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Merqueo landed a $50mln series C round

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage: Q3 fiscal 2021 results

US: Saladworks comes to more Kroger stores
This summer, fast-casual restaurant chain Saladworks plans to wrap up the opening of 4 more locations inside Kroger supermarkets in Ohio and Kentucky. So far, 2 of the new Saladworks sites have opened at Kroger stores in Cincinnati, including the grocer’s locations at 11390 Montgomery Rd., 7580 Beechmont Ave. and 3636 Springdale Rd. West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based Saladworks said that the next Kroger location will open soon at 130 Pavilion Pkwy. in Newport, Kentucky, but didn’t specify a date.

US: Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage announces third quarter fiscal 2021 results
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. announced results for its third quarter of fiscal 2021 ended June 30, 2021 and raised its outlook for fiscal 2021. Highlights for third quarter fiscal 2021 compared to third quarter fiscal 2020: Net sales decreased 2.4% to $258.6mln; Daily average comparable store sales decreased 3.6%; Daily average comparable store sales on a two-year stacked basis increased 11.9%; Operating income increased 5.4% to $7.0mln; Net Income increased 7.3% to $5.0mln; Diluted earnings per share was $0.22 compared to $0.21; Adjusted EBITDA was $14.5mln compared to $14.6mln; and Relocated two store locations; 1.3% new store growth rate for the twelve-month period ended June 30, 2021.

US: Beyond Meat lowers expectations due to delta variant
Meat replacement producer Beyond Meat expects sales in the third quarter to be lower than forecast due to the increasing uncertainty caused by the delta variant of the coronavirus. The Los Angeles-based company expects net sales of between 120 and 140mln dollars (100-120mln euros) for the current quarter. This is considerably lower than analysts' estimates of 153mln dollars (130mln euros), Reuters reports.

US Foods reports second quarter fiscal 2021 earnings
US Foods Holding Corp., one of the largest foodservice distributors in the United States, announced results for the second quarter of fiscal 2021. Second Quarter Fiscal 2021 Highlights: Total case volume increased 53.5%; independent restaurant case volume increased 79.1%; Total organic case volume increased 50.3%; organic independent restaurant case volume increased 74.4%; Net sales increased 68.0% to $7.7bln; Gross profit increased 74.2% to $1.2bln; Net income available to common shareholders was $46mln; Adjusted EBITDA increased 277.3% to $332mln.

Merqueo raises $50mln Series C to expand its full-stack grocery delivery service across Latin America
Merqueo, a full-stack delivery scale-up, landed a $50mln series C round led by IDC Ventures, Digital Bridge and IDB Invest. The company is the first and largest full-stack grocery delivery player in Latin America. By owning and controlling the entire vertical supply chain - relying exclusively on proprietary technology - Merqueo is able to obtain better margins, offer competitive pricing, and achieve healthy unit economics.

Holland: Jumbo hatches plan as margins shrink
Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo is working on a recovery plan to boost its margins, which have come under increasing pressure in recent months due to higher raw material prices and increasing competition. Franchisers in particular are concerned about the margins, which is why a discussion between them and the supermarket chain itself was planned. The supermarket has now promised to work on a “margin recovery plan that will lead to a percentage recovery of margins towards the end of the year”. An internal memo, which Distrifood made public, further states that the "introduction of new, innovative higher-margin items and the optimisation of promotions" are key to the plan. Partly due to the corona crisis, the Jumbo stores saw their turnover rise sharply in the past year. As a result, the profit margin in absolute figures has remained stable, even though the margin in percentage has decreased.

UK: Aldi to create more than 2,000 new roles between now and Christmas
Aldi is to create more than 2,000 new jobs across the UK between now and Christmas. The supermarket, which currently has over 920 stores and employs around 38,000 people, is pushing ahead with plans to open more than one new store a week this year. Aldi is opening new stores in towns and cities such as Canterbury, Swansea and London, as well as many others up and down the country.

Sweden: ICA sees July sales up 3.6%
Swedish retailer ICA has reported a 3.6% increase in sales across its store estate for the month of July, with its ICA Nära convenience store business seeing the highest growth. On a like-for-like basis, sales were up 3.4% compared with the same period last year, the group said in a statement.

UK: Extra day off for 7,800 staff as Lichfield retailer thanks them for efforts during coronavirus pandemic
A Lichfield retailer is giving all of its 7,800 staff an extra day off to thank them for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. Central England Co-op said it had decided to offer the additional leave in recognition of the company being named Leading Co-op of the Year by Co-operatives UK. Anyone employed by the company across its business in July 2021 will be eligible for the extra day of leave.

UK: Retailers set to recover lost ground in food-to-go, says IGD
Retailers suffered a market share decline in food-to-go compared to foodservice operators during the pandemic but should recover strongly, says the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD). The IGD expects retailers overall share of the food-to-go market to reduce to 21% in 2021 from 24% in 2019. But this will gradually increase to 23% by 2026 as momentum starts to return to retail food-to-go.

The Philippines: New grocery app launched
Catering to families and the younger generation during this lockdown, Goseri, a homegrown grocery app, is ready to serve the Metro Cebu area. According to Robert Go, president of Prince Retail Group, Goseri banks on its same-day delivery advantage and a wide array of vegetables, fruits, essential grocery goods and other products.

Amazon, Walmart's Flipkart must face India antitrust probe, top court says Inc and Walmart's Flipkart must face antitrust investigations ordered against them in India, the country's Supreme Court has ruled, after the e-commerce giants had urged judges to quash the inquiries. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) ordered the investigation against the companies last year for allegedly promoting select sellers on their e-commerce platforms and using business practices that stifle competition.

UK: Morrisons partner McColl's in talks with investors about £30mln cash call
One of Britain's biggest convenience store groups is plotting a £30mln cash call to accelerate the expansion of its partnership with Morrisons, the supermarket giant. Sky News has learnt that McColl's Retail Group has approached institutional investors about a placing to raise almost as much as its existing £40mln market capitalisation.

Store of the future: Third of physical store space to be ‘dedicated to online fulfilment’
Ecommerce sales are set to reach almost 35% (34.8%) share of global chain retail by 2023, leading to changes in the way stores fulfil orders, according to new research. New data from Edge Retail Insight, the market research arm of Edge by Ascential, shows that the share of in-store sales will decline to 62.4% by 2025, down from about 70% in 2021.

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