Mercadona will raise the wages of all employees by 6.5%

X5 Retail Group: 11.4% increase in full-year sales

Israeli supermarket chain Shufersal CEO to step down in March
The chief executive of Israel's largest supermarket chain Shufersal plans to step down at the end of March after a decade in the position, the company said. The company's board has established a search committee, headed by the chairman, to replace Itzhak Abercohen, who has been with the company since 2000.

Belgium: Delhaize launches digital receipts
Delhaize Belgium has introduced digital receipts in a bid to offer a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative, in line with its Lion's Footprint programme. The Lion's Footprint project aims to reduce the company's ecological footprint by cutting down plastic, food waste and CO2 emissions.

Russia: X5 sees double-digit increase in sales despite 'challenging' environment
X5 Retail Group has posted an 11.4% increase in full-year sales, in what chief executive Igor Shekhterman has described as a "challenging" market at present. The group posted sales of RUB2.2tln for the full year (€25bln), reporting a 5.1% increase in like-for-like sales, as well as a 6.3% contribution from new stores.

Spanish retailer Mercadona raises all salaries by 2021 inflation rate
Privately owned Mercadona supermarket chain, Spain's largest retailer by revenue, will raise the wages of all employees by 6.5% to match the country's annual inflation rate last year, it said. Mercadona's move is in an effort to protect the purchasing power of its 93,000 employees, the company said in a news release. The lowest wage at the supermarket chain in 2022 will be 1,425 euros ($1,614.95) a month, 87 euros more than in 2021, the company said, and 440 euros more than the country's legal minimum wage.

Convenience store chain Ministop pulls out of South Korea and Philippines
Japanese convenience store chain Ministop will sell its South Korean subsidiary to local conglomerate Lotte for around 30.4bln yen ($267mln) while also unloading a stake in a joint venture in the Philippines as it focuses resources on its home market. Ministop, a member of leading Japanese retail group Aeon, is set to sell Ministop Korea to Lotte after a review by antitrust regulators under a deal. Ministop also said it will sell its entire 40% stake in Robinsons Convenience Stores, which operates around 460 Ministop stores in the Philippines, to joint venture partner Robinsons Supermarket.

Delivery race among Indian grocery startups brings road safety risks
Indian grocery startups are luring tech-savvy customers with the promise of deliveries within 10 minutes, sparking a boom in "quick commerce", but heating up concerns about road safety as bike riders scramble to meet tight deadlines. Competition is already intense in India's $600bln grocery retailing industry, populated by the likes of Amazon, Walmart's Flipkart and Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance. Now SoftBank-backed Blinkit and its rival Zepto are racing to hire staff and open stores in their bid to grab a share of the market by offering the convenience of delivery in 10 minutes, far lower than the hours, or days competitors take.

SPAR Ukraine expands network and launches 1st petrol forecourt store
5 new SPAR stores opened in 5 regions of Ukraine during December 2021, each operated by independent retailers, expanding the brand's network. Common to all stores is a strong fresh offer, daily grocery products, and an emphasis on good customer service. Customers can also join SPAR Ukraine’s loyalty programme, enjoying special bonus offers as well as personalised offers based on their shopping history.

Switzerland: Coop expands its Fairtrade range to 1,333 products
Coop Switzerland is expanding its Fairtrade range to 1,333 products, which it claims is the world's largest selection of Fairtrade products offered by a retailer. For 30 years, the Swiss retailer has been a partner of Fairtrade Max Havelaar, and a pioneer in offering Fairtrade-certified products.

China: MissFresh acquires unmanned retail company Zailouxia
MissFresh is expanding its unmanned retail operation with the acquisition of Chinese automated fresh-food retailer Zailouxia. The value of the deal has not yet been disclosed. According to MissFresh, the acquisition will enable it to add 10,000 self-service fresh food retail vending machines across 9 cities in China.

Canada: The largest T&T Supermarket in the country will be located in Saint-Laurent, Montréal
Putting an end to a 2-month suspense which became viral, T&T Supermarkets announced that the very 1st T&T store in Quebec will be located in the borough of Saint-Laurent, at 300 Sainte-Croix Avenue. This brand new T&T store, at the size of more than 6,500 square meter, will become the chain's largest store in the country and will create more than 300 jobs locally. The grand opening is schedule to commence by the end of this year 2022.

US: King Soopers and union reach tentative deal
King Soopers and City Market have reached a tentative agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 7 after 9 days of a strike at 77 stores in the Denver metro area. The president of King Soopers and City Market, Joe Kelley, wrote in a statement: "We are pleased that this agreement allows us to put more money in our associates' paychecks and secures healthcare and pension plans. We look forward to welcoming back our associates and customers".

US: Stop & Shop closing 2 New Jersey grocery stores
Supermarket chain Stop & Shop is reducing its statewide footprint. The company closed its Paramus location on January 13 and will shutter its store in the Dayton section of South Brunswick next month, a company spokeswoman told NJ Advance Media. The Paramus store was located at 859 Route 17 S. The nearest Stop & Shop is in Ridgewood, less than 2 miles away.

LATAM instant grocery delivery startup Calii announces Series A round
Latin America-based grocery delivery startup Calii has bagged $22.5mln in a Series A funding round co-led by Dalus Capital and JAM Fund, with participation from backers including Forerunner Ventures, Streamlined Ventures, Y Combinator and Base10 Partners. To date, the venture, which was founded in 2019, has raised nearly $35mln. According to its LinkedIn profile, Calii is “the number one rated grocery delivery service in Latin America: ultra fresh produce and thousands of additional SKUs delivered instantly at below retail prices.”

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