Krasdale Foods’ Gus Lebiak: Challenging times for grocery industry
As a distributor in metropolitan New York, one of the nation’s largest grocery markets, Krasdale Foods has had a front-row seat to the economic volatility in the industry, namely the high inflation and supply and labor shortages hitting retailers, suppliers and their customers nationwide. Gus Lebiak, president and chief operating officer of Krasdale since January 2021, said the company is experiencing issues such as a lack of truck drivers, product shortfalls in various categories, packaging shortages and elevated inflation that’s hiking costs for businesses and consumers alike - all amid high demand driven by the pandemic. And like other businesses across the country, the food wholesaler and its customers are grappling with the surge of infections from the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Amazon workers eligible to hold union election at New York warehouse - NLRB
A group of Amazon.com workers has met the requirements to hold a union election at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, a spokesperson for the U.S. National Labor Relations Board confirmed, paving the way for another high-profile labor battle at the online retailer.
Canada: Ultrafast grocery delivery app Tiggy launches in Toronto to delight consumers with Speed, service & nearly 2,000 items delivered in 15 minutes
Tiggy, an ultrafast delivery app that provides free 15-minute delivery of fresh produce, groceries, and healthcare items, including Health Canada-approved rapid COVID antigen tests, officially launched in Toronto.
US: Brookshire Grocery finalizes Reasor’s acquisition
Brookshire Grocery Co. (BGC) and Reasor’s LLC announced that they have finalized the deal, 1st announced in November, for Brookshire to acquire Reasor’s, which operates 17 supermarkets and 1 convenience store in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, market. With the confirmed support from Reasor’s Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP), the stores are now officially a new division of Brookshire Grocery, and will operate under the Reasor’s banner.
US: Albertsons Companies selects Afresh Technologies AI platform
Albertsons Companies will enhance its fresh offering with Afresh Technologies’ AI-powered predictive ordering and inventory solutions to reduce waste and offer the freshest product for customers. Afresh will help Albertsons Cos.' optimize fresh forecasting, inventory, ordering, merchandising and operations. Afresh Technologies enables Albertsons Cos. to deploy a state-of-the-art AI technology platform in all its stores to further differentiate its fresh offering to customers while helping to reduce food waste, ultimately reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and saving water.
US: Hy-Vee announces 1st Indiana store
As part of a multistate expansion, Hy-Vee plans to enter Indiana with a massive store in Zionsville, a suburb just north of Indianapolis.
Hy-Vee said that it aims to open an approximately 150,000-square-foot store, including a pharmacy, at the southwest corner of Whitestown Parkway and S. County Road 700 E. Currently, the West Des Moines, Iowa-based food and drug chain is finalizing plans to secure about 26 acres at the Indiana site and conducting due diligence for the location.
US: Walmart-backed start-up is acquiring 2 fintech companies, Even and ONE
A Walmart-backed financial technology start-up is acquiring 2 more companies as it looks to build an all-in-one app where consumers can manage their money. Omer Ismail, a former Goldman Sachs executive, will lead the combined business that will be called ONE. When the 2 acquisitions close, the growing start-up will have more than 200 employees and over $250mln in cash on the balance sheet to fuel growth.
UK: Ocado unveils lighter robots to help grocery giants like Kroger take on Amazon
Ocado announced a new warehouse robot which it says is lighter and more energy-efficient than its predecessor. The U.K. company sells its retail automation technology to top supermarket chains including Kroger, Britain’s Morrisons and France’s Casino. Ocado also unveiled a so-called virtual distribution center, which the firm says will help slash delivery times.
Spain: Caprabo exceeds expansion forecast, opens 14 stores in 2021
Caprabo has announced that it exceeded its expansion forecast for 2021 and closed the financial year with 14 new supermarkets in its network. The company has invested around €5.2mln in its expansion plan, which has led to the creation of 116 jobs and more than 4,500 square metres of commercial space.
Jumbo takes over 4 Alvo stores in Belgium
Dutch retailer Jumbo is set to take over Alvo supermarkets in Rumst, Niel, and Boom in the province of Antwerp and the Alvo supermarket in Baasrode in East Flanders. The Alvo Superpost stores, owned by independent entrepreneur Christophe De Laet, will close at the end of February, after which the renovation work will start. The stores are expected to re-open their doors under the Jumbo branding in the autumn of 2022.
Portugal: Sonae MC reports sales growth of 6.3% in FY2021
Sonae MC, the food retail unit of Portugal’s Sonae, reported a turnover of €5.36bln in its financial year 2021, a 6.3% growth compared to the previous year (+3.4% on a LFL basis). The hypermarket segment reported a 2.4% sales growth, to €1.8bln, while supermarkets saw turnover increasing by 5.9%, to €2.7bln. The company's 'new growth businesses and others' segment registered the highest growth rate of 16.5% to €885mln.
This 27-year-old S’porean built a grocery startup that sells “ugly” produce at up to 60% off
He is 27 years old and the founder of sustainable grocery store UglyFood. Augustine Tan started his entrepreneurial journey in his early 20s. 5 years ago when he was a student at the Singapore University of Technology and Design School (SUTD), he saw a fruit store selling a seven-star fruit at heavily discounted prices. He noticed that the fruit store seller was clearing the fruit at a slashed price even though it was only browning a little. Struck by that experience, Augustine started to eat consciously to reduce food waste. Subsequently, for one of his school projects, he was tasked to talk to staff from supermarkets, local farmers, and wet market stall owners. With the exposure to more sellers, he realised that many businesses also reject less than perfect produce that to him could be salvaged. That was when UglyFood came about. Today, the UglyFood business constitutes a grocery store and an e-commerce website. The business is a pivot and was founded by a new team early in 2021.
Metro denies rumours about exit from Belgium and India
German retailer Metro has shared its vision for the future. The group is aiming for growth via wholesale and e-commerce, but denies any rumours about a certain exit from Belgium and India.
China: Farmmi reports record company revenue and gross profit for fiscal year 2021
Farmmi, Inc. ("Farmmi" or the "Company"), an agriculture products supplier in China, announced its financial results for the 12 months ended September 30, 2021: 39% increase in revenue in fiscal year 2021 compared to fiscal year 2020. 10% expansion in gross profit fiscal year 2021 compared to fiscal year 2020. 188% increase in net income in fiscal year 2021 compared to fiscal year 2020. $159.9mln in total stockholders' equity at September 30, 2021 compared to $28.3mln at September 20, 2020.