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bigbasket: India’s first brand to offer packaging-free doorstep delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables

Nile announced it had raised $5.1mln

bigbasket becomes the first e-commerce platform to offer packaging free deliveries in India
bigbasket, India’s largest online supermarket, has been spearheading the drive for sustainability in e-commerce operations in India. Marking the World Environment Day, the platform has now become India’s first brand to offer packaging-free doorstep delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables. Single use plastics used in packaging, especially for fruits and vegetables, is one of the major contributors to environmental damage. To address this challenge, bigbasket has taken the unprecedented step of eliminating plastic packaging from its fruit and vegetables delivery services. The new service has been unveiled as pilot project and bigbasket aims to completely remove packaging from its fruits and vegetables delivery pan India by 2023.

SPAR UK James Hall celebrates National Vegetarian Week with visits to Cumbria and Lancashire schools
Children at primary schools in Cumbria and Lancashire learned about fresh food and the importance of a balanced diet during SPAR UK partner James Hall’s National Vegetarian Week celebrations. Wilf Whittle, Fresh Food Trading Manager at James Hall & Co. Ltd, delivered educational talks to children. He visited Longtown Primary School, Cumbria, Sherwood Primary School and Eldon Primary School, both Preston, Lancashire, on his travels. Wilf shared fun facts and figures with children on a range of fresh produce during a series of special interactive assemblies and handed out a variety of high-quality fresh fruit.

Italy: Multicedi, Grupo Luciani to open new stores in Rome
Italian distribution firm Multicedi has partnered with Gruppo Luciani to expand the rollout of its Decò flagship stores to the heart of Rome. The shared roadmap anticipates the opening of seven stores by June of next year, of which the first should be operational by September 2022.

South Africa: Nile secures $5.1mln in Naspers-led round for its farm produce marketplace
Nile, a South Africa based online platform connecting suppliers of fresh produce to commercial retailers, announced it had raised $5.1mln. The round was led by Naspers Foundry, a VC fund linked to internet company Naspers. It invested $2.5mln of the round total, marking its tenth investment since launching in 2019. Also participating in the round were new investors Platform Investment Partners, Raba Capital, and Base Capital. Already operating in 35 cities and towns in South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Namibia, Nile is looking to expand beyond the Southern Africa region and into Eastern and Western African following the raise.

Woolworths and BIG W to stop selling reusable plastic shopping bags for a greener future
Woolworths has become the first national supermarket to pledge to remove plastic shopping bags for good, with the retailer announcing it will stop selling its 15-cent reusable plastic shopping bags nationwide in a gradual phase out over the next year. BIG W, Woolworths Group’s everyday needs retailer, will also phase out its 15-cent and 45-cent reusable plastic bags from stores by the end of June next year.

India: BigBasket raises Rs 350 cr from holding firm as it takes on competitors
Innovative Retail Concepts, which runs online grocer BigBasket, has received Rs 350 crore from holding company Supermarket Grocery Supplies, according to regulatory documents sourced from business intelligence platform Tofler.

Carrefour Brasil receives antitrust nod for Grupo Big Brasil acquisition
Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) has approved, with restrictions, the acquisition of Grupo Big Brasil by Grupo Carrefour Brasil. In its ruling, CADE explained that no competition concerns were identified in the wholesale distribution and retail fuel station markets. However, in the self-service retail segment, the merger of the first and third largest players has the potential to generate the exercise of market power in nine different locations, it added.

US: SpartanNash tallies across-the-board sales gains in Q1
SpartanNash hit sales and earnings targets for its fiscal 2022 first quarter after reporting strong preliminary results last month. The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based grocery distributor/retailer also topped Wall Street’s earnings per share forecast for the quarter and raised its full-year guidance across the board. For the 16-week quarter ended April 23, net sales totaled $2.76bln, up 4% from $2.66bln a year earlier, SpartanNash said.

Walmart to add 4,000 jobs with four new U.S. fulfillment centers
Walmart Inc announced plans to open four new fulfillment centers in the United States over the next two years, creating 4,000 new jobs that will expand its delivery network and make workers' jobs easier. The new centers, located in Joliet, Illinois; McCordsville, Indiana; Lancaster, Texas and Greencastle, Pennsylvania, could provide next-day and two-day deliveries to 75% of the U.S. population, company executives said.

Circle K parent to roll out self-checkout tech to 7,000 stores
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., parent company of the Circle K convenience store chain, will purchase more than 10,000 touchless self-checkout systems, with plans to deploy them in more than 7,000 Circle K and Couche-Tard stores in the U.S., Canada and Europe over the next three years.

US: Kroger launches a digital farmers market
One of the country's biggest grocery retailers is headed to the farmers market. Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co., in partnership with Market Wagon, has launched Kroger Farmers Market, a digital farmers market that will bring direct access to more than 1,150 local food products to shoppers in a 60-mile radius across Atlanta, including 28 counties in the Atlanta metropolitan area, Market Wagon said in a statement.

Amazon to hurdle Walmart as biggest U.S. retailer by 2024
Amazon will surpass Walmart as the largest U.S. retailer by 2024, as the online channel ramps up its share of overall retail sales dollars, CPG market researcher Edge by Ascential predicts. Between 2021 and 2026, Amazon stands to add more than $294bln in U.S. sales and grow its U.S. retail market share from 10.8% to 14.9%, whereas Walmart’s share will shrink from 13.2% to 12.7%, Boston-based Edge by Ascential forecast in its “2022 United States Retail Landscape and Go-to-Market Planning Report”.

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