Delivery Hero would scale down Foodpanda Germany and sell Foodpanda Japan

PLUS and Coop can merge if they sell 12 supermarkets

UK: Strike threat at Asda supply chain over pay dispute
The GMB union has warned that strikes by Asda warehouse staff and drivers could be on the cards after 94% voted in favour of industrial action. The union says that the dispute sparked after Asda failed to offer distribution staff a meaningful pay offer - with inflation running at a 10-year high.

Delivery Hero to shrink Foodpanda Germany, sell Foodpanda Japan
German food delivery group Delivery Hero said it would scale down its Foodpanda operations in Germany and sell the subsidiary's Japan unit, citing increased competition and labour shortages. Delivery Hero said Foodpanda would exit Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart, though it had only introduced the brand in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Stuttgart a month earlier as part of a broader expansion programme in Germany.

Zepto, a 10-minute grocery delivery app in India, raises $100mln
Zepto, a Mumbai-based startup that operates a 10-minute instant grocery delivery service, has more than doubled its valuation to $570mln from $225mln less than 2 months ago as it expands into newer cities. Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund led the $100mln Series C round in Zepto, the 2 said. Glade Brook, Nexus, Breyer Capital, Lachy Groom, Global Founders Capital and Contrary Capital also participated in the round, which brings its to-date raise to $160mln.

UK: Morrisons gives customers free wonky Carrots for Rudolph
Morrisons is giving away 10,000 wonky British carrots to customers who want to leave out refreshments for Father Christmas and his reindeer on Christmas Eve. The wonky carrots - which are oversized, misshapen and scarred, but still taste delicious - are handed out in bags labelled ‘Carrots for Rudolph’ from the entrances of 498 Morrisons stores across the UK.

Belgium's Louis Delhaize selling real estate portfolio in Romania to Austria's Supernova
Belgian retail group Louis Delhaize has signed a sale & lease back transaction with Austrian group Supernova for its real estate portfolio in Romania, the retailer's unit Cora Romania said. Louis Delhaize will continue to operate the 6 Cora hypermarkets associated with the transaction in an anchor-tenant mode, Cora Romania said in a press release. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

UK: Marks & Spencer sets up 3-way contest to succeed CEO Rowe
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has drafted in headhunters to shape a 3-way internal contest to become its next chief executive - a process that could see the appointment of the 1st female boss in the chain's 137-year history. Sky News has learnt that M&S's nominations committee has hired MWM Consulting, a leading search firm, to help benchmark the top 3 contenders to replace Steve Rowe.

Holland: PLUS and Coop can merge if they sell 12 supermarkets
The supermarket chains PLUS and Coop may merge under conditions, reports the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM). 12 supermarkets must be sold to a competitor, so that there is sufficient competition and consumers have options in their own neighborhood.

Thai Central Group to close £4bln deal for Selfridges in days - sources
Thailand's largest department store owner, Central Group, is just days away from closing a 4bln pound ($5.31bln) acquisition of Selfridges stores in the United Kingdom, 2 sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

UK: Peace at Christmas as Booker strike latest to be called off
A strike at Booker Retail that could have hit deliveries to 1,500 convenience stores has been suspended. The planned 2-day strike by delivery drivers at Booker’s Thamesmead site, which would have included Christmas Eve, was suspended after the company agreed that a pay review can go ahead in the New Year.

Just Eat Takeaway secures another delivery deal, with Britain's 'One Stop'
Online food delivery company Just Eat said it has struck a deal with One Stop, a British convenience store chain owned by Tesco, to handle orders and deliveries on its platform.

US: Starship Technologies releases 2021 Robot Wrap Up report
US-based autonomous delivery services firm Starship Technologies has revealed its 2021 Robot Wrap Up, highlighting the most popular and quirky requests and orders that its fleet of more than 1,000 robots have received in the past year. The difference between order habits in the UK and US is clear, with French fries, boneless wings, iced coffee and curly fries all among the top 5 most popular orders in the latter country. While breakfast appears to be the priority for Brits, with orders of milk, bananas, bread and eggs accounting for their most frequently ordered items.

Europe’s biggest rapid-delivery app is setting its sights on the U.S.
Founded 6 years ago in Turkey, Getir aims to deliver everyday essentials from its grocery stores to people’s front doors in under 10 minutes. This year, it expanded across Europe. Next year, it will be a lot more focused on the U.S., where it will face a whole new level of competition. Getir’s CEO plans to take the company public in New York eventually. He said this could happen as early as next year or 2023.

US: Lowes Food, DoorDash join forces for on-demand grocery delivery
Regional grocer Lowes Foods and DoorDash have teamed up to offer on-demand grocery delivery from more than 70 store locations in North and South Carolina. DoorDash currently offers more than 50,000 items and premium quality products, including fresh produce, meat, bread and baked goods, and everyday essentials.

US: National Convenience Distributors announces acquisition of Century Distributors
National Convenience Distributors, LLC announced the acquisition of Century Distributors Inc., one of the Mid-Atlantic region's largest full-line wholesale distributors to the convenience and grocery store industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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