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Aldi Nord is testing a delivery service in Spain and Portugal

Fresh produce retailer Banco Fresco plans to open 16 stores in Italy by 2022

Chinese grocery start-up MissFresh privately submitted prospectus to SEC
MissFresh, a Chinese e-commerce grocery platform, privately submitted its prospectus to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) a few days ago. The company is expected to go public in mid-June this year, for which it aims to raise more than $500mln. As one of the earliest fresh e-commerce companies in China to feature front-end warehouses, MissFresh currently provides one-hour deliveries of fresh produce ranging from fruits and vegetables to instant and aquatic products, operating through a network of sorting centers and warehouses established in 16 major cities.

Hungary: SPAR invests €3.9mln in expansion programme
SPAR Hungary has opened a new SPAR City store in Budapest and modernised supermarkets in East-Budapest and Eger as part of its ongoing expansion programme. Investing a total of €3.9mln in these three stores, SPAR Hungary is ensuring customers have easy access to a vast range of products to meet their varying needs.

Aldi Nord tests delivery service in Spain and Portugal
Aldi Nord is expanding its ecommerce division. The German discounter is currently testing a delivery service in Spain and Portugal. Aldi is still not fully present in the ecommerce division, as neither Aldi Nord nor Aldi Süd deliver groceries. But that’s about to change. The northern partner of the German discounter group is testing an online offer in Spain and PortugalLebensmittelzeitung writes. For the delivery service, Aldi Nord has teamed up with Glovo, an on-demand delivery startup from Barcelona.

Spain: Russian discount supermarket chain to open one of 40 giant stores in Alicante
Dubbed the ‘Russian Lidl’, Mere is set to open a new store in Dynamia Commercial Centre in Petrer in June, creating 60 direct and 150 indirect jobs. The move is part of the company’s strategy to open dozens of large stores across Spain. The Alicante supermarket will occupy an area of 1,400 square metres on the ground floor, one of the largest in the country.

Banco Fresco to open 16 stores in Italy by 2022
Italian fresh produce retailer Banco Fresco plans to open 6 new stores during 2021, 10 more in 2022, and double its network by 2023, according to a report in the Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore. The ambitious plans follow a successful test in the Piedmont region, with the opening of 2 stores in Turin and Beinasco. Established in 2017, Banco Fresco offers around 3,250 fresh produce SKUs, mainly comprising fruit and vegetables.

Japanese supermarket chain Daiei will launch an unmanned store in Tokyo, in collaboration with Chinese startup Cloudpick
Daiei, an affiliate of AEON, will open this unmanned supermarket in Tokyo’s Koto area before it considers rolling it out to other districts in Japan. The shelves inside the store will still be stocked by staff, but there are no cashiers. The structure will be equipped with cameras and sensors that will identify what the shopper takes, so that he can be charged the correct amount. The cost of opening Daiei’s unmanned store is estimated to be JPY 30mln (US$274,000) per 100 sq m. This is 50% cheaper than similarly sized unmanned stores, as it plans to equip the store with fewer sensors. Cloudpick has provided a similar technology to about 130 unmanned stores in 11 countries.

Woolworths to make paper bags in Australia instead of China after customer fury
Supermarket chain Woolworths has begun making its paper shopping bags in Australia, a plan it had in place before customers voiced outrage about the company sourcing bags in China. The company said in a statement it had entered into a multi-million-dollar deal with the company Detpak to make bags domestically.

Sweden: ICA reports sales growth of 2.6% in Q1
Swedish retailer ICA Gruppen has posted a 2.6% year-on-year growth in store sales, to SEK31.3bln (€3.07bln) excluding VAT, in the 3 months ended March 2021. Maxi ICA Stormarknad emerged as the strongest performer within the group in this period, with sales amounting to SEK10.1bln, up 4.9% on a like-for-like basis. ICA Kvantum posted a 2.1% growth in like-for-like sales to SEK7.7bln, while ICA Supermarket saw a marginal increase of 0.1% to SEK8.9bln.

New Zealand: Start-up Supie wants to change the way we buy groceries
A new Kiwi start-up wants to revolutionise the way we buy groceries. The start-up, Supie, cuts out the middle man when it comes to grocery shopping so that there isn't the waste that supermarkets experience. Users would buy directly from the supplier - meaning vegetables will still be in the ground and bread would still be in the oven when you order, meaning no waste and less strict criteria for food to be acceptable for sale. Supie founder Sarah Balle told Mike Hosking there is growing awareness of food waste, and consumers want to play their part. "We know that about 45% of fruit and vegetables grown in New Zealand don't make it to the supermarkets, and that's because of the way they look. 50% of the food we waste in our homes is fruit and vegetables".

Aldi, Costco among world's most reputable companies
Aldi, Costco and Amazon are among the top 100 most reputable companies in the world, according to RepTrak. The company announced its annual ranking after surveying more than 68,000 respondents across the world’s 15 largest economies to gauge perception regarding a brand’s product and services, innovation, citizenship, performance, governance, leadership and workplace.

US: Food City to open 1st Alabama store
Continuing in its quest to expand into new market areas, Food City will make its Alabama debut on April 14 with its newest store location. “For the past 5 years, we’ve proudly served the greater Chattanooga market area, which includes several stores in north Georgia”, said Steven C. Smith, president and CEO of the Southeastern grocer. “We’re very excited to be opening our first supermarket in Alabama and hope to have additional locations forthcoming in the future”.

US: URB-E looks to electric bicycles to make grocery delivery more efficient
Rolling along the busy streets of New York City, an electrically driven fleet of foldable cargo carts is quietly laying the groundwork for a California startup's vision of the future of grocery delivery. Propelled by battery-powered bicycles expressly designed to tow heavy loads, the compact containers designed and owned by Los Angeles-based URB-E can each haul 800 pounds of goods for a fraction of the cost of using a conventional van, said Charles Jolley, an investor in the firm who became its CEO in March. 20 of the blue carts, which are designed to be maneuvered through a typical grocery store, can fit into a single parking space when not in use, according to the company.

US: HelloFresh provides free meal kits to culinary students
HelloFresh is bringing the classroom to culinary students' doorsteps with the launch of @TheTable, a joint partnership with the Food Education Fund and the Fund for Public Schools. The partnership provides free meal kits to 1,000 students enrolled in culinary education programs at New York City public high schools with Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.

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