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Rohlik Group will launch operations in Italy, Romania and Spain in 2022 exceeds expectations despite slowdown

Online now accounts for 9% of French grocery market, says Kantar
The online channel now accounts for 9% of the French grocery market, reporting a 0.2 percentage point gain in October, according to Kantar. Data for the P11 period (4 October to 31 October) showed that consumer spend fell by 5.7% compared to the corresponding period last year, with the value of the average basket dropping by €2 year-on-year.

China: Internet giant exceeds expectations despite slowdown
Both revenue and adjusted profit of Chinese e-commerce company - recently also active in the Netherlands - came out higher than expected last quarter. In the 3 months to 30 September, achieved total sales of 218.7bln yuan (30.2bln euros), a growth of 25.5%. Analysts were expecting 216bln yuan (29.8bln euros). The company benefited from widespread outbreaks of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus, which made more people want to shop online.

Rohlik to enter Italy, Romania and Spain in 2022
Czech-based online grocery Rohlik Group will launch operations in Italy, Romania and Spain next year under a new Sezamo brand, the company said. Group chief marketing officer Jakub Petřina, explained: "All these countries use latin-based languages and we wanted to continue with a "food word" as a brand. The sesame seed is popular in all cultures. Sezamo is based on ‘sesamo’ in Italian, ‘sesame’ in Romanian and in the future ‘sésamo’ in Spanish".

Portugal: Supermarket chains, food manufacturer fined €24.6mln for price fixing
Portugal’s Competition Authority (AdC) has decided to fine the supermarket chains Auchan, Pingo Doce and Modelo Continente, as well as food manufacturer Bimbo Donuts, a total of €24.6mln, for price fixing. In a note the AdC explains that it had “sanctioned 3 supermarket chains - Auchan, Modelo Continente and Pingo Doce - as well as the joint supplier Bimbo Donuts - for having participated in a consumer price fixing scheme”.

Amazon cuts costs of till-less stores by 96%
Amazon has managed to cut the cost of its 'Just Walk Out' technology by a whopping 96% since 2017. That paves the way for a wider rollout. According to Business Insider, the e-commerce giant plans to cut costs even more in the coming years. The company wants to further increase the turnover and profitability of the stores and is also working on some partnerships with third parties.

Ireland: Aldi saw pandemic boost profits by 46% as it reveals accounts for 1st time
Aldi Ireland’s profits rose 46% last year to €71.2mln, as the discount supermarket chain revealed to The Irish Times its Irish financial performance for the 1st time since it entered the market 22 years ago. The German-owned chain has also disclosed that its 149-strong Irish store network was 71% more profitable in 2020 than its British stores, when measured as a proportion of sales.

New member to join Italy’s D.IT Cooperative from 1 January
Italian retail cooperative and purchasing group D.IT - Distribuzione Italiana has announced that it is adding a new member from 1 January 2022. The arrival of Lombardi & C. will help further consolidate the cooperative’s presence in the Puglia region and in southern Italy, it said.

UK: Elliott publishes statement on Ahold Delhaize
Elliott Advisors (UK) Limited, which advises funds (together “Elliott”), confirms that it is a significant investor in Ahold Delhaize N.V. (“Ahold Delhaize” or the “Company”) and that it holds an economic interest in excess of 3% of the Company.

Alibaba: Shares dive after China spending slowdown warning
Alibaba's US-listed shares ended the New York trading session more than 11% lower. In the 3 months to the end of September, Alibaba's revenue rose by 29% to 200.7bln yuan ($31.4bln, £23.3bln), its slowest rate of growth for a year and a half. The company also said it expects its annual revenue to grow by between 20% to 23%, lower than analysts' forecasts.

US: The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation Innovation Fund makes impact investments to peer-selected startups Agua Bonita and Matriark Foods
The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation ("Foundation") announced that Agua Bonita and Matriark Foods were peer-selected for impact investment funding during its first-ever Venture Showcase, an event highlighting the second cohort of its Innovation Fund ("Fund").

US: BJ’s nets sales double-double in third quarter
BJ’s Wholesale Club saw both net and comparable sales climb by double digits in its fiscal 2021 3rd quarter, adding to double-digit sales gains from elevated consumer demand a year ago. In reporting quarterly results, Westborough, Massachusetts-based BJ’s also announced a same-day delivery partnership with last-mile specialist DoorDash. For the quarter ended October 30, BJ’s said net sales totaled $4.17bln, up 14.4% from $3.65bln in the fiscal 2020 quarter, which marked a 15.7% year-over-year increase.

Google Maps pickup tool expanded to over 2,000 Kroger Co. stores
Online technology and services giant Google is now offering a tool called Pickup with Google Maps at most of The Kroger Co.’s supermarkets. For customers making online grocery click-and-collect transactions, Pickup with Google Maps enables them to monitor and coordinate the process with the selected store from ordering to collecting, speeding fulfillment. The tool, accessed via the Google Maps app, is now available for more than 2,000 Kroger Co. store locations in over 30 states, including such banners as Kroger, Fry’s, Ralphs and Mariano’s, according to Amanda Leicht Moore, director of product for Google Maps.

US: Uber introduces Uber One: A new membership program bringing together the best of Uber
Uber Technologies, Inc. announced the launch of Uber One, a brand new membership program that brings together the best of Uber rides, delivery and groceries. As the only membership program providing discounts and exclusive experiences across both rides and delivery, Uber One is designed to help members navigate everyday life.

Amazon unveils ‘curbside recyclable’ grocery delivery packaging
While much of the attention on sustainable food packaging focuses on the point of purchase, Amazon has unveiled a solution for the point of delivery. Stephenie Landry, vice president of Amazon Grocery, said in a blog post that perishables deliveries from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market now will come in “curbside recyclable” insulated paper packaging.

US: Sweetgreen shares surge 76% in salad chain’s stock market debut
Salad chain Sweetgreen made its debut on the public market. Shares surged as much as 91%, giving the company a market value of more than $5.5bln. The company priced its initial public offering at $28 a share, above its marketed range.

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