Lulu wants US fresh produce | Whole Foods joins GLOBALG.A.P.

Walmart explores delivering groceries with drones

US: Consumers very interested in 'local,' study indicates
The “locavore” movement has taken root, and offering local foods can be advantageous to supermarket operators, according to a report by A.T. Kearney, the Chicago-based management firm. “Forward-thinking retailers and restaurants with a distinctive definition of local and a focus on marketing and merchandising fresh, high-quality products at the right price will see an immediate impact and capture a long-term advantage,” the study pointed out. It said 96% of consumers questioned defined “local” as within 100 miles, compared with 58% in 2014, while 65% said they consider products local if they were produced or grown within the same state and 57% if they were grown on an artisanal farm of less than 100 acres or produced nearby by a small business. (supermarketnews.com)

Thailand: Tesco Lotus spending Bt1.6 bn for expansion

Tesco Lotus is investing at least Bt1.6 billion this year and next on a reshuffle of retail space at some of its 170 hypermarkets in Thailand, aimed at expanding the mall space available for rent by individual vendors. The company says the move will be in line with its strategy to strengthen its position as the shopping mall of choice for families. The increase in lettable mall space will allow Tesco Lotus hypermarkets to generate more income from diversified sources. UK-based Tesco has invested about Bt800 million this year to add 46,000 square metres of mall space at 16 Tesco Lotus hypermarkets, which is up by 7% from last year. At least Bt800 million will be also allocated next year to the increase of mall space at 15-20 more hypermarkets. (nationmultimedia.com)

US: Lulu to get fresh produce from the US
The Lulu Group has confirmed plans to set up sourcing offices in the US as part of a plan by which the Americas would contribute up to 20% of goods sold at its branded supermarkets. Currently, anywhere up to 70% is sourced from Asia and another 15-20% from Europe. The Group is scouting locations in New Jersey and California for the sourcing hubs. Fresh farm produce is to be the key commodity that will make up the bulk of future sourcing, with meat products a close second. “After we reach a certain scale, the Group could emerge as one of the biggest sourcing entities for US-made fresh produce in the UAE and the Gulf. With our 100-odd supermarkets and hypermarkets, we have the network to take it on.” (gulfnews.com)

US: Walmart wants to deliver groceries with drones

Walmart Stores Inc applied Monday to U.S. regulators for permission to test drones for home delivery, a sign it plans to go head-to-head with Amazon in using drones to fill and deliver online orders. The world's largest retailer by revenue has for several months been conducting indoor tests of small unmanned aircraft systems – the term regulators use for drones - and is now seeking for the first time to test the machines outdoors. The retailer also wants to test drones for its grocery pickup service, which it has recently expanded to 23 markets with plans to add another 20 markets next year. The test flights would confirm whether a drone could deliver a package to a pick-up point in the parking lot of a store, the application says. (Reuters)

UK: Morrisons to test new forecourt convenience concept

Morrisons has announced plans to pilot a convenience concept at five filling stations owned by the Motor Fuel Group (MFG). The pilot will start by the end of the year and will allow Morrisons to supply branded and own-brand food to the forecourt stores. The shops, all above 1,200 sq.ft, will be branded Morrisons and receive deliveries of fresh and ambient food through Morrisons logistics network. MFG has 373 stations operating under the BP, Shell, Texaco and JET fuel brands. This makes it the second largest independent forecourt operator in the UK. (igd.com)

AU: Study finds supermarket circulars promote unhealthy eating

Unhealthy foods are the most promoted items in supermarket circulars around the world, according to an analysis by Australian obesity prevention researchers. In a study just published in the leading international journal Preventive Medicine, the researchers from Deakin University's WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention assessed the content of circulars from major supermarket chains in 12 countries. They found that unhealthy food was particularly prominent in the circulars of most countries (particularly Hong Kong, UK, USA, Australia, Malaysia), the exceptions being the Philippines (no unhealthy foods) and India (11% unhealthy food). "A clear opportunity exists for supermarkets to use their circulars to promote healthy eating," said Dr Adrian Cameron, a senior research fellow with the Centre. (mmdnewswire.com)

