Albertsons expands partnership with Takeoff Technologies

Amazon is expanding its partnership with Kohl's in a big, new way

US: Albertsons embraces micro-fulfillment to power e-commerce
To support e-commerce growth, Albertsons Cos. has expanded its partnership with automation specialist Takeoff Technologies to deploy micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs) to fill online grocery orders. Currently, Albertsons has two Takeoff-powered MFCs at Safeway supermarkets in South San Francisco and San Jose, California, which went into operation in the fourth quarter of 2019.

US: Local grocery workers' union protests for hazard pay
Workers at the Kroger in Kanawha City lined up in front of the grocery store Thursday hoping that their voices were heard as they demanded hazard pay, which was discontinued earlier this year. Grocery workers represented by United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) held 18 simultaneous protests in front of Giant, Safeway and Kroger grocery stores across parts of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Kohl's to help Amazon grow grocery footprint
Amazon is expanding its partnership with department store chain Kohl's in a big, new way. The Milwaukee Business Journal is reporting that Kohl’s will allow an Amazon grocery store, likely its new banner called Fresh, to occupy space in a Kohl's store in La Verne, California. According to city records, Kohl’s would occupy about 50,900 square feet of the 88,000-square-foot box, with the Amazon grocery store filling the remainder.

Carrefour Pakistan responds with ‘Click and Collect’
Carrefour, operated by Majid Al Futtaim in Pakistan is introducing Click and Collect, a new service that will give online shoppers added flexibility and convenience with their order. Carrefour online customers now have the option to collect their orders free of charge from selected stores in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. 

UK: Amazon Fresh extends grocery service to Greater London
E-commerce giant Amazon has announced that Prime members in Greater London and surrounding areas can now access Amazon Fresh grocery service. Customers with Prime membership can avail of free delivery for purchases worth more than £40 and also opt for same-day deliveries on orders place before 21:00 hours. The product range includes meat, seafood, fresh fruit and vegetables, snacks and household essentials, the company added. The service will be available in Wembley, Chiswick and Acton as well as Harrow, Harlow and Hitchin.

Switzerland: Zürich-based online supermarket Farmy secures €9.2mln for further expansion
The rapidly growing Swiss online market Farmy has secured around €9.2mln in a further financing round from impact investing fund Triodos Organic Growth Fund and other investors. Founded in 2014, Farmy is an online market for transparent and sustainable weekly shopping, directly from the producer. Farmy offers over 12,500 mainly organic hand-picked products from more than 1,000 authentic producers, and, thanks to its smart logistics and own fleet and e-mobiles, delivers these goods incomparably fresh, emission-reduced and time-saving directly to users’ front doors - with its own fleet of e-mobiles. In the metropolitan regions of Zurich and Lake Geneva delivery is even free of charge. Products include fruits and vegetables, cheeses from Swiss dairies, meat, delicacies and sweet temptations from real bakers and confectioners, as well as pantry and drugstore items.

UK: Hubbub and Tesco launch food waste challenge
Supermarket Tesco has teamed up with behaviour change charity to launch its ‘No Time for Waste Challenge’, which will target the 6.6mln tonnes of food waste generated by UK households each year. The new collaboration comes on the back of polling commissioned by Tesco that reveals attitudes towards food waste have changed during the Covid-19 lockdown, with 67% of respondents saying they feel differently about food.

France: Carrefour trials fully automated pick-up point
French retail chain Carrefour has started a test in Paris, with a pick-up point for pedestrians that is fully automated. There is even a separate part for frozen foods. The new 'drive' (as the French call all pick-up points) has no need for staff: it consists of 94 boxes that can be opened using a QR code - customers do not need to touch anything except their own phone and their order. A second, cooled unit stores any frozen food the customer has ordered. The system can serve two or three people at the same time, LSA claims. The system, which was developed by the Polish company Retail Robotics, replaces an earlier pick-up point for pedestrians, which was a 'regular', manned station.

ACCC: Australian supermarkets can continue working together on supply chain
Australian supermarkets have been given the green light by the competition watchdog to continue to collaborate to ensure the supply of food and groceries to consumers during the Covid-19 outbreak. In March, the ACCC permitted Woolworths, Aldi, Coles, Metcash and other grocery retailers to coordinate with each other when working with manufacturers, suppliers, transport and logistics providers, following a plea from Coles Group during weeks of intense grocery stockpiling. Now, the watchdog has granted an extended authorisation until March 31 next year, based on the belief that it will benefit the public.

Sweden opens automatic supermarkets to fight rural exodus
“It’s a little weird”, recognizes Emma Nilsson. “It’s strange to have a store with no one to say “hello” to. But if that’s the only alternative to maintain some form of life in a small village like this, then that’s a really good thing”. Emma Nilsson lives in Eket, a verdant and rainy town of 400 people, located in Skåne County, in the far south of Sweden. In the past, a small supermarket allowed residents to do some shopping, but as the population declined, it had to close. For a year and a half, the Swedish start-up Lifvs decided to open a series of automatic and unmanned supermarkets in rural communities which have seen their small grocery stores close one after the other. The stores are presented as containers of 22 square meters, in which a wall of refrigerators faces a few shelves. Customers choose a product and pay for it directly through a banking app. 19 stores of this type have been installed since the start of the project.

Japan: Amazon and Life supermarket expand delivery coverage
Since partnering with Amazon in September last year, Life supermarket has expanded delivery to Tokyo’s 23 wards and four cities in the capital, as well as the city of Osaka. Life is reaching new areas, often unprofitable in the past, delivering groceries using vehicles under Amazon’s services. Orders have been fulfilled as fast as two hours, and at a lower cost than in-house delivery service.

Australia: Woolworths quietly opens its B2B online shopping platform
Woolworths has quietly unveiled a new digital platform that allows Australian workplaces to shop online for food, stationery and other products. The grocery retailer revealed 'Woolworths at Work', calling it “an extension of our existing online grocery business”. The service is underpinned by a “new digital platform” that allows multiple shoppers from businesses to place orders and have goods delivered to multiple locations.

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