Don Quijote will open its first Taiwanese store

Alibaba plans to raise at least $5bln through the sale of a bond this month

UK: Supermarket websites struggle amid new lockdown
Supermarkets' online shopping operations have come under strain with customers rushing to book deliveries as the new coronavirus lockdown began. Within a couple of hours of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's speech to the nation, shoppers reported problems with Sainsbury's and Tesco. Sainsbury's said that earlier it had restricted access to its online services to manage high demand. The surge in demand echoes consumers' reaction at the start of the pandemic.

Japanese discount chain 'Don Quijote' to open store in Taipei
The Japanese discount chain Don Quijote will open its first Taiwanese store on January 19 in Taipei's Ximending shopping area, the company announced. The new store, Don Don Donki, will occupy three stories of a building at No. 123 Xining Street, not far from Exit 6 of MRT Ximen Station, according to a post on the company's Taiwan Facebook page. It will carry a wide selection of imported Japanese products, as well as cosmetics, snacks, beverages, fresh produce, made-to-order meals and sushi, the company said.

China: Alibaba plans $5bln bond this month amid regulatory scrutiny - sources
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd plans to raise at least $5bln through the sale of a U.S. dollar-denominated bond this month, four people with knowledge of the matter said, amid regulatory scrutiny of co-founder Jack Ma’s empire. Depending on investor response, proceeds could reach $8bln which the e-commerce leader is likely to use for general corporate expenditure, one of the people said.

Ireland: Musgrave appoints new managing director of Supervalu and Centra
Ireland’s Musgrave Group has appointed Ian Allen as Managing Director of its grocery and convenience chains SuperValu and Centra. Allen took over the role of Managing Director of SuperValu and Centra on 1 January from Ray Kelly who served in the position on an interim basis following the departure of Martin Kelleher last year.

UK: Asda trials vegan butcher concept as plant-based eating grows in popularity
To the delight of hungry herbivores around the country, ASDA has announced a partnership with vegan concept creator, Kbox Global, to trial a supermarket vegan butcher counter - Veelicious. Situated at ASDA’s Watford store, the counter will open in the New Year as a six month trial to coincide with Veganuary and will have a consistent vegan butcher offering - including facon, bean burgers, and meat-free meatballs.

France: As Brexit bites, salads and sandwiches run out at Paris M&S stores
British retailer Marks & Spencer said new trade rules in place since Britain left the European Union were delaying deliveries of some fresh food to its stores in France, where at least three branches had empty shelves. The items out of stock at three Paris branches of the retailer included sandwiches, black rice and edamame bean salad, and turkey tortilla with curry, according to labels on the empty shelves.

US: Traditional grocers projected as ‘2021 winners’
Three of the nation’s four largest supermarket operators - The Kroger Co., Albertsons Cos. and Publix Super Markets - are expected to be “winners” in 2021 when it comes to store visits, according to location-based retail foot traffic specialist All 3 retailers - grouped in a category dubbed “traditional grocery” - already turned in “a huge year” in terms of customer visits for the first 11 months of 2020, according to Ethan Chernofsky, vice president of marketing at Israel-based, which has U.S. offices in Los Altos, California.

US: Hy-Vee launches Healthie
Hy-Vee is getting more serious about nutrition and health. The food retailer launched its new, virtual dietitian services platform, Healthie, as another way to connect with its customers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

US: Consumers still prefer in-store shopping
While the COVID-19 pandemic has skyrocketed the growth of online shopping, there is still a large segment of the population that wants to venture away from their computer screens and have in-store experiences. According to Raydiant’s second annual State of Consumer Behavior Report, 46% of respondents said that given the choice, they prefer to shop in person rather than online.

US: Stop & Shop offers New Year’s nutrition help
Stop & Shop wants to help its customers keep their New Year’s resolutions. Stop & Shop’s Nutrition Partners has launched a month-long series of free workshops to kick off the New Year and help those intent on getting healthy.

Ahold Delhaize and Centerbridge Partners successfully complete acquisition of FreshDirect after receiving regulatory clearance from the FTC
Ahold Delhaize and Centerbridge Partners are pleased to announce that they have closed the acquisition of New York City-based online grocer FreshDirect after receiving regulatory clearance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Through the acquisition, which was previously announced on November 18, 2020, Ahold Delhaize acquires the majority share, funded by cash on hand, and Centerbridge Partners is a minority equity investor with a 20% stake. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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