Walmart is opening 60 Saladworks kitchens and eateries

A new format for Natural Grocers

US: Farmstead starts delivering in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
Pioneering e-grocer Farmstead has now begun delivering groceries in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. The company opened its 1,000-person waitlist for the area last November, and the list reached capacity in less than a week, indicating high interest in the new grocery option. “There’s nothing like Farmstead currently in Raleigh-Durham”, said Pradeep Elankumaran, co-founder and CEO of Burlingame, California-based Farmstead. “This area is the perfect profile for us: fast-growing; lots of young, busy families; and a population that prioritizes fresh food. We’re excited to bring them this new grocery option”.

US: Natural Grocers debuting a new format
Natural Grocers is re-opening a store in the Dallas area that is a new format for the company. Located at 11661 Preston Rd., the remodeled store re-opening on March 31 offers what the company calls a new, modernized shopping experience that embraces the strict quality standards that differentiate the company from other grocery retailers. Core departments such as 100% organic produce, body care and beauty, dietary supplements, frozen meats and grab-and-go have also been expanded.

US: Walmart teams up with Saladworks on foodservice
Walmart is opening as many as 60 Saladworks kitchens and eateries in its U.S. stores. Saladworks teamed up with Ghost Kitchen Brands to double the Saladworks footprint across the United States and Canada. The signed agreement will bring 60 non-traditional locations to the U.S. and 30 to Canada by the end of 2021. Many of these new kitchens will live inside Walmart stores offering some seating, and all locations included in the deal will offer carry-out and third-party delivery.

Saudi retail major BinDawood reports bumper sales as Danube outperforms
A sharp rise in sales at the Danube supermarket chain helped to lift profits at Saudi retail group BinDawood. Net profit rose 6.8% to SR447.7mln ($119.2mln) last year as overall sales rose by about 6.5% to SR5.2bln, the company said in a stock exchange filing. BinDawood Holding operates 2 retail chains, BinDawood and Danube, together accounting for 74 stores in 15 cities across the Kingdom.

New Zealand: Countdown delivers the latest online shopping tech to Christchurch shoppers
Countdown reported: "As demand for online shopping continues to grow in Christchurch, Countdown is introducing brand new technology to its Moorhouse store which will increase the availability of online shopping in the city by an additional 4,000 orders per week. Known as Order Storage Retrieval (OSR) units, these state-of-the-art semi-automated micro-fulfilment centres can hold up to 10,000 of the most in-demand grocery products for orders, freeing up Countdown’s team of personal shoppers to focus on selecting quality fresh food and perishable products for customers. The new OSR unit at Countdown Moorhouse can operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at full capacity, along with a dedicated team".

Dagrofa opens 400th store in Denmark
Danish retailer Dagrofa, which operates the SPAR, Min Købmand, and Let-Køb banners, reached a milestone with the opening of its 400th grocery store in the country. Located in the village of Øster Bjerregrav in East Jutland, shop number 400 is a Min Købmand outlet and the retailer described it as an example of a successful collaboration with the residents of the area.

UK: Asda appoints new Chief Information Officer
Asda has confirmed the appointment of Carl Dawson as Chief Information Officer (CIO). Carl joins Asda next month from Marks and Spencer, where he has spent the last 6 years as CIO delivering technology modernisation and digital transformation programmes.

Research shows that UK grocery shopping habits have changed to combat food waste
New research has shown the lifestyle changes UK consumers are making to reduce food waste since the start of the pandemic: almost two-thirds (63%) say they are more likely to shop often and in smaller quantities, to avoid having to throw away unwanted or spoiled food. A similar number (67%) are now likely to buy more frozen food for the same reason, and three-quarters (76%) suggest they are prepared to buy the ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables that so often sit unwanted on the supermarket shelf. The survey of more than 1,000 UK adults was commissioned by Proagrica, a global provider of technology solutions for the agriculture and animal health industries.

Daniel Kretinsky is also entering Spanish supermarket chain Eroski
Through EP Corporate Group, Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky acquires a 50% stake in Supratuc 2020, which includes Eroski operations in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. The Spanish retailer had been looking for a partner to strengthen its financial foundations since late 2019. The deal with Kretinksy should enable the company to accelerate debt reduction and facilitate new investments at the Caprabo chain in Catalonia and Eroski in the Balearic Islands.

UK: Grocemania raises over £170,000 in crowdfunding
London based same-day delivery platform Grocemania has raised over £170,000 from the crowdfunding platform Seedrs, outstripping its target by 73%. Valuing itself at £2.4mln, it attracted more than 340 small scale investors who offered a combined £173,000. The company was launched in 2019 and connects online customers with local grocery stores and charges £2.50 per within-the-hour delivery. Investment from the crowdfunding is to help Grocemania expand outside of London with an eventual aim of going nationwide.

Alibaba accelerates consumption upgrades in China’s lower-tier cities with Taobao deals
As it celebrates a successful first year, Alibaba’s Taobao Deals app unveiled plans last week to rev up the bargains it offers to price- and quality-conscious Chinese consumers in less-developed parts of the country. With an eye toward ensuring even more affordable consumption upgrades to online shoppers outside major metropolitan areas, the Taobao Deals platform will expand its product offerings, supply chain and logistics over the next year. The goal is to meet 3 direct-to-consumers expectations: fresh produce direct from farms, daily essentials and household items direct from factories as well as trendy apparel direct from brands.

UK: Big 4 grocers except Sainsbury’s witness growth slowdown
New research has found that the growth of grocery sales has slowed to 7.4% for the period ending March 21. Sales were down 3% year on year in the most recent 4 weeks, though grocery spending remains 15.6% higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Online grocery shopping levels dropped back as more people returned to stores, visiting 13mln more times than in February, according to new figures by Kantar.

Aldi Belgium to ensure efficient water use in fruit and vegetables production
Aldi Belgium is introducing stricter rules for suppliers on the use of water when growing fruit and vegetables. The discounter wants to use water more efficiently around the world, and the move makes the group the first discounter to introduce these requirements on growers. Aldi Belgium relies on local fruit and vegetables, and sourced around 80% of the vegetables in the 2020 Belgian fruit and vegetable season from local suppliers. However, not all fruit and vegetables are always available in Belgium, forcing the discounter to obtain certain products from other countries.

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