Roche Bros. Supermarkets is marking its 70th anniversary

Amazon introduces new service: Amazon Warehousing & Distribution

US: New Whole Foods Market in Culver City is now open
Whole Foods Market opened its new 51,413-square-foot store, located at 3377 La Cienega Blvd in Culver City, California, on Wednesday, August 31. Features of the Culver City store include: An array of organic, conventional and Sourced for Good produce, plus offerings from more than 40 local farms, including heirloom tomatoes from Be Wise Ranch, sprouts from Kowalke Organics and watermelon from Valpredo Farms.

Amazon introduces seller storage service to tackle supply chain woes Inc introduced a new service to help its sellers store bulk inventory and ease distribution to tackle supply chain issues, the company said in a blog post. In 2023, sellers will be able to use the new service called Amazon Warehousing & Distribution (AWD) to send their inventory to any location, including to wholesale customers or brick-and-mortar stores, the online retailer said.

US: Roche Bros. locks in prices for 70th anniversary
Roche Bros. Supermarkets is marking its 70th anniversary by locking down prices on hundreds of items. The Mansfield, Massachusetts-based company, which began as a butcher and produce shop in Roslindale, Massachusetts, has grown to 16 Roche Bros. and four Brother Marketplace locations in 19 communities across New England.

US and Puerto Rico: Walmart-owned Sam’s Club raises annual membership fee for the first time in nine years
Sam’s Club is raising annual membership fees, as inflation drives store trips and membership is at an all-time high. Starting October 17, fees will increase from $45 to $50 for club members and from $100 to $110 for members of its higher-tier level, “Plus”. The Walmart-owned warehouse club has grown during the Covid pandemic and benefited from fuel discounts during inflation.

Amazon is still trying to digest Whole Foods
The day in 2017 that Inc. announced it would buy Whole Foods Market, Jeff Wilke, then Amazon’s retail czar, tried to reassure a large group of employees gathered in a conference room above the high-end grocer’s flagship store in Austin that their lives wouldn’t be turned upside down by the deal. Then he referred to blueberries as a vegetable. Executives from Whole Foods pounced. “Those aren’t vegetables”, cut in co-founder John Mackey. “So it begins”, added Walter Robb, Mackey’s former co-chief executive officer, before Mackey offered Wilke an out: “We’re learning”, he said.

How Latvian stores prepare for future ban on free plastic bags
Stores will no longer be allowed to offer free plastic bags as of 2025. Shops are preparing for this in a variety of ways: they offer different alternatives, such as paper and reusable bags, and they also charge for thin plastic bags, representatives of supermarket networks told Latvian Radio. “Maxima Latvija” Food Production Department director Dace Grava-Birzāka said that as of April this year, free paper bags are being offered at the fruit and vegetable stands, and so far the results are good - people really choose them instead of plastic bags. Lidl's supermarket network, although still offering small plastic bags for fruit and vegetables, have placed signs on the possibility of purchasing lightweight and convenient reusable bags, said Antra Birzule, head of corporate social responsibility for supermarket network Lidl.

UK's John Lewis to recruit 10,000 Christmas staff, with free meals bonus
John Lewis said it would recruit 10,000 Christmas staff for its department stores, Waitrose supermarkets and online operations, adding that all its workers would receive free meals in the period to help with the rising cost of living.

New Zealand: Demand grows for 'wonky' fruit and veg service
A subscription-based produce company that saves so-called "wonky" fruit and vegetables from heading to the landfill says demand has doubled in the past month alone. Wonky Box sells oddly shaped or excess produce sourced from local growers to about 2000 customers in Wellington and Kāpiti Coast. Co-founder Angus Simms said about 75% of their produce was sourced directly from Horowhenua District, but they worked with growers across the length of the North Island, from Northland to Gisborne.

UK: Sainsbury’s and Ogilvy ‘pear’ up to battle the sour cost-of-living-crisis
Sainsbury’s has unveiled a nationwide campaign to help customers battle the cost-of-living crisis through its SmartShop app. The campaign, created by agency Ogilvy UK, uses light-hearted food-related wordplay to bring to life the ways in which SmartShop can save consumers money. The supermarket’s app allows customers to shop, scan and checkout autonomously, while the technology tracks purchases to unlock tailored product deals based on historical favourites.

Sweden: Coop offers lower electricity prices for members
Coop Sweden is partnering with Fortum to offer its members a lower electricity price, as well as the opportunity to earn points on their electricity use. The points can be exchanged for vouchers at Coop, the retailer noted.

South Africa's Woolworths steps up battle for affluent shoppers
Woolworths Holdings plans to open more stores and ramp up its on-demand delivery service, its chief executive said, as it steps up a turf war for South Africa's affluent shoppers. The Cape Town-based retailer is facing fierce competition from rivals Pick n Pay and Shoprite-owned Checkers, which have been pushing hard into the higher-margin upmarket niche dominated by Woolworths. Pick n Pay and Checkers are overhauling their stores, introducing fresh produce, premium prepared food and free-range meat, as well as launching on-demand grocery delivery services.

Germany: Quick commerce operator Gorillas expands private-label ranges
Quick commerce giant Gorillas has announced the expansion of its Gorillas Premium and Gorillas Daily private-label ranges, as it seeks to bolster profitability within its operations. New products under the Gorillas Daily umbrella include spreads, cold cuts, cheeses, sweet and savoury snacks as well as fruit juices, and are described as 'everyday grocery needs at fair prices'.

Israel: Yeinot Bitan to invest NIS40mln in Carrefour conversion
Israeli retail chain Yeinot Bitan will convert 25 supermarkets into Carrefour stores by the end of 2022 at an investment of NIS40mln. Three of these stores in Tel Aviv, Or Yehuda and Kiryat Gat will be completely new supermarkets. The existing supermarkets that will be converted into outlets of the French brand are all in central Israel including in Tel Aviv, Kiryat Ono, Herzliya, Rishon Lezion, Rosh Ha'ayin, and Ra'anana.

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