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Natural Grocers ranks highest | UK grocer: 'worst may not be over'

Safeway fined $42M for deceiving online shoppers | Russian Magnit trials online

Walmart sues Puerto Rico over ‘astonishing’ tax increases
The Puerto Rico unit of Walmart Stores Inc. sued the island’s government, seeking to overturn a new tax the retailer calls unfairly high. Enacted in May, Puerto Rico’s Act 72-2015 increases to 6.5% from 2% the tax on goods imported from offshore affiliates to local companies with gross revenues of more than $2.75bn. The increase comes as the U.S. commonwealth struggles to restructure $70bn in debt, more than every U.S. state but New York and California. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider reinstating a law that would let Puerto Rico’s debt-ridden public utilities restructure their obligations. (esmmagazine.com)

Sainsbury's says worst may not be over for Britain's big four
Britain's big supermarkets may not yet have reached the low point in a crisis brought about by the rise of German discounters Aldi and Lidl, the head of the country's second biggest grocer Sainsbury's said. Sainsbury's and its "big four" British rivals, market leader Tesco Walmart's Asda and Morrisons have seen market share, sales, profits and asset values hit by a fierce price war to stem the loss of shoppers to the discounters and by the impact of commodity-led deflation. "Despite the fact that the big four grocers have closed the price gap considerably to the discounters it hasn't reached a tipping point where the movement of customers towards the discounters has either reduced or stopped," Chief Executive Mike Coupe told Reuters in an interview. Coupe said Sainsbury's had narrowed its price gap to just under 20% from about 38% early last year, but the tipping point in countries such as France had been a gap of 5 to 10%. (Reuters)

Russian retailer Magnit trials online store
Retail giant Magnit has begun to test out sales via its online store with home delivery, reports vedomosti.ru. First CEO and principal owner of Magnit, Sergei Galitsky told Forbes in spring 2013 that he did not believe in this sales format. Yet in 2014 the company began to look for new sales channels. The move to internet shopping is a strategic one for Magnit, as even if in the first half of the year, retail of non-food products in Russia fell by 8.3% (according to the Ministry of Economic Development), the online trading (mainly non-food items) increased its turnover by 28%. All major Russian retailers are looking at the potential of online sales, although Magnit will not make a decision on the development of the project until 2016. The problem of online food sales is profitability, explained previous CEO of Auchan Russia Wilhelm Ubner; despite the products being cheap, logistics costs are high.

US: Safeway fined $42M for online grocery service
A federal judge in San Francisco has ordered Safeway to pay almost $42m to customers nationwide who bought groceries from the market chain’s website and were unaware that they were being charged 10% above store prices.(sfgate.com)

Indian online grocery market to grow annually at 62% - study 
India's online grocery market is estimated to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 62% between 2016-2022, a latest study said. The study, conducted by 6Wresearch, said the market for online grocery is currently at a nascent stage and primarily confined to tier one cities. It said attractive offers provided by online grocery players is wooing the consumers, while grocery and staple segment is contributing major revenue share followed by FMCG. (economictimes.indiatimes.com)

Kroger sees continued success with store brands
The Kroger Co.’s Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic private label brands continue to grow at what the company considers “an astonishing pace.” The product lines, which debuted in 2012 and achieved $1.2bn in sales last year, set a record high for total sales in the recent quarter, said Mike Schlotman, executive vice-president and chief financial officer. (foodbusinessnews.net)

Amazon China and Baidu join hand
The two Internet giants in China, Baidu and Amazon have reached in an agreement to strengthen their respective positions in the strong Chinese market. (internationalsupermarketnews.com)

Grocery chains leave food deserts barren, AP analysis finds
As part of Michelle Obama’s healthy eating initiative, a group of major food retailers promised in 2011 to open or expand 1,500 grocery or convenience stores in and around neighborhoods with no supermarkets by 2016. By their own count, they’re far short. The Partnership for a Healthier America, which also promotes good nutrition and exercise in its anti-obesity mission, considers improving access to fresh food a key part of the solution. But the AP’s research demonstrates that major grocers overwhelmingly avoid America’s “food deserts” — neighborhoods without stores offering fresh produce and meats that often have high poverty rates. (jhnewsandguide.com)

India: Tamil Nadu government to operate mobile vegetable shops
With prices of vegetables touching the dark rainy clouds here, the Tamil Nadu government on Saturday announced operation of 11 mobile vegetable shops in 32 localities. (ianslive.in)

Report ranks Natural Grocers as Yelp favorite
A new analysis of customer reviews posted on the Yelp site indicates Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage draws the highest customer satisfaction scores from a group of selected publicly traded food retailers. On Yelp’s five-star rating system, Natural Grocers averaged 4.14, the highest overall score among a group of publicly traded peers, followed by Sprouts Farmers Market (3.87); Whole Foods (3.71); The Fresh Market (3.70); Smart & Final (3.57); Kroger (3.37); and Supervalu’s Save-A-Lot (3.17). (valuenetworkissues.blogspot.nl)

Amazon takes home one third of total Black Friday sales
Amazon commanded Black Friday deals, as per analytics firm Slice Intelligence. The organization assumed control of 35% of all Black Fridaydeals, beating second-place Best Buy – which took 8% – by far. Macy’s came in third, taking 3.38% while Walmart took 3.35%, coming in fourth. (internationalsupermarketnews.com)

US: Foodtown operator bids $1M for Pathmark name
A&P has asked the court overseeing its bankruptcy case to approve the sale of the intellectual property of Pathmark to an affiliate of Foodtown operator PSK Supermarkets. According to court documents, K-50-15 Corp. has offered $1m for assets including the Pathmark logo, trademarks and brand names Pathmark, Chefmark, Big Deals and Sav-A-Center; the Pathmark Gospel Choir Competition; and the Pathmark.com domain name. (supermarketnews.com)

Spanish supermarket chains told to merge or die
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IGA retailer sets benchmark in CBD supermarket battle
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