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Carrefour is confident on its 2023 outlook

Two frontrunners have emerged for the purchase of Slovenia’s Tuš

British supermarket Waitrose commits 100mln stg to price cuts
Upmarket British supermarket group Waitrose said it will spend 100mln pounds ($122mln) to cut prices on over 300 own-brand products as it fights to retain customers amid record industry inflation. Waitrose, part of the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership, said it was cutting the prices of products ranging from British carrots and frozen peas to Fairtrade tea and British sausages.

SPAR Spain partner Grupo Cuevas expands retail network
SPAR Spain partner Ignacio de las Cuevas began the year with the opening of a new 150m² SPAR Express supermarket in the town of Miño in the province of La Coruña. This follows 11 openings of stores under the SPAR Express store format in the retailer’s region in the preceding twelve months. In each store, two to seven colleagues provide customers with service in the fruit & vegetables, bread, and delicatessen sections that are available.

Germany’s REWE and Montenegro’s Voli eye Slovenia’s Tuš
Two frontrunners have emerged for the purchase of Slovenia’s fourth largest grocery retailer Tuš, which was recently offered for sale. According to Slovenian portal, one of the potential bidders is Montenegrin retail chain Voli, the largest employer in the country, which is owned by local businessman Dragan Bokan. Another interested party is German retail giant REWE Group, which owns around 3,300 stores across various European countries, generating around €60bln in annual turnover.

Carrefour predicts more profit growth this year despite high inflation
Europe's largest food retailer Carrefour is confident on its 2023 outlook after reporting record free cash flow of 1.26bln euros ($1.35bln) and another rise in full-year operating profit despite high inflation. "We look at the future with confidence", Bompard said as he reiterated a goal to generate free cash flow of more than 1.7bln euros by 2026.

New Zealand: The Warehouse trials selling fresh fruit and veges
The Warehouse has begun a trial selling fresh fruit and vegetables at six stores around the country. The stores involved in the trial are located at Whangārei, Auckland's Westgate, Wellington's Lyall Bay, Christchurch's Riccarton, Timaru and Invercargill.

UK: GCA announces new confidentiality pledge for suppliers
The Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) has announced a new pledge which aims to ensure suppliers are not at risk from potential negative consequences as a result of reporting a retailer-related issue. All fourteen retailers covered by the Groceries Supply Code of Conduct have signed the agreement with the GCA.

ID Logistics increases the value of deliveries to Auchan stores in southern Poland
ID Logistics is extending its cooperation with Auchan Polska. The operator, which has been servicing the retail chain’s warehouse in Mszczonów for over 8 years, will now be responsible for managing operations at the distribution centre in Lędziny, from where deliveries to shops in southern Poland are made. The centre is dedicated to providing warehousing services for dry and fresh food products, including those requiring temperature-controlled storage in various ranges (dairy, meat, fish, fruit and vegetables).

Terraa raises $1.5mln pre-seed round to bring safe and affordable food to Africa
Moroccan foodtech startup Terraa has closed a $1.5mln pre-seed round to double down on its mission of building a sustainable food supply ecosystem in Africa. The round was led by FoodLabs, with UM6P Ventures, Outlierz Ventures, Musha Ventures, and DFS Lab. 

Israeli firm deploys robots to speed up online shopping
AFP reported: "Behind a dark and opaque storefront in Tel Aviv, an Israeli company is speeding up online shopping by replacing staff with robots that manoeuvre around small storerooms. 'Shoppers want to receive their items faster and faster', said Eyal Yair, co-founder and CEO of 1MRobotics, which built the automated storeroom. Combined with artificial intelligence, these robots are designed to carefully grasp and pack fruit and vegetables, as well as frozen items thanks to a method that prevents the robots’ oil from freezing".

Carrefour tests ChatGPT as grocers tap AI to boost efficiency
Carrefour’s ChatGPT-generated video comes as grocers worldwide leverage AI to improve their labor economics. The multinational grocery giant, which has nearly 14,000 stores across more than 30 countries, is leveraging the chatbot and a computer-generated human avatar to reduce the labor cost of creating customer-facing videos.

Retail group Ahold beats expectations thanks to buoyant U.S. sales
Supermarket group Ahold Delhaize reported a forecast-beating 22% jump in fourth-quarter core earnings helped by strength in U.S. markets and cost savings. Quarterly underlying operating income rose to 1.03bln euros ($1.10bln), beating the 890mln euro consensus in analyst forecasts compiled by the company. Sales of 23.4bln euros for the three-month period were roughly in line with expectations. "I would call it a very solid beat...For us, the fourth quarter was really driven by a strong U.S. business where we had a strong holiday season, good online sales", finance chief Natalie Knight said.

US: Online grocery sales dropped in January
A sharp decrease in ship-to-home activity resulted in a January decline in online grocery sales, reports the Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey. January online sales totaled $8.4bln, down 1.2% versus a year earlier. Ship-to-home sales fell 15% to $1.3bln, while pickup increased nearly 3% to $4.1bln, and delivery held steady at around $3bln.

US: Trader Joe’s is building a $260mln distribution facility in Kentucky
Trader Joe’s is building a $260mln distribution facility in south-central Kentucky that’s planned to open before the end of the year, Simpson County Judge-Executive Mason Barnes told WGB.

Sandwich chain Subway is exploring a possible sale
Sandwich giant Subway confirmed it is exploring a possible sale. The company has hired JPMorgan as advisors during the sale exploration. Subway, which has over 37,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries, said earlier this month its same-store sales climbed 9.2% last year.

US: Lidl planning new ground-up warehouse in Pennsylvania
Lidl seems to be primed for expansion, following its purchase of nearly 70 acres in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The German-owned chain, which has been steadily growing its footprint in the East Coast, confirmed that it recently bought acreage for a future warehouse at the site of the Keystone Trade Center. Spokesperson Jessica Shangle didn’t give specifics about the sale - pegged to be close to $145mln - but did note that a project is in the works.

Numerator Monthly Inflation Report: Food at home prices up 0.3% in January
Numerator projects that the Consumer Price Index for food at home increased 0.3% month-over-month in January. Numerator, a data and technology company providing insights into consumer behavior, has released its monthly Numerator Inflation Report, an advance projection of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI). The report currently measures inflation for food at home overall and its subcomponents including cereals and bakery products; meats, poultry, fish, and eggs; dairy and related products; fruits and vegetables; non-alcoholic beverages and beverage materials; and other food at home.

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