Dollar Tree plans to hire over 25,000 workers this holiday season

UNFI has reached a long-term supply agreement with Key Food Stores

US: Weis Markets launches new personalization tool
Digital customer engagement solution provider Birdzi has launched Visper, a personalization capability proven to increase customer sales, visits and retention for regional supermarket retailers. Weis Markets is the first retailer to use the new technology, which is rolling out to other grocers such as Coborn’s and Niemann Foods soon.

US: Micro-Warehouse ‘Village Farmstand’ helping Midwest farmers get food to customers during pandemic
Dozens of Midwest farmers are getting food to customers during the pandemic by way of a micro-warehouse in Evanston. CBS 2 took a look at how the new grocery concept works at Village Farmstand on Dempster Street. “We’re a permanent retail location that acts as a virtual farmers market,” Matt Wechsler, owner and documentary filmmaker, said.

US: UNFI makes $10bln deal with Key Food Stores
United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) has reached a long-term supply agreement with Key Food Stores to serve as its primary grocery wholesaler, with expected sales to UNFI of approximately $10bln over 10 years. In its role as primary grocery wholesaler, UNFI will supply Key Food locations with conventional, natural and organic grocery products, along with a wide variety of international items. All categories, such as protein, produce, frozen bakery, deli, and general merchandise/health and beauty, as well as Key Food’s Urban Meadow private brand and UNFI-owned brands such as Essential Everyday and Woodstock, will also be supplied.

US: Dollar Tree plans to hire over 25,000 workers this holiday season
Dollar Tree Inc said it planned to hire more than 25,000 workers at its stores and distribution centers this holiday season, as it prepares for what is typically a period of higher sales. The U.S. dollar-store chain, which also owns Family Dollar, is looking to fill full-time and part-time positions, including store managers, cashiers and seasonal holiday help as part of its yearly hiring event.

India: Grofers to invest US$15mln in ‘own brands’ over the next year
Grofers, one of India’s largest low price online supermarkets in the grocery space, uses its in-house technology platform to manage a network of over 5,000 partner stores that enable the company to run a fast and lean supply chain - from manufacturers straight to customers in 27+ cities. The brand utilizes its efficient supply chain to deliver over 25mln products to customers every month. A majority of these products belong to the company’s 8 in house brands namely Grofers Happy Day, Grofers Happy Home, Grofers Mothers choice, Grofers Happy Baby, G Fresh, O’range and budget brands Savemore and Havemore.

UK: Tesco sees sales up 6.8% in first half, as new CEO begins tenure
Tesco has posted a 6.8% increase in group sales (at constant exchange rates) in the first half of its financial year, to £26.7bln (€29.3bln), in its first set of results since the appointment of new chief executive Ken Murphy. In its core UK and Republic of Ireland business, sales were up 8.5%, while Central Europe was down 1.5% and Tesco Bank posted a 31.4% decline in sales. The group said that during the period, it adapted its offer to 'major shifts in customer buying habits' in the UK, with food sales up 9.2% and clothing down 17.2%, whole its online capacity more than doubled to reach 1.5mln slots a week.

Volume of retail trade up by 4.4% in euro area
In August 2020, a month marked by some relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures in many Member States, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 4.4% in the euro area and by 3.8% in the EU, compared with July 2020, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In July 2020, the retail trade volume fell by 1.8% in the euro area and by 1.2% in the EU. In August 2020 compared with August 2019, the calendar adjusted retail sales index increased by 3.7% in the
euro area and by 3.5% in the EU.

Saudi PIF in talks to buy stake in UAE supermarket chain Lulu - sources
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is in early discussions to buy a stake in supermarket chain Lulu Group International, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. It is in talks with Indian-born businessman Yusuff Ali, who founded Abu Dhabi-based Lulu, one of the largest chains in the Gulf region, the sources said. Discussions between PIF and Lulu began 4 to 6 weeks ago, one of the sources said. It was not immediately clear how big a stake PIF is seeking to buy as discussions are at an early stage, or whether the talks would lead to a final transaction.

Now that it’s returned to British ownership, what’s next for Asda?
Asda has officially become a British-owned retailer again - the first time in 21 years. Last Friday, US retail behemoth Walmart agreed terms for a £6.8bln sale of a majority stake in the Big 4 grocer to the billionaire Issa brothers, along with partners at private equity firm TDR Capital. Walmart had accepted a bid from a consortium led by Mohsin and Zuber Issa - the Lancashire-based owners of petrol forecourt firm EG Group - following a lengthy auction process. Walmart has owned Asda since 1999, and the deal means it would still retain a minority stake in the Big 4 grocer as part of the agreement, as well as have a seat on the board.

Farm to fork focus: SPAR China unveils three new stores in Shandong province
SPAR China has continued to expand the brand by opening three new stores in Shandong province during September. Tailored to meet locals’ daily shopping needs, these full-service hypermarkets stand out for their global sourcing networks, food traceability systems, modern production centres, and strong own brand and fresh ranges.

UK: Tesco will re-introduce bagless delivery for online orders
Tesco has confirmed when it will re-introduce bagless delivery for online orders. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic the supermarket chain reintroduced carrier bags for all online orders "to ensure the safety of our customers and colleagues". However, Tesco has now outlined plans to reinstate the option for bagless deliveries in order to reduce plastic consumption.

Australia: Woolworths partners with Spoon Guru
Woolworths has formed a partnership with UK-based food tech start-up Spoon Guru. The start-up’s artificial intelligence (AI) patented software enables online retailers to assist consumers navigate foods available according to their preferences, health objectives and lifestyle choices via machine learning, nutritional and labelling information. In addition to Woolworths, other international partnerships include JET in the US (part of the Walmart Group), Albert Heijn in the Netherlands and Countdown in New Zealand.

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