BrightFarms closes on new financing

Walmart reopens 4 closed supercenters

Whole Foods: 'Differentiation more relevant than price'
Whole Foods Market needs to do a better job explaining to consumers what differentiates it from competitors in terms of the quality of its offerings rather than trying to be more price competitive, John Mackey, co-CEO said. (

US: Wall Street, analysts applaud Maredia's plan for Sprouts
CEO Amin Maredia shared a plan to step up investments to ensure that momentum can continue. “Our management team and I are laser-focused on keeping Sprouts an innovator in the natural and organic sector, becoming even more relevant to our customers in their healthy living journey and positioning us to maintain a leadership position in this industry for years to come,” Maredia told analysts. “And we believe investing even further when we have momentum is the right thing to do for Sprouts.” Wall Street appeared to strongly endorse Maredia’s plans, sending Sprouts stock up by more than 15% Thursday. (

Spar to open 21 stores in Oman: CEO
SPAR has announced that it will open 21 stores in Oman by the end of 2018. The new stores will be located in MBD, Darsait, Ruwi, Hamriya and Al Hail areas. “We will initially open new branches in Muscat, but we have plans to expand SPAR all across the country,” said Dr. Gordon Campbell, CEO of SPAR International. (

UK: Sainsbury’s takes a profit hit from grocery price war
Analysts are forecasting underlying pre-tax profits of around £284m the first six months, a 24% fall on the previous period. Despite the fall, Sainsbury’s is expected to record statutory pre-tax profits of £308m, compared to a loss of £290m last year. (

US: Meijer names Pepin SVP of foods
Tod Pepin has been named Meijer’s SVP of foods, announced Peter Whitsett, EVP of merchandising for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based chain. (

US: BrightFarms closes on new financing
BrightFarms said Friday that it has closed a $13.65m Series B-1 financing, led by WP Global Partners, NGEN Partners, Emil Capital Partners, and several other prominent investors. The company said the investment would bolster BrightFarms’ leadership position in the local produce industry, with more than $40m in capital raised to date, $100m in contracted commitments from supermarket clients, and three commercial-scale greenhouse facilities in operation or development across the Midwest and East Coast. (

US: Walmart reopens 4 closed Supercenters
Four of the five Walmart Supercenters that abruptly closed this spring due to what the company called plumbing issues reopened on Friday — all four featuring elements of an upgraded décor and a new layout for certain departments rolled out for the first time last month at a pilot store near company headquarters in Rogers, Ark. The reopened stores are located in Tulsa, Okla., Midland and Livingston, Texas, and Pico Rivera, Calif. A fifth store in Brandon, Fla., remains closed but will open in time for the holidays, a Walmart spokesman told SN Friday. (

Portugal: Sonae sees food retail sales decline in Q3
Sonae MC, the food retailing division of Portugal's Sonae Group, saw its like-for-like sales decline 2.9% in the third quarter of the year, according to interim results. Sonae MC's sales performance was 2.2% down over the first nine months of the year. The division recorded turnover of €2.5bn in the year to September 30. In a statement, Sonae said, 'Sonae MC continues to focus on expanding its store network in a very precise way, in specific locations according to market research, mostly through increased convenience store presence.' (

India: Online grocery startup in talks to raise USD 10M
After completing its second round of angel funding, Satvacart is in talks with PE funds and venture capitalists to raise $10m. The Gurgaon based online grocery startup will use the Series A funding for geographic expansion. (

UK: 'My Local can compete within the convenience channel' - CEO
Mike Greene, head of the newly-formed retailer following the acquisition of 140 convenience stores previously operating under the Morrisons owned 'M Local' banner, insists that his stores can compete within the sector despite the challenges faced by Morrisons.(

Japan's Aeon to expand private-label products 
Japanese supermarket operator Aeon plans to expand its lineup of private-label products for the Southeast Asian market to roughly 2,300 items by fiscal 2017, working with local manufacturers to develop items suited to local tastes. (

Romanian tax cut ‘boosts grocery consumption’, report says
A cut in Romania’s rate of VAT for food products from 24% to 9% boosted grocery consumption and is expected to positively influence the market’s value this year, according to the findings of a new report into the Central European grocery sector. The market is consolidating, the research found, after Auchan acquired 20 Romanian stores from Real as part of a €1.1bn deal, and with Carrefour expected to take over the Billa supermarket chain. (

US: 5 local A&Ps, Superfresh become Acme
For some communities that depend on A&P, Superfresh or Pathmark for food shopping will continue uninterrupted. Others will be losing a supermarket. Five former A&P and Superfresh locations purchased by Acme have been rebranded, or are scheduled to be rebranded in the coming weeks. Eight others have closed, or are scheduled to close. (

Biedronka sees double digit growth in Jerónimo Martins results
Portuguese retail group Jerónimo Martins has published its results for the first nine months of the year, with its Biedronka operation seeing sales rise 10.4% over the period, with a like-for-like growth of 2.4%, reports. Its Portuguese supermarket chain, Pingo Doce, saw its like-for-like sales rise 4.7% over the period, while net earnings for the group grew 6.4% to €252m. Please, click here to read more.

UK: Tesco trialling same-day click & collect
Tesco is trialling same-day click & collect services for grocery products in the UK, according to reports. The trial, which is taking place across 200 of Tesco’s stores. (

UK: Booths ‘modest’ £1.6m profits
Family supermarket chain Booths reported it has recorded “solid” end year results despite a “tumultuous grocery market”. The firm which opened its first store in Blackpool in 1863 and this week opened a new store in Poulton, saw sales for the year down a fraction by 0.5% to £280.8m. The company said it had been held back by food deflation and a highly competitive retail market but made a modest profit of £1.6m. (

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