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Mercato has formally rolled out in the metropolitan Houston market

Walmart is expanding its partnerships with self-driving vehicle companies

US: Blue Apron co-founder Matthew Salzberg resigns from board
Blue Apron Holdings Inc said its co-founder and chairman Matthew Salzberg has resigned from the board of the meal kit delivery company to focus on other business interests.

US survey: Convenience drives online grocery shopping more than COVID
It’s convenience - not concern - that has spurred more grocery shoppers to go online, new research from digital payment specialist ACI Worldwide shows. In a poll of more than 2,300 U.S. consumers, 76% reported grocery shopping online for ease and convenience versus 56% saying they do so to avoid the risk of COVID-19, according to ACI, which conducted the “What Consumers Expect From Their Grocery Shopping Experiences” study with its media arm. 34% percent of shoppers said it’s faster to buy groceries online, and 53% indicated they had a good online experience and want to continue shopping that way.

US: Wakefern brings CB4 to ShopRite and Price Rite Marketplace stores to drive sales and meet demand
CB4 and Wakefern Food Corp. announced plans to expand CB4 technology to additional stores after a successful rollout in several ShopRite and Price Rite Marketplace stores. The CB4 app uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to increase sales, save time, and allow for better tracking of products.

US: Mercato arrives in Houston
Mercato, an e-commerce platform created for independent grocers and specialty food stores, has formally rolled out in the metropolitan Houston market. The company connects shoppers to more than 1,000 independently owned grocery stores and specialty markets in states across the nation, with an established presence in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia.

US: Giant Eagle aims to ‘extend aisles’ in online marketplace
Giant Eagle seeks an even bigger assortment in for the “endless aisles” in its Giant Eagle Marketplace e-commerce channel. The Pittsburgh-based grocer has enlisted with online product discovery platform RangeMe to accelerate and scale sourcing of new and emerging products.

US: Walmart to test self-driving cars in multiple cities with Ford and Argo AI
Walmart is expanding its partnerships with self-driving vehicle companies to include Ford Motor and Argo AI. The companies said that the collaboration will utilize Ford Escape hybrids with Argo AI technology for Walmart deliveries in Miami, the District of Columbia and Austin, Texas.

UK: Co-op warns supply chain disruption to hit full year profit
British supermarket group the Co-operative Group reported a first half loss and warned the country’s supply chain disruption would put pressure on full year profit. The group, which is owned by its members and also provides funeral and other services, said it made an underlying operating loss before tax of 15mln pounds ($20.7mln) for the 26 weeks to July 3, versus a profit of 56mln pounds in the same period last year. The shortfall reflected investment in the business and COVID costs.

UK: John Lewis Partnership loss narrows as turnaround delivers
John Lewis Partnership Plc’s loss narrowed in the first half as the British retailer’s turnaround efforts started to pay off. The operator of the John Lewis department store and upmarket grocer Waitrose said the 29mln pound ($40mln) pretax loss came after taking almost 100mln pounds of exceptional costs related to store closures and redundancy payments.

Majid Al Futtaim to acquire 6 Carrefour stores in Uganda
Majid Al Futtaim, a leading shopping mall and leisure pioneer in the region, has concluded an agreement with Shoprite Checkers Uganda to see the transfer of Shoprite’s 6 Uganda store leases to Majid Al Futtaim by the end of the year. Majid Al Futtaim currently operates 2 stores in Uganda, under the banner of Carrefour. Following the implementation of the agreement, Majid Al Futtaim will expand its footprint to 8 Carrefour stores.

UK: Sainsbury's makes it personal in price battle with rivals
British supermarket group Sainsbury's will offer lower prices to customers using its digital loyalty scheme and self-scanner service, deepening ties with shoppers and cutting costs in the latest wave of innovation to hit the industry.

Online shopping in Korea expands 105% since 2017
The market volume of online shopping in South Korea, which has been sharply growing in recent years, has been further boosted by the pandemic, as more consumers rely on internet retailers, data shows. Shopping via the internet is estimated to have contributed largely to private consumption, and eventually the gross domestic product. According to Statistics Korea, monthly online shopping transactions reached an all-time high of 16.19tln won ($13.8bln) in July. This marked 24.9% growth from a year earlier, when turnover posted 12.96tln won. Compared to July of 2017 when volume was 7.89tln, the growth marked 105.1% in just 4 years.

UK: Co-op and Starship Technologies to expand partnership to 500 robots across 5 new towns and cities to cut carbon on last mile deliveries
Co-op and Starship Technologies have confirmed plans to extend their partnership, adding new robots to take the total fleet to 500 autonomous vehicles across the UK, while launching robotic delivery services in 5 new towns and cities.

India: SVF Entertainment launches retail chain in Kolkata
SVF Entertainment, the 25-year-old firm with interests in film production, distribution and streaming services, has entered the retail business with the launch of 'Daylis', a new supermarket chain in Kolkata. It has already launched 2 stores in the city and is eyeing 5 more in the next 6 months, said Saksham Mohta, managing director, Daylis.

Finland: Kesko to launch mulled wine made from discarded apples
Kesko is to launch mulled wine (glögi) made with discarded raw materials that would otherwise end up in waste. The product is designed on the lines of Hyvis juice, which uses fruit, berries and vegetables that are edible but not deemed fit for sale in supermarkets due to their appearance. The drink, Hyvis Glögi, will be made using quality-checked apples that will not make their way to the supermarket shelves. The first batch of Hyvis glögi will be rolled out in Kesko stores this autumn.

Marks & Spencer blames Brexit as it closes 11 French stores
Marks & Spencer has said it is closing 11 of its French stores because of problems supplying them with fresh and chilled foods since Brexit. The UK retail giant said all 11 franchise stores it operated with partner SFH in France would shut by the end of this year.

Co-op is now on - Same-Day Grocery Delivery included with Prime
Amazon and Co-op announced that for the first time, customers are now able to do their full grocery shop, choosing from thousands of Co-op products on Starting in Glasgow, Prime members can now shop from the ’Co-op on Amazon’ with delivery included with Prime. Co-op has also announced plans to accelerate its ecommerce strategy and drive rapid growth in the market for community-based home deliveries, with a new partnership with Amazon and an acceleration of robot deliveries.

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