Whole Foods Market turns spotlight on responsible sourcing
Whole Foods Market is making responsible sourcing stand out at the shelf. The Amazon-owned specialty grocer on Wednesday launched Sourced for Good, an exclusive third-party certification program through which customers can identify responsibly sourced products, which bear a special “Whole Foods Market - Sourced for Good” seal. So far, the Sourced for Good seal can be found on more than 100 products, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods said. The Sourced for Good program includes produce offerings ranging from asparagus to zucchini.
Southeastern Grocers Banners get Bitcoin-enabled kiosks
Coinme, the largest cryptocurrency cash exchange in the United States, has entered Florida with the launch of more than 300 bitcoin-enabled Coinstar kiosks at select Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más, Harveys, and other grocery stores across the state in such cities as Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa. According to a recent Coinstar-sponsored survey, 23% of people likely to purchase cryptocurrencies would do so from a bitcoin ATM or kiosk. Further, nearly one in five respondents said that they’d prefer to buy cryptocurrency with cash, and more than half said that they’d purchase it as an investment. Other Florida retailers to get the kiosks are Hitchcock's, K-Mart, Milams Market, National Supermarket, Price Choice, Super K and Top Value, a Coinme spokeswoman told Progressive Grocer.
Source: Progressive Grocer
Grocery shoppers fix on value despite waning COVID-19 concerns
U.S. consumers are feeling more confident as the nation starts to climb out of the COVID-19 pandemic, but elevated food pricing has grocery shoppers opting for value, the latest dunnhumby Consumer Pulse Survey finds. Worry about coronavirus has sunk to its lowest level since the crisis began, according to the dunnhumby Worry Index. Through February, 23% of Americans said they were worried about the pandemic, down from a peak of 32% last November and 31% in March 2020, when the COVID-19 was declared a national emergency. The index measures “worry” as extreme concern about the virus and not feeling safe when shopping.
Target, Instacart and Amazon rank high for online shopping
According to data from Kantar’s "Commerce Snapshot" report, Target ranked highest in online fulfillment, while Amazon and Instacart tied for second. With an increased amount of consumers shopping online due to the pandemic's disruption of in-store shopping, it’s proving critical for retailers to provide the best online shopping experience. New York-based global consumer research firm Kantar has revealed the top retailers that are meeting shoppers’ online fulfillment needs thus far. According to the report, Target.com ranked highest in overall online performance among consumers, with 78% having a positive experience on the website. Target’s top ranking was due to its strong performance in quality (82%), delivery speed (79%) and low friction (77%).
Source: Progressive Grocer
Israel: Retail data startup Trax raises $640 million in funding round
Trax, a startup that develops computer vision technology for retailers, said Wednesday it has secured $640 million in funding from investors including SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and technology-focused funds managed by existing investor BlackRock, Inc. Trax has developed robots that use advanced hardware, computer vision and artificial intelligence to scan what is on the shelves and identify out of stock products for faster replenishment. The tech also allows users to find products in the store using their phone apps or special purpose machines on site.
UK: Supermarket loyalty tested by lockdown as shoppers switch between retailers both online and in-store
The ongoing battle for available online shopping slots during successive lockdowns has seen shoppers being unable to remain loyal to their supermarket of choice, new research from shopper insights agency, Shoppercentric has shown. During the most recent lockdown Aldi and ASDA have led the way in attracting more new grocery shoppers in-store and online than other leading supermarkets, according to new research from shopper insights specialist Shoppercentric. When asked which grocery retailer they had used for the first time ever during the latest lockdown, 7% said Aldi, 6% said ASDA and 5% said Tesco, in its main supermarket, Tesco Metro and Tesco Express formats. Only 4% of those surveyed said Lidl or Sainsbury’s/Sainsbury’s Local whilst only 2% said Morrison’s. Whilst the figures for Tesco and Sainsbury’s may be understandably lower due to the sheer number of people who had previously visited one of their stores, the data shows Aldi being the most successful of the others in attracting shoppers looking for money saving deals.
Source: International Supermarket News
Brazil: Carrefour opens its first autonomous convenience stores in Brazil
At the end of March 2021, Carrefour Brazil opened its first two fully autonomous stores. The stores use scan & go technology, which Carrefour is using in 40 Express stores, however these are its first unstaffed stores. "We already have 40 stores with the scan & go system. Our innovation area is conducting robust work to create an ecosystem that connects all of our businesses in one application. The opening of autonomous stores is part of this journey". Luiz Rufino, Senior Director of Omnichannel, Digital and Innovation, Carrefour Brazil. Customers are required to download and create an account in the Meu Carrefour application. Within the app they select the Scan & Go icon, which provides them with a QR code which they scan on the turnstile or door to gain entry.
UK: Britain's Co-op to repay furlough money, keep business rates relief
Britain's Co-op said it would return to government £15.5 million ($21.3 million) of furlough payments it claimed in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic but would retain its business rates relief. The Co-op said in a press release that it took the government support in good faith, not expecting to have to pay the money back and made forward-looking business decisions on that basis. The amount enabled the business to fully support its workforce and keep 3,400 community-based food stores and funeral homes open. Commenting on this decision, Allan Leighton, Co-op Group Chair, said, "The Co-op has played a vital and unique role in feeding and caring for the nation through the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to do so as the vaccine programme is further rolled out.”
Source: ESM Magazine