Farmstead has opened a waitlist for its upcoming Chicago launch

Walmart appears to be venturing into the metaverse

Walmart says 2 top U.S. executives to leave - memo
Walmart Inc said Chief Merchandising Officer of its U.S. unit, Scott McCall, will retire and handover the reigns to grocery chief Charles Redfield, as it looks to capitalize on the gains it made during the pandemic. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company also said that Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside will leave in March "to start her next chapter in New York with her family".

LG announces U.S. launch of CLOi ServeBot, world's 1st service robot to achieve UL certification
LG Business Solutions USA announced that the LG CLOi ServeBot is coming to the U.S. market in early 2022. Model LDLIM21 is the world's 1st commercial service robot earning UL 3300 certification for safe operation in complex commercial environments such as restaurants, retail stores and hotels. For the 1st time, U.S. workers will be able to safely use robot assistants that navigate busy environments while carrying up to 66 pounds of food or goods, assisting with employee workloads, enabling better customer service and increasing operational efficiency.

US: Rapid grocery delivery firm Farmstead launches in Chicago
US-based online grocer Farmstead has opened a waitlist for its upcoming Chicago launch. Service is scheduled to begin in early 2022, and will initially be available in both the city of Chicago and nearby suburbs, with delivery in as little as 1 hour. Chicago is Farmstead’s 5th market. The company’s service originated in the San Francisco Bay area, and it also serves Miami, Florida and Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

US: Walmart is quietly preparing to enter the metaverse
Walmart appears to be venturing into the metaverse with plans to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of NFTs. The big-box retailer filed several new trademarks late last month that indicate its intent to make and sell virtual goods. In a separate filing, the company said it would offer users a virtual currency, as well as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

Brazil retail sales surprise with 0.6% rise in November
Brazilian retail sales rose in November against expectations of a monthly drop, official figures showed, even though more than half of the activities gauged had a negative result in the period with double-digit inflation dragging on consumption. The seasonally adjusted monthly increase of 0.6% in November from October beat the median forecast of a 0.2% decline in a Reuters poll of economists. Government statistics agency IBGE also revised October's indicator to a 0.2% rise from a previously reported 0.1% drop.

How delivery apps created 'the Netflix of food ordering'
While the huge market-leading delivery apps, such as Just Eat, Deliveroo, Uber Eats and DoorDash (the biggest in the US) now list many large restaurant chains, Woodspoon's business model is entirely different. It was launched at the start of 2020 to link home cooks - people literally cooking from the kitchen in their house or apartment - to customers who want a fresh, homemade takeaway, rather than something from a chain restaurant.

Esselunga, Lidl and Conad stand out in Italian market survey
Esselunga, Lidl and Conad were among the leading Italian retail players acknowledged for excellence in a report published by the Alimentando portal. The report analysed the performance of the top 10 retailers in terms of market share and 3 best performing players in the organised distribution segment (Aspiag, Crai, D.It.).

UK: Former supermarket boss Lord John Sainsbury, shopkeeper 'to his core', dies
Lord John Sainsbury of Preston Candover - the former chairman of the supermarket chain - has died aged 94. The supermarket's current chairman and chief executive announced the death of the Baron, saying he had lived a "remarkable life".

India: How this online grocery start-up working with a minimum inventory system grew from 400 to 23,000 customers within a year
Mumbai-based online grocery start-up Berrika which started its operations in September 2020 has been making just the right noise in the sector. To go from 400 to 23,000 customers within a year and the sales going from 18L to 60L per month, the company must have got several strategies right within a short span. The company attributes its success to a dedicated customer service team, regularly introducing new products, social media posts, stories, advertisements, cost-saving initiatives, and incentive plans for staff based on sales.

Egyptian online grocery startup Tawfeer to expand out of Alexandria
Having seen impressive early growth in operating only in the northern coastal town of Alexandria, Egyptian online grocery startup Tawfeer has announced its intention to expand across the country, following a $500K seed round, with participation from Alexandria Business Angels Network.

China: Alibaba’s grocery chain Freshippo considers funding at US$10b value
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is considering raising funds for its high-tech grocery chain at a proposed valuation of US$10bln, according to people familiar with the matter. Freshippo, known as Hema in Chinese, is working with an adviser on an exclusive list of potential strategic and financial investors that will be invited to join the funding round, which is likely to kick off next month, the people said, asking not to be named discussing a private matter.

Australia: Wesfarmers flags lower first-half profit hurt by coronavirus curbs
Australian retail conglomerate Wesfarmers Ltd said it expects to report first-half net profit after tax between A$1.18bln ($851.72mln) and A$1.24bln, a drop from last year's A$1.41bln hurt by coronavirus-induced restrictions.

Israel: Automatic checkout startup Supersmart has raised $10mln
Israeli automated checkout startup Supersmart has raised $10mln in a fundraising round led by Millennium Food-Tech. The company which supplies stores with ‘Scan & Go’, an AI-powered fast checkout technology, raised $10mln 11 months ago with support from Bizerba.

How Flipkart and Ninjacart discovered a win-win partnership over 18 months
In December 2021, Walmart and Flipkart infused $145mln in agritech startup Ninjacart. The strategic investment is vital for Flipkart's groceries strategy, while Ninjacart will derive benefits as the ecommerce giant drives demand.

UK: M&S Food extends partnership with BP up to 2030
UK retailer Marks & Spencer has announced that it has extended its forecourt convenience collaboration with fuel giant BP until 2030. The companies first teamed up in 2005 to introduce M&S Food stores at BP retail sites in Great Britain.

Germany: Tegut reports turnover of €1.25bln in 2021
German retailer tegut... has reported a turnover of €1.25bln in its financial year 2021, marginally down 0.46% from €€1.25bln in the preceding year. The retailer’s share of organic product sales increased to 30.47% in this period from 30.13% in 2020.

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