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Spar Spain: A series of store openings during August and September

7-Eleven: First store in Israel to open in 2022

France: Auchan held talks with Niel-backed SPAC before failed Carrefour bid - sources
French food retailer Auchan explored a deal with a blank cheque company backed by telecoms mogul Xavier Niel and banker Matthieu Pigasse before a failed attempt to tie up with rival Carrefour, 3 sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Jack Ma resurfaces in Hong Kong
Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma Yun has been spotted in Hong Kong - almost a year after regulators pulled the plug on Ant Group’s initial public offering. 2 highly-placed sources told The Standard that they saw Ma in the city on October 1, months after he laid low in the mainland away from public limelight.

France: “Yes” to all of our deaf and hard-of-hearing Carrefour has started teaching its in-store employees sign language
Carrefour reported: "Carrefour has announced an initiative to teach its in-store employees French sign language so as to provide its deaf and hard-of-hearing customers with the best possible experience. Customer satisfaction is the Group’s primary concern. Following last April's introduction of quiet hours in stores to create more suitable conditions for autism sufferers, this initiative is something else that Carrefour is doing in the name of inclusivity".

Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly programme now offers more than 100,000 products in Europe
Amazon announced that customers can now buy from a selection of more than 200,000 Climate Pledge Friendly products, with over 100,000 of them available in Europe (the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain). The programme, which makes it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products, is adding 5 new European certifications that help preserve the natural world: Associazione Italiana Agricultura Biologica (AIAB), EU Organic, Fair For Life, Natrue, and Soil Association Certification, bringing the programme’s number of certifications in Europe to 31.

Singapore-based Shopee to launch online in Spain, social media account says
Shopee, the e-commerce arm of Southeast Asia's Sea Ltd, plans to launch online sales in Spain via its website and local apps, according to a social media account run by the company.

7-Eleven to open its first store in Israel in 2022
The United States-based chain of convenience stores 7-Eleven is set to open dozens of stores across Israel over the next 3 years, the first of which is expected to be open to public in 2022. Electra Consumer Products, a licensee of the convenience stores company in Israel, made the announcement. The first store is expected to open in July 2022 at the Dizengoff Center shopping mall in Tel Aviv.

Spain: SPAR grows store portfolio during August and September
SPAR Spain has enjoyed a series of store openings during August and September, helping the brand meet evolving customer needs in Alicante, Almería, Lérida, Murcia, and Valencia. SPAR Spain is making great investments in more advanced thermal insulation and ventilation, along with highly energy-efficient equipment.

French ecommerce: €112.2bln in 2020
The ecommerce sector in France generated 112.2bln euros in 2020. Compared to 2019, internet sales grew by 8.5%. This growth was not homogenous across all products, as the sales of services were hit hard due to the pandemic. Fevad, Ecommerce Europe’s French national association presented key figures in French ecommerce for the year 2020 in a report.

US: Village Super Market reports uptick in fiscal 2021 sales
ShopRite operator Village Super Market Inc. saw net and same-store sales edge up for its 2021 fiscal year, with comparable sales boosted by strong e-commerce results. For the 53 weeks ended July 31, overall sales came in at $2.03bln, up 2% from $1.8bln in fiscal 2020, which had 52 weeks, Springfield, New Jersey-based Village Super Market said. The company noted that, excluding the impact of the 53rd week, the top line still rose due to sales contributed by 5 acquired Fairway Market stores in New York City, a replacement ShopRite store in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and increased same-store sales.

US: Stop & Shop kicks off Express delivery
In partnership with Instacart, Stop & Shop has launched Stop & Shop Express, an online shopping service providing delivery of groceries, convenience products and household essentials in as soon as 30 minutes. The Quincy, Massachusetts-based grocer, part of Ahold Delhaize USA, said that Stop & Shop Express is now available through its more than 400 supermarkets in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.

Canada: Couche-Tard buying back 6.35mln shares from founder Bouchard
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. said it’s buying back millions of company shares from a corporation controlled by its founder and executive chairman, Alain Bouchard. The convenience store giant announced in a release it’s repurchasing 6.35mln Class B shares from Développements Orano Inc. for $47.23 apiece, for a total of approximately $300mln.

US: Kroger to enter Northeast with Ocado robotic warehouse
The Kroger Co. aims to enter the Northeast through its e-commerce partnership with United Kingdom-based Ocado Group. Kroger said that it plans to offer Kroger Delivery online grocery service in the Northeast by building an Ocado-powered automated customer fulfillment center (CFC) to fill digital orders for same-day and next-day delivery. The Cincinnati-based supermarket giant currently operates no brick-and-mortar stores in the region.

Ahold Delhaize USA reaches 65% self-distributed milestone
The Ahold Delhaize USA (ADUSA) Supply Chain network has completed its 2021 facilities transitions with the conversion of procurement services at The Giant Co.’s Carlisle, Pennsylvania, distribution center to the self-distributed network. This transition completes Ahold Delhaize USA’s planned facility transitions for 2021, bringing the network’s self-distributed center store volume to 65%, the goal established for the year.

US: New Seasons Market partners with Afresh to bring fresher produce to consumers
Afresh Technologies, an AI-driven technology company building solutions that are transforming the fresh food supply chain, and privately-owned, west coast neighborhood grocer New Seasons Market have partnered to bring Afresh’s Fresh Operating System into select stores in the Pacific Northwest. The partnership will help New Seasons Market reduce complexity within its stores, optimize produce operations, increase sales, and deliver fresher produce to consumers.

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