JD.com becomes first online platform to accept China's digital currency
Chinese e-commerce company JD.com Inc said it has become the country’s first virtual platform to accept Beijing’s homegrown digital currency. JD Digits, the company’s fintech arm, will accept digital yuan as payment for some products on its online mall, as part of an experimental giveaway of digital yuan to citizens of Suzhou, near Shanghai, according to a post on the company’s official WeChat account. China’s digital yuan is one of the world’s most advanced “central bank digital currency” initiatives, as authorities globally respond to threats from private currencies such as bitcoin and Facebook’s Libra.
UK: Amazon-owned Whole Foods joins grocery giants in repaying business rates relief
Amazon has reportedly agreed to pay the UK Government £2mln worth of business rates relief from its bricks-and-mortar grocery chain Whole Foods. According to real estate advisory firm Altus Group, Amazon would have received a business rates holiday of £2mln for its seven-strong chain of Whole Foods stores located in London and Surrey, despite being classified as an “essential” retailer and remaining open during the two national lockdowns this year.
IGD publishes inclusion and diversity report on food and consumer goods industry
IGD has published its new research on inclusion and diversity (I&D) in the food and consumer goods industry. The report, which surveyed 30 companies and interviewed senior HR leaders across major retailers, food service providers and branded manufacturers, provides a benchmarking framework and gives practical advice that companies can use to develop their I&D strategy. To download the full report, click here.
Hong Kong: Deliveroo deepens investment into on-demand grocery segment with exclusive DON DON DONKI partnership
Deliveroo announced its partnership with DON DON DONKI, marking the first-ever collaboration with the on-demand delivery app in Hong Kong for the Japanese megastore. Introducing DON DON DONKI on Deliveroo will connect Hong Kongers to a wide variety of exciting and essential items from Japan. Via Deliveroo, customers can access some of their favourite DON DON DONKI household essentials, ready-made meals, supermarket staples and fresh produce.
Belgium: Delhaize renews Executive Committee
Delhaize announced a number of changes in the composition of its Executive Committee. Two new names make their appearance. Chloe Thoelen joins as Senior Vice President Strategy, e-Commerce, Data & Business development as of 1 January 2021. She has worked at Delhaize for more than 11 years, mainly in financial roles. Els Steen, currently Senior Vice President Legal, will become Chief Legal Officer Ahold Delhaize for Europe & Indonesia and will leave the Executive Committee of Delhaize as of January 1, 2021.
Domestic food sales up during pandemic, Finnish retailers say
Consumers in Finland have increasingly been choosing domestic grocery products over imported ones during the coronavirus crisis, according to food retailers. The supermarket sector has seen a clear increase in demand for home-grown products compared to last year, particularly among certain categories. The overall sales levels of domestic foods has risen by 6%, according to Antti Oksa, sales director at retail cooperative S Group, the sector's market leader.
Kenya: Former steeplechase champion invests in supermarket chain
Former world 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Moses Kiptanui has opened a new Tulin Supermarket branch in Eldoret. The new store brings the total to four in the retail chain’s stable; two in Eldoret, one at Kachibora and another one in Kitale. “This is our fourth branch after many years of trying to catch up (with other retailers). It is good to sacrifice running for the country and also sacrifice in this world of business,” Mr Kiptanui said during the opening ceremony.
China: JD to open 3 Seven Fresh Life stores
The company has announced it will launch the 3 stores in Guangzhou between December 18 - 25. Each of the stores will be open 24 hours a day, and will feature comprehensive grocery categories such as fruit and vegetables, eggs and meat, seafood, milk and beverages, snacks, wines, ready-to-cook products and other daily necessities. All of the stores already offer online orders that provide delivery service to customers in as quick as 30 minutes. “Apart from the omnichannel shopping experience provided for customers, we also take high priority on ensuring product quality, and providing various refund policies for scenarios including fresh produce that has wilted, damaged packaging and late delivery. Our aim is to provide a worry-free experience to our customers”, commented a representative from Seven Fresh.
US: UNFI commits to setting science-based targets to limit climate change impact
United Natural Foods, Inc., one of the largest wholesale grocery distributors in North America, announced that it will lead the way towards a net-zero economy by setting science-based emissions reduction targets covering its own operations and value chain. UNFI expects its targets will align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, to limit global temperature rise to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C for the best chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. UNFI is the first North American wholesale grocery distributor to commit to such a target.
US: Walmart begins work on $10bln Flipkart listing
Walmart Inc. has hired Goldman Sachs to explore an initial share sale of its Flipkart unit in the US to raise around $10bln, 2 people directly aware of the development said. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart is planning to sell around 25% in India’s largest online retailer, the people said, requesting anonymity. “Work on the IPO (initial public offering) is on in full swing and the advent of the pandemic has only hastened the process, given the spectacular surge in demand on e-commerce platforms”, said one of the 2 people.
US: Stater Bros. offers new bonuses
More food retailers workers will receive new pay incentives, thanks to a new Stater Bros. push. The food retailer said it will reinstate the $2 per hour wage incentive for all of the company’s hourly employees that work in the stores, distribution, transportation, corporate offices and construction.