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Supermarket online sales are strong

Musgrave ties up with Alibaba to export SuperValu products to China

Auchan Italy to pump €50 million into Sardinia
Auchan Italy has planned a €200 million revamp, beginning in Sardinia, where it will invest €50 million in four stores over a period of approximately three years, Il Sole 24 Ore has reported.

Lidl to build new UK headquarters
Lidl UK has been granted permission to relocate its head office. Kingston council has approved plans for Lidl to relocated its head office from Wimbledon to Tolworth. The discounter has outgrown the site it has occupied since 1998, and will move c.5 miles further south to a plot on Jubilee Way. Lidl bought the land for £10m last year and once works are complete by 2020, it will be home to a 220,000 sq ft office building.

Musgrave ties up with Alibaba to export SuperValu products to China
Irish wholesale retailer Musgrave, the company behind SuperValu and Centra, has struck a deal with the Alibaba Group to export products direct to consumers in China. Musgrave will open a flagship SuperValu e-commerce storefront on Tmall Global, making it the first Irish retailer with a presence there (UK retailers Sainsbury's and Waitrose already have a presence there). The storefront will be offered over time "as a potential route to market" for Irish food producers seeking access to China. Musgrave will initially supply up to 40 own brand ambient products including SuperValu breakfast cereals, coffee, jam, biscuits and healthy snacks amongst a range of other goods.

BigBasket targets 45% revenue from private labels by March 2017
The country’s top online grocer, BigBasket, is ramping up its private label business eyeing higher margins. It expects private labels to contribute 45% to its overall revenue by March next year; currently, that number stands at 33%. Over the next three months, the Bangalore-based company will expand its private label offerings to non-food categories and offer more products through existing private brands. A Mint report on Thursday said the company will introduce a private brand for wet wipes, disposable bags and buckets, among other things.

Albertsons Companies makes the holidays merrier for millions in U.S.
Employees and customers of the Albertsons Companies have donated millions of meals and thousands of toys during the company's 2016 Holiday Giving Campaign. In all, Albertsons Companies says its 2,300+ stores and 275,000 team members are responsible for helping orchestrate major food drives and giving campaigns, donating more than 12,000 turkeys and hams, and collecting tens of thousands of toys. In addition, the Albertsons Companies Foundation contributed $240,000 to fund charities at the forefront of hunger relief, juvenile diabetes research, veteran's services, and grassroots community outreach.

Supermarket online sales are strong
Multichannel supermarkets generated larger online orders than online-only grocers, according to a benchmarking study that was just completed by Brick Meets Click. More than half of the banners in the study reported average online orders between $120 and $180, compared to the average order size recently reported for Fresh Direct ($105) and Amazon Fresh ($84).

US returns Alibaba website to market blacklist
The United States on Wednesday returned Taobao, China’s most popular consumer-to-consumer shopping website, to its blacklist of “notorious marketplaces” known for the sale of counterfeit goods and violations of intellectual property rights. The move by the US Trade Representative’s office against the online bazaar run by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, followed complaints from US and international trade groups for apparel and luxury goods that Taobao was not doing enough to police sales of fakes and pirated products.

Swiss Lidl stores no longer give receipts
Lidl Switzerland no longer automatically gives customers a receipt, but will rather ask every customer whether they want one. This way, the discount chain hopes to cut down on its paper usage. The aim is to implement the new system in all of Lidl Switzerland's 109 stores by the end of next month, in a cost-saving measure that should lower its annual paper usage by 30 tons. It extensively tested the system in a range of stores and the result was not only that its paper waste was lowered, the stores also turned out to be cleaner.

Walgreens acquisition of Rite Aid expected to close in early 2017
Walgreens Boots Alliance’s acquisition of Rite Aid took a big step forward with announcement of the divestiture of 865 Rite Aid stores to Fred’s Pharmacy for $950 million. The transaction now has an expected closing date of early 2017. In its 2017 fiscal third-quarter earnings release, Rite Aid said that Walgreens is “actively engaged in discussions” with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to close the transaction quickly, but “there can be no assurance that the requisite regulatory approvals will be obtained, or that the transactions will be completed within the required time period.”
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