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Fresh Thyme Market will open a new concept store in St. Louis

Giant Food announced a collaboration with Flashfood

US: Wegmans to open smaller-format stores in new market areas
While Wegmans Food Markets is known for its large stores - sometimes spanning 120,000 to nearly 150,000 square feet - that typically require 15 to 20 acres of land in suburbia to accommodate, the food retailer has been building smaller-format stores in less traditional sites in recent years to serve more densely populated urban and inner-ring suburban environments.

US: GrubMarket raises $145mln Series E to accelerate profitable growth
GrubMarket, a San Francisco-based food technology company, announced it raised $145mln in a heavily oversubscribed Series E funding round from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Liberty Street Funds, Japan Post Capital, Walleye Capital, Celtic House Asia Partners, INP Capital, Pegasus Tech Ventures, RIVC and Gaingels, among other unnamed participants. This round values GrubMarket at over $1bln.

US: FarmboxRx becomes 1st fresh grocery delivery service to accept SNAP/EBT benefits
FarmboxRx, a first-of-its-kind nutrition program pioneering the ‘Food as Medicine’ movement within healthcare, announced it will be the 1st and only national online grocer to accept SNAP/EBT benefits. The pilot program will enable the Medicare/Medicaid population that FarmboxRx services to supplement the healthy food benefits provided through their health plan with SNAP dollars.

US: Giant Food partners with Flashfood on pilot program to save customers money on groceries and reduce food waste
Giant Food, the leading greater Washington, D.C. regional food retailer, announced a collaboration with Flashfood, a digital marketplace providing customers access to heavily discounted food nearing its best-by date. Initially available at 3 select Giant stores in Maryland and Virginia, this pilot program continues the expansion of Flashfood’s partnership with Giant’s parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA and its regional store brands.

US: Fresh Thyme Market to open new concept store in St. Louis
Fresh Thyme Market, a full-service specialty retailer with 70 stores in 10 states throughout the Midwest, will open a new concept store with a focus on the community and local products on November 10 at the historic City Foundry in St. Louis. The 27,000-square-foot Fresh Thyme Market at City Foundry STL will feature a vast assortment of fresh, local, natural and organic food, as well as national brand products at affordable prices.

US: Fabric raises $200mln in Series C funding and becomes a new kind of unicorn - a “robocorn”
Fabric announced that it has closed a $200mln Series C funding round led by existing investor Temasek, with participation from Koch Disruptive Technologies, Union Tech Ventures, Harel Insurance & Finance, Pontifax Global Food and Agriculture Technology Fund (Pontifax AgTech), Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), KSH Capital, Princeville Capital, Wharton Equity Ventures, and others.

Poland: Aldi Nord opens technology hub in Kraków
Aldi Nord has opened a new technology hub in the Polish city of Kraków. At the beginning of this month, the first employees started working at the site. Next year, 250 IT specialists are expected to be employed.

Russia: Retailer X5's profits up 55.9%, dividends on track
Russia’s largest food retailer X5 reported a 55.9% year-on-year jump in 3rd-quarter net profit to 12.2bln roubles ($173.5mln) and said the group was on track to pay a full-year dividend of 50bln roubles. 3rd-quarter revenue rose 11.7% to 543.6bln roubles compared with a year ago, driven by strong performance in its stores, including like-for-like sales. That performance is in line with an expectation for full-year revenue to exceed 2tln roubles in 2021.

Trigo powers Germany’s first frictionless grocery store for REWE
Trigo, an Israel-based computer vision company disrupting retail with frictionless checkout technology, is partnering with German supermarket giant REWE Group, one of Europe’s leading retailers and Germany’s second-largest food retail chain, to deliver a “pick and go” shopping experience to REWE customers in downtown Cologne.

Finland: K Group to introduce automation-assisted collection system
K Group has commenced the construction of an automation-assisted order fulfilment system, which the retailer claims is a 1st of its kind to be built on-site at a grocery store in the country. It will enable efficient deliveries to online customers while giving them access to a wide range of speciality and service counter items. The system is expected to be ready in the first half of 2022.

68% of shoppers in UAE prepared to pay more for quality food and beverage they can trust
Consumers in the UAE are willing to pay a premium for high-quality food and beverage products that taste good, are healthy, and they can trust, according to a new report by Kantar, commissioned by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the government agency charged with helping New Zealand businesses to grow internationally. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers in the UAE care more about where their food comes from and how it was made, with more than 50% of those surveyed agreeing this impacts their F&B purchasing decisions.

Australian grocer Woolworths' flags slowing sales as lockdowns ease
Australia’s biggest supermarket chain Woolworths Group said that sales had started to slow down in October, as COVID-19 restrictions that helped boost it in the 1st quarter by nearly 8% start to unwind. Shares of the grocer fell more than 4% in early trade, with rival Coles Group dropping 1.6% amid a broader market moving in the opposite direction.

UK: Asda and Quantium announce exclusive data partnership
Supermarket Asda has partnered with data science leader ‘Quantium’ to launch a new strategic partnership that will enable Asda and its suppliers to better understand customers and meet their needs even more effectively.

Russia: Lenta sees retail sales up 13.5% in 3rd quarter
Retailer Lenta has reported a 13.5% year-on-year growth in retail sales, to RUB116bln (€1.44bln), in the 3rd quarter of its financial year. Like-for-like sales increased by 3.5% in this period, driven by the performance of its hypermarket format, while LFL average ticket grew by 4.7%. The company's online sales grew by 237% year-on-year, to RUB4.4bln (€54 mln), with online orders up 231% to 2.4mln in the 3rd quarter.

Holland: Soon you will also find Jumbo products at Hema
Hema will soon start selling Jumbo products in some of its stores. The trial is part of CEO Saskia Egas Reparaz' new strategy. Which of the Jumbo products will eventually end up at Hema is still to be examined.

SPAR Austria rolls out nationwide partnership with Too Good To Go
After a successful trial in SPAR Gourmet stores, SPAR Austria and social impact company Too Good To Go have expanded their food waste reduction partnership to all 700 SPAR and EUROSPAR stores in Austria and seven INTERSPAR Hypermarkets in Vienna and surrounding areas. As of 4 October, customers can use the Too Good To Go app to order food from SPAR Supermarkets that would otherwise be wasted at a reduced cost.

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