US: Walmart announces more store openings, remodels
Walmart President and CEO John Furner announced that the retailer is planning to build or convert more than 150 stores over the next five years. In addition, 650 locations will be remodeled across 47 states.
Source: supermarketnews.com

Expect a squeeze on orange juice costs as supplier price freeze ends: Metro CEO
Canadians might be feeling the squeeze on items like orange juice at the grocery store starting next week, according to a warning from the CEO of one of Canada’s biggest grocers. Eric La Flèche, chief executive at Montreal-based Metro, told analysts on the company’s first-quarter earnings call that the company is expecting it will have to pass on some higher costs from suppliers as an industry-wide blackout period for price hikes comes to an end this week.
Source: globalnews.ca

US: New Whole Foods Market in St. Petersburg, Florida, to open February 28
Whole Foods Market will open a new 40,100 square-foot store, located at 201 38th Ave North, St. Petersburg, Florida, on February 28 at 9.a.m. EST. Features of the new St. Petersburg store include: an array of certified organic, conventional and Sourced for Good Local options include organic greens from Lady Moon Farms and herbs and salads from Hardee Fresh.
Source: media.wholefoodsmarket.com

US: Roland Foods explores $700mln-plus sale, sources say
Reuters reported: "Private equity-backed Roland Foods is exploring a sale that could value the specialty food provider at $700mln or more, including debt, people familiar with the matter said. Roland, founded in 1934 and headquartered in New York, imports foods ranging from vegetables to crackers from over 40 countries. It sells them to foodservice, retail and restaurant clients."
Source: money.usnews.com

Costco opens 1st business center in Alaska
Kicking off its big year of 33 planned openings, Costco Wholesale is unveiling a new outpost in Anchorage, Alaska, on Friday, February 2. Located at 1074 N. Muldoon Road, the 162,000-square-foot business center offers products to businesses of all kinds, such as convenience stores, offices, restaurant and hotels. Its inventory includes a variety of beverages, candy, snacks, commercial appliances, tobacco, fresh meat and produce, groceries and restaurant supplies.
Source: progressivegrocer.com

US: GrubMarket releases AI integration with WholesaleWare to expand its AI product suite for the food supply chain
GrubMarket announced the release of a novel integration between GrubMarket AI and WholesaleWare, its cutting-edge and proprietary software-as-a-service platform built for food industry wholesalers, brokers, and distributors.
Source: prnewswire.com

US: Aldi to open four stores in Illinois, Florida, California, and Arizona
Aldi is opening four new locations in Illinois, Florida, California, and Arizona, and another store could be taking the place of a shuttered Bed Bath & Beyond location in suburban Las Vegas. The four new stores are all scheduled to open on February 1, the discount grocer said. The stores are located at: 32130 Temecula Parkway in Temecula, California; 4555 E. Cactus Road in Phoenix, Arizona; 6765 22nd Ave. in St. Petersburg, Florida; 200 E. Devon Ave. in Bartlett, Illinois.
Source: supermarketnews.com

UK: Morrisons shoppers to join management meetings as chain seeks revival
Morrisons is inviting shoppers to management meetings and holding monthly customer roundtables in stores as part of a strategy to “start a new chapter” for the struggling supermarket chain under its new boss. Rami Baitiéh, who took over from David Potts as the chief executive of Morrisons in November, said he would announce new plans for the business in March, adding that “listening to customers and colleagues will show us the way.”
Source: theguardian.com

Switzerland: Lidl slashes prices of over 100 organic items
Lidl Switzerland has lowered the prices on over 100 organic products, including everyday staples like milk, bread, meat, fruit, and vegetables. This constitutes around a third of its 350 organic items from the permanent assortment, the discounter noted.
Source: esmmagazine.com

Dutch retail turnover up 4.2% in December 2023
Retail turnover in the Netherlands increased by 4.2% year on year in December 2023, while sales volume grew by 1.7%. The turnover of the food segment increased by 4.6%, while the non-food sector registered 2.6% growth, the latest data from the Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS, Statistics Netherlands) showed.
Source: esmmagazine.com

UK: Morrisons profit rises as grocer fights back against discounters
Morrisons’ profit rose as the UK grocer regained some ground in its battle with discount rivals to win over cash-strapped shoppers. Underlying earnings rose 6.5% in the year to October 29, to £970mln ($1.2bln), helped by improving customer satisfaction scores as the supermarket rolls out price cutting and loyalty initiatives. Like-for-like sales, a key sector benchmark, have improved six straight quarters.
Source: bnnbloomberg.ca

Lidl reveals Ireland's top-selling products over January
Lidl has revealed the top-selling products that dominated supermarket shopping lists this January, with fruit and vegetables topping the list over the month. Cucumber takes the number one spot this January with over 490,000 cucumbers sold this month and shoppers in Meath are crunching on the most cucumbers out of everyone in Ireland. Second on the list for Ireland but first on the list for Lidl customers in Dublin is celery - the veggie that seems to find itself in every soup, stock and salad.
Source: irishmirror.ie

Portugal: Continente Food Lab launches new vegan products
Portuguese retailer Continente has rolled out new meat and cheese alternatives, available exclusively at its stores and online platform. The Continente Food Lab has launched the Picado Carnal from Vegetarian Butcher and the Semi-Curados from Quevana, a Spanish food start-up.
Source: esmmagazine.com

Australia’s best value fruit and veg in February: game-changing grapes, flush figs and peak plums
Despite some wild weather ringing in 2024, there is a good supply of fruit and veg for the final month of summer. “Figs are in at the moment - a lot of local figs and glasshouse figs”, says Tony Polistina, co-owner of Forestway Fresh in Sydney’s Terrey Hills. “There will be a flush [of] them in the next couple of weeks”.
Source: theguardian.com

Germany: Galeria speeds up search for investors
German department store chain Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, currently embroiled in debt protection proceedings, has formally started its search for investors. Interested parties should submit their bids soon.
Source: retaildetail.eu

M&S removes over 4mln units of plastic packaging in Cafés across UK
Marks & Spencer has introduced new recyclable paper packaging across its range of sandwiches and toasties available in all M&S Cafés across the UK. M&S also launched its new Café menu for 2024 introducing a range of delicious and innovative options for customers, with more vegan and gluten-free options available than ever before. The new menu includes a gluten free Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil Pesto Toastie (£6.50), Very Veggie vegan Toastie (£6.50), vegan Avocado & Rainbow Veg Sandwich (£6.00) as well as High Protein Maple Pancake Stack (£6.50), topped with 0% fat Greek yogurt and berries - perfect for health-conscious customers.
Source: corporate.marksandspencer.com