Sainsbury's raised its full-year profit forecast by at least 9%

Carrefour makes a new attempt to get a foothold in Greece

Serbian grocery market grew in 2020, Lidl the best performer
Serbia’s grocery retail market grew in 2020, with the top 8 players achieving a turnover of over RSD356bln (€3.02bln), new data has shown. Delhaize Serbia, Mercator-S and Lidl Srbija continued to dominate, but it was the German discounter that registered the highest growth rate, according to financial data from the Business Registers Agency (APR), published by daily Danas.

Carrefour makes new attempt in Greece
10 years after leaving Greece, Carrefour is making a new attempt to get a foothold in the Hellenic Republic through a local franchise partner. Carrefour starts a partnership with Retail & More, a subsidiary of technology distributor TeleUnicom, to relaunch its brand in Greece. Before the summer, the 1st stores should open their doors, more specifically on the island of Crete. The franchise partner will focus on supermarkets and convenience stores and is not planning to open any hypermarkets.

UK: Sainsbury's raises profit outlook despite Christmas sales fall
British supermarket group Sainsbury's raised its full-year profit forecast by at least 9% following stronger than expected food sales over Christmas, even though it fell short of its stellar 2020 festive performance. The group is now forecasting a full-year 2021-22 underlying profit before tax of "at least" 720mln pounds ($981.5mln) compared with previous outlook of "at least" 660mln pounds and 356mln pounds made in 2020-21. 

German trade body warns of huge supply chain disruption over Omicron
Germany’s BGA trade association warned of massive supply chain disruptions due to the rapid spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but said a long-term collapse of the supply chains was unlikely. German industry has been hit by supply shortages of microchips and other components, while rising coronavirus cases are clouding the outlook for retailers at the start of 2022.

Dutch retailer Plus launches new Nutri-Score pilot
After 2 successful pilot initiatives using the Nutri-Score system, Dutch retailer Plus has announced the start of a 3rd pilot, which will see Nutri-Score labelling applied across its convenience meal range. With this step, the retailer said that is actively preparing for the national introduction of the labelling system, which is expected to take place in the 1st half of 2022.

South Africa's #BizTrends2022: How online shopping will push the retail boundaries
As Covid-19 is set to consume yet another year, brick and mortar stores are realising they need to move faster on expanding their omnichannel repertoire to meet consumers' changing needs. NielsenIQ South Africa MD Ged Nooy says this stems from the fact that it is no longer a question of whether people are willing to purchase fast-moving consumer goods online, but rather getting to grips with this new retail reality.

Online channel builds share of U.S. grocery market in 2021
Fueled by a 3.5% monthly gain in December, U.S. online grocery sales reached nearly $98bln last year, according to the latest Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey. For 2021, the online grocery market totaled $97.7bln in sales via pickup, delivery and ship-to-home channels, as more than 70% of U.S. households, or 93mln, received 1 or more orders during the year, strategic advisory firm Brick Meets Click reported.

Amazon, H-E-B, and Market Basket are the top U.S. grocery retailers
dunnhumby, the global leader in customer data science, released the 5th annual dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index (RPI), a comprehensive, nationwide study that examines the approximately $1tln U.S. grocery market. In a 2nd year dominated by Covid-19, Amazon cemented its leadership position, with H-E-B following in 2nd place and Market Basket leap frogging 3 retailers to take the 3rd spot away from Trader Joe’s. Wegmans held onto the 4rth spot for a 2nd year in a row.

US: Home Chef names Erik Jensen Chief Executive Officer
Home Chef, a leading meal solutions brand, announced that Erik Jensen, president of Home Chef, will be promoted to Chief Executive Officer on February 1. Pat Vihtelic, founder of Home Chef, will continue to serve on the company's advisory board throughout 2022.

US: Albertsons reaps stronger sales gains in 3rd quarter
Albertsons Cos. topped the high end of Wall Street’s earnings-per-share forecast for its fiscal 2021 3rd quarter as the supermarket giant tallied robust gains in net and identical sales. For the 12-week quarter ended December 4, net sales and other revenue climbed 8.6% to $16.73bln from $15.41bln a year earlier, Albertsons reported.

US: Giant Co. makes sizable donation to fund high-tech agriculture
As part of its commitment to creating a more sustainable future, The Giant Co. has donated $1mln to Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in support of its new Center for Advanced Agriculture and Sustainability, which will focus on sustainability and localized sourcing through high-tech food and agriculture.

U.S. labor board sets dates for union vote at Amazon warehouse in Alabama
The U.S. National Labor Relations Board said that it will send unionization ballots to workers at an Inc warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, on February 4, setting the stage for the next labor contest facing the online retailer.

US: Foxtrot raises $100mln to facilitate nationwide expansion
Tech-enabled convenience store chain Foxtrot has revealed $100mln in Series C funding led by D1 Capital Partners, with continued participation from existing investors Monogram, Imaginary, Almanac, Wittington, Fifth Wall and Beliade, and joining historical investors Lerer Hippeau and Revolution. The Series C brings Foxtrot’s total funding to $160mln.

US: ShopRite 1st on East Coast to deploy QuickCollect GO! POD smart grocery pickup
ShopRite is the 1st grocer on the East Coast to offer the new QuickCollect GO! POD, which enables shoppers to quickly and easily retrieve online grocery orders from a temperature-controlled outdoor pickup pod. The free-standing structure is now available at the ShopRite of New Rochelle, at 8 Palmer Avenue, in New Rochelle, New York.

US: Covid puts demand for convenience into overdrive
Driven by lifestyle changes, convenience food items continue to increase in popularity, and they have been for more than a decade. COVID just put that demand into overdrive. “In an instant, our customers went from eating half of their meals away from home to cooking and eating nearly all their meals at home”, said Nate Stewart, senior vice president of perishables for West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee. 

US: Empty grocery shelves return as sick employees, supply chain delays collide
Shares of Albertsons, Kroger and Walmart fell, as investors worried that omicron-fueled worker shortages and supply chain delays would hurt major grocers. Albertsons CEO Vivek Sankaran said on an earnings call that the latest spike in Covid cases has delayed the recovery to more typical levels. The omicron variant has exacerbated worker shortages in nearly every industry, from airlines to restaurants.

Invafresh wins 2022 BIG Innovation Award for its fresh food retail platform
Invafresh, the market leader of Freshology for the fresh food retail industry, announced it has been named a winner in the 2022 BIG Innovation Awards for both Company and Executive presented by the Business Intelligence Group.

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