Safeway workers threaten to strike as grocery chain sees massive profits

Canada: Government calls for meeting with CEOs of largest grocery chains to talk food prices
The federal government says it expects the heads of five of Canada's biggest grocery chains to attend a meeting in Ottawa on Monday to discuss ways to stabilize food prices. The office of Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne told CBC News it asked the CEOs of Loblaw, Sobeys, Metro, Costco and Walmart to attend in person. Champagne's office said it sent out the invitation Thursday afternoon as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was delivering his affordability announcement in London, Ont. at the Liberals' national caucus retreat. "It's not okay that our biggest grocery stores are making record profits while Canadians are struggling to put food on the table," Trudeau told a press conference Thursday.

Source: CBC

Walmart's late-night and express delivery
Superstore Wal-Mart announced this week that it would offer late-night express deliveries at 4,000 stores nationwide. The new expansion of their delivery system means customers can get grocery orders and shopping done without leaving their homes to search for an open store with the items they need. Instead, customers can place orders as late as 9:30 pm for express delivery by 10 pm. The express delivery option aims to deliver same-day orders within 30 to 90 minutes.

Source: Kiplinger

Sobeys ‘off to a good start’ with strong 1st quarter, CEO says
Sobeys Inc. parent Empire Company Ltd. kicked off fiscal 2024 with first-quarter net and comparable-store sales gains that bounced back from lackluster results in the previous quarter. The Canadian food and drug retailer also topped analysts’ adjusted earnings-per-share forecast in Q1, with the company getting a bottom-line lift in reported net income from a sale of retail fuel assets. For the quarter ended Aug. 5, food retail net sales totaled $8.08 billion (Canadian), up 1.7% from $7.94 billion a year earlier, Stellarton, Nova Scotia-based Empire reported Thursday. That built on a 4.1% increase in the fiscal 2023 first quarter and marked a rebound from a 5.5% decrease in the fiscal 2023 fourth quarter

Source: Winsight Grocery Business

Safeway workers threaten to strike as grocery chain sees massive profits
Safeway workers in BC’s Lower Mainland are threatening to walk off the job if their employer doesn’t meet their demands on the bargaining table. Sobeys presented an offer of less than a 1% wage increase, according to the union, and its workers say they are prepared to strike unless that number goes way up and other demands are met. “Our members working at Safeway stores have worked tirelessly through a pandemic, rising inflation and record profits reported by the company they work for – Sobeys. Now that we are in bargaining, their employer has seemingly turned their back on that,” UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak said ahead of the vote. Empire Co. Ltd., the parent company of Sobeys, Safeway, and more, recorded a massive profit in its most recent financial documents from last year to the tune of $261 million.

Source: Daily Hive

South Africa: Walmart’s revamped commitment to Africa: overcoming challenges and embracing growth
Walmart has reaffirmed its dedication to the African market by intensifying its online initiatives with South African retailer Massmart. Over a decade ago, Walmart acquired a controlling stake in Massmart with the aim of tapping into Africa’s burgeoning consumer market. However, a series of challenges, including a commodities crash, pandemic-related restrictions, and geopolitical tensions, hindered Walmart’s progress in the region. To address these obstacles, Walmart took bold steps by acquiring the remaining 47% of Massmart for 6.4 billion South African rand (approximately $358 million) last year. This strategic move granted Walmart more control over Massmart and empowered the company to drive transformative changes.

Source: Innovation Village

China: Missfresh Limited announces approval of four proposed resolutions to increase share capital
Missfresh Limited announced that at its annual general meeting of shareholders held virtually, shareholders of the Company approved each of the four proposed resolutions set out in the notice of annual general meeting (the “Meeting Notice”), namely, an ordinary resolution to increase the Company’s authorized share capital, a special resolution to amend the Company’s memorandum and articles of association to reflect such increase in the share capital and other changes, an ordinary resolution to approve the transaction contemplated under certain share transfer agreement entered into by and between the Company and certain other party thereto as announced by the Company on August 7, 2023, and an ordinary resolution to authorize the Company’s directors, officers and agents to carry out the foregoing.

Source: Miss Fresh

UK: Marks & Spencer ditches plastic bags in favor of paper ones
Marks & Spencer made an announcement regarding their bag policy. “Our customers have always pushed us to lead on the issues they care about most. Reducing single use plastic is right up there too. Earlier in the year we introduced a ‘Bring Your Own Bag’ initiative to Click & Collect orders in Clothing & Home which will remove over 10 million units of plastic annually, and in Food where the majority of our plastic product packaging is used, we hit our target of removing 75 million pieces this year.

Today over 70% of M&S customers are now choosing to bring their own bags or don’t use one at all when shopping with us. But now they want us to go further and find a solution which avoids plastic for those trips when they do need a bag. So, we are taking the latest innovation in M&S Food which moved our popular rice and grains packaging to paper bags and boxes, removing 5.5 million units of plastic, and applying it to our carrier bags. From today every store across the UK will offer Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified paper bags at checkouts.”

Source: Marks and Spencer

France: Carrefour is shaming suppliers over ‘shrinkflation’ by labelling examples on shelves
It’s one thing to know about shrinkflation. It’s another to be warned about it in the grocery store. "Shrinkflation" refers to companies giving customers less of their products for the same (or higher) price. The tactic has become widespread among consumer goods suppliers amid high inflation. Now, the French supermarket chain Carrefour is exposing examples of it for shoppers, with labels on shelves reading: “This product has seen its volume or weight fall and the effective price from the supplier rise.” Dozens of products have been hit with the labels since Monday, according to Reuters.

“The aim in stigmatizing these products is to be able to tell manufacturers to rethink their pricing policy,” Stefen Bompais, director of client communications at Carrefour, told the news agency. Carrefour will soon enter annual price negotiations with Nestlé, Unilever, PepsiCo, and other owners of well-known brands.

Source: Yahoo Finance

UK: Lidl scouts former Wilko stores in expansion drive
Lidl boss Ryan McDonnell has revealed his property team are in “close contact” with Wilko’s administrator over potentially acquiring some of the retailer’s former stores. The chief executive told Retail Week that the discount grocer was “very, very active” in terms of its new store acquisition programme. McDonnell added that while nothing was finalised with administrators at PwC, Lidl was “certainly always interested in looking at properties where they meet our requirements”. The grocer hopes to open 1,100 shops by the end of 2025, having launched 50 supermarkets in the year to 28th February 2023.

Source: Retail Gazette

UK: Aldi rolls out its biggest price cuts of the year on a range of fruit and veg items
Aldi has lowered prices on products including bananas, apples, spinach and courgettes, as well as on a range of specially selected products such as cotton candy grapes. Aldi said the latest price drop is the biggest round of cuts it has announced this year. It reported that 55 items fell in price by an average of 11%. In the past year, consumers have faced soaring grocery prices, driven by a record-breaking hike in inflation rates. Grocery price inflation dropped to 12.2% in September — the lowest level in over a year and the sixth monthly drop in a row — according to data analyst firm Kantar.

However, 95% of consumers are still worried about the impact of rising grocery prices amid the cost of living crisis, Kantar found. This month, Aldi grew sales by 17.1%. Along with fellow German discounter Lidl, it now captures 17.7% of the market.

Source: Yahoo Finance

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