Mercatus: Launch of SNAP EBT Online

C&K Market completed a transaction to become a 100% employee-owned company

US: Kroger announces Kevin Brown and Amanda Sourry elected to Kroger Board of Directors
The Kroger Co. announced that Kevin Brown and Amanda Sourry have been elected to the company's board of directors. The company also announced that Bobby Shackouls is retiring from Kroger's board after more than 21 years of service.

Canada: Mercatus introduces SNAP EBT online ordering capability for grocery retailers
Mercatus, the leading trusted provider of digital commerce solutions for grocery retail, announced the launch of SNAP EBT Online. The new, integration-ready ordering and checkout capability allows U.S. grocers in eligible states to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) and EBT Cash payments as part of the Mercatus Integrated Commerce® Platform’s end-to-end shopping experience.

US: C&K Market shifts to employee ownership
Independent grocer C&K Market Inc. completed a transaction to become a 100% employee-owned company. Medford, Oregon-based C&K said it made the transition by creating an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) trust, which enables its workforce to receive retirement benefits linked to the company’s future equity value. The plan was established on December 29.

Denmark: Coop 365 appoints store managers as partners
Managers and deputy managers of Coop 365 chain in Denmark have become partners of the company as part of a new agreement, Coop Denmark said in a press release. The retailer hopes the agreement will give managers more earning opportunities, increased freedom, and a greater sense of ownership, as they will share in the profits of their stores' success.

France: Carrefour reasserts its commitment to SMEs by signing contracts with more than 3400 local and regional SMEs
Carrefour has just announced that more than 95% of its contracts with local and regional suppliers have been signed thus far - one month before the deadline for the end of commercial negotiations. Altogether, Carrefour has signed contracts with 3400 small, very small and medium-sized food companies. Carrefour has also entered into longer multi-year contract (lasting 3 years) with 1935 of them. This guarantee in relation to the term of the contract provides these local companies with much prized security. Finally, Carrefour has provided these SMEs with the opportunity to sign using a simplified electronic system, designed to make going through the various administrative procedures remotely, easier.

Discount supermarket Lidl GB made 13.6mln stg loss in 2019-20
The British arm of German discount supermarket Lidl reported an after tax loss of 13.6mln pounds ($18.6mln) for its 2019-20 year, which it said reflected investment in the business. Lidl GB said revenue totalled 6.9bln pounds and it invested 654mln pounds, including in 51 new stores and a new distribution centre in Scotland.

UK: Heart of England racks up new Christmas sales record
Heart of England Co-op has smashed its own festive food sales record, celebrating its strongest performance to date. The society recorded a 13.34% increase in like-for-like sales in the two weeks to 4 January, with an overall increase of 19.54%. The increase comes against the backdrop of an increasingly competitive market which is seeing a sharp decrease in footfall amid fears of the spread of coronavirus, and a change in consumer shopping habits in which people are switching to larger, less frequent shopping trips and more demand for home delivery.

India: Amazon and Samara Capital infuse Rs275crore in supermarket chain More
Witzig Advisory Services, which owns and operates the food and grocery retail chain More, has received an investment of Rs275crore (USD37.6mln) from Amazon and Samara Capital, a private equity firm. According to the latest regulatory filings made by both the companies, Witzig, in turn, has invested the amount into More Retail with both the transactions undertaken through a rights issue. Samara holds a 51% stake in Witzig, while the remaining 49% is held by two Amazon entities, including Coda Holdings Singapore and Coda Holdings 3 LLC.

Amazon launches Prime in Saudi Arabia
Amazon has rolled out its Prime membership service in Saudi Arabia, as it looks to further develop its offer in the market. Amazon launched in Saudi Arabia in June 2020 as a rebranding of, an ecommerce platform which Amazon acquired in 2017 in the Middle East. Amazon announced that it would build an operations network across the country, further to the 14 warehouses and 1,400 staff in already had. The retailer is now launching its Prime service in Saudi Arabia at a cost of SAR16 (US$4) per month.

German government supports Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof
Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof is receiving hundreds of millions of euros in state aid. With the importance of the department store group for town centres as the main argument, although not everyone is convinced. The German government wants to support Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, which made a fresh start in October last year, in the Covid-19 crisis. It is a bridging measure in the form of a subordinated loan of up to 460mln euros. The support is subject to strict terms and conditions. The department store group still has to decide on the proposal, writes Germany's public broadcaster WDR.

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