Bashas’ has teamed with Forager

First Fresh grocery store in New York to be opened by Amazon

US: Albertsons CEO Vivek Sankaran: Digital could become 20% of business
Albertsons Cos. could see online grocery potentially reach 20% of sales, driven by stepped-up e-commerce investment and greater consumer affinities for digital shopping and eating at home following the COVID-19 pandemic, according to President and CEO Vivek Sankaran. Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons stands as a “stronger company today than before we went into the pandemic early last year”, adding new customers and boosting shopper frequency and retention, Sankaran told Citigroup Global Markets analyst Paul Lejuez in Citi’s Retail Madness Virtual Conference.

Amazon to open 1st Fresh grocery store in New York
Amazon is working on its second proposed location in the Northeast, this time in Plainview, New York. According to Newsday and building permit documents, the Amazon Fresh slated for Plainview, a town on Long Island that is about 33 miles from Manhattan, would occupy 33,342 square feet, or 60%, of the 55,162-square-foot space in Manetto Hill Plaza that a Fairway Market vacated in July.

US: C&S Workers in Stockton ratify seven-year contract
Warehouse workers at C&S Wholesale Grocers voted overwhelmingly, by a more than 3-1 margin, to ratify an excellent seven-year contract. The new agreement will cover more than 600 workers represented by Local 439.

US: Bashas’ chooses Forager to meet demand for local food
Bashas’ has teamed with Forager, a company that connects local farmers with grocers, on a new pilot partnership at the retailer’s stores across Arizona to significantly increase its number of suppliers and product offerings of locally sourced food.

Canada: Loblaw president Sarah Davis retiring May 6
Loblaw president Sarah Davis is retiring May 6, the company announced. Davis will be succeeded by executive chairman, Galen G. Weston, who will become chairman and president in addition to his current role as Chairman and CEO at George Weston Limited.

French supermarket group Carrefour to buy Brazil's Grupo Big in $1.3 bln deal
French supermarket retailer Carrefour has agreed to buy Grupo Big, Brazil’s third-biggest food retailer, in a deal valuing the Brazilian firm at around $1.3bln, which Carrefour said would boost its earnings. Carrefour said that it would buy the company from Walmart and investment firm Advent International. It added that the transaction values Grupo BIG at an enterprise value of 7bln Brazilian reals ($1.3bln).

Japan: Walmart investment to accelerate growth of Rakuten’s global ecosystem
Rakuten announced that Walmart Inc. will invest 16.6bln yen ($153mln) to accelerate the growth of Rakuten’s ecosystem in Japan and globally. The investment will see Walmart take a 0.9% stake in Rakuten and is in line with other recent strategic equity investments the company has made that enable Walmart to benefit from future growth in a rapidly changing global retail environment.

Costco enters Sweden: what can we expect?
Following much speculation, Costco is reported to be entering Sweden in autumn 2022. The leading retailer, which reported revenue growth of 9.1% to $166.2bln in 2020, is due to open its first store north of Stockholm in Täby.

French Union calls for strike action at Carrefour over Easter
French union CFDT has called for Carrefour workers to down tools over Easter weekend, over what it said was a worsening of the working conditions of the retailer's employees, despite the group's 'exceptional' 2020 results. In a statement, CFDT, which represents around 25% of Carrefour workers said: 'Despite the announcement of exceptional 2020 results, the continuation of its investments abroad and the revaluation of its shareholder policy, Carrefour management continues to question the social status and working conditions of its employees'.

Holland: Jumbo cuts down on plastic waste with new packaging
Dutch retailer Jumbo is set to introduce new packaging for minced meat and mushrooms, and a variety of other products from 1 April. The white mushrooms of the Jumbo private label line will also receive a more sustainable packaging this spring, with a 'top seal' replacing the plastic lid. Jumbo is also making a number of adjustments in its vegetables, fruit, and potatoes, including the introduction of a paper banderole around the bananas that ensures 78% less plastic per product and a saving of 19,000 kilograms of plastic on an annual basis. The plastic packaging for the retailer's own-brand potatoes has been reduced by 11%, which is expected to result in annual savings of approximately 12,000 kilograms. This spring, Jumbo is switching completely to paper packaging for its organic potatoes.

Carrefour speeds up roll-out of its e-commerce services in France: 2000 e-commerce sales outlets to open before the end of 2021
As part of its transformation plan, Carrefour is picking up the pace regarding food e-commerce in France. Its customers' consumption patterns are fast changing, so Carrefour is set to increase the number of its stores and outlets providing e-commerce services to 2000 before the end of 2021. These stores will have drive pick-up points that can be accessed by car or pedestrian drives, or they will offer services such as next-day home delivery or one-hour express delivery.

Kiwi startup Imagr lands in Amsterdam and eyes European opportunities
Autonomous checkout venture Imagr has announced its expansion into the European retail market with a new office in Amsterdam set to open in April. The New Zealand-based and headquartered company has another office in Osaka, Japan, where it went live with what is pitched as the largest AI checkout deployment of its kind in the world, covering 9,000 square feet and including more than 8,000 SKUs.

Amazon in Europe welcomes 1,461 new sellers per day
Amazon in Europe has welcomed 115,453 new sellers this year. This equates to 1,461 per day. Most new sellers have joined the Amazon marketplaces in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany. Data analyzed by Finbold shows that Amazon welcomed 295,000 new sellers worldwide this year.

New MD for Woolworths NZ announced
Woolworths New Zealand’s new Managing Director, Spencer Sonn, has officially started in the role after spending time in stores throughout Aotearoa getting to know the team and the wider business. Sonn joins the business from Woolworths Holdings South Africa where he spent the last 5 years as the Managing Director Food, responsible for the food and innovation portfolios across more than 400 supermarkets and 33,000 team members.

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