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Metro: Profit declines year-on-year

Lojas Americanas to acquire grocery chain Hortifruti Natural da Terra

Russian discounter Mere eyes U.S. expansion, job listing shows
Mere, the bare-bones Russian food chain that calls itself the fastest-growing discounter in Europe and cheaper to shop than Aldi or Lidl, is exploring expansion to the U.S., WGB has learned. A recent job posting by the company seeks a U.S.-based project manager with responsibility for exploring store sites, negotiating leases and opening stores in Georgia and Alabama.

US: Wakefern/ShopRite pilots vertical storage unit
Wakefern Food Corp. is piloting the Kardex Remstar Shuttle XP Vertical Lift Module (VLM) storage solution at the ShopRite of Kingston, in Kingston, New York, in an effort to improve the store’s online shopping service. The compact automated storage and retrieval system is designed to maximize space and offer high-capacity storage.

Canada: Metro profit declines year-on-year as shopping patterns normalize
Metro Inc. says it earned $252.4mln in its latest quarter, down from $263.5mln in the same quarter last year when shoppers stocked up at the start of the pandemic. The grocery and drugstore retailer says the profit amounted to $1.03 per diluted share for the 16-week period ended July 3, down from $1.04 per diluted share a year ago. Sales in what was the company's third quarter were $5.72bln, down from $5.84bln last year.

US: Freshly introduces Purely Plant - its first-ever plant-based meals line
Freshly Inc., the leading fresh, chef-prepared meal delivery service in the U.S., announced the launch of its first-ever plant-based line including 6 new Purely Plant meals featuring plant-based proteins made with clean, whole-food ingredients. 

Brazil: Lojas Americanas to buy grocery chain Hortifruti for $402mln
Brazilian retailer Lojas Americanas SA said it had agreed to acquire grocery chain Hortifruti Natural da Terra for 2.1bln reais ($402mln), in a strategic move into the fresh foods sector. Hortifruti offers fresh produce through 73 stores in 4 Brazilian states, generating 2bln reais in unaudited gross revenue in the year ended June 30, according to a securities filing by Lojas Americanas on the deal.

SPAR Croatia celebrates opening of 100th Supermarket
Within only 3.5 months, SPAR Croatia’s latest and 100th SPAR Supermarket was developed in the town of Novi Marof. The very modern exterior of the store contrasts with the warm wood tones used instore. The diversity, richness and uniqueness of the SPAR offer are reflected in the wide selection of food and non-food items. Local sourcing remains an important pillar of SPAR Croatia’s overall strategy, and the export of Croatian products through the SPAR sales network is growing steadily.

UK: Deliveroo sees continued lockdown behaviour
Although the catering industry is reopening, delivery service Deliveroo reports that consumers continue to order plenty of meals and have them delivered to their homes. The company is also experiencing strong growth in the delivery of groceries. In the first half of the year, Deliveroo's gross transaction value (the turnover of affiliated restaurants) increased by 102% to 3.4bln pounds (4bln euros). Growth was 131% in the first quarter and 81% in the second quarter. This is significantly higher than expected, the delivery service says, despite the effects of the restaurant reopening and an increasingly difficult basis for comparison.

UK: Asda invests in food start up Lean Kitchen Network for shop-in-shop trial
Asda has made an investment in digital food-for-now start up Lean Kitchen Network to mark the next step in its partnership strategy and broadening its food service offering. The Big 4 grocer confirmed that it invested in Lean Kitchen Network (LKN) alongside hospitality expert investor Edition Capital, preceding a larger Series A round of funding in the digital food specialist later this year. In addition to its investment, Asda said it would also partner exclusively with LKN to trial tech-driven food-for-now counters, initially in four London stores: Park Royal, Colindale, Bexley and Edmonton.

French retailer Carrefour to launch $1.9 bln sale of Taiwan business - sources
French retailer Carrefour is planning to launch a sale of its Taiwan business, which is valued at around 1.6bln euros ($1.9bln) in the coming weeks, 3 people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Australia: Woolworths opens first Queensland eStore to deliver more online orders to customers than ever before
Woolworths has started picking the first online orders for Sunshine Coast customers from the newly built eCom floor at its Maroochydore (Big Top) supermarket as demand soars. The 1,250sqm space at the rear of the store uses cutting-edge micro-fulfilment technology to sort and move products from automated storage units directly to team members hand picking customer orders. The units can hold up to 10,000 of the most in-demand grocery products, while fresh fruit and vegetables and meat continue to be picked from the shopfloor.

UK: John Lewis leasing huge DC from Tesco to support online growth
In line with its current turnaround strategy to expand its online activities, the John Lewis Partnership has signed an agreement with Tesco to lease a 1mln sq. ft. distribution centre at Fenny Lock in Milton Keynes. The group stated that the move will help it meet growing customer demand for online orders. Since the start of the pandemic, online sales have grown from 40% to over 60% of the total John Lewis department store business.

Ryde raises £2.5mln to expand vision as the world's first fully-integrated delivery management platform
Ryde (formerly Ryders), the SaaS (Software as a Service) platform for last-mile delivery, has announced that it has raised £2.5mln to continue to expand its vision to become the world's first fully integrated delivery management system. Tackling one of the largest and most exciting markets across Europe, this round of funding comes off the back of not only a great idea but the need for an efficient workforce logistics solution servicing market disruptors such as Gorillas and Ocado.

UK: Bestway selling more stores
Bestway has tasked property advisers with selling another batch of stores in its retail division as part of the group’s plan to offload unwanted property. The first phase of ‘Project Endeavour’ saw Christie & Co bring to market 37 stores in August last year. The latest tranche includes 22 company-owned Bargain Booze, Wine Rack, Select Convenience and Central Convenience stores “that no longer fit Bestway Retail’s future strategy”.

Delivery Hero brings foodpanda to the streets of Berlin and announces German expansion
Delivery Hero SE (“Delivery Hero”), the world’s leading local delivery platform, launched its delivery app in Berlin under the brand foodpanda. After testing the service and scaling it up gradually, Delivery Hero’s subsidiaries in Germany (foodpanda and pandamarkets) are now covering 4 districts of the German capital with both food delivery and quick commerce (through partnerships with local stores as well as Delivery Hero owned warehouses called pandamarkets).

Israeli retailer Shufersal Q2 profit up, but sales hit by pandemic
Shufersal, Israel's largest supermarket chain, reported a 21% rise in quarterly profit, though sales slipped due to influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the timing of Jewish holidays.

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