U.S. retailers add cameras, steel cables to deter holiday crime
Retailers ranging from Walmart to Barnes & Noble are installing cameras or locking away items to deter shoplifters and thieves as they brace for a post-pandemic rush of holiday shoppers this year.
Some, including Walmart, J.C. Penney, Apple Inc. and Walgreens (WBA.O), have put in place new surveillance systems or more security guards. Others, like Target (TGT.N) and Barnes & Noble, have sealed merchandise behind plexiglass or tethered it with steel cables to store shelves. The retail industry has decried theft this holiday season as it struggles with excess inventories and a pullback in consumer spending at a time of high inflation.
Lawsuit filed over short paychecks at Fred Meyer, QFC
Some Fred Meyer and QFC employees have been not receiving full paychecks, and now a couple of them have filed a class action lawsuit. Just last week, a union representative said new accounting and payroll software wasn’t working correctly, and that employees across the Northwest were getting hosed on their paychecks. And it’s been happening since September.
Fred Meyer and QFC parent company Kroger has acknowledged the new system is causing issues, and that they’re working as quickly as possible to fix this. It’s not fast enough for a couple of Oregon employees, who just filed a class action lawsuit. They’re seeking 5 million dollars to compensate employees who are being short-changed, with several of them commenting this is a really bad time of year for this to be happening.
Source: Northwest News Radio
Amazon Fresh store coming to Westborough? Company won't say
Going by aesthetics alone, it appears Westborough may soon be home to an Amazon Fresh grocery store. Recent facade renovations at the Speedway Plaza, 290 Turnpike Road (Route 9), resemble other Amazon Fresh stores that have opened in the U.S. — although the company has declined to say what its retail plans are in Westborough.
"We do not comment on our future roadmap," Amazon Fresh spokeswoman Jessica Martin said this week.
The Seattle-based company has opened more than 40 Amazon Fresh grocery stores in states like Illinois, Washington, California, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The company is in the process of building two others in Saugus and Braintree, but those have not opened yet.
Pan-Asia Supermarket opens largest location in Tulsa
For many area shoppers, locating ingredients for an Asian cuisine has been mostly limited to a small section of the grocery store leaving them with few choices or often empty-handed. But with the opening of Pan-Asia Supermarket, Tulsans now have access to an unprecedented scale of Asian products and cuisine staples at a one-stop shop.
Ethan Lin, co-owner of Pan-Asia Supermarket, said customer anticipation was high in the build up to its grand opening in mid-November. “Customers were pretty excited when we opened our doors because they didn’t have much to choose from before except small stores in the area,” he said. “We have one big store that offers everything they don’t have in the other stores. They’ve had nothing of this kind of scale before.”
The Tulsa store is the largest of the grocer’s five locations in Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri with over 40 employees and a 50,000-square-foot building.
Source: Tulsa World
UAE: Amazon to open online grocery store in UAE
Amazon signed an agreement Wednesday to start an online grocery store in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Amazon and Abu Dhabi’s Lulu Group will work together to develop an online grocery service that delivers products to customers in the UAE. The shopping will be done on Amazon’s Emirati website, according to a press release.
Lulu Group operates supermarkets around the world, including in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Asian countries. The move will add to Amazon’s footprint in the Middle East. Amazon recently launched a storefront for Egyptian handicrafts. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund also bought more shares in Amazon earlier this year, and its stock in the company is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Belgium: Metro hit by IT problems again
After an earlier cyber attack at the end of October, digital services at food wholesaler Metro have again been severely disrupted: cash registers are only working offline and there is disruption in the webshops.
Metro has again had to shut down a number of digital services due to a cyber attack. This affects access to computers, e-mail communication and digital services in stores. In the Belgian stores of Metro and Makro – which are still running on Metro AG’s infrastructure – the cash registers are currently only working in offline mode. The stores can only be reached by phone and the delivery service has been temporarily halted. So report sources within the company.
It is not clear whether this is a new cyber attack, or the aftermath of a previous large-scale action by hackers. Indeed, a cyberattack that hit Metro on 17 October caused disruption that lasted more than a week.
UK: Tesco fail in bid to stop Crediton Lidl store
Tesco has failed in its bid to stop the building of the planned Crediton Lidl store. Lidl was granted planning permission for the new store off Commercial Road in the town in September 2022, but agents acting on behalf of Tesco issued a letter advising of legal action over the store.
Local Mid Devon District Councillor John Downes told the Crediton Courier newspaper: “I have just been informed that the process that Tesco invoked was called a Pre Action Protocol where by they needed to make their case within six weeks for a Judicial Review.
“MDDC (Mid Devon District Council) defended their position and Tesco did not go to the next stage which would have been a court order. So that means the challenge has ended.”
Netherlands: Aldi pushes ahead with cashier-less store
In July this year, Aldi opened a cashier-less Shop&Go city store in the centre of Utrecht. Shoppers check in there with the app, can take the products they want, and scan a QR code at the exit, after which the groceries are automatically paid for. 475 cameras and 450 scales record the purchases. That test project is going well, it seems, and Aldi is already looking to take new steps.
“We don’t have final reports yet, but the first results are promising,” says Sinanudin Omerhodzic, chief technology officer at Aldi Nord: “We are now building on this, further developing the Aldi Shop & Go concept and the advanced technology behind it.” He envisages linking with other software applications – for example, real-time monitoring of stock levels to minimise sold-out or expired items. “Discount meets computer vision technology 2.0”, he calls it.
Source: Retail Detail