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NRF: Retail sales grew in March even as inflation edged higher

Goodfood: Q2 net sales dip

US: Workers at online grocer FreshDirect form union
Employees of online grocer FreshDirect have formed a union after voting “overwhelmingly” to ratify a collective bargaining agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers, UFCW Local 342 reported. Also, 7 UFCW locals in Southern and Central California ratified a new 3-year contract with The Kroger Co.’s Ralphs Grocery and Albertsons Cos.’ Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions supermarket chains.

Canada: Goodfood sees Q2 net sales dip while customer base increases
Goodfood Market Corp., a Canadian online grocery company delivering fresh meal solutions and grocery items, has released its financial results for the 2nd quarter of fiscal 2022, ended March 5. Net sales were CAD$73.4mln, compared with $77.8mln in the 1st quarter of fiscal 2022 and $100.7mln in the 2nd quarter of fiscal 2021.

US: Farmstead prompts customers to ‘Eat This First’
E-grocer Farmstead is doing its part to cut down on food waste with a new feature for its delivery orders dubbed “Eat This First.” Burlingame, California-based Farmstead said that its email receipts have been updated with “Eat This First” sections to alert customers when it makes sense to consume particular products sooner than later, helping them avoid having to discard food at home food.

US: Marketplaces increase costs, sellers protest
Anyone in the United States who sells and ships their goods via Amazon will soon have to pay the platform a 5% surcharge. The e-commerce giant is raising its fees for sales partners who use its fulfilment services, i.e. who have their merchandise stored at and delivered by Amazon. According to the company, this is not a permanent fee change, but a temporary fuel and inflation surcharge in addition to the normal costs.

US: Wegmans to eliminate plastic shopping bags chainwide this year
Wegmans Food Markets plans to phase out single-use plastic bags companywide by the end of 2022. With the move, Rochester, New York-based Wegmans said it aims to shift all customers to reusable shopping bags, which it described as “the best option to solve the environmental challenge of single-use grocery bags”.

US: March retail sales grew despite higher inflation
Retail sales grew in March even as inflation edged higher, the National Retail Federation said. “March retail sales show that consumers have maintained their ability to spend in the face of record-level inflation, supply chain issues and geopolitical unrest”, NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers are adapting and shopping smarter for themselves and their families. We believe the strength of the consumer can carry the economy through this considerable economic uncertainty if policymakers implement measured policies and do not overreact to current conditions”.

Kroger: Leading with Fresh 2.0
A big part of the Kroger value proposition is Full, Fresh and Friendly: omnichannel stores full of the products that shoppers are looking for, offering fresh food no matter how shoppers shop, and always friendly service. The “fresh” part of Kroger’s value prop propelled the grocer to record performance in 2021, on top of record results in 2020.

US: Amid proxy contest, SpartanNash asks shareholders to vote for director nominees
Ahead of its annual shareholder meeting in June, SpartanNash has filed definitive proxy materials with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is sending a letter to shareholders outlining the company’s recent changes and successes and requesting up votes for its director nominees.

Maxima Latvija introduces paper bags for fruit and vegetables
Maxima Latvija is extending its range of environmentally friendly fruit and vegetable packing options to cater to the changing habits of shoppers and reduce the use of plastic packaging. The retailer has introduced free of charge paper bags for fresh fruit and vegetables in its larger format Maxima XXX stores.

UK: Co-op's newest depot moving through the 'gears' with 1st store deliveries underway
The Co-op’s new regional distribution depot in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, is gearing-up to serve communities with the 1st deliveries now underway to stores across the South East. The depot is now moving through the gears, and has started delivering frozen, fresh and ambient groceries to the convenience retailer’s stores, with the site set to serve over 600 Co-op stores when it becomes fully operational later this year.

Japan's 7-Eleven operator picks former Uber executive as it looks overseas
Japanese retailer Seven & I Holdings Co, facing pressure from activist investors for structural reforms, has nominated a former executive of Uber Technologies Inc to join its board of directors, the company said. The operator of the 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores has named Elizabeth Miin Meyerdirk, a founding members of Uber Eats, who will join as a new outside director, pending approval from shareholders at a May 26 annual meeting.

Rakuten teams with Uber Eats Japan for digital payments
Uber Eats in Japan has joined forces with Rakuten Group to provide users with an additional online payment option. Rakuten Pay, the Rakuten Group’s online payment service, processes payments with cards linked to the Rakuten ID system. Rakuten Pay will be available to all customers ordering food and groceries on Uber Eats by the end of April.

India: Amazon Fresh announces Mango Fiesta
To welcome the arrival of the summer favourite ‘mangoes’ in India, Amazon Fresh announced Mango Fiesta with great deals every weekend and will be live until end of May 2022. Customers can choose from a wide range of high-quality fresh mangoes including Safeda, Banganpally, Badami, Sindhura, Thotapuri, Alphonso, and many more. Customers can also enjoy authentic mangoes like Ratnagiri Alphonso, Devghad Alphonso, Organic Alphonso and premium Kesar sourced directly from Amazon’s Collection Center in Ratnagiri.

Auchan eyeing acquisition of Slovenia’s Mercator, report suggests
Auchan is looking to bolster its presence in southeastern Europe in cooperation with Hungarian-American investment fund Indotek, with a bid for Slovenian retailer Mercator potentially on the cards, according to local media reports. According to Slovenian daily Dnevnik, this possibility is being mooted after Indotek acquired the 44% stake that Russian bank Sberbank held in Fortenova Group, a Croatia-based retail, food production and agriculture group.

UK: Aldi introduces latest green technology to its delivery fleet
Aldi is trialling an all-electric refrigerated trailer as part of its efforts to reduce its carbon emissions. The trailer converts kinetic energy into electricity to power the on-board batteries as the wheels turn, meaning products are kept cool - all while reducing energy consumption and minimising environmental impact.

Online grocery is 'here to stay', says Tesco chief executive
Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy has said that he expects online grocery penetration to remain high, despite shoppers returning to stores after the pandemic, while the retailer also has solid expansion plans for its Tesco Whoosh rapid delivery concept.

CEECAT Capital becomes majority owner of Serbia’s Gomex
Private-equity and -credit investor CEECAT Capital has acquired a 51.5% stake in Serbian neighbourhood grocery store chain Gomex. The investment in Gomex is the 1st in Serbia for CEECAT Capital, which has also opened a new office in Belgrade, to source and execute further M&A deals in the region.

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