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Marginal sales growth for ICA in August

Aldi has opened its largest supermarket in Portugal

Indian court stalls regulatory approval for Future's $3.4bln deal for 4 weeks
India’s top court ordered authorities to withhold any final decision on Future Group’s sale of $3.4bln of retail assets for 4 weeks, prolonging its dispute with Inc which has challenged the deal. Amazon has for months argued Future violated certain contracts by selling its assets to Reliance Industries, an allegation the Indian retailer denies. The dispute has been taken before courts in India and an arbitrator in Singapore.

Sweden: ICA sees marginal sales growth in August
Swedish retailer ICA Gruppen has reported a 0.2% year-on-year growth in sales to SEK11.2bln (€1.1bln) in August 2021. Sales in like-for-like stores decreased by 0.1% compared to last year, the retailer added.

South Korea: Emart opens fully-automated smart store in Seoul
A fully automated smart store opened in Seoul. South Korean convenience store franchise E-Mart 24, jointly with Shinsegae I&C, set up a smart store in shopping complex Starfield COEX, located in a heavily populated area unlike other stores with automatic payment systems. Customers can type in a cellphone number at the kiosk and insert a credit or debit card to receive a QR code. Scanning the QR code at the entrance allows them to enter.

Aldi opens its biggest store in Portugal
Discounter Aldi has opened its largest supermarket in Portugal, near Monumental Square in Albufeira. The new Aldi Albufeira store is part of the German group’s new store concept that is being rolled out and has been much appreciated by customers.

Britain's supply chain is strained 'everywhere' - Morrisons CEO
Britain’s supply chain is creaking, causing continuing product availability issues, the boss of the country’s 4th largest supermarket group Morrisons said. “That combination of a dearth of labour, a dearth of skills, the pingdemic and COVID does mean that everywhere in the supply chain there is strain”, Chief Executive David Potts told Reuters.

Walmart rethinks its China ‘hypermarket’ strategy amid Alibaba gains
A quarter century after it entered China and transformed the way people shop for groceries, Walmart is at a crossroads. It’s fallen from No. 2 in 2011 to 4th in China’s hypermarket sector, with no gains in market share amid cutthroat competition from local players like e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. that’s already forced out Germany’s Metro AG and France’s Carrefour SA. “China is an important market for Walmart because it still represents a long-term growth opportunity, which explains why the company is investing in expertise to try to improve its results there,” said Jennifer Bartashus, a consumer staples analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

3 friction points slowing the adoption of self-checkout for grocers
“It's clear that users prefer to have a contactless experience”, Ariel Shemesh, co-founder and CEO of retail computer vision provider KanduAI, told PYMNTS in an interview, reflecting on the changes that have happened in the space since the start of the pandemic. “Self-checkout definitely got a lot of users who used to go to the cashiers, and they didn't really mind waiting in line, but they got acquainted with this technology and now they basically demand it”. One of the central self-checkout sticking points when it comes to grocery shopping is the challenge of scanning fresh produce, with customers generally forced to select the item themselves and input it manually, which interrupts the otherwise simple and speedy self-checkout process. 

US: Shipt announces largest nationwide expansion in 3 years
Shipt has announced its largest nationwide expansion in 3 years, adding its same-day delivery services to more store locations and reaching millions of potential new customers. As part of this expansion, customers across the country are able to use same-day delivery with Shipt across nearly 1,000 more store locations from some of their favorite neighborhood retailers. In addition, over 2mln more households who previously were just outside of Shipt's coverage area can now access Shipt for convenient and fast shopping.

US: Stop & Shop reintroduces Freshness Guarantee
Reaffirming its commitment to offering fresh, high-quality products across its 400-plus stores, Stop & Shop has relaunched its Freshness Guarantee. The pledge ensures that if a perishable product bought in Stop & Shop’s meat, seafood, produce, dairy, bakery, floral or deli department doesn’t meet a customer’s standards for freshness and quality, they can return the item and receive double their money back.

Canada: Empire reports $188.5mln first-quarter profit
Empire Co. Ltd., which owns the Sobeys and Safeway grocery chains, says it earned $188.5mln in its latest quarter. The grocery retailer says its profit amounted to 70 cents per share for the quarter ended July 31. The result compared with a profit of $191.9mln or 71 cents per share a year ago when the company benefited from a significant real estate transaction partly offset by a lump-sum payment related to collective bargaining in Alberta.

Canada: Dollarama posts second-quarter profit gains
Dollarama Inc. reported a second-quarter profit of $146.2mln, up from a profit of $142.5mln in the same quarter last year. The retailer says the profit amounted to 48 cents per diluted share for the quarter, up from 46 cents a year ago. Sales in 13-week period ended August 1 totalled $1.03bln, up from $1.01bln last year.

US: GS Foods Group acquires C&C Produce to strengthen existing and future operations
GS Foods Group, Inc. (“GS Foods” or the “Company”), a leading specialized food distributor owned by affiliates of Highview Capital, LLC (“Highview”) and A&M Capital Partners (“AMCP”), announced its acquisition of C&C Produce (“C&C”) - a leading specialty distributor of produce products based in Kansas City, Missouri. C&C’s owners will continue to lead operations from its current facilities in partnership with GS Foods’ senior leadership team.

US: Walmart ends quarterly bonuses for store associates, as it raises employees’ hourly pay
Walmart said it is ending quarterly bonuses, which have been paid to employees for decades. The big-box retailer recently announced that it would boost hourly pay. Many companies have been raising wages and sweetening perks as they try to attract candidates and retain workers in a competitive labor market.

US: Kroger rolls out the ‘Fresh Cart’ as part of logo
The Kroger Co. has added a visual enhancement to a brand identity relaunch nearly 2 years ago. Kroger said that a new icon dubbed “Fresh Cart” has joined the elongated “K” and “G” Kroger logo and “Fresh for Everyone” tagline in its retail, marketing and media branding scheme. The curvy Fresh Cart icon - with 2 dots for wheels and containing what resembles a citrus slice - will feature the same contemporary, streamlined look and signature blue color of the Kroger logo.

US: CUB partners with Afresh to bring fresher produce to customers
Afresh Technologies, an AI-driven technology company building solutions that are transforming the fresh food supply chain, and CUB, one of the nation’s first discount grocery stores, have partnered to bring Afresh’s Fresh Operating System into select stores across the greater Minneapolis–Saint Paul area. The partnership will help optimize produce operations, allowing them to reduce shrink, increase sales, and deliver fresher produce to their consumers.

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