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Big Lots is ramping up its hiring campaign

Costco: Canada’s Most Respected Grocery/Food Retailer

US: Consumer spending in key center store categories remains elevated in 2021
Americans spent 2% more year-over-year on groceries and consumer packaged goods (CPGs) in September 2021, and 13% more compared to September 2019, according to new data from NCSolutions. The September data shows the percent change in U.S. consumer spending for key center store categories comparing September 2021 to September 2020 levels, as well as September 2021 to September 2019.

Costco earns kudos as Canada’s ‘most respected’ grocer
Costco Wholesale edged out Loblaw Cos., Sobeys Inc. and Metro Inc. among consumers as Canada’s Most Respected Grocery/Food Retailer, according to research from Dart Insight and Communications. Based on a poll of 3,784 Canadians during September, Costco earned a “Respect Score” of 66.9, coming in as the top national retailer over 13 other grocery store banners, Toronto-based c-suite communications firm Dart said. Rounding out the top 5 Most Respected Grocery/Food Retailers in Canada were Your Independent Grocer (with a score of 64.8), Metro (62.3), Real Canadian Superstore (61.5) and Sobeys (61.4). The survey was conducted for Dart by public opinion pollster Maru/Blue.

Walmart is gaining on Amazon in e-commerce
According to a new report by Jungle Scout, Amazon is expected to end 2021 with more than $468bln in worldwide e-commerce revenue and Walmart will have $75bln. But Walmart is growing much faster online than Amazon in e-commerce, more than 5 times faster. If those rates hold steady, Walmart’s e-commerce will overtake Amazon’s retail sales in 4 years.

US: Big Lots offers employees access to pay on demand
Big Lots is ramping up its hiring campaign by teaming with financial services company DailyPay to offer the national discount retailer's 35,000 store and distribution center associates instant access to earned income. With a goal of onboarding 15,000 employees in preparation for a busy holiday season, Big Lots is hoping to attract these new associates by touting the DailyPay benefit. DailyPay is a technology platform that enables employees to access or save their pay as they earn it, without having to wait for a traditional payday.

New Zealand: Countdown starts online trial as shoppers accidentally over-order fruit and veg
Countdown is allowing online customers to order fruit and vegetables by quantity, rather than weight, after noticing a tendency to be ‘a bit overzealous’ with order amounts during the Covid-19 lockdown. Shopping mishaps recognised by the country’s 2 largest supermarket chains, Countdown and Foodstuffs, include orders for 3kg of ginger, 10kg of lemons, and one banana for a family of 10. “When this happens our team in store will usually give the customer a call to check if they definitely want those 10kgs of lemons”, a Countdown spokeswoman said. The trial will give customers the option to switch between wanting 1 banana or 0.2kg of bananas, to see which option is easier to understand.

Belgium: Unions end Lidl strike
An almost week-long strike at Lidl Belgium has ended: unions and management have agreed on measures to lower the workload. All stores have reopened. The end of the strike came after management made promises on a series of measures to lower the workload for employees, both in the short term and in the long run.

France: Carrefour sees sales slow in the third quarter
Carrefour, which earlier this month ended talks over a possible tie-up with unlisted rival Auchan, said it remained on the offensive as it kept a guidance for 2021 net free cash flow 'comfortably' above €1bln. Europe's largest retailer also said revenue growth slowed in the 3rd quarter, reflecting weaker sales in the core French market where a mandatory COVID-19 health pass hit business at its large out-of-town hypermarkets. Carrefour said sales reached €20.47bln ($23.83bln) in the 3rd quarter, a like-for-like rise of 0.8% but a slowdown from 3.6% growth in the 2nd quarter.

India's Future Retail must take part in Amazon dispute arbitration, Singapore panel says
Future Retail must take part in arbitration over a commercial dispute with Inc, a Singapore arbitration panel ruled, rejecting the Indian retailer's bid to avoid the process.

China: Taobao rolls out platform designed for senior users
Alibaba Group’s online marketplace, Taobao, has rolled out a new version of the shopping app designed to be more accessible for senior users, piloted ahead of China’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, according to a news release. Taobao’s “senior mode” features larger text and icons, simplified navigation and voice-assisted technology, which allows senior citizens to search for products using voice commands. The homepage also highlights games that have been popular among elderly users.

New Zealand's Commerce Commission to supermarkets: if competition is increasing, explain your market share
Claims from Countdown and Foodstuffs that supermarkets are facing significantly growing competition from niche rivals have been called into question by the Commerce Commission. Josh Gluckman, strategy director of Countdown-owner Woolworths NZ, told the commission on the first day of its market-study conference into the $22bln groceries industry that supermarkets were facing new challenges from the likes of CostCo, the Chemist Warehouse and meal kit providers.

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