Meijer has joined the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag

Save A Lot has sold its 51 company-operated stores in the Tampa, Florida market

US: Giant Food's investment of $800mln in retirement benefits for union associates approved by UFCW Locals 400 and 27
Giant Food, the leading greater Washington D.C. regional grocery chain, announced that the Company and United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Locals 400 and 27 have fully implemented the parties' pension security agreement that union members ratified on March 5, 2020. As part of the pension security agreement, the Company will make a $800mln investment in past and future pension benefits for its members.

US: Meijer aims to go ‘Beyond the Bag’ to reduce plastic waste
Teaming up with other food and drug retailers, Meijer has joined the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag as a supporting partner to help cut down on plastic waste. Launched over the summer, the coalition was founded to test options to the single-use plastic shopping bag now used by mass retailers nationwide. The consortium’s three-year Beyond the Bag Initiative calls on retailers to “think outside the box” to address the global waste issue of plastic shopping bags.

US: Fareway launches hiring initiative across six-state region
Fareway Stores, Inc. recently announced a hiring initiative for both full- and part-time career positions across grocery, market, and bakery departments in its six-state region. Fareway is a growing Midwest grocery company with store locations in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

US: Save A Lot continues with re-licensing deals
Save A Lot has sold its 51 company-operated stores in the Tampa, Florida market to Fresh Encounter, a current Save A Lot Retail Partner licensee, as the grocer continues to convert its corporate-owned stores to local operations. The sale is part of an ongoing re-licensing program through which Save A Lot intends to transition to a wholesale model by selling more than 300 corporate-operated locations to new and existing retail partners who will continue to operate the stores under the Save A Lot banner, including Fresh Encounter. 

Aldi to spend additional 3.5bln stg on food and drink from British suppliers
Britain’s fifth-biggest supermarket Aldi said it plans to increase the amount of food and drink it buys from British suppliers by 3.5bln pounds ($4.77bln) within the next five years as the company continues its rapid expansion across the United Kingdom. In September, Aldi, which is privately owned by Germany’s Aldi Sud, said it will open around 100 supermarkets and invest 1.3bln pounds in Britain over the next two years. The company said it expected to create a further 4,000 new jobs next year, adding to the 3,000 roles already created in 2020.

UK: Tesco removes 1bln pieces of plastic
Tesco has announced that it has removed 1bln pieces of plastic from its UK business in just one year. In 2020, by working with its suppliers, plastic that Tesco has removed includes: Plastic shrink wrap around branded and own-label tinned multi-packs e.g. soup, tinned tomatoes, sweetcorn. Secondary lids from yoghurts, fresh cream, picnic salads and baby wipes. Plastic wraps from branded and own label greetings cards. Small plastic bags used to pack loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items. Plastic from Christmas products and packaging e.g. crackers no longer contain plastic gifts.

Carrefour completes the acquisition of 224 proximity stores in Taiwan
Carrefour announced the closing of the acquisition from Dairy Farm of 224 proximity stores in Taiwan (199 Wellcome stores - average sales area of 420 sq. m - and 25 Jasons stores - average sales area of 820 sq. m) as well as a warehouse. The acquired stores will henceforth benefit from Carrefour’s commercial policy and purchasing conditions, while Wellcome will bring its recognized expertise in fresh produce and contribute to the development of food e-commerce. Carrefour plans to convert the Wellcome stores to the Market banner within the next 12 months, and then convert Jasons stores to a Carrefour premium banner. This transaction is part of Carrefour’s targeted acquisitions policy, which it intends to continue.

UK: Sainsbury’s reveals top food trends of 2020
Sainsbury’s revealed the top taste trends that swept the nation in 2020 using data from 18mln Nectar customers. From the start of the first lockdown, Brits turned to baking to pass the time, with sales of flour in April rising 102% as sourdough starters and pizza bases were kneaded. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, it was banana bread that proved to be the most popular bake, pushing sales of the fruit up 17% in London alone.

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma suspected missing
Speculation has swirled around Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s whereabouts after reports surfaced that the high-profile businessman has not made a public appearance in more than two months. The Alibaba founder also failed to appear as scheduled in the final episode of his own talent show, Africa’s Business Heroes, which gives budding African entrepreneurs the chance to compete for a slice of US $1.5mln.

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