Amazon plans to build a 510,000-square-foot distribution center

Robomart launched an invite-only beta test

US grocery ecommerce set to hit $82.0bln by 2022
New data from IGD reveals that the online grocery channel is set to represent 5% of the US grocery market by 2022, with a value of $82.0bln. This new forecast represents a significant acceleration of growth within the channel. Previously IGD had forecast that sales through the channel would not reach this value until 2025. This new forecast aligns with retailers’ recent results and comments on the channel which have indicated that demand for online grocery shopping has accelerated by around three years due to the pandemic. Channel growth for 2020 is estimated at 91.5%.

US: Mobile store service goes live with beta test
Mobile grocery store provider Robomart launched an invite-only beta test in West Hollywood, California, where local residents can download the Robomart app and request an invite code. The app enables consumers to tap a button to “hail” a store on wheels in less than 10 minutes and shop checkout-free for daily essentials at home, with no need to go to the store or wait for a delivery window. The Grocery Robomart is set to roll out in the coming weeks, giving consumers access to fresh produce and dairy.

Amazon buys prime development site in San Francisco
While plans to build up to 500 residential units, between 550,000 and 625,000 square feet of office space and an additional 200,000 to 312,500 square feet of “PDR” space with ground floor retail on the nearly 6-acre Recology site at 900 7th Street - which is bounded by 7th, Berry, De Haro, Carolina and Channel - have been in the works since 2018, Amazon has just announced that it has paid $200mln for the prime Showplace Square site and plans to build a 510,000-square-foot distribution center on the parcel instead.

Nielsen Global Connect displays impressive e-commerce measurement strength and power for U.S. online grocery industry Nielsen Global Connect shared details of the notable expansion of its U.S. e-commerce measurement business. During a historic year of e-commerce consumer adoption, Nielsen Connect brought laser focus to understanding today's omnishopping consumer. Within the U.S., in 2020, strategic enhancements to Nielsen Global Connect's ePanel methodology bolstered the company's read into the growing e-commerce marketplace. Nielsen Global Connect's ePanel of over 1.5mln households now captures over 700,00 online transactions each week, enabling insights across over 800 retailers for over 200 categories. 

IGD research: over half of UK consumers claim to have eaten more fruit and vegetables in first lockdown
New research from IGD reveals significant opportunity for the food industry to shift consumers’ mindsets around fruit and vegetables. More than three-quarters (83%) of consumers changed how they planned, purchased and prepared their food during the first national lockdown, with over half (51%) claiming to have eaten more fruit and vegetables, according to the latest research in IGD’s Appetite for Change series. The latest IGD data, drawn from 2,000 UK consumers through September and October 2020, shows there is a unique opportunity for the food and consumer goods industry to act now, to help consumers turn positive new habits adopted over the last few months into long-term changes to their diets.

Spain: Mercadona’s investments and sustainability advancements
Mercadona has revealed long-term investment plans to strengthen its logistics capacity. Meanwhile, the retailer continues to focus on reducing its use of plastic through its 6.25 strategy, while its suppliers sustain their pace of innovation to keep up with shopper demands. Mercadona will invest €1bln between 2021 and 2025 to enable it to improve and expand its logistics capacity. The retailer invested €200mln in 2020, with plans for a further €300mln in 2021. Further improvements, by the end of 2021, will be made directly to logistics centres in Alicante, Granada, Valencia, and Seville.

China: teams up with Better Life to expand new retail in Hunan
Chinese e-commerce giant is setting up a joint venture - via its subsidiary - with Better Life Commercial Chain Share to expand its 7Fresh new retail brand in the southern Hunan province, according to Better Life’s filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Suqian JD Jiapin Trade Company Limited will contribute RMB30.6mln (USD4.7mln) in registered capital and take a 51% stake in the new company, called Changsha 7Fresh, while Better Life will add RMB29.4mln (USD4.5mln) for the remaining 49% stake.

Norway food retailers face record $2.4bln fine over 'price hunters'
Norway’s top three food retailers face fines totalling a record 21bln Norwegian crowns ($2.4bln) for breaching antitrust rules, its Competition Authority said. Norgesgruppen, Coop and Rema 1000 have cooperated in ways that may have resulted in inflated prices, the watchdog said. If confirmed, the combined fine would be the largest ever sought by the regulator in any antitrust case.

UK: One Stop to launch Deliveroo from 200 stores
Tesco convenience subsidiary One Stop is to roll-out a delivery partnership with Deliveroo to 200 of its 700 company-owned stores. On-demand local delivery services have seen rapid growth over the course of the coronavirus pandemic episode and One Stop joins other major c-store operators, such as Co-op and McColls, tapping into the capability of third-party delivery specialists as a quick way to access the market.

OMV Petrom and Auchan Romania open first of a planned 400-unit supermarket chain
Romanian oil and gas group OMV Petrom and Auchan Retail Romania, the local subsidiary of French retailer Auchan, have inaugurated the first MyAuchan convenience store in a Petrom gas station (in western Bucharest), according to a statement from the company. It is the first of a chain of 400 such stores to be developed by the two companies under a EUR50mln project scheduled for completion in 2024.

Australia: Metcash reports impressive H1 growth
Metcash has reported H1 results for the period ending 31 October 2020 with sales revenue up 12.3% to AU$8,094mln including charge-through sales and growth in sales volume across all pillars. Food sales up 9.5% to AU$4,795.9mln. Strong growth was achieved despite the loss of supply agreements to Drakes in South Australia in September 2019 and 7-Eleven in August 2020. Excluding these impacts, sales growth for the food division would be 16.3%. Supermarket sales grew 14.6% to AU$4,123.2mln or 18.2% excluding the Drakes impact.

Xavier Niel SPAC said to weigh bid for French supermarket chain
Billionaire Xavier Niel’s blank-check company is studying a potential takeover of Grand Frais, the network of fresh food supermarkets in France, people familiar with the matter said. The special purpose acquisition company, known as 2MX Organic SA, is considering a purchase of Grand Frais’s parent company Prosol, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. 2MX Organic last week raised 300mln euros ($364mln) on the Paris stock exchange to target deals in the market for sustainable consumer goods.

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