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Amazon announced the launch of Amazon Fresh in Singapore

Tesco: All conditions have been satisfied for the sale of business in Thailand and Malaysia

UK regulator starts probe of Asda sale to Issa brothers and TDR
Britain’s competition regulator said it had formally launched an inquiry into the acquisition of British supermarket group Asda by the Issa brothers and private equity group TDR Capital. In October, Mohsin and Zuber Issa and TDR agreed to buy a majority stake in Asda from U.S. giant Walmart in a deal giving the chain an enterprise value of $8.8bln. At the time Walmart said it expected the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to consider the deal. The CMA said it had invited interested parties to comment by December 22 and set a February 18 2021 deadline for a “phase 1” decision.

UK: Christmas comes early as grocery sales 'hit record' in November
Grocery sales hit a record in November as people spend spent more during lockdown and started their Christmas shopping early, research indicates. Some £10.9bln was spent as eating and drinking out was restricted in England, market research firm Kantar said. Like Kantar, Nielsen forecasts even stronger grocery sales in December, with £1bln more spent on shop food and drink than last year. But it said 1 in 4 shoppers intended to spend less on Christmas groceries than usual, with half saying it was because they were entertaining less, and more than a third citing financial concerns.

Sweden: ICA sees sales up 5.7% in November
Swedish retailer ICA Gruppen has posted a like-for-like sales increase of 5.7% across its store estate in November. Sales across the group's portfolio stood at SEK10.47bln (€1.03bln) in the month, the group said, while sales in the January to November period were up 7.2% to SEK118.4bln (€11.6bln).

Dirk Depoorter (Colruyt Group) to become new CEO of AgeCore
Dirk Depoorter, general manager of Retail Partners Colruyt Group, will next year lead the European retail alliance AgeCore, which has been regularly in the news in recent years due to trade disputes with major FMCG suppliers. Retail alliance AgeCore was founded in 2015 and currently has as members Colruyt (Belgium), Edeka (Germany), Intermarché (France), Coop (Switzerland), Conad (Italy) and Eroski (Spain).

Tesco confirms all conditions have been satisfied for the sale of its business in Thailand and Malaysia
Tesco reported: "Following the announcement on 9 March 2020 that Tesco had agreed to sell its businesses in Thailand and Malaysia to C.P. Retail Development Company Limited (CPRD) and further to the announcement on 6 November, Tesco is pleased to confirm that CP Group has now reviewed and is satisfied with the formal notice of approval from the OTCC in Thailand. This, combined with the approval received from the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs in Malaysia on 10 November, means there are no further conditions outstanding and the disposal is expected to complete on or around 18 December".

Prime Now, Amazon's ultrafast grocery delivery service, becomes Amazon Fresh in Singapore
Amazon announced the launch of Amazon Fresh in Singapore on, the new and improved version of the ultrafast two-hour grocery delivery service Amazon Prime Now. With Amazon Fresh, Prime members in Singapore will enjoy greater selection and exclusive access to shop thousands of chilled, fresh and frozen products, and daily essentials.

Holland: Overnight explosions damage two Polish speciality supermarkets
Police are investigating overnight explosions at two Polish supermarkets in Heeswijk-Dinther and Aalsmeer. The supermarkets were initially reported to be part of the Polish discount chain Biedronka but a spokesman for the company has told that this is not the case and that the group does not operate outside Poland.

US: Village Super Market sees 20% sales gain in fiscal first quarter
ShopRite operator Village Super Market reported continued strong sales momentum, fueled mainly by pandemic-driven consumer demand, for its fiscal 2021 first quarter, with net earnings rising over 30%. For the quarter ended October 24, the Springfield, New Jersey-based Wakefern Food cooperative member and operator of 35 ShopRite stores saw sales rise 20.3% to $490.1mln from $407.4mln a year earlier. The company noted that the growth reflects a 6.6% same-store sales gain in the quarter, the purchase of 5 Fairway Market stores in May and the opening of a replacement ShopRite store in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, in November 2019.

US: GrubMarket heads to New York with acquisition of Leo's Apples
GrubMarket announced it has completed the acquisition of Leo's Apples Inc, a highly-reputable and well-established provider of a wide array of fresh fruits, with longstanding customer base in the metropolitan and suburban areas of Mid-Atlantic and New England. Based in New York City, Leo's Apples was founded in 1991 by Leo Rotstein. It directly partners with growers in Mid-Atlantic and New England as well as the West Coast to provide high-quality fruits. This is GrubMarket's first acquisition in New York, and the company plans to continue strengthening its strategic presence in the region. Leo's Apples will remain based in New York and will continue to be managed by its current leadership team.

US: Ingles makes sales gains as pandemic rages
Ingles Markets posted a 11.3% year-over-year revenue gain for its fiscal fourth quarter ended September 26, with net sales reaching $1.2bln. Gross profit for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 totaled $324.5mln, or 27.1% of sales. Gross profit for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 was $260.3mln, or 24.2% of sales.

US: J.C. Penney's retail and operating assets to exit Chapter 11
J.C. Penney Co Inc said its retail and operating assets would exit Chapter 11 as two of its biggest landlords, Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management Inc, have acquired nearly all such assets. J.C. Penney will continue to operate the properties and distribution centers moved into the property holding companies. Chief Executive Officer Jill Soltau said the JCPenney banner would continue to serve its customers. With the completion of the sale, the company will have access to about $1.5bln in new financing, it said.

Canada: Avril Supermarché Santé to set up shop in Montreal
More than a quarter century after its founding in 1995, Avril Supermarché Santé will open its first supermarket in Montreal next June, a $3mln store in the downtown area. The 7,500-square-foot “urban concept” store will be in the new Humaniti Montreal complex, located in the Quartier international area, which links downtown to Old Montreal.

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