The Save Mart Companies and Simbe: Robot Tally pilot

ShopRite: Fresh to Table store-within-a-store concept debut

US: Imperfect Foods delivery workers unionize
Food delivery workers at San Francisco-based Imperfect Foods have voted to unionize, according to United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 5, which represents 30,000 California food and retail workers across the Bay Area. Reasons that the union cited for the vote were to strengthen pay, increase access to health care, and improve health and safety protections for the front-line workers amid the pandemic.

US: Pickup, delivery growth spurs March online grocery sales
An ongoing shift to pickup and delivery orders helped propel a rebound in U.S. online grocery sales in March, reaching a peak for the past year, according to the latest Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey. Brick Meets Click said that online grocery sales came in at $9.3bln for March, up 16.3% from $8bln in February and matching the record $9.3bln total in January. 

US: ShopRite debuts Fresh to Table store-within-a-store concept
The ShopRite in Brookdale, New Jersey, is meeting the needs of overwhelmed home cooks during the pandemic by debuting the banner's Fresh to Table store-within-a-store concept, where shoppers can find fresh, on-trend foods; easy-to-prepare recipes and ingredients; and meal solutions in a variety of grab-and-go formats.

US: The Save Mart Companies deploys autonomous inventory robots in pilot partnership with Simbe
The Save Mart Companies launched a pilot program, in partnership with Simbe, to roll out the autonomous inventory robot Tally in select Save Mart, Lucky/Lucky California and FoodMaxx banners in the Modesto and East Bay areas.

UK: Deliveroo processes double the amount of orders during first quarter
In the first 3 months of the year, Deliveroo received more than double the number of orders compared to the same period last year. The company does expect the growth to slow down as the Covid measures will be phasing out. For the 4th quarter in a row, the growth of the British meal delivery company accelerated. The number of orders grew by 114% to 71mln. The gross transaction value (GTV) increased by 130% year-on-year and amounted to 1.65bln pounds (1.9bln euros). On average, the company had 7.1mln active customers, over 90% more than a year ago.

France: Intermarché and Casino announce five-year strategic partnership
Intermarché and Casino Group have announced a five-year strategic partnership focusing on purchasing, digital marketing and advertising services, and the food industry. The partnership will see the retailers set up a central purchasing unit managed by Intermarché.

India: Amazon building computer vision tech to check defects in fruits, vegetables
E-commerce giant Amazon is building a computer vision-based grading solution for food products such as onions and tomatoes. The machine learning-based approach analyses produce images to detect defects such as cuts, cracks and pressure damage. It can carry out millions of assessments per day at a cost that is far below compared to any other method, said a top Amazon scientist. “Quality is one of the key drivers of fruit and vegetable purchasing decisions and a critical factor in achieving customer satisfaction”, said Rajeev Rastogi, vice president, machine learning, Amazon India at the company’s Smbhav event.

Holland: Stores to price less healthy food higher for ‘unique’ research project
Tempting chocolate bars by the till will give way to attractively-priced, unsalted nuts as part of a ‘unique’ research project in Dutch supermarkets. The year-long study in 8 Coop shops aims to see whether a ‘supreme nudge’ can give consumers the incentive to shop for healthier products and improve their lifestyles and heart health. 

UK's Leon: Billionaire Issa brothers buy fast food chain
The billionaire Issa brothers who own Asda have bought the British fast food chain, Leon. More than 70 Leon restaurants across the UK and Europe have been sold to the brothers' giant petrol forecourt business EG Group. In a joint statement, Mohsin Issa and Zuber Issa said the firm was a "fantastic brand we have long admired".

Weezy, the UK’s leading on-demand grocery service, now available in Manchester
Following hugely successful launches in London, Bristol and Brighton, Weezy continues its expansion across the UK and is now available in Manchester. “Manchester was the natural next choice for us”, said Kristof Van Beveren, Co-founder and CEO of Weezy. “We know that it’s one of the most eco-friendly cities in the UK and that Manchester residents share our values. Our service helps to further reduce fresh food waste and packaging, and enable healthier lifestyles, with all groceries being sustainably delivered by bike or electric moped in a matter of minutes”.

Auchan, Casino, DIA, Metro, Schiever call time on Horizon structure
Auchan Retail, Groupe Casino, DIA, Metro and Schiever have announced that they are not planning to renew their Horizon purchasing alliance for 2022, by mutual consent. The groups said in a joint statement that they were calling time on the agreement 'after 3 years of collaboration and having achieved their initial objectives'.

UK: Ocado invests in autonomous vehicle software company Oxbotica
Ocado Group plc (“Ocado”), the leading online grocery platform and solutions provider, announced that it has commercially partnered with Oxbotica Ltd. (“Oxbotica”), headquartered in Oxford. The purpose of this partnership is to collaborate on hardware and software interfaces for autonomous vehicles, enhancing and integrating Oxbotica’s autonomy software platform into a variety of vehicles.

Amazon could become UK’s 6th largest supermarket
New consumer research suggests that Amazon could be the 6th largest supermarket in the UK if current shoppers swapped just one grocery shop per month to the online giant. The new Trends Spring 2021 Report, from intelligence and technology consultancy TWC, examines how Amazon could steal a substantial share of the UK grocery market and predicts that traditional supermarkets may start to lose dominance especially with the younger generation and more affluent shoppers.

Russia: X5 reports net sales growth of 8.1% in Q1 2020
Russia's X5 Retail Group has reported a sales growth of 8.1% year-on-year in the first quarter of its financial year 2021, driven by a 6.4% growth in offline sales and a 1.7% from sales growth in digital businesses. Net sales from offline channels amounted to RUB496.2bln, with Perekrestok generating RUB82.8bln (+5.4% year-on-year), followed by Pyaterochka at RUB403.5bln (+9.1% year-on-year) and Karusel RUB9.7bln (-45.3%).

E-commerce pioneer Wenzel launches ‘Amazon on steroids’
German entrepreneur Ralf Wenzel, formerly of Delivery Hero and Softbank, is launching a global rapid delivery retail platform, entering a field that is attracting huge investment and experiencing explosive growth. The startup, called Jokr, is backed by venture capitalists HV Capital, Tiger Global and Softbank, and will aim to deliver a wide range of products from "hyperlocal" warehouses within 15 minutes of an order being placed via a smartphone app.

Holland: Albert Hein changes the function of 7,500 people to a major reorganization now
On Monday, April 26, the Albert Hein supermarket chain will overhaul its entire model. The positions of assistant supermarket manager and group manager will be terminated, and 3 specialized managers will be appointed in their place. As a result, 7,500 people will lose their jobs, but the company stresses that no one will lose.

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