Grofers is in talks for an indirect listing in US via SPAC route

Edeka is to complete the takeover of 44 Real stores

Germany: Wholesaler Metro optimistic despite first-quarter sales slump
Wholesale group Metro said that its performance in key markets such as Germany, France and Italy was better than expected in the first quarter of its financial year, despite the group posting a 11.2% sales decline in the period. Group sales came in at €6.3bln for the quarter, which was down from the €7.5bln Metro reported in the first quarter of last year, while adjusted EBITDA was down 23%.

Low-cost Russian supermarket chain coming to Spain
Savvy shoppers will be spoiled for choice as yet another budget supermarket has set its sights on Spain. Russian budget retailer Mere is owned by the Svetofor Group and retail bosses say the stores will be up to 20% cheaper than the alternative supermarkets, offering everything from food and household goods to clothes and the latest gadgets. Managing director of Mere in Spain, Andrey Murzov has said that the stores will be “spartan” and “no frills”, describing what sounds more like a warehouse than the traditional supermarkets. But the bosses insist that saving on the decor allows them to bring really low prices instead.

Amazon takes battle with Future Group to India's top court, fearing "irreparable harm" Inc took its legal challenge against partner Future Group’s $3.4bln retail assets sale to India’s Supreme Court, as the U.S. firm tries to stop a major rival buying the assets. Amazon alleges that Future Group violated contracts by agreeing to sell the retail assets to market leader Reliance Industries last year. Future denies any wrongdoing.

Germany: Edeka to acquire 44 Real stores, initially
Edeka, according to reports from local trade press publication Lebensmittel Zeitung, is to complete the takeover of 44 Real stores. Edeka will be able to take over the 44 stores immediately but is negotiating about the potential acquisition of a further 28. However, in the interim period, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the Bundeskartellamt, has ruled that allowing Edeka to acquire the 28 stores would create significant competition concerns.

Ireland: Tiger Global Management invests €40mln in Flipdish
Investment firm Tiger Global Management has invested €40mln in Flipdish, an Irish food ordering software developer. Founded by brothers Conor and James McCarthy in 2015, the company's revenue has increased ten fold since its funding round in 2018. It said the increased number of restaurant owners bringing their online orders in-house during the pandemic, has been a major driver behind its recent growth. Conor McCarthy, Co-Founder and CEO of Flipdish, said this €40mln investment will enable Flipdish to grow internationally and attract new customers from independents to large food chains.

Grocery technology will become a driving force in customer loyalty says Ocado CEO
The rapid adoption of technology will allow supermarkets to reduce food waste and drive ever greater customer loyalty, according to Mel Smith CBE the CEO of Ocado. Speaking at City Food Lecture, the boss of the world’s largest dedicated online supermarket expanded on her view that the rapid expansion of online grocery shopping is set to continue post pandemic. Addressing an international online audience of over 1,400 food and drink industry leaders, the largest to ever attend the event, she said that technology has been the driving force behind Ocado’s success and has enabled the company to service the rapid rise in online shopping in the last 12 months.

India: Grofers mulls indirect listing in US via SPAC route
E-grocer Grofers is in talks for an indirect listing in US by merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), said 3 people familiar with the development. SPACs are blank check companies listed on a US stock exchange which either acquire or merge with companies.

Ahold Delhaize USA reveals latest sustainability goals
Ahold Delhaize USA has revealed new health and sustainability goals as part of the retailer’s strategy to develop a more sustainable food supply chain. The new goals arrive as the company’s proprietary research shows that 43% of consumers feel sustainability is “extremely important”, up from 28% of consumers before the pandemic. The company is joining forces with Brooklyn, New York-based HowGood on an easy-to-use environmental and social-impact rating system for consumers.

Canada: Grocery and Specialty Food West 2021 goes virtual
It’s a new look and a new name for this year’s Grocery and Specialty Food West. The annual trade show and conference, organized by the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, will take place virtually on May 11 and 12 as GSF Live Retailer Connect.

US: NGA pushes back against $15 federal minimum wage
The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent community supermarket industry, wrote a letter to the House Education and Labor Committee opposing including the $15 minimum wage proposal included in its budget reconciliation package. “NGA strongly opposes increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour because it would harm small businesses and reduce food access in disadvantaged communities”, the association wrote in a letter to committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott and Ranking Member Virginia A. Foxx.

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