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Shopee may soon enter the Polish market

Morrisons reported a 37.1% fall in first-half profit

New Zealand's Foodstuffs South Island names new CEO: Fashion retail boss Mary Devine takes helm
The South Island's biggest supermarket business has a new boss who has worked most of her career in the retail fashion sector. Mary Devine is taking over as Foodstuffs South Island's chief executive, replacing Steve Anderson who has been in that position for the past 20 years, the business said. The 226-store southern operations of New World, Pak'nSave, Four Square, Trents, Henrys and Raeward Fresh will now be headed by a woman for the first time.

UAE: Carrefour opens new AI-powered checkout-free store in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates
UAE shopping mall operator Majid Al Futtaim has launched the region’s first checkout-free store, Carrefour City+, at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates. The store, which uses artificial intelligence technology, allows shoppers to access the store by using the app on their phones, pick up products and exit the store without having to pay at any counter. Store access and shopping payment is enabled via the current MAF Carrefour App.

UK: Profit at bid target Morrisons falls 37% on COVID hit
British supermarket group Morrisons, at the centre of a bid battle between two U.S. private equity firms, reported a 37.1% fall in first-half profit, hurt by COVID-19 costs and lost profit in cafés, fuel and food-to-go. The group, which trails market leader Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda in annual revenue, said it made a profit before tax and exceptional items of 105mln pounds ($144.5mln) in the 6 months to August 1, versus 167mln pounds in the same period last year.

UK: London-based OLIO nabs €36.2mln to take a bite out of food waste
OLIO, the community sustainability app, has announced an approx. €36.2mln Series B round to fund its fight against the approx. €1tln of food waste created globally each year.

E-commerce platforms cater to large groceries demand in Vietnam
Leading e-commerce platforms in Vietnam saw bigger demand for groceries, including fresh foodstuffs and beverages, in the 2nd quarter of this year, a market research firm says. Google searches for keywords relating to online grocery stores in the second quarter of this year surged 223% against the 1st quarter, Malaysia-based market research firm iPrice Group said. Searches for fresh foodstuff, drinks, pre-packaged items, and fruits and vegetables rose 99%, 51%, 30% and 11%, respectively.

Shopee may enter Poland to start its European expansion
Shopee, a Singapore-based marketplace known mainly for its operations in Asia and South America, may soon enter the Polish market, Wiadomości Handlowe reported. Online sellers in Poland have been sent a proposal for cooperation from Shopee via phone calls since the beginning of August. The company was also said to have has signed supply contracts with local logistics companies DPD and InPost. Shopee, which already bought Polish domain, will offer several promotional schemes from October 2021 to March 2022, such as free shipping for buyers and free commission for sellers, the report noted.

UK: Waitrose launches new Plantlife and GoVeggie ranges as customers embrace holistic lifestyles
Waitrose has announced its largest ever new vegan and vegetarian product launches with 2 new ranges, Plantlife and GoVeggie, part of the recently launched Holistic Living brand. The new ranges feature a number of ‘first to market’ supermarket products including Crispy No Beef with Sweet Chilli Sauce, Thai Style No Fish Cakes, No Chorizo Tortelloni and Mushroom Scallop Linguine. All of the new products are designed to provide healthy and simple meals, snacks and treats for anyone looking to adopt a more holistic approach to their lifestyle.

UK: B&M forecasts profit above estimates on strong UK margins
Discount retailer B&M has forecast first-half profit well above market estimates on the back of stronger-than-expected margins at its UK stores. The company said it expects adjusted core profit for the 26 weeks ending 25 September to be between £275mln and £285mln ($378mln to $392mln), well above analysts' consensus estimate of about £235mln. That, however, is below £295.6mln in the year-ago period marked by the pandemic.

UK: Morrisons warns driver shortage will raise prices
Supermarket chain Morrisons has said it expects the UK's lorry driver shortage to stoke inflation during the rest of this year. It said the lack of drivers, plus higher freight charges and commodity prices, could lead to higher prices.

Amazon expands investment with 7 new sites in Michigan, Inc. announced plans to launch its first mid-Michigan fulfillment center, and 3 additional operations facilities that will support customers in metro Detroit and the Grand Rapids area. This announcement comes as the company celebrates the official opening of 3 new facilities in the state, including Amazon’s Pontiac robotics fulfillment center.

US survey: Walmart, DoorDash lead in food delivery popularity
Consumers have clear-cut preferences about what platforms they like to use for online grocery and meal delivery. A new survey of over 1,000 U.S. consumers by online deal platform CouponFollow indicates a leading 34% use the Walmart grocery delivery service for online grocery orders. Following (more than 1 response was permitted) were Instacart (32%), Amazon Prime grocery delivery (17%), Target grocery delivery (17%), Fresh Direct (9%), Fry Delivery (9%), and Google Shopping (8%). Meanwhile, responses indicated a much more dominant number 1 choice for preferred meal delivery app. DoorDash led with selection by 70% of respondents, far ahead of number 2 Grubhub (49%). Other popular fast-food delivery apps include Uber Eats (45%), Postmates (21%), and (10%).

US: Cardenas Markets partners with Shipt on same-day delivery
Hispanic grocer Cardenas Markets has partnered with same-day delivery service company Shipt of Birmingham, Alabama, to offer rapid delivery in as little as 1 hour. "Shipt's people-first philosophy and Cardenas Markets' mission to connect cultures and communities make our partnership a perfect fit", said Rina Hurst, chief business officer at Shipt, in a statement.

Price is the top reason Canadians don’t buy more produce -Survey
Canadians tend to believe they have to empty their wallets to shop the produce aisle. A new report from the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University found the number-one reason Canadians don’t buy produce more often is the price (39.5%). Other barriers to buying fruit and vegetables are “too much work to prepare” (30.5%), “not very tasty” (10.5%) and “not sure how to prepare/cook them” (8%).

US: Walmart, Meredith look to make food media content ‘shoppable’
Walmart has teamed up with media company Meredith Corp. to help families buy ingredients for meals and prepare them more easily via artificial intelligence-powered meal planning, shoppable recipes, visual search, chatbots, virtual assistants and social media.

Amazon brings its cashierless tech to 2 Whole Foods stores
Amazon is bringing its automated checkout technology to a pair of Whole Foods stores, the company announced, marking the latest test of the grab-and-go system in a full-size supermarket. In a blog post, Amazon said the technology, called “Just Walk Out”, is coming to 2 Whole Foods locations scheduled to open in 2022. One store will be located in the Glover Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and the other in Sherman Oaks, California.

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