Albertsons joined the Beyond the Bag Initiative

Metro: 2021 first quarter results

US: Tops 'ties' in produce department sustainability efforts
In its quest to ensure that even the tiniest detail of its operation is reducing environmental waste, Tops Markets LLC has partnered with TagBack by Bedford Industries to reuse and recycle small but essential produce tags and twist ties. The program enables customers to collect their produce twist ties, tags and labels and deposit them in the designated TagBack box on their next shopping trip. Bedford then sorts and recycles them in-house using its own equipment. The tags are upcycled into other useable products rather than accumulating in landfills.

US: Target to pay out $200mln in employee bonuses
Following a strong holiday season - and a difficult year working under a national pandemic - Target Corp. is investing $200mln in employee recognition bonuses across its operations. Target said that it plans to pay $500 bonuses to all hourly workers in stores, distribution centers, and corporate and field-based offices. Also, all store directors, executive team leaders and salaried distribution center leaders - about 12,000 people in total - will receive bonuses of $1,000 to $2,000.

Canada: Metro reports 2021 first quarter results
Metro Inc. announced its results for the first quarter of fiscal 2021 ended December 19, 2020. 2021 First quarter highlights: Sales of $4,278.2mln, up 6.2%. Food same-store sales up 10.0%. Pharmacy same-store sales up 1.3%. Net earnings of $191.2mln, up 12.3% and adjusted net earnings of $197.7mln, up 9.3%. Fully diluted net earnings per share of $0.76, up 13.4%, and adjusted fully diluted net earnings per share of $0.79, up 11.3%. Negative impact of about $0.05 per share due to the labour conflict at our Jean Coutu distribution center. Expenses related to COVID-19 totalling $28mln. Declared dividend of $0.25 per share, up 11.1%.

US: Aldi takes another big green step
Aldi has notched another big environmental milestone in its efforts toward becoming a more sustainable retailer. The grocer has completed installation of its first company wind turbine at its warehouse in Dwight, Illinois. After breaking ground last summer, the wind turbine was recently activated and will power up to 40% of the warehouse’s total energy needs, reducing the amount of grey electricity consumed from the grid and replacing it with green electricity.

US: Zero, a plastic-free grocery-delivery startup, to launch in LA
Plastic-free grocery-delivery startup Zero is gearing up to launch in Los Angeles on February 10, after solely operating in the San Francisco Bay Area. Zero works directly with suppliers to sell food and other household items in jars, boxes and other types of sustainable packaging, and offers next-day delivery.

US: Albertsons takes steps to reinvent single-use plastic bags
Adding to its current efforts to reduce waste, Albertsons Cos. has now also joined the Beyond the Bag Initiative to replace single-use retail plastic bags. Beyond the Bag, launched by the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag, is a multiyear collaboration across retail sectors that aims to identify, test and implement innovative design solutions that serve the function of today’s single-use plastic retail bag, delivering ease and convenience for consumers while striving to lessen the impact on the environment.

Singapore: Sheng Siong to reward staff with up to 16 months’ bonus after ‘tremendous’ performance in 2020
After a bumper year, Sheng Siong's employees will receive bonuses of up to 16 months, inclusive of the annual wage supplement (AWS), an internal memo shows. In a copy of the memo seen by TODAY, eligible staff members are entitled to 20% of the company’s profits before tax as variable bonus. Some of the amount, as well as the monthly bonus, has already been distributed from September to December last year. The remaining payout will be reflected in employees’ payslips next month and distributed in early March this year. TODAY has verified the authenticity of the memo, which was dated Jan 21, 2021. When approached, Sheng Siong declined to comment.

UK: Whisk adds Sainsbury’s to its recipe-to-shopping list platform
Whisk has now added Sainsbury’s to its platform - making a total of 5 UK grocers that can deliver the ingredients for its recipes via the smart online shopping lists that its technology creates. Users of Whisk’s recipe app can save a recipe from anywhere into a personal recipe box and export the ingredients to an interactive shopping list that can then be sent to grocery partners. Whisk uses machine learning to ensure that when shoppers turn a recipe from one of its publishing partners into a shopping list, the ingredients are all currently in stock and available for local home delivery or click and collect. Its AI Food Genome matches ingredients listed in recipes from any platform to find where they are available and still fresh locally.

Carrefour Pakistan promotes local produce with Citrus Festival
Carrefour, owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim in Pakistan, is celebrating its 2021 ‘Citrus Festival’. Carrefour stores across the country are offering unbeatable value for citrus lovers who can now get their hands on the best locally produced citrus until February 07, 2021. Encouraging customers to buy local, the Citrus Festival provides a wide variety of superior quality oranges, grapefruits and lemons, sourced directly from reliable, food safety-compliant farms in Sargodha, Punjab.

Ireland: Lidl to create 1,200 jobs over the next year
German supermarket chain Lidl is to create 1,200 jobs in Ireland over the next year. The positions will be in a range of operational and office-based roles in stores, regional distribution centres and its head office in the capital. The company intends to open six new outlets on the island of Ireland this year and rebuild seven of its existing stores.

Ukraine: Produce department audits enough to determine overall state of business for supermarket chains
EastFruit reported: "EastFruit audits of produce departments at supermarket chains have predicted the fate of the entire retail business of a company many times. A recent announcement that the Furshet supermarket chain is closing a significant part of its stores is yet another confirmation that the produce department is key for the supermarket chain regardless of format. The fact is that Furshet has been an enviable outsider in the ratings of supermarkets in Kyiv for several years in a row according to results from our comprehensive assessment of the assortment, product quality, quality of the department and services, and the price level of the fruit and vegetable departments".

Holland: Saskia Egas Reparaz to become Hema's new CEO
The takeover of Hema by the Jumbo family Van Eerd and Parcom also has direct consequences for the chain's management: there will be a new CEO, and 3 of 5 directors will be replaced. Current CEO Tjeerd Jegen, who led Hema for 6 years, will hand on the torch to Saskia Egas Reparaz, who is currently CEO of drugstore chain Etos. The new CEO has more than 20 years of experience at Ahold Delhaize, of which 3 years as marketing director, writes Business Insider.

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