CEO Steve Spinner: "This is a really exciting time to be at UNFI"

GrubMarket has completed the acquisition of Bengard Marketing

Not just snacks: Albertsons says US customers now make more trips to load up on fresh products
Snacks have proliferated in American grocery baskets during COVID-19. But Albertsons Cos. Inc. says customers are also visiting its stores to stock up on fresh items, whether meat or produce or flowers. “We believe that purchases of fresh product drives trips as our loyal customers often stock up on shelf-stable items in one trip, but come back frequently for fresh product”, said Vivek Sankaran, chief executive of the supermarket-chain operator, while speaking on a third-fiscal-quarter earnings call, according to a FactSet transcript.

US: UNFI to see growth with unique mix of brands, services, says CEO Steve Spinner
"This is a really exciting time to be at UNFI", CEO Steve Spinner told investors participating in the ICR Conference. "Our company has performed in an exemplary way through the worst of COVID and we continue to do so", he said. Even as he prepares for retirement in July, Spinner continues to be optimistic about the food wholesaler's future and proud of the company's progress since he took over in 2016. UNFI expects net sales to reach $27.4mln in fiscal 2021, with adjusted EBITDA climbing to $710mln or 2.59% of sales, Spinner said.

US: GrubMarket's streak of acquisitions continues with addition of Bengard Marketing
GrubMarket announced it has completed the acquisition of Bengard Marketing, Inc., a longstanding provider of high quality domestic and imported specialty fruits directly from sustainable growers in Chile, Argentina, Peru, New Zealand, and the United States. Bengard Marketing has always been one of the top 2 biggest providers of South American cherries and stone fruits on the West Coast.

South Africa: Pick n Pay CEO Brasher to retire in April
Richard Brasher, the chief executive of South Africa’s Pick n Pay Stores Ltd, will retire with effect from April 21 after eight years at the helm, the grocer said. Basher will be succeeded as CEO by Pieter Boone, former Chief Operating Officer of German retailer Metro AG.

Dada Group's JDDJ announces new partnerships with more than 20 leading regional supermarket chains in China
Dada Group ("Dada" or the "Company"), China's leading local on-demand delivery and retail platform, announced that Dada's local on-demand retail platform, JD Daojia ("JDDJ") has accelerated its geographic expansion into lower-tier markets and established new partnerships with more than 20 regional supermarket leaders including Ouya Supermarket, Zhenhua Supermarket, Sanhe Supermarket, Zhebei Supermarket, Guihe Supermarket and Sifang Street in late 2020.

Lidl GB to increase value of healthy start vouchers in a move backed by Marcus Rashford MBE
Lidl GB has announced a supermarket-first initiative to increase the value of Healthy Start Vouchers issued to parents in England and Wales from £3.10 to £4.25. Lidl’s investment is supported by the Child Poverty Task Force, formed and spearheaded by Marcus Rashford MBE, of which Lidl is a member.

UK: New research reveals family dinnertime is on the decline with only 28% of households sharing the same meal
Despite people spending more time at home than ever before, new research from Sainsbury’s reveals that just 28% of households are sharing the same meal in the evening, with an even lower 12% sharing breakfast. The poll of 2,000 UK respondents found that a busy schedule is the most common reason families don’t dine together, with 55% of the population admitting to struggling to find the time.

UK: Aldi stores to offer 75% price reductions before stores close
Shoppers hunting for the best deals already head to Aldi to pay as little as possible for their weekly shop, but the supermarket is now making groceries even more affordable. All of Aldi’s 912 UK stores will soon mark down perishable products such as bread, meat and fruit and vegetables by 75% before stores close on their last day of life.

IGD pinpoints 5 global retail trends to watch in 2021
Driving online profitability, creating safe shopping spaces, and bringing the out-of-home experience in-home are among the key trends expected to shape global retail in 2021, according to new predictions from IGD. Following a disruptive 2020, five trends stand out as areas for businesses to focus on this year: 1. System upgrade: digitally enhancing operations; 2. Escalating e-commerce: driving online and profitability; 3. Making a meal of it: creating inspiration and excitement; 4. Holistic health: supporting health and wellness; 5. Recuperative retail: focusing on sustainability.

France opposes foreign takeover offer for supermarket chain
France’s government says it opposes the proposed 16.2bln euro ($19.6bln) takeover of French supermarket chain Carrefour by Canadian convenience store group Couche-Tard. Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne said on radio Europe 1 that she is “opposed to a takeover”. That follows similar comments by Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire who explained that the country’s “food sovereignty” is at stake. “I’m not in favor of such a deal”, Le Maire said on television channel France 5.

Portugal: Jeronimo Martins posts solid FY2020 showing
Multi-market Portugal-based retail conglomerate Jeronimo Martins has reported full-year and Q4 2020 results for the period ended 12 January 2021. Net sales increased 3.5% to EUR19.3bln compared to EUR18.6bln in 2019. Biedronka sales in local currency increased by 10.4%. Like-for-like sales increased 7.1%. Pingo Doce sales decreased 1.9%. Like-for-likes excluding fuel sales decreased 2.2%. Recheio sales decreased 15.9% to EUR847mln. Hebe sales in local currency decreased 2.2% to EUR245mln. Ara sales in local currency increased 24.4% to EUR854mln. Like-for-like sales increased 10.2%.

Ireland: Aldi to recruit 1,050 additional employees this year
German supermarket chain Aldi is to recruit 1,050 additional employees in Ireland this year. It said 700 of the jobs will be permanent roles serving new stores the company is planning to open. The remainder will be temporary positions to provide additional support through the Covid-19 pandemic. They will join the 500 additional staff that Aldi has recruited since the coronavirus crisis began last year.

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