Retailers now actively opening supermarkets in west Ukraine

Food chains reduced the pace of development in Ukraine in the first nine months of this year: 242 chain stores were opened, while during the same period last year, 279, reports ua-retail.com. Retailers slowed down for various reasons; no money for development, losses because of the war, the annexation of Crimea and the decrease in purchasing power. Statistics show a new trend in the retail market: 28% of all new stores this year were opened in western Ukraine, 25% in Kiev and only 16% in the east. It is atypical for the sector as in recent years, retailers have most actively developed chains in the densely populated east of the country. For example, in the first nine months of last year, 28% of new stores were opened there, while in the west, only 21%. Now, the west is not as much affected by the hostilities and Lviv is becoming a more attractive region for business development.

Spanish DIA sees gross sales rise 14% in Q3
Spanish retail group DIA has seen its gross sales rise by 14.1% in Q3 to €2.73bn, according to results issued this morning (27 October). The retail group said that organic growth (excluding El Arbol and Eroski) stood at 5.6%, with a 'material improvement' in its home market. EBITDA for the period was 5.7% higher at constant currency levels. (esmmagazine.com)

USA: Whole Foods Market joins GLOBALG.A.P.
Whole Foods Market became a GLOBALG.A.P. retail member in August. GLOBALG.A.P. has worked with Whole Foods Market to benchmark its IFA standard to the Responsibly Grown system to identify overlapping requirements and simplify compliance for IFA-certified producers. (internationalsupermarketnews.com)

US: NGA's Ferrara wins lobbyist award

The National Grocers Association said Monday Greg Ferrara, VP, public affairs, has been recognized by Association Trends as a “leading association lobbyist” for his advocacy efforts to protect independent supermarkets from federal regulations. (supermarketnews.com)

Russian retailer Lenta attracts a major investor
The Russian retailer Lenta has attracted a major investor: the Qatar Investment Agency, reports vedomosti.ru. In total $275m has been invested in the securities of Lenta. The sale is the second time Lenta has sought to raise money on equity markets in 2015, following a share sale in March, where shares were sold at $ 6.4 per share, and the company received $225m. This time, the requests for the full amount, $300m, were collected 2.5 hours after the deal was announced on Tuesday night. Around 35% of all securities offered to investors are said to have been purchased by the US and QIA. The successful sale means Lenta will be able to open at least 40 new hypermarkets next year.

AU: grocery war triggers record advertising spend
The battle for market share in the $90bn grocery sector has delivered a boost for the advertising industry, with spending rising 5.7%. (smh.com.au)

Ahold in deal to mentor e-commerce startups
In a move that will help Ahold keep a close eye on innovations in e-commerce, the retailer has entered into a three-year partnership with Netherlands-based startup accelerator Startupbootcamp. Being involved with Startupbootcamp will enable Ahold to witness e-commerce trends and innovations at their origin and get to know promising startups, the company said in a release. (supermarketnews.com)
 
UK: Sainsbury's launches Future Formats trials
Sainsbury's has revealed details of the six trial new look stores it hopes will re-engage shoppers and re-energise store performance. The stores have been rearranged to bring all fresh products together in one place. (igd.com)

Vietnam: Vingroup acquires supermarket chain Maximark
Vingroup, the leading real estate firm in Vietnam, announced on Monday that it had fully taken over Maximark. “The acquisition aims at expanding Vingroup’s retail network, […] reinforcing the status of Vietnamese brands to create a counterweight to international brands that are coming into Vietnam,” the acquirer said. According to Vingroup, Maximark is currently operating nine outlets across the lower central and southern Vietnam. These supermarkets and trading centres will be renamed as VinMart or VinMart+ (under the VinMart supermarket vertical), and Vincom (the shopping mall vertical). The property giant is betting on increasing the number of shopping centres to 40 by the end of next year and 100 by 2020. (dealstreetasia.com)

Amazon.com Inc.'s grocery delivery efforts hit a speedbump
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Why you shouldn’t expect online grocery shopping to catch on in Canada any time soon
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