Supermarket group Shoprite Holdings reported a 10.4% rise in half-year earnings

Picnic has teamed up with Belgian hypermarket chain Cora to conquer France

Italy: SPAR expands its retail footprint in Sardinia
Fratelli Ibba Group, a well-established retail organisation, has joined SPAR in Italy, growing the brand’s presence in the Italian region of Sardinia. Fratelli Ibba has acquired all the shares of Supermercati Gieffe and thereby also a stake in SCS, which holds the license for the SPAR Brand in Sardinia. “We are delighted that the Fratelli Ibba group have joined SPAR. They are well-established retailers in Sardinia who have distinguished themselves thanks to their organisational abilities and business results,” said Paul Klotz, President of DESPAR Italia.

UK: Amazon Fresh store opens at Wembley Park
Amazon opened an Amazon Fresh store at Wembley Park, the second Amazon Fresh convenience store to offer Just Walk Out Shopping in the UK. This follows the 4 March launch of Amazon Fresh, Amazon’s first physical shop and first grocery store outside of the US, in Ealing, London. To shop the Amazon Fresh store, Amazon customers (no Prime membership required) simply use the Amazon app to enter and can put their phone away and shop for what they need like normal, bagging items as they go. At the end of their shopping trip, they can just walk out, no stopping to stand in a queue or check out.

Picnic teams up with Cora to conquer France
Dutch online supermarket Picnic aims to start its French activities in Valenciennes in a few weeks' time, and has teamed up with Belgian hypermarket chain Cora. While earlier reports spoke about the "region around Lille" in Northern France, Picnic has now specified it will make its French debut in Valenciennes. The construction of a distribution centre has already started in Lesquin, LSA reports. Cora has not yet confirmed the reports, but did say it had engaged in talks with the Dutch company.

Ghana: Delivery service Glovo launches operations
Spanish delivery startup Glovo has launched operations in Ghana. This is the business' second West African market in which it has a presence, after Côte d’Ivoire, as well as the fifth in Africa. Glovo is aiming to take advantage of the rapid increase in popularity of online food ordering and delivery services in the 2 main cities, Accra and Kumasi. Ghana already boasts a number of food delivery services, including Mr. Delivery, and Jumia Food.

Australia: Metcash grows into second half, bookmarks $375mln for network, online growth
Retail conglomerate Metcash has seen strong sales momentum across all of its pillars - food, hardware and liquor - during the first 4 months of its second financial half. According to a trading update, Metcash’s supermarket sales rose 14.4% compared to the prior corresponding period, while total food sales rose 4.1%.

Norway: Competition Authority revokes infringement fee on NorgesGruppen
The Norwegian Competition Authority has revoked its decision to impose an infringement fee of NOK20mln (€1.98mln) on NorgesGruppen, the company has announced. The fee was imposed for breach of duty to provide information related to the purchase of the real estate company Sædalssvingene 3 in Bergen in 2018.

South Africa: Shoprite posts profit jump on better Q2, declares dividend
South African supermarket group Shoprite Holdings reported a 10.4% rise in half-year earnings, helped by a much stronger second quarter as liquor sales resumed, and declared an interim dividend of 191 cents. The country’s biggest grocer also said it closed the last of its Kenyan stores in February and is awaiting regulators’ approval on the sale of its Nigeria supermarket operation, although no other details were disclosed about the deal. Shoprite, which operates more than 2,300 stores across Africa, reported a 4.7% rise in half-year sales to 83.4bln rand ($5.62bln).

Poland: Carrefour to sell imperfect produce to combat food waste
Carrefour Polska has announced that customers will be able to purchase imperfect carrots and apples at reduced prices at specially marked stands at all its hyper- and supermarkets in the country. The retailer aims to combat food waste through this initiative and is working with Polish suppliers affected by the pandemic and closure of the HoReCa sector.

Israel: (formerly Self Point) raises $21mln, signaling new era for online grocery shopping, (fka Self Point) the end-to-end digital commerce solution for grocers, announced that it has raised $21mln in an extended Series A round led by Meitav Dash and Mizrahi Tefahot, and supported by existing investor Kli Capital and individual investors including Mayer Gniwisch. will use the capital to integrate new, next generation features into its core offering, accelerate the company's growth in North America, and enter into new markets in Latin America and Europe, helping grocery stores thrive in an increasingly digitized market.

US: Fridge No More closes $15.4mln Series A
Fridge No More, an instant grocery delivery service in the U.S., announces the closing of a $15.4mln Series A funding round. This will both enable the "cloud grocer" to expand operations across New York City and the East Coast, and to establish its leadership position in the instant delivery market. Fridge No More plans to grow their engineering and operations teams while rapidly scaling their network of cloud stores.

US: GrubMarket acquires RJ Produce to further expand in Texas
GrubMarket announced it has completed the acquisition of RJ Produce, a highly reputable and well-established produce wholesaler in Texas. RJ Produce have established deep relationships with growers directly from Mexico and domestically, and is a key sourcing channel for premium fruits and vegetables nationwide. Its branded products are sold at nationwide retailers including many household names like Costco and Restaurant Depot.

Canada: Empire buys 51% stake in Longo’s for $357mln
Empire Company Ltd. has signed a deal to buy a majority stake in specialty grocery store chain Longo’s and its Grocery Gateway e-commerce business for $357mln in a bid to expand its reach in Ontario. The Sobeys parent company said the deal adds 2 high-quality banners to its business and builds on its acquisition of Farm Boy. Empire CEO Michael Medline called Longo’s “a crown jewel of grocery”.

US: Walmart disrupting grocery again
A radical transformation is underway in Bentonville, Ark. Walmart senior executives are pursuing a growth strategy that leverages the retailer’s unique collection of assets and brand equity with elements of Amazon’s approach, and a dash of Kroger and Albertsons. “Think about it as a flywheel that’s spinning, powered by a mutually reinforcing set of assets,” is how Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon describes the business model that he sees emerging in the years ahead.

US: Independent grocers demand Congress investigate big grocery
The National Grocers Association (NGA) blasted the business practices of the nation’s largest food retailers and called on Congress and federal regulators to begin investigations into what it views as illegal and anticompetitive business practices. NGA offered a stinging rebuke and numerous examples of what it maintains are major retailers’ abuses in a 24-page document, titled: “Buyer Power and Economic Discrimination in the Grocery Aisle: Kitchen Table Issues for American Consumers”.

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