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UK: Grocery retailers continue to improve their behaviour towards suppliers

UK's Morrisons faces investor heat over unhealthy food
Morrisons on Thursday became the latest British supermarket group to be targeted by activist shareholders over the amount of unhealthy food it sells. Responsible investment group ShareAction said it, along with seven institutional investors managing $1.1 trillion between them, had written to Morrisons Chairman Andrew Higginson ahead of the grocer's annual shareholders' meeting calling on it to boost sales of healthier food and drink products. Last month market leader Tesco (TSCO.L) agreed to increase healthy food options at operations in Europe and Britain to appease investors co-ordinated by ShareAction who had filed a landmark shareholder resolution to force the issue.

Source: Reuters 

Australia: Aldi named ‘Supermarket of the Year’
In the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards, more than 50,000 Australians were surveyed across 40 categories, covering all industries. With Australian supermarkets being labelled as some of the most trusted brands in the country, Aldi has beaten out the other two leaders, Woolworths and Coles, to nab the top spot. “We are hugely excited to be recognised as Australia’s Best Supermarket by Roy Morgan,” shared Simon Padovani-Ginies, the Group Director of Aldi Australia.” We are continuously striving to deliver the highest quality products at the lowest prices possible, and it’s clear this commitment is resonating with customers year in and year out. We are proud to receive this award and aim to continue to live up to shoppers’ expectations that Aldi is Australia’s best supermarket by delivering exceptional value every time they shop.”

Source: Power Retail 

UK: Grocery retailers continue to improve their behaviour towards suppliers
The 13 retailers regulated by the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) have continued to improve their behaviour towards suppliers despite having to contend with the Covid-19 crisis and Brexit. In the annual GCA survey that took place earlier this year, suppliers reported the highest level of compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) by UK supermarkets, surpassing even the record results of 2020. As well as a new record low in the number of suppliers who experienced Code-related issues in the past year (down to 29% compared to 36% in 2020), suppliers reported a fall in all issues covered by the Code with one exception. Only requests for lump-sum payments relating to better positioning in a retailer’s online store (not in relation to a promotion) increased as a concern – by 1%.

Source: KamCity 

UK: Supermarkets agree to change own label rules to send more to food banks
Supermarkets and suppliers have agreed to rip up many of the restrictions on redistribution of surplus own-label food, in a bid to stop tens of thousands of tonnes being sent to animal feed rather than food banks. The landmark agreement was announced today by Wrap, following talks with suppliers, retailers and distribution groups. The move comes despite figures released by Wrap today showing a huge increase in food redistribution in 2020, with the amount shooting up by 29,000 tonnes, 9,000 of which was driven by the response to the Covid pandemic.

Source: The Grocer 

Small supermarket chains desperate for new staff are offering sign-on bonuses of up to $2,000
Small supermarket chains are turning to sign-on bonuses to attract new hires, CNN reported. Tops Markets, a northeastern chain, is offering $2,000 bonuses, and hopes to hire about 100 staff. An analyst told CNN that sign-on bonuses are cheaper for companies than hiking up wages. Chains such as Ollie's Bargain Outlet, Sheetz, and Tops Markets are hoping the cash benefits will tempt new hires that can staff stores and warehouses as the US economy reopens, according to a report by CNN. Some companies have been hiking up wages or offering education perks to attract more workers, but sign-on bonuses are popular because they're one-off payments. This makes them cheaper for employers than raising wages in the long run, Andrew Challenger, vice president at executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas, told CNN.

Source: BusinessInsider 

Kroger launches e-commerce delivery in Florida
The Kroger Co. on Tuesday opened its newest Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in Groveland, Fla., powered by Ocado Group. The new facility marks Cincinnati-based Kroger's entry into the Florida market with an e-commerce delivery service that combines vertical integration, machine learning and robotics with fast delivery of grocery items and fresh food. "The Kroger Delivery network combines the efficiency of technology with the experience of our associates to deliver fresh, affordable food, and a consistent and rewarding customer experience," said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger's chief supply chain officer. "We're proud to launch Kroger Delivery in Florida, a new geography for Kroger and a milestone moment in our history to further build on our success as one of America's leading retailers and e-commerce companies." The Groveland site is Kroger’s second Ocado automated online grocery warehouse, following the opening of the first in Monroe, Ohio, in April.

Source: Supermarket News 

Walmart stores going bagless in Maine from July 1st
Shoppers in Maine will have to remember to bring their own bags to store after it was announced that all Walmart stores in the state will be going bagless from next month. The state is set to impose a ban on plastic bags from 1 July onwards, a move that has been a long time coming but was delayed due to the pandemic. Accordingly, Walmart have announced that they will no longer be provided bags in Maine stores. Maine is not the only area where the grocery giant is cutting back on plastic waste and Walmart Mexico y Centroamerica, which covers stores operating south of the border, have implemented similar rules.


Kroger launches first drone flight to deliver groceries
Never mind the rain. Kroger took flight with its first retail drone delivery Wednesday morning in Centerville, Ohio, flying a box containing two packages of long-grain rice to Centerville Mayor Brooks Compton on the front lawn of city offices. Also delivered with the rice — a piece of cloth from the first Wright Brothers Flyer, shared by the Wright family and the Dayton History organization. After the drone lightly dropped the box on the lawn of City Hall, Compton opened the package, pronouncing himself proud “to be part of this community, the birthplace of aviation.”

Source: Seattle Times 

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