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Yonghui Fresh Food has secured a corpus of $153mln

Supermarket chain Biedronka fined

Carrefour France’s CEO discusses reorganising store operations
In an interview with France-based trade publication LSA, Carrefour France’s chief executive Rami Baitieh has discussed the retailer’s TOP project, which aims to reorganise in-store operations. However, the plan has had to be paused, due to a Court order, resulting from a case brought by the CGT trade union. Baitieh launched TOP (an acronym standing for Team Organisation Project) to establish a new in-store structure and workflows to help optimise the supply of ambient and fresh departments and improve shopper satisfaction. While mainly aimed at Carrefour’s hypermarkets, elements of TOP could be rolled out to the retailer’s supermarkets too.

Poland fines supermarket chain Biedronka over profits at cost of suppliers
Poland’s antimonopoly watchdog (UOKiK) fined the owner of the country’s largest food retailer Biedronka, Jeronimo Martins Polska, 723mln zlotys ($197.94mln) for unfairly reaping profits at the cost of its suppliers. Suppliers were only notified of required discounts after contracts had been signed, supplies provided and payments made, UOKiK said in a statement, in violation of good practices and legal requirements.

SPAR Italy recognised as Retailer of the Year 2020-2021
SPAR Italy, locally known as DESPAR, has been recognised as retail brand of the year for the year 2020-2021 in the ‘supermarket’ category. The criteria voted upon included price, assortment, service, communications, shopping convenience, and look-and-feel. In such a special year, DESPAR Italia has earned ever increasing customer trust by committing to ensure safe and continuous store operations at SPAR stores throughout the country.

China: Yonghui Superstores’ Fresh Food unit raises $153mln from CICC, Tencent, others
Yonghui Fresh Food, the fresh produce-based business-to-business (B2B) platform of Chinese leading supermarket group Yonghui Superstores, has secured a corpus of 1bln yuan ($153mln) in a strategic investment jointly led by Chinese tech giant Tencent and CICC Capital’s sub-fund CICC Qizhi, per a company filing with the Stock Exchange of Shanghai. China Merchants Bank, Minsheng Securities’ PE vehicle Minsheng Equity Investment Fund Management, and Shanghai-headquartered asset manager Greenwoods’ investment arm Greenwoods Investment joined the latest round as new investors.

UK: Co-op to introduce electric vehicles to home delivery fleet
Co-op has announced plans to replace its entire fleet of fossil-powered home delivery vans with electric versions. The move indicates Co-op’s commitment to accelerate zero emissions deliveries and reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2025. The retailer intends to use initially Renault Kangoo EVs. However, the choice of model might change as the rollout progresses. Co-op will be using the new vehicles starting this month in its stores in Hebden Bridge, Holmfirth and Hove, while stores in Ryde, Isle of Wight and Whitby are due to take delivery of these vehicles early next year.

Uzbek retailer Makro celebrates tenth anniversary with new store openings
Makro, Uzbekistan's largest supermarket group, has opened ten new stores in the country, to mark its 10-year anniversary. With the openings, which were also located in or around the capital Tashkent, the retailer now boasts 86 stores, with additional openings to follow before the end of the year, it said.

From Kiranas to Corporates: The evolution of modern retail in India
Food & FMCG products in India were typically retailed in small individually or family-owned and operated stores located in villages, city neighborhoods, and large urban markets. Grocery stores (called Kirana stores locally) account for the bulk of food retail stores. In addition to grocery stores there were a number of other food stores which dealt in either bakery and confectionary products, dairy products (fresh milk and cottage cheese), fresh meat, grains and pulses, spices, or fresh fruits and vegetables.

Building trust: INTERSPAR Austria continues expansion as it celebrates 50 years
INTERSPAR, the number one hypermarket in Austria, celebrated its 50th anniversary this year with a major expansion programme, including the modernisation of existing stores and the launch of new hypermarkets. This brings the total number of INTERSPAR Hypermarkets in Austria to over 65, offering employment to a total of 10,000 colleagues. In a recent interview with industry magazine Regal, the Managing Director of INTERSPAR Austria, Markus Kaser, reflected on the company’s success story as well as the main challenges and opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UK: Aldi signs agreement with mdf commerce for the implementation of Click & Collect grocery service
Aldi has recently signed an agreement with mdf commerce inc., a leader in SaaS commerce technology solutions, for its omnichannel commerce solution Orckestra Commerce Cloud. Together they are expanding the Click & Collect grocery service to make it available to more than 200 stores across the UK before Christmas.

Trinidad and Tobago: Presto expands with market produce
Convenience store chain Presto, known for its on-the-go meals, has expanded and rebranded its store to include fresh produce from local farmers including fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh drinks, and chilled meats. The Presto Market launched at the brand's Trincity location. “By moving to Presto market we’ve introduced a few new components in the store because what we’re seeing is that customers are looking for convenience so we can meet the changing needs of customers, especially millennials”, said SuperPharm CEO Glenn Maharaj.

Mexican regulator gives go-ahead for Uber’s Cornershop acquisition
Mexico’s antitrust regulator Cofece has approved the acquisition of grocery delivery platform Cornershop by Uber Technologies, Bloomberg reported. Restaurant food delivery has been Uber’s revenue driver for two consecutive quarters as the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people shop, learn and work. Uber is aiming for further expansion into the delivery of groceries and pharmaceuticals.

Asda paid parent Walmart $1.52bln dividend
Asda, the British supermarket being sold by Walmart, paid its parent a 1.15bln pound ($1.52bln) dividend from surplus cash in March, Asda’s annual report showed. In October, the Issa brothers and private equity group TDR Capital agreed to buy a majority stake in Asda from Walmart in a deal giving the chain an enterprise value of $8.8bln.

US: Stockpiling returns as more grocery shoppers go omnichannel
U.S. grocery shoppers have resumed stockpiling and become more frequent omnichannel consumers amid a resurgent COVID-19 pandemic, according to new surveys from Shopkick and ACI Worldwide. Of nearly 8,000 consumers polled nationwide November 23 to 25, 48% report being more concerned about coronavirus now than a month ago, rewards app provider Shopkick said. The increased worry about the virus, in turn, has led 61% of respondents to stock up on groceries and other essential items, a sizable jump from 47% in a Shopkick survey during the first wave of COVID-19 in March.

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