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Colruyt Group tests 'OKay Direct'

Carrefour to step up digital commerce expansion

India: FreshWorld seeks to challenge quick commerce models with EV pushcarts on an Uber-like app
Bengaluru-based FreshWorld is in the process of raising a new round of funding to grow its recently launched mobile app that offers an Uber-like experience for users to order fruits and vegetables under 20 minutes. The company is in the final stage of bringing a leading agri-value chain enabler as a strategic investor, FreshWorld founder Rajiv Rao said. The investment will help the company to expand its current electric pushcart fleet, strengthen its mobile app and expand to more regions in the city.

Mercadona opens store with Co-Innovation Centre in Portugal
Spanish retailer Mercadona has opened a supermarket in Portugal with an integrated Co-Innovation Centre, which is a 1st for the retailer in the country. Located in Vila do Conde, the 1,900sq.m store features sections for delicatessen, fishmonger, pastry shop and bakery, perfume shop, butcher, fruit and vegetables and ready-to-eat food items.

Don Quijote is winning fans in Hong Kong with its fresh food
The Japanese discount chain store Don Quijote is enjoying a major sales surge in this Asian market even amid the novel coronavirus pandemic thanks to its offerings of fresh food and Japanese wares. Just 2 years since its first store opened in Hong Kong, Don Quijote now has 8 outlets here and the discount giant’s annual turnover has reached 30bln yen ($262mln). Pan Pacific International Holdings Corp. (PPIH), the chain’s parent company, is doing business in Hong Kong under the brand name Don Don Donki. Its supermarkets sell fresh fish, meat, sushi, fruits and sweets.

Grocery price rises turn up heat on British consumers - Kantar research
British grocery price inflation was 2.1% in the 4 weeks to October 31, its highest level since August 2020, market researcher Kantar said, adding to the pressure on household finances. Kantar said grocery prices are rising fastest in markets such as savoury snacks, canned colas and crisps while falling in fresh bacon, vegetables and pet treats.

Poland: SPAR’s multi-format growth strategy continues
SPAR Poland has continued to grow its store numbers during 2021 with new stores and through the conversion of former Piotr i Paweł stores to the SPAR and EUROSPAR formats. The last of these stores to be converted was the EUROSPAR Supermarket at the Warsaw Fashion House Klif. Opened on 13 October 2021, the store has been completely renovated, modernising the lighting, refrigeration systems, and flooring. Customers can now enjoy both traditional and bakery services, a great fruit and vegetable selection, and food to go.

Musgrave Group to open 1st Centra store in Qatar early next year
Musgrave Group is set to open its 1st Centra store outside of Ireland, in Qatar, while also planning to launch its Frank and Honest coffee chain internationally. The Qatar outlet is set to open 'early next year', Musgrave chief executive Noel Keeley explained in an interview with the Sunday Independent. Musgrave Group reported sales of €6.1bln last year, up €700mln on the previous year. Its SuperValu brand accounted for €3.4bln worth of sales, while the Centra banner reported €2.2bln in sales.

India's Future Retail takes Reliance deal saga to Supreme Court
India's Future Retail has asked the country's top court to stall a Singapore arbitration panel's decision to freeze a $3.4bln asset sale after e-commerce giant Amazon had sought to block the deal.

French retailer Carrefour steps up digital expansion
French supermarket group Carrefour pledged to spend 3bln euros ($3.47bln) between 2022 and 2026 to step up digital commerce expansion, a key part of boss Alexandre Bompard's new strategy plan.

SPAR Austria opens regional headquarters for Emilia-Romagna
The SPAR Austria Group has opened new regional headquarters and logistics centre for Emilia-Romagna in Castel San Pietro Terme. The area covered in Italy by the retailer, which is also active in Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia, has now expanded to all of north-eastern Italy.

UK shopping habits 'beginning to settle', says Kantar
Grocery sales felly by 1.9% in the UK over the 12-week period to 31 October, new data from Kantar has shown, with the research firm saying that post-pandemic shopping habits are 'beginning to settle'. While grocery sales were down year-on-year, sales are still 7.3% higher than for the corresponding period in 2019.

Holland: Picnic staff will receive an additional 10% salary in 3 years
Employees of the online supermarket Picnic will receive an additional salary of 10% over the next 3 years. The union De Unie reported that wages will be increased by 3% this month if the staff agrees to the new collective labor agreement.

Belgium: Colruyt Group tests autonomous city store in Ghent
Colruyt Group is testing 'OKay Direct', an innovative automated store concept where customers can do their shopping 24/7 in the centre of Ghent. The new city shop is located in the Belfortstraat in Ghent and is fully committed to autonomy and self-service. 

US: Giant Co. debuts Philly E-commerce Fulfillment Center
The Giant Co. has officially opened its new Giant Direct E-commerce Fulfillment Center (EFC) at 3501 Island Avenue in Philadelphia. The cutting-edge 124,000-square-foot facility will allow the grocer to serve more customers in Philadelphia and - for the 1st time in the company’s 98-year history - southern New Jersey.

US: Walmart goes fully driverless in delivery pilot in Bentonville
Teaming up with logistics and delivery tech firm Gatik, Walmart is piloting daily delivery without a safety driver behind the wheel of a delivery route in its headquarters city of Bentonville, Arkansas, moving customer orders between a Walmart dark store and a Neighborhood Market in its fleet of multi-temperature autonomous box trucks. Gatik’s deployment with Walmart in the state represents the 1st time that an autonomous trucking company has removed the safety driver from a commercial delivery route on the middle mile anywhere in the world, according to Gatik.

US: Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Markets complete merger transaction
With the regulatory review process complete and approval from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received, Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Markets announced the closure of their merger, as proposed earlier this year. Under the terms of the agreement, the 2 companies will be managed locally by their respective leaders and continue to be referred to by their established brand identities, but will be owned and overseen by a new parent company, Northeast Grocery, Inc.

Amazon cloud computing division to open hub in Calgary area
Amazon says it plans to open a 2nd cloud-computing server hub in Canada in late 2023 that will result in billions of dollars of investments in the coming years. Amazon Web Services, the company's cloud division, says the new hub will be based in the Calgary region to provide better service to Western Canada. 

US Foods improves Q3 2021 sales, earnings
US Foods Holding Corp. lifted both its sales and income for the 2021 3rd quarter ending October 2, 2021, according to a press release. Net sales for the nationwide, broadline foodservice distributor rose 34.9% from $5.8bln in Q3, 2020 to $7.9bln for Q3, 2021. Net income rose from $8mln to $64mln in the comparable quarters.

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