Albertsons: 2 new digital tools

DoorDash has opened DashMart locations in Canada

US: Wholesale fruit and vegetable prices soared in November
Food producers' prices rose 11.6% from November 2020 to November 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. November once again saw the largest year-over-year increase in wholesale prices since the BLS began issuing its monthly Producer Price Index report 11 years ago. Within final-demand foods, fresh fruits and vegetables saw large month-to-month price increases in November, with wholesale fruit prices climbing 20% from October and vegetable prices rising more than 11%. For the year, fresh fruit and vegetable wholesale prices are up 24% and 12%, respectively.

DoorDash brings delivery-based grocery and convenience stores to Canada
DoorDash has brought its delivery-based grocery and convenience stores that make sales solely through an app to Canada. The San Francisco, California company whose main business is delivering restaurant food, says it has opened DashMart locations in Toronto, London, Kitchener, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

US: Albertsons launches online meal planning, auto-replenish tools
Albertsons Cos. has rolled out 2 new digital tools to help online food shoppers in meal planning and refilling regularly purchased items. Called Meal Plan and Schedule & Save, the features enable members of the supermarket giant’s Just for U loyalty program to integrate menu planning with shopping list creation and auto-replenish essential products on their lists at a discount, Albertsons said.

Amazon reportedly plans to expand its grocery delivery business
Amazon may soon more directly compete with Instacart. According to The Information, the company has spent much of the last year trialing a product known internally as Amazon Fresh Marketplace. The service allows UK Prime subscribers to order groceries from 2 major supermarket brands, with same-day delivery fulfilled by the company’s Flex drivers. In 2022, Amazon reportedly plans to bring the service to the US and the majority of Europe.

UK: Tesco averts pre-Christmas strike threat with improved pay offer
Tesco has seen off the threat of a pre-Christmas strike by workers at 9 distribution centres as it agreed to a new pay deal with trade union Usdaw. It comes after Britain's biggest supermarket chain last week separately reached agreement with Unite, another union, averting industrial action at 4 further warehouses - again after an improved pay offer.

Holland: Jumbo opens home delivery hub in Eindhoven
Dutch retailer Jumbo has opened a new hub in Eindhoven that will directly deliver online orders on and the Jumbo app to customers in the Brabant-Zuidoost and (North) Limburg region. 

UK: Aldi gives all stores colleagues a pay rise
Aldi is increasing its pay rates for 28,000 store colleagues from 1st February 2022, maintaining its position as the UK’s best-paying supermarket. The UK’s 5th-largest supermarket will pay all Store Assistants at least £10.10 an hour nationally and £11.55 for those inside the M25. Aldi remains the only supermarket to offer paid breaks, which for the average store colleague is worth £750 annually. 

Grab to buy Malaysia grocery chain Jaya Grocer
Grab Holdings Ltd , the largest ride-hailing and food delivery firm in Southeast Asia, is buying Malaysian grocery chain Jaya Grocer Holdings Sdn, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the agreement, a subsidiary of the Singapore-based Grab will acquire all of Jaya Grocer's ordinary shares and 75% of preference shares, the company said in the filing. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Colruyt Group's revenue stagnates, margin evaporates
Colruyt Group achieved a turnover of 4.9bln euros (-0.2%) in the 1st half year and indicates that volumes in the food stores were under pressure as a result of the relaxation of the COVID-19 measures and the ending of non-food sales through Collishop. The turnover of the retail activities decreased by 2.7%, that of the Colruyt stores even by 4.9%. OKay, Bio-Planet and Cru saw their turnover decrease by 9.6%. Wholesale - including the Spar proximity stores - fell by 5.8%: the strong growth for local shops during the lockdowns is now also over.

Sweden: Axfood announces strategic partnership with Mathem
Axfood has entered into a strategic partnership with online grocery retailer Mathem and has agreed to divest the operations of to Mathem i Sverige AB (Mathem) in exchange for newly issued shares in Mathem. The merger of and Mathem will create synergies and economies of scale, provide better opportunities to develop a strong offering in pure-play online retail with home delivery, Axfood added. Besides, Axfood subsidiary Dagab Inköp och Logistik AB (Dagab) has signed a 7-year delivery partnership with Mathem, that includes collaboration on purchases, assortment and logistics.

EuroCommerce welcomes EESC report on digital transformation in retail
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has released a report addressing the impact of digital transformation and COVID-19 on the retail sector, as well as challenges of the green transition. EuroCommerce said that it supports the call in the report for redesigning employment and skills support measures, and investment in developing skill sets of future retail workers.

Fast groceries startup Grovy hopes Eastern Europe and sustainability will set it apart
Yet another “quick commerce” 15-minute groceries startup is hoping to make a name for itself in this space, adding to the myriad companies currently crowding out this market. But Grovy is avoiding the crowded cities of Western Europe, setting its sights on becoming a daily delivery leader in the East. It’s now finalized a €3mln financing round led by Lighthouse Ventures to expand across Central and Eastern Europe, with offices already running in Prague and Bucharest, after entering the German market in Frankfurt and Mainz.

UK: Lidl cuts cost of Christmas veg to 19p
Lidl has announced it's slashing the prices of its Christmas veg to just 19p. The retailer has reduced the price of its British Carrots (1kg), British Parsnips (500g) British Mini Roasts (1.5kg), British Red Cabbage (per kg), Echalion Shallots (300g) and the all-important British Brussels Sprouts (500g), which means shoppers can pick up everything they need for a festive feast for less than £1.15. These bargains will be available in stores nationwide from December 16 while stocks last.

Belgium: Lidl threatened with Christmas strike action if demands aren’t met
Lidl has been threatened with strike actions that could disrupt its Belgian stores during the festive period as staff continue to struggle with increased workloads. Previous strike actions over the same issue saw hundreds of the supermarket chain’s stores close their doors in October. Although a preliminary agreement was reached between trade unions and Lidl management that resulted in shops reopening, the socialist trade union BBTK argued that the promised changes have not yet been made.

France: Auchan says no contacts between top family shareholders of Auchan, Carrefour
There are no contacts between the 2 families that control Auchan and Carrefour about a possible tie-up between the 2 retailers, an Auchan spokesperson said, denying media reports. "Auchan denies any contact between our own controlling shareholder, the Mulliez family, and the Moulin family. The families have not been talking since October about the Carrefour dossier", the spokesperson told Reuters.

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