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Jeff Bezos stepped down as Amazon CEO

U.S.-based investment company mulls a bid for supermarket chain Morrisons

US: Chief Economist says NRF revised forecast because ‘great uncertainty’ has transformed into clear recovery
As retailers head into the second half of 2021, the “great uncertainty” that clouded the nation’s economic outlook earlier in the year has transformed into evidence of an unprecedented recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “It has become clear that the U.S. economy and retail sales are growing far faster and more steadily than anyone could have expected just a few months ago,” Kleinhenz said. “We are seeing not just unprecedented growth from months of pent-up demand as the economy reopens but momentum as well.”

Jeff Bezos steps down as Amazon CEO as retailer starts new chapter
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO, handing over the reins as the company navigates the challenges of a world fighting to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. Andy Jassy, who ran Amazon's cloud-computing business, replaced Bezos, a change the company announced in February.

Bidding war talk surrounds UK supermarket chain Morrisons
Shares in British supermarket chain Morrisons spiked by 11% as investors priced in the possibility of a bidding war for the company after a third U.S.-based investment company said it was mulling a bid. Private equity firm Apollo Global Management said it is “in the preliminary stages of evaluating a possible offer for Morrisons” and that no formal approach has yet been made. “There can be no certainty that any offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any such offer might be made," Apollo said in a statement.

Lidl to invest €550mln in Ireland over 3 years
Lidl plans to invest a further €550mln in Ireland over the next 3 years. The German-owned discount supermarket chain said the investment will cover the opening of 20 new stores, the redevelopment of 24 existing stores and a €75mln upgrade to its regional distribution centre in Mullingar. Lidl has invested more than €1.7bln in its Irish operations since entering the country in 2000.

France: Carrefour announces Fortnite and Pickup partnerships
Carrefour has launched a Healthy Map on Fortnite, enabling players to heal themselves and gain more energy by eating fruit, vegetables and fish. This places them in an eco-friendly Carrefour store of the future: a supermarket with an electric recharging station, trucks running on biomethane, a responsible fishing zone, fields of organic fruit and fresh vegetables, and a farm respecting animal welfare. Under its partnership with Pickup, a subsidiary of La Poste group, Carrefour recently announced that more than 400 automatic parcel lockers are to be rolled out across France.

UK: Sainsbury's sales beat expectations in latest quarter
Reuters reported: British supermarket group Sainsbury's beat expectations for first-quarter sales though growth did slow sharply reflecting a tough comparison with last year when shoppers stocked-up for a first COVID-19 lockdown. The group, which trails market leader Tesco in annual sales, said like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose 1.6% in the 16 weeks to June 26, its fiscal first quarter - versus analysts' average forecast of a fall of 1.7% and a rise of 11.3% in the previous quarter. Sainsbury's said it expected to report underlying profit before tax of at least 660mln pounds ($917mln) in the 2021-22 year, up from 356mln pounds in 2020-21.

Jef Colruyt: "Sooner or later Albert Heijn will eat up Delhaize"
Despite a decreasing market share, Colruyt believes in a relaunch post-corona. The increasing cooperation between Albert Heijn and Delhaize hardly affects the Belgian market leader. CEO Jef Colruyt does not comment about a possible merger with Jumbo. In a remarkable interview with Flemish newspaper De Standaard, CEO Jef Colruyt expresses European and even global ambitions for his energy activities, but in retail he only sees European potential for online pharmacy Newpharma.

Ocado wins new customer in Spain as pandemic drives online grocery
Reuters reported: British online grocer and technology group Ocado said it had signed a new deal to develop Alcampo's online business in Spain, as the pandemic continues to drive the shift to online grocery buying and helped boost revenues in its home market. For its first half, which covered the 26 weeks to May 30, Ocado posted a 20% rise in retail revenue to 1.2bln pounds. Lockdowns in Britain during the period drew new customers to its joint venture with Marks & Spencer.

Spain: Eroski eliminates 1,100 tonnes of plastic annually
Eroski has removed more than 1,100 tonnes of conventional single-use plastics from its operations annually after stepping up its plastic reduction commitment. The reductions result from the increased use of recyclable alternatives to replace single-use plastic bags as well as a revision of its own-brand packaging, the Spanish retailer said.

SPAR Natural bulk displays
To address evolving shopper trends around health and sustainability, SPAR has developed a comprehensive zero-packaging dispenser solution for loose foods. Featuring products from the SPAR Natural line, these instore displays make it easier for customers to access SPAR’s range of healthier whole food options.

UAE: Farmbox wins fresh produce Foodtech of the year award
Farmbox has been awarded the “Fresh Produce Foodtech of The Year” at The Leaders in Foodtech Awards 2021 event, hosted by Entrepreneur Middle East. Farmbox was recognised for its outstanding achievements in delivering fresh, healthy, and organic produce to its customers from farm-to-table through its innovative B2C platform.

UK: Sainsbury’s shares major announcement with all Aldi shoppers
Sainsbury’s has announced that customers will be able to buy 60 items cheaper is a bid to rival budget supermarkets like Aldi. Price reductions on 60 core fresh produce, meat and dairy products kicked in from Tuesday, July 6. Sainsbury’s says that these are examples of savings that customers can experience through July: Sainsbury's Rhubarb 400g, was £1.50, now 95p. Sainsbury's Red Cabbage Loose, was 80p, now 45p. Sainsbury's White Cabbage Loose, was 80p, now 45p. Sainsbury's Sweet Potato 1.25k, was £1.50, now £1.11. Sainsbury's Baking Potatoes 2.5kg, was £2, now £1.19. Sainsbury's Red & White Seedless Grapes 500g, was £2, now £1.59. Sainsbury's Strawberries 400g, was £1.75, now £1.59. Sainsbury's Fresh Packed Mint 30g, was 75p, now 47p.

LeadCrest Capital Partners makes EUR70mln investment in French supermarket portfolio
LeadCrest Capital Partners, a European fund 100% dedicated to sale-leaseback and build-to-suit investments, has acquired a EUR70mln portfolio of 6 food supermarkets, and forward purchased a 7th asset, totalling 33,500 square meters, and triple-net leased to Monoprix Exploitation and Distribution Casino France, 2 wholly owned subsidiaries of Casino Guichard-Perrachon.

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