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Alibaba buys into supermarket | Waitrose to lead research on fresh food security

Indian top e-tailer eyes groceries | Walmart to track fresh produce

Spar Group exits Zimbabwe - 
The Spar Group left its distribution business in Zimbabwe last week and said it would now focus on cost containment and an increase in its own branded products. The company said the move was sparked by Zimbabwe’s worsening economic situation. Spar Zimbabwe said on Friday that it would provide support for 21 Spar stores owned and run by indigenous operators and would also take over about 10 stores it disposed of with its partner, Innscor Africa. (

Walmart to track fresh produce like bitcoin
Walmart is running an experiment that it hopes will help keep customers safer when there’s a food safety issue, but that will also help to trace where a food that makes a customer sick has been, and where it originally came from. The sliced apples or cut broccoli - the merchant won’t say what’s involved exactly - are being used to test blockchain, a new database technology. If successful, the trial could change how Wal-Mart monitors food and takes action when something goes wrong. That could spur big leaps in food safety, cut costs and save lives. Blockchain is a type of secure database that serves as an unchangeable ledger of information about an object. It was invented to track the movements of the cryptocurrency bitcoin, creating records that are anonymous but cannot be tampered with.
(Bloomberg /

India's top e-tailer Flipkart eyes groceries
India's top e-commerce player Flipkart plans to move into the groceries space and make a renewed push in the online furniture business, as it expands its product portfolio and looks to outmaneuver global giant in a burgeoning Indian market. Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal said the home-grown e-commerce player plans to begin experimenting with grocery sales next year and scale up operations over a three year period. "There's definitely room to build a profitable grocery business, but it's hard. That doesn't mean it's not possible, but it's hard," Bansal told Reuters in an interview on Sunday. Amazon has already began to pilot grocery sales in select Indian cities. (Reuters)

China's Alibaba buys into supermarket chain Sanjiang Shopping
China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) plans to invest 2.1bn yuan ($305m) in supermarket chain Sanjiang Shopping to further expand its retail presence. Sanjiang said it aims to use Alibaba's e-commerce platform to make the most of the increasingly competitive bricks-and-mortar retail sector as China's economic growth slows. (Reuters)

Report: Target hoping to open ‘hundreds’ of smaller stores
Target CEO Brian Cornell said Wednesday that he's "increasingly confident" the company will open "hundreds" of small-format stores, reshaping the big-box chain's image and real estate footprint. "We think we have the opportunity to enter many, many new neighborhoods," Cornell said on a conference call". (

Discounters snatch one third of Slovenian retail market
Slovenian consumers spend 31% of their grocery shopping budget in discount supermarkets, according to a poll conducted by local daily, Dnevnik. Chains like Hofer, Lidl and Eurospin last year recorded a total sales revenue of €810m and their market share of retail sales doubled in just a few years. Back in 2009, the discounters accounted for 12% of total retail sales, while in 2014 their share increased to 24%. (

Cutting food waste saves money for French supermarkets

Experiments in France found that measures to cut the amount of food being thrown out also saved supermarkets money. The French Environment and Energy Management Agency ADEME recently teamed up with five supermarket chains — Auchan, Carrefour, E. Leclerc, Intermarche and Systeme U — to experiment in 10 stores. The result: “With often simple actions that cost little, it is possible to cut food waste by 22% in three months across the stores,” said ADEME. If adopted across the country, “the measures would save 300,000 tonnes of food per year and more than €700m (Dh2.7bn, $745m) per year”, it said. (

UK: Waitrose to lead research on fresh food security

Waitrose has become the first retailer to successfully apply to lead the delivery of a major investment in doctoral training by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The money will be invested in 15 separate PhD projects focusing on food security and sustainability. Waitrose is leading a consortium of academic partners, including Lancaster University, The University of Warwick, The University of Reading and the agricultural research station, Rothamsted Research, to manage this work. The research will also involve working in Partnership with the Waitrose Agronomy Group, which is made up of key fruit and vegetable suppliers. (

40% of Portuguese eat supermarket snacks on the go
A market study by Kantar Worldpanel Portugal has revealed that 40% of Portuguese citizens consume supermarket products such as chips and soft drinks outside of the home. Hypermarket Continente (owned by retailer Sonae) and supermarket chain Pingo Doce (operated by Jerónimo Martins) are the preferred retail chains to purchase goods for chomping on the go. (

Lidl opens 20 mln euro logistics centre in western Romania
German discount supermarket chain Lidl said it opened a new logistics center in Lugoj, Timis county, in western Romania, following a €20m investment. The new logistics centre has a total built-up area of over 45,000 sq m. (
Walmart 'muscle' may be needed to solve Asda 'crisis'

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Carrefour announces the introduction of an internal price on carbon
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