter Bosnia in 2022 - report
Discount retail chain Lidl, part of Germany’s Schwarz Group, intends to open its first store in Bosnia in 2022, German media reported. The success in Serbia and Croatia has encouraged Lidl to plan its next step in the Balkans - an entry to Bosnia and Herzegovina, German food industry weekly Lebensmittel Zeitung (LZ) reported last week, citing unofficial information. Bosnian news provider wrote last week that local media have been speculating about the opening of Lidl's first store in the country for a long time now, ever since the retailer rented the web domain four years ago. In Southeast Europe, Lidl is already present in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

UK: One Stop driving growth through franchise recruitment
The latest results filed with Companies House by One Stop Stores, the Tesco convenience subsidiary, for the year to February 2020, shows that the total number of stores in its network fell to 888. This decline was driven both by the conversion of a number of company-owned stores to the Tesco Express format and the closure of a number of others. At year-end the number of company-owned stores had fallen to 697, while the number of franchise locations was up by 14 to 191.

MAF opens largest Carrefour online fulfilment centre in Saudi Arabia
Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) opened the 9,000 sq. m online fulfilment centre, its 10th in the country, in Riyadh as it looks ‘to ensure the quick and efficient preparation and delivery of products to online shoppers across the capital’. The retailer said the centre stocks more than 12,000 essential grocery products, fresh fruits and vegetables, cleaning products, amongst others. MAF said delivery would completed through 150 refrigerated trucks.

UK: Christine Tacon marks final week in role as GCA
Christine Tacon, the UK’s first Groceries Code Adjudicator, has announced she will step down from the role at the end of this week, handing over to her successor Mark White. She said: "I agreed to stay on beyond the end of my second term to oversee any COVID-related issues that may have arisen in the early days and weeks of the pandemic. That responsibility has now been discharged. I urged suppliers to bring any Code-related issues to me without delay and I have been maintaining regular contacts with the retailers’ Code Compliance Officers to monitor whether any issues linked to COVID had been raised with them. None have been reported. As it is now over 6 months since supply arrangements had to be reviewed and revised to ensure essential groceries reached the supermarket shelves at the onset of the lockdown I would not expect any supplier now to raise an issue based on those actions. As a result I can now step down and formally hand over to Mark".

China: Alibaba-backed, having raised RMB6bln, enters bankruptcy
Chinese fresh produce e-commerce company, (or Yiguo Fresh Foods and Yiguo Shengxian), has entered the bankruptcy and reorganization stage. Several of its subsidiaries including Yunxiang Supply Chain and Anxianda have filed for voluntary bankruptcy and reorganization. The companies have debts of RMB2.3bln (USD342mln) and have begun to lay off employees, according to Chinese media reports. Founded in 2005, Shanghai-based operates its own network of independent cold chain logistics facilities covering 310 major cities in 27 provinces. It has established 11 cold chain logistics centers in 10 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou.

Everyone's getting into UAE's online grocery business, now valued at $1bln plus
There’s still a lot of room in the UAE’s online grocery space as more players put up their ‘stalls’…. even those that haven’t been connected with the selling of fruits and veggies and all sorts of everyday needs. But all these players - even the new ones - are intent on making their presence known, with online grocery sales expected to go past $1bln for the first time by year-end. That explains why Sharaf DG has made a move into grocery… and it’s not the only one. “New players like Dubai Store, Sharaf DG, Spinneys [are] entering the market on own platforms,” says a new retail sector update from RedSeer Consulting.

South Africa: Massmart posts lower sales from COVID-19 curbs
South African retailer Massmart posted lower nine-month sales due to COVID-19 restrictions, which included a 1.1bln rand hit from the reintroduction of a liquor sale ban. Massmart said total sales fell 8.9% to 60.5bln rand ($3.73bln) for the nine months ended September 27, but added conditions were improving on easing of virus-led curbs.

Bringing Vietnamese products into modern retail chain of Central Retail
About 100 Vietnamese enterprises participated in an event with Central Retail Vietnam and connected online with buyers in Thailand to take advantage of opportunities to export directly to the Thai market without intermediaries. Central Retail Group in Vietnam, the owner of Big C and Go! supermarket system, organised a seminar to connect the consumption of Vietnamese products to the group’s retail chain on October 24.

US: Eataly now part of Mercato’s digital platform
Mercato, the online e-commerce platform for independent grocery and specialty food stores, has revealed a new partnership with experiential retailer Eataly that will enable same-day delivery of food to consumers in four U.S. markets: downtown New York City, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles.

US: Kroger steps up diversity efforts
This year of the pandemic is also a year that has focused on diversity, and now The Kroger Co. has released its new diversity plan. Kroger says that its Framework for Action: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) plan features both immediate and longer-term steps developed in collaboration with associates and leaders to accelerate and promote greater change in the workplace and in the communities that the organization serves.

US: Food Lion expanding To-Go services
Food Lion is adding additional “Food Lion To-Go” grocery pick up services at 32 new stores in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia beginning October 26, 2020. Customers can use the Food Lion To-Go website or the Food Lion To-Go app to confirm availability and place orders. “Expanding this convenient service to additional Food Lion stores is more important than ever”, said Evan Harding, director of digital and e-commerce marketing at Food Lion. “We want to give local neighbors the option to shop through the channel they prefer, in-store or online, while still ensuring they have access to the freshest groceries at affordable prices”.

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