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Walmart is expanding drone deliveries across six states

GrubMarket has completed the acquisition of Spring Valley and its affiliate Produce Connection

US: Trader Joe’s, H-E-B lead Axios-Harris Poll 100 reputation list
New York-based brand marketing network Stagwell Inc. said that grocery retailers are “riding reputational highs” more than two years after the onset of COVID-19. Amid the burst in food-at-home demand and product shortages triggered by the pandemic, regional supermarket chains are particularly being recognized for “weathering the supply chain storm”, according to the marketing firm. For the 2022 Axios-Harris Poll 100, three supermarket chains - Trader Joe’s, H-E-B and Wegmans Food Markets - were ranked in the top five, while two other supermarket retailers - The Kroger Co. and Publix Super Markets - came in among the top 25 on the list.

US: Walmart expands its drone-delivery service to reach 4mln households
Walmart is expanding drone deliveries across six states with operator DroneUp, bringing its total network to 37 sites by year-end. The big-box retailer said it will be able to deliver items like batteries and Hamburger Helper to 4mln households in parts of Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia. Walmart has been testing how drone deliveries could drive e-commerce growth and turn stores into a way to outmatch Amazon on speed.

US: GrubMarket expands further into Arizona and Texas through the acquisition of Produce Connection and Spring Valley
GrubMarket announced it has completed the acquisition of McAllen, Texas-based Spring Valley and its affiliate, Nogales, Arizona-based Produce Connection. Produce Connection and Spring Valley are highly respected and globally-focused fresh produce companies that provide the highest quality fruits and vegetables sourced primarily from Mexico and the U.S. They currently operate in Arizona, Texas, California and Mexico, selling to hundreds of retail, foodservice and wholesale customers across North America, and have a strong reputation as a leader in food safety practices.

Record sales for Spar, which expands to South America
In 2021, Spar retailers have achieved a global turnover of 41.2bln euros, an increase of 3.3%. This means that the organisation breaks through the 40bln sales barrier for the first time. In the two years since the Coronavirus outbreak, sales have grown by more than 10%. Spar also expanded its e-commerce activities to 35 countries; online sales grew by 192% over two years. In Europe, Spar achieved a turnover of more than 33bln euro with 12,011 stores in 27 countries. There was strong growth in Poland (+20%), Switzerland (+10.7%) and Hungary (+7.2%). The good figures illustrate the critical role independent retailers play all over the world, says Tobias Wasmuht, CEO of Spar International. At the end of 2021, there were 13,623 Spar stores in 48 countries worldwide. The retailer will soon be present in 51 countries: in the middle of this year Spar will launch in Latvia - the 18th country in Europe - and Kazakhstan will follow in the autumn. In addition, Spar announces its launch in South America: the organisation has entered into a partnership with Los Jardines, a family-owned supermarket chain in Paraguay. Spar is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year: the organisation was founded in 1932 by Dutchman Adriaan van Well with the ambition of uniting independent retailers.

Oman: Lulu launches ‘Kingdom of Mangoes’ festival; 50 varieties in stock
Lulu Hypermarket Oman has announced a festival called ‘Kingdom of Mangoes’ across all its stores in the sultanate. Being held from May 24 to June 2, the festival is a celebration of the ‘king of fruits’. The festival was inaugurated by H E Amit Narang, Ambassador of India to Oman, at Lulu Hypermarket Bausher, in the presence of Waleed Khalfan al Mamari, Director of Plant Quarantine Department in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources, Lulu staff and customers. ‘Kingdom of Mangoes’ features several varieties of mangoes from different parts of the world.

UK: Lidl shoppers praise 'bargain' £1.50 fruit and veg box that feeds whole families
Lidl shoppers have rushed to praise a little-known product sold by the bargain giant. The retailer sells £1.50 crates full of fruit and vegetables that are "still good to use, but would have otherwise been thrown away". It is part of Lidl's commitment to sustainability and reducing food waste. The boxes cost £1.50 and weigh around 5kg, and can ordinarily be located near the checkout section of the store - though availability will vary day-to-day. For households on a low income amid the worsening cost of living crisis, the crates are an opportunity to stock up on a high number of fruit and vegetables for a bargain price.

UK: Ocado sinks as cost-of-living crisis hits M&S grocery venture
Ocado Group Plc shares fell after the UK online grocer cut the sales growth target for its joint venture with Marks & Spencer Group Plc, citing the country’s cost-of-living squeeze. Ocado Retail now expects growth for the 2022 fiscal year in the low single digits rather than around 10% guided previously, according to a statement. The shares fell as much as 8% in London.

UK: M&S to shut 32 more stores as it shifts away from town centres
Marks & Spencer is to shut 32 more stores as it shifts away from town centres, saying many have “lost impetus” as a result of failed local authority or government policy. The high street bellwether said profits will flatline in the year ahead amid “increasing cost pressures and consumer uncertainty”. A decision to fully exit Russia, after temporarily pausing deliveries in the light of the war in Ukraine, will cost it £31mln, while new EU tariffs and border costs relating to Brexit had cost £29.6mln in profits and £15mln in lost trade.

China: Missfresh's Retail Cloud services enabled up to 20x increase in major traditional retailers' online sales
Missfresh Limited's ("Missfresh" or the "Company") most recent data reveals that its retail partners have seen up to a 20 times increase in their online orders since using Missfresh's Retail Cloud services to digitalize and modernize their businesses. Shandong Quanfuyuan Commercial Group, a retail enterprise with numerous supermarket outlets spread across East China's Shandong province, looked to Missfresh, a pioneer in China's neighborhood retail industry, to provide customized solutions to challenges such as boosting their new customer conversion rate, encouraging repurchases from existing customers, and improving community operations and customer support processes.

Germany: Gorillas announces internal changes
Gorillas reported: "As of now, 90% of our revenue comes from five key markets which have entered a clear path to profitability: Germany, France, UK, Netherlands and the US. For this reason, we have decided to sharpen our focus and continue to grow these five markets, where we see huge potential in the near future. In Italy, Spain, Denmark and Belgium, very attractive markets in their own rights, we are looking at all possible strategic options for the Gorillas brand... In line with the focus on our new key priorities, on our core European markets and on our path to profitability, nearly 300 team members of our global office workforce will be leaving Gorillas".

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