US: Pandemic-sensitive online grocery sales grow to $8.6bln in August
The U.S. online grocery market generated $8.6bln in sales during August, a gain of 4.7% versus a year ago, as ship-to-home sales dropped nearly 22% to $2bln and the combined delivery/pickup segment grew more than 16% to $6.6bln, according to a Brick Meets Click and Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey fielded August 29-30.
US: Kroger CEO says finding talent is grocery operator’s greatest challenge, as it teams up with Instacart
Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said the country’s largest supermarket operator currently has about 20,000 job openings. “We’re aggressively hiring anywhere we can”, he said on CNBC. “One of the biggest constraints we have right now is finding talented people”. The retailer announced that it had teamed up with Instacart to increase its ability to fulfill online grocery orders and get them to customers’ doors in as little as 30 minutes.
US: AWG, IGA offer Flashfood to member retailers
Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) and Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) have partnered with Flashfood to provide more than 4,000 independent supermarkets access to its eponymous food waste reduction app. The free app from Toronto-based Flashfood enables shoppers to buy fresh food - including produce, meat, deli, bakery and snacks - nearing their “best before” date at much lower prices, in turn cutting down on store-generated food waste. AWG and IGA said that, through the partnership, they will help member retailers integrate the Flashfood program into their operations.
Amazon offers $3,000 sign-on bonuses to US delivery and warehouse workers
Amazon is offering sign-on bonuses of up to $3,000 (£2,165) in some locations as it aims to hire 125,000 delivery and warehouse workers across the US amid a recruitment frenzy. The online retail and tech giant said it was also raising its average starting wage to $18 an hour, up from $17 an hour announced in May, amid fierce competition for hourly paid workers in the US.
US: Misfits Market closes $225mln Series C-1 funding round
E-grocer Misfits Market has closed a $225mln Series C-1 funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from Accel. The investment brings the company’s valuation to $2bln and the overall funding raised by Misfits Market to $526.5mln.
EPA recognizes ALDI U.S. for ongoing green energy leadership
For the 2nd consecutive year, ALDI earned recognition as a National Top 100 Partner by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership for the company’s advancements in transitioning to green power across its operations. The EPA also honored ALDI with the 2020 GreenChill Store Certification Excellence award while more than 30 stores received the Store ReCertification Excellence honors for reducing harmful refrigerant emissions.
US: Walmart+ is gaining momentum, hits 32mln members, Deutsche Bank estimates
Walmart+ has hit an “inflection point” and is growing its membership at a faster clip, according to a new research note from Deutsche Bank. The subscription service has attracted about 32mln U.S. households, it said. The membership program, which includes perks such as free, unlimited grocery deliveries to the home, launched almost exactly a year ago.
Finland: Kesko Group sees sales up 9.7% in August
Kesko Group has reported a 9.7% year-on-year growth in sales (+7% on a comparable basis) to €971.8mln in August. Sales in the company's grocery division grew by 1.6%, amounting to €503.8mln in this period.
Poland: Allegro in talks to buy Czech online retailer Mall Group - report
Polish e-commerce platform Allegro is in talks over the possible acquisition of Czech online retailer Mall Group, Czech financial daily Hospodarske Noviny reported. The talks are in the final stages but could also close without any transaction, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources.
Barcelona-based unicorn Glovo scales its Q-Commerce division with new grocery acquisitions in Spain and Portugal
Glovo, one of the world’s leading multi-category delivery players, announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire the grocery delivery companies Lola Market and Mercadão. The financial details of those acquisitions have not been disclosed, but since Glovo raised €450mln in their Series F funding round earlier this year, the Spanish scale-up certainly has enough funds to make a lot more of such acquisitions in the near future.
SPAR Scotland welcomes latest additions to its transport fleet
SPAR Scotland has invested £1.6mln (€1.87mln) in a fleet of new vehicles. The first of 12 new trailers were recently delivered to their distribution centre in Dundee, with some deployed on the road from 1 September. The new trailers, built in Scotland by Fraserburgh based Gray and Adams, incorporate the latest Thermo King A400 Advancer Refrigeration units. These units improve fuel efficiency by around 30% and significantly reduce CO2 emissions.
UK: £5mln extra costs for Ocado from driver shortage
Ocado is expecting costs to rise by £5mln as it raises wages and offers signing-on bonuses to attract delivery drivers amid mass shortages.
Spain: DIA participates in energy efficiency pilot project
Spanish retailer DIA has joined the SUPER-HEERO pilot project, which seeks to improve energy efficiency in small and medium-sized supermarkets. This initiative, funded by the European Commission within the framework of the Horizon 2020 programme, will allow the retailer to implement the project concept at a practical level, evaluate its results, and replicate it in other locations and different types of businesses.
Chaldal, Bangladesh’s largest grocery delivery platform, raises $10mln Series C
Founded in 2013, Bangladesh’s Chaldal was one of the first grocery delivery startups in the world to use the “dark” store model, picking up orders from its own warehouses instead of retail stores. Now the company says it is the country’s 2nd-largest grocery player and the largest grocery e-commerce platform, with 27 warehouses located in 4 cities. Chaldal plans to expand into 15 new cities with a recently-closed $10mln Series C. The round was led by Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of Wise; Topia chief product officer Sten Tamkivi; and Xploration Capital, with participation from Mir Group.
UK: wilko announces investment in StreetDrone
High street retailer wilko has announced a major investment in the UK’s leading autonomous delivery company, StreetDrone. The £3mln investment will give the retailer a significant interest in the company, putting it at the forefront of investments in retail technology in the fast-growing autonomous vehicles industry.
UK: John Lewis Partnership to recruit 7,000 temporary roles this festive season
The John Lewis Partnership is recruiting more than 7,000 temporary roles across the country this Christmas - 2,000 more than last year - to meet increased demand over the busy festive period and to help customers get what they need to celebrate.
India: Online retail store Gobbly raises Rs7.2crore in angel funding round
Gobbly, an online store for fruits, vegetables and dairy products, has raised Rs7.2crore in funding for technology and business development, said the company. The Pre Series A in angel funding was led by Anicut Angel Fund and Sauce.VC. Agility Ventures. Investors Kunal Shah (Cred), Anupam Mittal (People Group), Jitendra Bhandari (Nic Naturals), Sameer Chugh (Mosambee), and Mihir Agarwal, an entrepreneur, also participated in the round.