BJ’s: Strong second-quarter performance

GrubMarket has completed the acquisitions of Frantoni and GSS

US: Instacart orders, revenues climb as company prepares IPO
Instacart has seen an increase in revenues and orders in the second quarter, with shoppers continuing to embrace online grocery delivery as the company prepares to go public. That’s according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, which notes that Instacart is rare among Silicon Valley firms going public during an ongoing initial public offering (IPO) drought. Investors told the Journal that revenue for Instacart for the three months ended in June rose 39% from the same period last year to $621mln, the highest quarterly revenue in the company’s history.

US: BJ’s rings up strong second-quarter performance
BJ’s Wholesale Club turned in more double-digit net and comparable sales gains in the fiscal 2022 second quarter, lifted in part by higher fuel prices and inflation versus a year ago. For the second quarter ended July 30, net sales climbed 22.4% to $5.01bln from $4.09bln in the fiscal 2021 quarter, when the top line rose 5.6%, Westborough, Massachusetts-based BJ’s said. 

US: GrubMarket acquires produce software providers Frantoni and Granite State Software
GrubMarket announced it has completed the acquisitions of New York-based Frantoni Corporation ("Frantoni") and Kansas-based Granite State Software ("GSS"), highly reputable enterprise software providers that specialize in building advanced food supply chain software solutions, with a focus on the Eastern and Midwest regions of the U.S.

China: Pinduoduo to launch international e-commerce platform next month - source
E-commerce giant Pinduoduo plans to launch a cross-border e-commerce platform next month which will target the United States as its first market, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said. The company, a rival of Alibaba Group and in China, has briefed its merchants but details have not yet been finalized, the source said, declining to be named as the information was not public. Pinduoduo did not respond to a request for comment.

Sweden: Nina Jönsson appointed as new CEO of ICA Gruppen
Per Strömberg has chosen to leave ICA Gruppen, where he has served as CEO since 2012. He will leave his CEO role on 31 December 2022. The Board of Directors has appointed Nina Jönsson as the new CEO. ICA Gruppen also reported: Eric Lundberg new CEO of ICA Sweden, and Monika Magnusson new CEO of Apotek Hjärtat. Anders Svensson has chosen to leave ICA Sweden after 13 years in the role as CEO. Eric Lundberg, currently CEO of Apotek Hjärtat, has been named as the new CEO of ICA Sweden. In connection with this, Monika Magnusson, Director of Sales at Apotek Hjärtat, has been named to succeed Eric Lundberg as the new CEO of Apotek Hjärtat.

Carrefour has frozen the prices on 100 everyday products in a bid to protect people's purchasing power in France
To help tackle inflation, Carrefour has just announced that it is freezing the prices on 100 of its own-brand products for its customers’ everyday essential needs. This initiative covers various product families, including both food (fresh produce, grocery products, fruit and vegetables, tinned products, aperitif products, condiments, seasonal products, beverages, etc.) and non-food products.

Dino Polska reports double-digit LFL sales growth in H1
Polish retailer Dino Polska has posted like-for-like (LfL) sales growth of 25.5% in the first half of its financial year. Revenue for the period topped PLN8.7bln (€1.8bln), representing an increase of 45.4% on the same period last year. The company attributed its performance to investments in developing its network. 

Amazon halts Fresh expansion in UK
Amazon has halted the British expansion of its Fresh supermarket chain, of which the first branch opened in March 2021. The stores combine a traditional supermarket with the cashless ‘just walk out’ technology pioneered by Amazon Go: there are no cash registers, purchases are automatically recognised and paid for via the Amazon app. Nevertheless, Amazon is looking to open additional Fresh shops in the near future, a spokeswoman told The Sunday Times.

Israel: Rami Levy buys stake in drone delivery fleet startup
Supermarket chain Rami Levy Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd., like the biggest retail chains in the US, has made a move towards food drone deliveries. Rami Levy has notified the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that earlier this month it signed an investment agreement with Cando Drones, which is engaged in command, control and operation of drone fleets. Rami Levy has acquired a 33.3% stake in Cando Drones. The valuation of the company was not disclosed.

India e-commerce firms ramp up hiring of delivery workers for shopping season
"Overall demand for the gig workforce has seen a sharp increase and that is not completely supported by the increase in pool size of delivery people... It is not a free flowing pool", TK Balakumar, chief operating officer at online grocery seller BigBasket, told Reuters. The company, backed by the Tata group conglomerate, has ramped up the number of delivery partners in its instant delivery segment BB Now to 2,200 in the quarter ended June, from just 500 in the March quarter. It aims to further raise the number to about 6,000 by March 2023.

Carrefour launches vegetable beer range in Poland
Carrefour Polska has announced that it has launched a vegetable beer range in Poland, which it claims is a first of its kind in the country. The vegan beer, sourced from Nook Brewery, uses natural beetroot, tomato and carrot juice, and is available in three variants - purple beetroot, bloody tomato and rusty carrot.

UK: Magic Bag milestone for Nisa and Too Good To Go
Nisa’s independent retailers have reached a Magic Bag milestone with 100,000 meals now saved since the relationship with surplus food app Too Good To Go began in 2019. With 300 stores now signed up to the app, the latest figure equates to a saving of 250 tonnes of Co2e.

South Korea: Kurly gets IPO preliminary approval
South Korea's Kurly Inc, which operates online grocery service Market Kurly, has received preliminary approval for an initial public offering (IPO), the Korea Exchange said. Kurly has seen annual revenue grow threefold to 1.6tln won ($1.19bln) in 2021 from 426bln in 2019 as demand for online grocery shopping jumped during the COVID-19 pandemic, although it reported an operating loss of 214bln won in 2021.

UK: Uber Eats and Co-op agree rapid online delivery tie up
Co-op and Uber Eats have teamed-up as part of the convenience retailer’s plans to expand its on-demand online home delivery service. Through the partnership, shoppers will be able to order via the Uber Eats app from around 1,000 Co-op food stores by the end of the year, with groceries delivered in as little as 30 minutes.

Iceland launches Value Essentials to help hard hit customers
Frozen food specialist Iceland has launched a budget range of grocery items in a move to go head-to head with grocery rivals’ value ranges. Available in Iceland and The Food Warehouse stores now, everyday items such as bread, milk and fruit have been included in the range.

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