Discounter Penny planning to expand store portfolio in Romania
Discounter Penny has received a capital injection of around €160mln from its parent company, Germany's REWE Group, to accelerate development in Romania, according to local media reports. News outlet Ziarul Financiar reported that the investment is one of the largest to date received by a domestic player in Romania's retail market, and will be used to open between 35 and 40 new stores in 2023.
Australia: Explore a Farm program to teach school students where food comes from
Students from a Victorian primary school will be the first to take part in a new farm program designed to help children better understand how food is grown and harvested. The Explore a Farm program, run by Coles and the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, will run a trial with Thomas Chirnside Primary School at Werribee starting March 23. Students will visit a farm near their school and learn how fruit and vegetables get from the paddock to their plate. Coles plans to then expand the school-based program nationally to coincide with fruit and vegetables growing seasons around Australia.
Belgium: Ter Beke becomes ‘What’s Cooking?’ to focus on plant-based products
Belgian meat processor Ter Beke is undergoing a metamorphosis: the specialist in processed meats has renamed itself to What’s Cooking? - a new name to reflect its new focus on plant-based products.
UK: Issa Brothers mull sale of Asda properties as debt rises
Asda has launched a £8.6bln review of its property estate as the billionaire brothers behind the business scramble for options to reduce its debt pile: according to reports in The Telegraph, owners Mohsin and Zuber Issa backed by private equity backers TDR Capital, are targeting the sale and leaseback of Asda’s supermarket estate to help aid soaring interest bills.
Germany: HelloFresh SE commits to science-based emission targets and sets new ambitious goals for CO2e emission and food waste reductions for 2025
HelloFresh SE (“HelloFresh”) announced its commitment to science-based emissions reductions targets within its 2022 non-financial report. Within the report, the company demonstrates progress in further decreasing its environmental impact and presents new goals for further reducing carbon emissions and food waste by 2025.
UK: Bestway launches WhatsApp business platform
Bestway Wholesale has extended its digital services to include WhatsApp for its customers. Bestway said it is aware of just how precious time is for their retailers, so WhatsApp is a solution that is not only safe, secure, and efficient, but a large majority of customers already use it, making it the most convenient and quick form of communications.
UK: Sainsbury's pays $524mln for full ownership of store investment vehicles
British supermarket Sainsbury's said it would take full ownership of the Highbury and Dragon store investment vehicles, paying Supermarket Income REIT 430.9mln pounds ($524.2mln) for its 51% stake. The deal will result in Sainsbury's buying the freeholds of 21 stores which will continue to be operated as Sainsbury's supermarkets.
Coupang exits Japan after less than two years
Coupang Inc. confirmed that it will halt service in Japan on March 21. "We have decided to curtail our pilot in Japan which will allow Coupang to focus our resources on growth opportunities in Korea and Taiwan that we expect to generate more value for customers and stakeholders," reads a company statement.
French retailer Casino selling down stake in Brazil's Assai
Casino launched a sale of shares in Brazilian supermarket chain Assai as the French supermarket operator presses on with cutting its debt. Casino said it would be selling 12.9% of Assai's share capital, representing 174mln shares. The French company said the sale formed part of its previously announced plans to sell assets.
New coalition aiming to ensure ‘fair play’ in online commerce
A new trade association for suppliers that rely on Amazon and other large online commerce platforms to reach their customers has been formed to ensure fair play in the channel. Founded this month by leading US and European antitrust experts, the Responsible Online Commerce Coalition (ROCC) stated that it would work across the industry, from the smallest third-party sellers to the world’s largest household brands. ROCC’s focus is primarily on the US, the European Union, and the UK, but it noted that these issues are global in scope.
US: H-E-B shopping lists can now include bananas, milk and a handyman
The Texas grocer has partnered with home management platform Thumbtack to offer suggestions and hiring info for local pet service providers, landscapers, repair people and more.
Just Eat Takeaway.com files for deregistration from SEC in the USA
Just Eat Takeaway.com N.V., hereinafter the “Company”, or together with its group companies “Just Eat Takeaway.com”, one of the world’s largest online food delivery marketplaces, will file for deregistration of its securities under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"). Deregistration of its securities from the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States of America (the “SEC”) will reduce reporting costs and complexity.
US: Harps Food Stores to acquire Beachler's Hometown Market
Springdale, Arkansas-based Harps Food Stores has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire Beachler’s Hometown Market, an independent grocery retailer in Prague, Oklahoma, the company announced.
US: Kroger's roadmap for driving plant-based sales
The Kroger Co.'s data science arm, 84.51°, unveiled new research at the recent Natural Products Expo West show in Las Vegas detailing the behavior of omnichannel plant-based shoppers, and how grocers can shape their marketing and merchandising strategies to grab more sales from these consumers.
Digital grocery sales hit $128bln
Total digital grocery sales reached $128bln last year, according to research from Incisiv and its Grocery Doppio platform, and sales are expected to grow to $146bln in 2023. About 14.4% of all 2022 grocery sales were digital, and that number is forecast to hit 15.3% in 2023 and 20% by 2026, the research firm predicted.
US: Gordon Food Service to open 6 stores in Texas
Gordon Food Service, a food distribution company, is opening six Gordon Food Service Stores in the greater Houston area with four slated to open Tuesday and two at an unspecified time in the future, according to a press release. The stores, which will serve local restaurants, food operators and the public, will feature “chef-quality” food and offer an assortment of packaged and fresh produce.