Food Lion: Major new sustainability commitments

Saladworks and Frutta Bowls team up with Combo Kitchen

US: New Seasons/New Leaf names new CEO
Grocers New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets, independent operators within the Good Food Holdings family of brands, have named veteran grocery executive Nancy Lebold CEO. She joins the banners from Food4Less, a division of The Kroger Co., where her most recent role was VP of merchandising in California.

US: Fresh on the heels of WOWorks acquisition, Saladworks and Frutta Bowls team up with Combo Kitchen
In late December 2020, Saladworks' parent company WOWorks acquired Frutta Bowls to blend together their flavorful common cores and create expansion synergies in the process. A new endeavor marks a large step in this quest, as the joint brands have announced a partnership with Combo Kitchen, a franchise system that allows entrepreneurs to invest in a ghost kitchen and operate multiple food concepts listed in its network. Initially formed in October of 2020 before Frutta Bowls became part of the family, the partnership recently brought the first Combo Kitchen incorporating a Saladworks to Miami, Florida on April 10. Last week, locations opened in New York City and Jersey City, New Jersey.

US: Lunds & Byerlys uses inventory science to ensure item availability
Lunds & Byerlys is making sure that its shoppers can always find their desired products in stock by implementing Itasca Magic computer-generated ordering (CGO) and inventory optimization solution in all of its retail locations. Created by Itasca Retail Information Systems Inc., Itasca Magic software uses historical sales data and current shelf and selling conditions to calculate the exact right order amounts for tens of thousands of items in the store at any time of day. This ensures that each store always has the right stock levels to fulfill shopper demand for every item in its assortment.

US: Food Lion announces major new sustainability commitments
Food Lion is taking a big leap in its already industry-leading sustainability efforts to make a greater impact in caring for the planet and its neighbors. The new, far-reaching commitments make it easier for customers to know how and where their food is sourced, reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions across all layers of the retailer’s operations, and eliminate waste through all parts of the food supply chain, in addition to several other initiatives and goals that will help reinforce Food Lion’s role as a good neighbor to help create a more sustainable future.

US: Foodservice trends ID’d for the New Normal
Self-service salad bars may still be on ice in the wake of the pandemic, but foodservice operators - including those at retail - can meet COVID-19 challenges with fresh solutions, according to Nestlé Professional. In its new report, “Top 2021 Foodservice Trends: How to Succeed in the New Normal”, Solon, Ohio-based Nestlé Professional highlights several areas of interest that extend to foodservice-at-retail programs.

US: Whole Foods warms to Honeywell refrigerant solution
Whole Foods Market expects a refrigerant from Honeywell to have a significant impact on its efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. The grocer said that it was beginning the retrofit process at 100 of its stores to begin using an R-448A from Honeywell that's branded as Solstice N40. The new refrigerant, introduced in 2015, replaces R-404A and R22 refrigerants, which are less energy efficient and less environmentally friendly.

Auchan to put greater focus on organic ranges in France in 2021
As part of an interview in local trade publication Lineaires, Auchan Retail’s manager for organic, health, self-discount, and bulk goods, José Da Silva Neves, discussed how the retailer was looking to boost sales of its organic ranges. He explained the retailer was aiming to expand its organic range by 20%, adding exclusive products across both branded and private label products to try to attract new shoppers. The expansion will see it add about 100 private label SKUs.

Spain: DIA sees 7.3% decline in net sales in Q1 2021
Spanish retail group DIA has reported net sales of €1.69bln in the first quarter of its financial year, down 7.3% year-on-year. The company's Spanish arm generated sales worth €1.05bln, down 1.4%, while Portugal was the only market to see growth with sales amounting to €148.9mln (+0.7%). DIA's Brazil and Argentina divisions witnessed the steepest decline with sales of €251.5mln (-28.5%) and Argentina with €235.8mln (-16.3%), respectively.

Russia: Yandex plots grocery delivery service launch in Paris
Yandex is set to launch its e-grocery delivery service in Europe in the second quarter, following roll-outs in Russia and Israel. The offering, which delivers approximately 2,500 types of goods from local warehouses (aka dark stores) within 10-15 minutes of receiving an order via an app, is set to begin operating in central Paris under the Yango Deli brand. The Russian company provides services in 17 countries, including in Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It is planning to launch e-grocery delivery in London in the third quarter of this year.

Germany: Globus Group posts sales of €3.92bln in first half of 2020/2021
German retailer Globus Group has closed the first half of its financial year 2020/21 with sales amounting to €3.92bln despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. EBIT for the 6 months ended 31 December 2020 amounted to €194.3mln. During the quarter, Globus rolled out a Click & Collect service, which is now available in 4 markets. The retailer also got the approval to acquire to take over up to 24 Real hypermarket locations in the country.

China's market regulator investigates Alibaba-Minmetals JV
Reuters reported: China's market regulator is investigating a joint venture between e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and Minmetals Development, Minmetals said, amid a broad antitrust clampdown on internet firms. Minmetals said in a statement that it received a notice from the State Administration for Market Regulation in recent days about an investigation into the joint venture formed in 2015, in which Alibaba transferred its 44% stake to an unrelated firm in 2019. Alibaba declined to comment.

UK on-demand grocery startup Beelivery bags £4.5mln to accelerate business
UK-based on-demand grocery delivery business, Beelivery, bagged £4.5mln investment to further strengthen its position as a leader in the grocery delivery market segment. The investment round was led by UKTV Ventures and GreenBank Capital Inc, a merchant banking business that is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchanges. The fresh fund will let Beelivery accelerate its business strategy as it seeks to gain 450,000 new customers over the next 2 years.

Britain's M&S to boost online capacity with second warehouse
British retailer Marks & Spencer will increase its online capacity by building a new automated online warehouse in its existing distribution centre in Bradford, northern England, it said. M&S said the expansion would create 300 new jobs. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend towards more digital shopping, with M&S’s online sales growing 34% in the first half of its 2020-21 year.

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