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Albert Heijn and BP have opened the 100th AH to go forecourt store

Colruyt Group is acquiring 100% of the shares of Degrenne Distribution

UK: Lidl's new reward card offers prizes if you buy fresh fruit and veg
Lidl is launching a new initiative designed to reward healthy eating among its customers by giving points and prizes to people who buy fresh fruit and veg. The Fruit and Veg Stamp Card - available via the retailer’s Lidl Plus app - will reward shoppers for their purchases of fresh fruit and vegetables from February 2 to March 1. Customers who choose to take part will earn a stamp on their card for every £5 spent in store on fresh fruit and veg over the next month - and could win a reward of fruit and veg coupons or a £10,000 cash prize.

Amazon workers in Barcelona strike over warehouse closure
Workers at an Amazon logistics centre on the outskirts of Barcelona protested on the second day of an indefinite strike sparked by the company's plans to shut down the warehouse and relocate employees to other provinces.

Holland: Albert Heijn and BP open 100th AH To Go forecourt store
Albert Heijn and BP have jointly announced that they have opened the 100th AH to go forecourt store. The Albert Heijn to go store at the BP station at the Kooimeer roundabout in Alkmaar, will offer road users a selection of freshly prepared food on site along with hot and cold items to order, the Dutch retailer said. It will also offer drinks on the go, such as barista-quality coffee, sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit and vegetable juices.

Colruyt Group acquires French food wholesaler
Colruyt Group is acquiring 100% of the shares of Degrenne Distribution, a family company founded in 1960 that specialises in the distribution of dry, fresh and frozen products to a network of some 1,800 local stores, operating under brand names such as Episervice, Vivéco, Coccinelle and Coccimarket. The wholesaler achieves annual sales of 110mln euros and employs 140 people.

Chinese webshop Ochama opens 50 new pick-up points in Dutch Blokker stores
Webshop Ochama, a subsidiary of Chinese retail giant, is expanding its partnership with Blokker in the Netherlands with pick-up points in 50 additional stores. More stores will follow later.

Ireland: Home cooks want ‘environmentally’ friendly food
People who cook at home are more willing to pay a “higher price” for food with “lower environmental impacts”, according to a new study published by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). The institute’s latest research study focused on three specific food types: Beef, chicken, and vegetables.

Germany: Edeka relies on KNAPP technology for 24-hour store
E 24/7 is a fully automated food market in Offenburg, Germany, where customers can shop conveniently around the clock, seven days a week. The new concept store is made possible by KNAPP’s innovative in-store technology, RetailCX. The operator is EDEKA Südwest, the second-largest regional company in the EDEKA network in Germany.

Dutch online turnover decreased 7.6% in 2022
Online revenue in the Netherlands has decreased 7.6% in 2022 when compared to a year earlier. Pure online stores generated revenues of 5.8% lower. Multichannel sellers saw their turnover decrease by 9.6%. Online sales in the Netherlands showed a downward trend throughout the year. That is apparent from new data from Statistics Netherlands.

Green Deal Industrial Plan an opportunity for retailers and wholesalers: EuroCommerce
The European Commission's Green Deal Industrial Plan for the net-zero age gives retailers and wholesalers a chance to seize the net-zero opportunity, EuroCommerce has said.

In the Cross Border M&A category: LatinFinance distinguished Cencosud for its purchase of The Fresh Market
Cencosud was recently recognized in the Cross-Border M&A category of the "Deals of the Year" awards, organized by LatinFinance, for the acquisition of the U.S. supermarket chain The Fresh Market. The award was received by the company's CEO, Matías Videla, who traveled to New York, United States, to participate in the awards ceremony.

Amazon to shutter some Fresh and Go stores as its cuts costs
Amazon reports better-than-expected revenue at $149.2bln, while its profit slumped to $300mln as it warns operating profit could fall to zero in the current quarter. The business is closing some Fresh supermarkets and Go convenience stores as it looks to curtail expenses.

US: UNFI increases efforts towards diverse-owned suppliers
Grocery wholesaler United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) is increasing its efforts to support diverse-owned suppliers after having doubled its year-over-year spend with such firms during its 2022 fiscal year, the company said. The Providence, Rhode Island-based operator said its fiscal 2023 goal is for 3% of annual product spend to be with diverse-owned businesses.

US: Ingles posts 7.3% sales gains in Q1
Ingles Markets said its sales grew faster than profits in its fiscal first quarter, as gross margins decreased as a percent of sales. The Asheville, North Carolina-based retailer reported $69.4mln in net income for the first quarter, which ended December 24, 2022, an increase of 4.8% vs. year-ago results. Net sales, meanwhile, were up 7.3%, to $1.49bln.

US: Fresh produce discount to be given to local SNAP beneficiaries
A regional retailer is offering discounts on produce to those enrolled in the SNAP program. Meijer announced it will be offering an in-store discount of 10% off produce for those enrolled in the SNAP food assistance program, according to a company spokesperson. The discount will run through March 31.

US: EZ Mart operator acquires Louie’s Fresh Markets
EZ Mart operator Blarney Castle Oil Co. acquired the assets of Michigan-based Alpena Oil Co. The transaction includes six Louie's Fresh Market full-service grocery stores and 14 traditional convenience stores, plus a cardlock.

US: Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage announces first quarter fiscal 2023 results
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. announced results for its first quarter of fiscal 2023 ended December 31, 2022. Highlights for first quarter fiscal 2023 compared to first quarter fiscal 2022: net sales increased 1.1% to $280.5mln; daily average comparable store sales increased 0.5% and increased 17.6% on a three-year basis; net income was $4.4mln, with diluted earnings per share of $0.19; adjusted EBITDA was $13.8mln; opened one new store, resulting in a 2.5% new store growth rate for the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2022.

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