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Airlift has raised $85mln in its Series B financing round

Flipkart is creating 4,000 jobs in Maharashtra by opening 4 new facilities

Montenegro: Domaća Trgovina rolls out new store concept
Montenegro-based retail group Domaća Trgovina has rolled out a new urban store concept in 10 locations across the Adriatic coast. The City Market concept has been developed for everyday and easy shopping. It is tailored to meet the needs of the local population as well as tourists, in terms of product assortment and availability. Fresh fruits, vegetables and packaged meats are always available, as are a variety of pastries and breads, prepared in the in-store bakery, and other necessary groceries. In addition, City Market offers a large selection of ready-made meat for lunch as well as semi-finished dishes, fruit and vegetables.

Pakistan: Airlift raises $85mln for its quick commerce startup, eyes international expansion
A one-year-old startup that is attempting to build the railroads for e-commerce in Pakistan has just secured a mega round of funding in a major boost to the South Asia nation’s nascent startup ecosystem. Airlift operates a quick commerce service in 8 cities, including Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad in Pakistan. Users can order groceries, fresh produce and other essential items, including medicines, as well as sports goods from the Airlift website or app and have it delivered to them in 30 minutes. The startup said that it has raised $85mln in its Series B financing round at a valuation of $275mln. Harry Stebbings of 20VC and Josh Buckley of Buckley Ventures co-led the financing round, which is by far the largest for a Pakistani startup.

Sweden's ICA: Second quarter 2021
Ica Gruppen reported strong earnings improvements for Apotek Hjärtat and Rimi Baltic: Apotek Hjärtat - strong earnings improvement and higher market share; Rimi Baltic - significantly stronger earnings and higher market share; ICA Sweden - stable quarter, higher online costs; ICA Bank - acquisition of Forex's customer portfolios completed; Group earnings and margin on same level as previous year; Covid-19 effects approximately SEK+30mln net (-60).

UK: Aldi introduces fridge doors to reduce energy consumption
Aldi is to save the equivalent of over 2,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year by installing fridge doors as standard in its new and newly refurbished stores. The change, which follows a successful trial, will reduce each store’s energy consumption by approximately 20%, equivalent to a carbon emissions saving of up to 20 tonnes per store each year. The announcement forms part of Aldi’s ongoing efforts to minimise its carbon emissions and climate impact.

India: Flipkart to create 4,000 jobs by opening 4 new facilities in Maharashtra
Walmart-run e-commerce major Flipkart said it is creating 4,000 jobs in Maharashtra by opening 4 new facilities. These fulfilment and sortation centres are located in Bhiwandi and Nagpur, and aimed primarily at supporting the local sellers in the state and cater to the growing demand for e-commerce, a statement said.

Coles’ modest supermarket sales growth shows Aussie shopping behaviour ‘normalising’ from Covid frenzy
Coles’ long slog to topple Woolworths as Australia’s biggest supermarket chain still appears a distant dream after achieving modest sales growth in the 4th quarter, when pandemic-driven pantry-stuffing became less panicked. Booking a 7.5% rise in full-year net profit to $1.005bln, the group revealed supermarkets comparable sales growth over the 3 months to June 30 was 2.1% - beating the median of analysts’ forecasts for 0.2% growth - and an impressive 9.6% rise over 2 years.

UK: Toluna research shows supermarkets require plastic surgery
Research from tech company Toluna has revealed that supermarkets simply aren’t doing enough when it comes to plastic usage. Although the big-hitters in the 'food shopping' arena have espoused in recent years about their sustainability credentials, the evidence suggests that many more changes will have to be made. Although 69% of people believe supermarkets and retailers are responsible for reducing the amount of plastic used, many want to see even more progress. The new study into plastic packaging usage was conducted in order to understand people’s thoughts around plastic use in the context of supermarkets. The research involved 1,000 people in the UK.

US: Fareway Stores promotes Garrett Piklapp to president
Midwestern grocer Fareway Stores is reorganizing its leadership team, with the promotions of Garrett S. Piklapp to president and Michael J. "Mike" McCormick to chief retail officer, effective immediately. Piklapp has served at Fareway for 13 years, most recently as executive vice president/secretary/general counsel. McCormick, a 24-year veteran of Fareway, was most recently executive vice president of merchandising.

US: Target keeps up growth pace in Q2
Boosted by increased store traffic, Target Corp. generated strong net and comparable sales growth in its fiscal 2021 second quarter, atop big pandemic-fueled gains a year earlier. Net sales for the quarter ended July 31 came in at $24.83bln, up 9.4% from $22.7bln a year ago, Minneapolis-based Target said. Overall revenue rose 9.5% to $25.16bln. Those totals followed growth of 24.8% in net sales and 24.7% in revenue in the fiscal 2020 second quarter, when U.S. consumer spending on food and essential supplies remained elevated due to COVID-19.

US: Meijer aims to protect pollinator health with updated policies
To help sustain pollinators that are integral to ecosystems and the food chain, Meijer has released a new pollinator health policy addressing supplier practices and the choice of new products. The retailer outlines its full commitment to pollinator health on its website, underscoring the role that pollinators like honeybees play in food security and addressing the fact that food retailers and their suppliers can work together to mitigate the worrisome decline of pollinator populations.

US: UNFI and RangeMe accelerate growth between retailers and suppliers
United Natural Foods, Inc., announced a new milestone expansion to its relationship with RangeMe, the leading online platform that streamlines new product discovery between over 200,000 suppliers and retailers. The evolved relationship between the companies, who have worked together for the past 4 years, enhances the ability for retailers and emerging suppliers to facilitate purchase orders directly on UNFI’s Easy Options platform through RangeMe.

Walmart charters ships to ensure freight capacity, inventory for peak season
Walmart is chartering ships to ensure it has enough freight capacity to meet demand for peak season, executives said on the company's earnings call. The decision came amid a lack of capacity in the ocean shipping market. The retailer's out-of-stock levels are higher than normal due to high sales levels and supply chain constraints, CFO Brett Biggs said, without outlining what normal levels look like for the retailer. Walmart's suppliers are also adding longer lead times to their orders to help Walmart to better plan its inventory, Biggs said. "We've chartered vessels ... we've secured capacity for the 3rd and 4th quarter and feel good about the inventory positioning particularly compared to last year with inventory up 20% across the segments," John Furner, CEO of Walmart U.S., said on the company's earnings call.

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