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Secai Marche raises Series A funding

E.Leclerc will inaugurate its 100th pedestrian drive in France in March

Belgium: Delhaize makes stores smarter with superfast internet
Intelligent shelves, connected refrigerators and a lower energy consumption: Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize is investing in a fibre-optic connection to drive its digital transformation towards ‘real-time retail’.

E.Leclerc to open its 100th pedestrian drive in France in March
E.Leclerc will inaugurate its hundredth pedestrian drive-through at the beginning of March 2023, in Lille. At the helm behind this symbolic opening? Thomas Pocher, the pioneer of this model at the retailer who had created its first pedestrian withdrawal space in 2017. He now owns five pedestrian drives in Lille and plans to open two more in 2023.

Woolworths Bricks celebrates Aussie farmers and produce
Woolworths Bricks is returning with Bricks Farm, “championing” Aussie farmers and the fresh food they provide to Woolworths customers. Available from Wednesday 8 February, the collectible will bring “the journey from farm to supermarket to life and encourage learning about where food comes from through play and creativity”. The collection comprises a farm ecosystem and includes a farmer, a beekeeper, a fruit and veg buyer, several farm animals (such as the farm dog - a kelpie), The Odd Bunch fruit and veg, Macro products, a drone, a chicken coop, and fruit trees.

UK: Asda launches supplier finance programme
Asda has partnered with Lloyds Bank to launch a new Supplier Finance programme to provide working capital to businesses in its supply chain. The programme gives Asda suppliers early funding on invoices, with the aim of helping them to improve their cashflow and build resilience against the current challenging macroeconomic backdrop.

UK grocery price inflation rises to record 16.7%, says Kantar
Grocery inflation in the UK hit a record 16.7% in the four weeks to January 22, dealing another blow to consumers battling an escalating cost-of-living crisis, Kantar data has revealed.

Australia: Scott Marshall resigns from Metcash
Metcash’s CEO of the Food Pillar, Scott Marshall, has resigned. The company said Mr Marshall, who has more than 30 years experience with the company, is leaving to “pursue another career opportunity”. Scott Marshall had been the CEO of the food pillar for the past five years, and has previously held the role of CEO of the liquor pillar. The search is now underway to find a new CEO for the food pillar.

Southeast Asia farm-to-table startup Secai Marche raises Series A funding
Secai Marche, a farm-to-table fulfillment platform serving farmers in Japan and Southeast Asia, announced it has raised 210mln Japanese yen (about $1.6mln USD) in Series A funding. The round included participation from venture capital firm The Agribusiness Investment and Consultation Co., Spiral Ventures Asia Fund I and Beyond Next Ventures. Over 4,000 items are available on the platform from farmers in Southeast Asia and Japan, including vegetables, fruit, eggs and seafood.

UK: Over a quarter of parents buying less meat amid cost-of-living crisis
Parents with young children are changing their shopping habits with 27% buying less meat amid the cost-of-living crisis, new research shows. A survey by Red Tractor and YouGov has found that 18% are also purchasing less fruit and vegetables in a bid to save money. For 39%, meat has been switched with carbohydrates such as bread and pasta to stop their children from going hungry, according to reporting by The Grocer.

US: Publix Charlotte Division vice president to retire; new vice president announced
After more than 47 years of dedicated service, Publix Super Markets Charlotte Division Vice President Chuck Roskovich has announced his decision to retire March 31. With Roskovich’s retirement, Publix is pleased to announce the promotion of Joey Riddle to Charlotte Division vice president.

US: Dollar General now has 19K locations
Dollar General opened its 19,000th store, a new location in Joplin, Missouri. Since 2012, the discounter has opened roughly 1,000 new stores a year - a pace the Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based retailer said it intends to keep in 2023.

US: Online grocery sales projected to grow 11.7% over five years
Online grocery sales in the U.S. will grow at a compound annual rate of 11.7% during the next five years, according to the 2023 Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Five-Year Grocery Sales Forecast. The growth will result in online grocery increasing its share of total grocery sales to 13.6% in 2027, up from 11.2% in 2022, the survey projected.

US: Aldi, H-E-B set expansion pace for grocery stores in 2022
Aldi and H-E-B last year ranked as the fastest-growing grocers in the United States by new stores and added square footage, respectively, according to commercial real estate and property investment firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

US: Rouses Markets to open 1st store in Biloxi
Rouses Markets has revealed plans to open its first store in Biloxi, Mississippi. According to CEO Donny Rouse, the company has agreed to lease space at 2348 Pass Road at the corner of Popps Ferry Road. The 60,000-square-foot space will undergo a comprehensive remodel encompassing both the interior and the façade.

US: Dollar General CFO Garratt to retire
Dollar General Corp's Chief Financial Officer John Garratt will retire effective June 2, the discount store chain said, adding that it will "evaluate options" for its next finance chief.

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