BrandSpark International and Newsweek announce America's most trusted grocers

Amazon Fresh: 10th Southern California store

US: Smart & Final names new president
Smart & Final, the 150-year-old grocery business acquired earlier this year by a subsidiary of Mexican supermarket operator Grupo Comercial Chedraui, has a new president. Scott Drew has been appointed to that leadership position following the retirement of current president and CEO David Hirz.

BrandSpark announces America's most trusted grocers
In partnership with Newsweek, BrandSpark International has produced a special edition of its BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards, highlighting the most trusted grocery stores as voted by American shoppers. The dominant grocer in the study was Walmart, taking 15 No. 1 rankings and proving their promises of everyday low prices and one-stop-shopping convenience continue to resonate with shoppers.

Amazon Fresh opens 10th Southern California store
A new Amazon Fresh grocery store is now open in La Habra, California, becoming the 6th of Amazon’s full-size grocery stores to offer Just Walk Out technology. The 40,000-square-foot location is the 10th Amazon Fresh store to open in Southern California, and its 23rd overall.

Conad consolidates leading position in Italy, sees turnover up 6%
Conad has recorded a 6% increase in sales during 2021, to €16.9bln, a period that has 'consolidated its leadership position' in the Italian grocery market, according to its management team. Conad made the announcement at a press release to present its preliminary figures for 2021, which was hosted by CEO Francesco Pugliese and director general Francesco Avanzini.

UK: Farmdrop calls it a day, closes up shop a week before scheduled holiday deliveries
London’s “online ethical supermarket delivering locally produced, organic groceries and ethical home essentials directly to your door” startup Farmdrop has called it a day, and in an email to customers, announced that its final day of deliveries concluded as of 16th December. Meaning, Farmdrop customers who’d placed orders for the Christmas feast are, literally, out in the cold.

China: Alibaba climate tide can lift valuation boat
Alibaba's big climate splash could have ripple effects on its valuation. The Chinese e-commerce titan at its annual investor day unveiled bold carbon-neutrality goals for 2030 and beyond. Longer term, the efforts could bolster shareholder returns.

Arab billionaire businessman Majid Al Futtaim dies
Prominent UAE businessman Majid Al Futtaim, who founded retailing and entertainment giant MAF, has died, Dubai's ruler said in a Twitter post paying tribute to one of the emirate's pioneers "who gave back to the nation".

Poland: Biedronka opens 6 new stores ahead of Christmas
Polish retailer Biedronka has opened 6 new stores ahead of Christmas to ensure a better shopping experience for customers in the festive season. The new stores are located in the towns of Dębe Wielkie, Iława, Jasionka, Miłakowo, Wiślica and Zembrzyce. The stores feature a wide range of products across different categories, including, among others, bread, fruit and vegetables, and cosmetics.

New research finds supermarket business model is on knife edge
In the run-up to Christmas, supermarkets and their supply chains will be top-of-mind for many consumers. A new report from the Food Research Collaboration, based on analysis by Professor Lisa Jack from the University of Portsmouth, shows that the supermarkets’ business model is surprisingly fragile. The new report, The secrets of supermarketing: A model balanced on a knife-edge, by Professor Jack from the University’s Faculty of Business and Law, finds that adding scale actually adds to supermarkets’ expenses.

UK: Sainsbury’s Quality Matched to Aldi Prices to offer brilliant value Christmas dinner
Sainsbury’s reported: "Sainsbury’s is helping customers’ Christmas budgets go further with its biggest ever festive value campaign. By matching Sainsbury’s Quality with Aldi Prices, the retailer is confident customers will not find a better value Christmas meal anywhere else. Customers will find responsibly farmed luxurious Scottish smoked salmon selling at £4.49 for 300g and all the vegetable trimmings including potatoes, sprouts, carrots, cabbage, swede and parsnips for 19p a pack. The campaign will be live until 24 December".

Hungarian parliament introduces “Obligatory Donation” in retail commerce
Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén has proposed an amendment to the legislation regulating retail commerce which the National Assembly later passed with majority. According to the amended XLVI of 2008 and XLV of 2020 Acts, large retail chains with an annual net profit of over €270.9mln will now be legally obliged to donate to the state their food products that are approaching expiration, starting February 2022. These donations must go to the government-owned Food Saving Center (ÉMK). The amended legislative framework will apply to large retail companies, including Aldi, Auchan, Lidl, Penny Market, Tesco and Spar.

Carrefour partenariat international opens its 1st store in Gabon
The Carrefour Group has just announced the opening of its 1st store in Gabon with its franchise partner Prix Import. Prix Import is a leading group in Gabon that will be celebrating 30 years of operation in 2022. It has around 10 retail outlets and employs more than 1000 people. The 1st store to be opened is a Carrefour Market in Libreville. In addition to concepts and selling a wide range of Carrefour brand products, this partnership will be an opportunity for Prix Import to carry on growing in Gabon, particularly through the Supeco Cash & Carry format, which already exists in Francophone Africa.

South Korea: Kurly lands $210mln pre-IPO at a $3.3bln valuation months after its last funding
Just half a year after its last Series F round announcement, Korean online grocery startup Kurly has closed $210mln in a pre-IPO round from single backer Anchor Equity Partners, a Hong Kong-based private equity firm.

India spooks Amazon by suspending 2019 Future Group deal, cites suppression of information
India's antitrust agency suspended's 2019 deal with Future Group, potentially denting the U.S. e-commerce giant's attempts to block the sale of Future's retail assets to an Indian market leader. Future Group stocks surge 20% after India suspends 2019 Amazon deal.

Holland: ACM approves store exchange between Jumbo and Jan Linders
Supermarket chain Jan Linders is allowed to take over 4 Jumbo stores. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) ruled that sufficient competition remains after the takeover. Jan Linders acquires supermarkets in Drunen, Venlo, Vlijmen and Wanssum. The transaction is part of a store exchange with Jumbo, which itself takes over supermarkets in Weert and Nederweert.

India: Fraazo in advanced talks to raise $125-130mln
Online grocery delivery firm Fraazo is in advanced talks to raise $125-130mln in a fresh round of funding from new and existing investors within just a few months of its previous fund raise, riding on the euphoria in the quick commerce space, according to the sources privy to the development. The company last raised $50mln from WestBridge Capital, Sixth Sense Ventures, Equanimity Investments and Apar Group, among others in October. Overall it has raised $65mln so far. Moneycontrol could not immediately ascertain the names of the new investors.

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