US: Meijer makes headway toward sustainability goals with new solar power project
Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Meijer recently signed a renewable energy power purchase agreement with developer Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions for a utility-scale solar project that will help the retailer reach its previously announced goal of reducing absolute carbon emissions by 50% by 2025. As part of the agreement, Meijer will purchase a portion of all energy generated by the project for the 1st 15 years of operation. The project recently broke ground in Navarro County, Texas, on 1,800 acres of land and is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Meijer said in a statement.
US: Kroger Fulfillment Network expands to 3 new cities
The Kroger Co., America's largest grocery retailer, announced at its 2022 Business Update in Orlando it will offer more Americans delivery through the addition of spoke facilities in Austin and San Antonio, Texas and Birmingham, Alabama powered by the Kroger Fulfillment Network and Ocado Group. As a continuation of Kroger's successful entry into Florida in 2021 without physical stores, the new Texas and Alabama facilities will serve as new geographies for the organization, bringing innovation and modern e-commerce to the cities and extending the grocer's reach and ability to provide customers anything, anytime, anywhere.
US: Albertsons might explore selling its grocery chains
Albertsons Cos. may be looking to unload some of its nearly 2 dozen grocery chains as the company launches a review of its business strategy, analysts said. Selling off pieces of the company would reward Cerberus Capital Management and Philadelphia-based Lubert-Adler Partners, 2 investment firms that ushered Albertsons into the public markets and now own near half its shares. As of December, New York City-based Cerberus held a 32% stake and Lubert-Adler, 12%. The firms didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Kroger, Impossible Foods partner to create meat substitutes; Beyond Meat shares fall
Kroger announced that it has partnered with Impossible Foods to create meat substitutes for its private label business. Shares of Impossible’s rival, Beyond Meat, tumbled more than 7%. Credit Suisse analyst Robert Moskow wrote in a note to clients that the partnership could be a threat to Beyond.
Lidl launches before Aldi in Estonia
Lidl has opened its 1st supermarkets in Estonia. The German discount chain is now active in all Baltic states. Lidl opened the doors of no less than 8 stores in Estonia. The supermarkets opened in the capital Tallinn and 3 other Estonian cities, where they were immediately greeted by queues of curious visitors on the opening day. This was reported by the German newspaper Zeit. For Lidl, the Baltic States are an interesting market, because rival Aldi is not yet present there.
Global retailing giant Carrefour to enter Israel
Carrefour has signed an MOU with Electra Consumer Products on converting Yeinot Bitan supermarkets to its brand. Less than a year after acquiring the Yeinot Bitan supermarket chain, Electra Consumer Products, of the Elco group, reported that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with French company Carrefour on the opening of a supermarket chain in Israel under the Carrefour brand.
India: Ninjacart launches $25mln fund to back agritech startups
Fresh produce supply chain company Ninjacart has launched an Agri Seed Fund worth $25mln to support emerging and new-age startups in the agriculture sector. With this, Ninjacart will make seed investments in startups, entrepreneurs and tech innovators who present unique, sustainable and tech-enabled solutions. In addition, Ninjacart will invest in teams that have great tech abilities but may lack a solution or an idea at the moment.
Saudi Arabia to get its 1st Spinneys store
Spinneys Dubai and Abdulmohsen Al Hokair Holding Group have signed an agreement to establish the Spinneys brand in Saudi Arabia. The partnership marks plans to open the 1st Spinneys store in the kingdom in the 1st quarter of 2023.
Lulu Hypermarket launches ‘Australia Week 2022’
Leading retailer Lulu Group has launched Australia Week 2022 at its outlets, offering a variety of Australian products. The important categories that are imported include the entire range of fresh meat, grocery lines, honey, chilled and dairy, cheeses, almond, and an amazing variety of fresh fruits and vegetables among many more.
Sri Lankan company acquires supermarket chain Agora
The retail holdings wing of Sri Lankan conglomerate Softlogic is all set to be the new owner of Agora, Bangladesh's 1st ever and the 2nd largest supermarket chain. The Lankan entity made this disclosure in a regulatory filing in Colombo Stock Exchange recently. The acquisition of 100% stake in the company via a series of transactions would be subject to terms and conditions set out therein and receipt of regulatory approvals. Neither Softlogic nor Agora owners disclosed the deal value.
UK: Sainsbury’s and Argos celebrate new milestone
Sainsbury’s has reached a significant stage in its plans to bring Sainsbury’s and Argos closer together with the opening of its 400th Argos store inside a Sainsbury’s supermarket. The launch of the new Argos in Sainsbury’s Crystal Peaks in Sheffield follows the opening of 2 similar stores in stores in Belfast and Waltham Cross. By offering more customers the chance to shop the much-loved brands of Sainsbury’s, Argos, Habitat and Tu Clothing under 1 roof, the retailer is delivering its plans to make shopping more convenient for customers.
India: Agritech startup Otipy raises $32mln to strengthen its supply chain network
Otipy, an agritech startup selling fresh produce via its Android and iOS apps, has raised $32mln in a Series B funding round from its existing investors including Westbridge Capital. Investors such as SIG and Omidyar Network India also participated in this round.
Sweden: Mathem completes merger with Mat.se
Swedish online grocer Mathem has completed its planned merger with Mat.se, following approval from the Swedish Competition Authority. The completion of the deal makes Axfood the 2nd-largest owner of Mathem through the divestment of Mat.se in exchange for shares in Mathem. The merger, announced in December of last year, was valued at approximately SEK688mln (€63.8mln) on a cash and debt-free basis.
War in Ukraine forces Russian discount chain Mere to retreat
Siberian price slasher Mere is halting its European expansion plans. The Russian invasion in Ukraine has made the climate unfavourable for the newcomer, which is also struggling to find suppliers.
Maxima Group announces management reshuffle
Maxima Group has announced a number of changes in the top management of its Lithuanian, Latvian, and sourcing departments. The group operates retail chains in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, and Bulgaria, and claims to be the largest Lithuanian capital company.
UK: Sainsbury’s facing possible supply chain disruption
Sainsbury’s is again facing the threat of disruption in supplies to its stores due to another dispute over low pay amid soaring inflation. Over 250 warehouse workers employed by logistics firm DHL on an outsourced Sainsbury’s contract are to be balloted for strike action. The members of the Unite union are based at the distribution centre in Emerald Park in Bristol, which supplies Sainsbury’s stores throughout South West England and west Wales.