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Freshpik has launched its maiden store

Asda has officially opened its first premium ‘Extra Special’ convenience store

Belgium: Carrefour's logistical problems continue
The logistical problems at Carrefour Belgium continue, even though the strike at Kuehne+Nagel's distribution centre in Nivelles ended a week ago. The unions are afraid the problem is structural, and point to the trucker shortage.

Russia: X5 sees like-for-like sales up 4.8% in third quarter
Russian retail giant X5 Retail Group has reported a 4.8% increase in like-for-like sales in the 3rd quarter of its financial year, largely driven by increased basket sizes (+4.7%), with a small increase in traffic (+0.1%).

UK's Morrisons takeover: Bradford retail giant in the bagging area
Supermarket giant Morrisons and its 122-year history is currently sitting in the bagging area, having been snapped up for £7bln by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R). On the eve of a shareholder vote which could approve the deal, the BBC has been to the company's birthplace to find out what the people of Bradford think.

Picnic and HelloFresh in top 10 Dutch ecommerce
The 6 biggest online stores in the Netherlands in 2020 were the same 6 as the year before. remains the biggest player, followed by Coolblue and Albert Heijn. However, Albert Heijn is closing the gap between itself and its predecessor quickly. Garden centers and hardware stores grew the fastest, and meal delivery companies also climbed higher on the list. As it does every year, Dutch magazine Twinkle has ranked the 250 biggest ecommerce stores in the Netherlands.

UK: Asda opens first premium convenience store in partnership with EG Group
Asda has officially opened its first premium ‘Extra Special’ convenience store offering motorists the opportunity to shop the supermarket’s deluxe product range in a convenient roadside location. The store, which is located on EG Group’s Oxford Road forecourt in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, stocks 2,500 products including a large selection of Asda’s premium range products. These include an extensive selection of fresh and chilled ‘Extra Special’ products, as well as ready meals and beers, wines and spirits, offering great value and quality compared with rival forecourt grocery formats.

India: Reliance Retail’s Freshpik debuts at Jio World Drive
Freshpik, a first-of-its-kind experiential gourmet food superstore from Reliance Retail, has launched its maiden store at Jio World Drive in Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai. With the launch of Freshpik, Reliance Retail forays into Ultra-Premium grocery segment in India.

Hungary: SPAR to support local suppliers with ‘Regional Treasures’ partnership programme
SPAR Hungary is creating a new regional partnership programme for small-scale domestic producers and businesses. The SPAR country operator is investing €4.75mln into the ‘Regional Treasures’ programme to integrate at least 100 suppliers and stimulate employment opportunities.

Belgium: Massive strike cripples Lidl until Monday
Dozens of Lidl stores in Belgium are closed due to a strike for the third day and on Saturday, the unions even hoped to keep all 309 of them closed. The problem is the workload, and the fact that management has postponed reconciliation talks to Monday.

UK: The John Lewis Partnership enters the Race to Zero, supporting the transition to a decarbonised economy
The John Lewis Partnership has joined a leading group of businesses that have signed up to the SBTi Business Ambition for 1.5°C and also joined UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign [Race To Zero is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, and investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery in the run-up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November].

India: DMart Ready soft launches in Surat and Vadodara
DMart Ready - supermarket chain DMart's online service - has soft launched in the cities of Surat and Vadodara in the state of Gujarat, parent Avenue Supermarts Limited said as part of its September quarter earnings. The move marks expansion of the retailer's online business. With the soft launch, DMart Ready now has a presence across 7 areas including Mumbai Metropolitan Region MMR, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Surat, and Vadodara.

US: Grocery retail sales climb 7.5% in September
Lifted in part by inflation, grocery sales grew 7.5% year over year in September amid a double-digit gain in overall U.S. retail sales, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. In advance estimates, September U.S. retail and foodservice sales totaled $625.42bln (seasonally adjusted), up 0.7% from August and 13.9% from September 2020. Retail trade sales - excluding motor vehicles and parts stores, gas and repair stations - grew 0.8% sequentially to $553.03bln in September and rose 12.2% from a year earlier.

US: Walmart launches Text to Shop beta test
Walmart has begun piloting technology to allow busy consumers to text the retailer products they want to purchase. Dominique Essig, vice president of conversational commerce for Walmart’s Store No8 incubation arm, said in a blog post that her unit and the retailer’s global technology team have launched a beta test of Walmart Text to Shop in selected markets. With the solution, customers can send Walmart text messages naming products to add to their shopping list or virtual cart on or in the Walmart mobile app.

US: Sprouts Farmers Market makes locally grown produce more accessible
Sprouts Farmers Market is strengthening local food systems by providing communities with access to fresh, nutritious food. The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation is providing $3mln in grants to 115 non-profit organizations to improve school garden learning and nutrition education.

US: Dollar Tree, Family Dollar to hold 6th nationwide hiring event
Due to the company’s growth and anticipated need this holiday season, Dollar Tree Inc. plans to hire thousands of associates at its Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores and the company’s 26 U.S. distribution centers during its 6th annual nationwide hiring event on October 20, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time.

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