UK: Tesco’s Future Farmer Foundation is open for new intakes -
Tesco’s Future Farmer Foundation is open once again to receive applications from enthusiastic young farmers who wish to make their mark on the industry, it says in a press release. Lisa Buckley-Hoyle, Tesco’s Category Director for Sourcing and Agriculture said: ‘Our Future Farmer Foundation is about encouraging people to make their own start in the world of agriculture. We have been delighted with the huge drive and enthusiasm we have seen so far with the intake in previous years and we are confident that this year will be even better.

Ahold announces acquisition of 25 A&P stores for $146
Dutch retail giant Ahold has announced it has signed a deal to acquire 25 A&P stores in the Greater New York area, for $146 million, reports. The stores, which trade under the names Waldbaums, Pathmark and A&P, will be converted into Stop & Shop stores in the second half of 2015.

Carrefour Poland supplies 1600 tonnes of organic waste
Carrefour stores in Poland supply nearly 400 tonnes of organic waste for composting on a quarterly basis, reports. This waste consists of fruit and vegetables that are no longer suitable for sale and are processed into compost to be used, for example, to fertilise urban areas, for restoration of degraded land and for agricultural purposes. Organic waste management is a part of the international programme "Stop wasting" carried out by Carrefour.

US: Acme to buy 76 A&P stores
Acme Markets, a storied Philadelphia supermarket brand, said Tuesday that it had agreed to buy 76 A&P stores after the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., known as A&P, sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, reports. The acquisition would give Acme 183 grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey, a big increase from its current 107. Acme officials would neither disclose the price they will pay A&P for the stores nor say when they expect to close the deal. Acme, which got its start as a neighborhood grocer in South Philadelphia in 1891, has struggled mightily in recent years and changed ownership during this period. Albertsons, the nation's second-largest supermarket chain, bought Acme in 2013 and now seems intent on reviving it.

US: United Natural Foods cuts ties with Albertsons
United Natural Foods, Inc. announced plans to terminate its contract as a distributor to Albertsons Companies, Inc. on Sept. 20, rather than on the original contract end date of July 31, 2016, reports. With 2,205 stores across 33 states, Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Companies is the No. 2 supermarket retailer in the country and includes the Albertsons, Safeway and Eastern Supermarket chains. The company on July 8 filed for an initial public offering. Albertsons did not disclose how many shares it would offer or what those shares would cost, but did indicate it expected to raise $100m. For United Natural Foods’ fiscal year ending Aug. 1, revenue from Albertsons is expected to be approximately $410m.

UK: Co-op to put more staff on shop floor for 'grazing' consumers

The Co-op is hiring 1,000 more staff to work the tills of its convenience stores during busy times as it tries to gain ground in the tough grocery market, reports. The new hires are in addition to at least 2,000 new staff who will be required to operate the 200 new convenience stores planned by the Co-op over the next two years. Co-op said: “The modern busy lifestyle is leading to more consumers adopting a grazing mentality, which sees them shop in a little-and-often way each week. These ‘grazers’ are leading a major shift in shopping habits, which marks a return to the way people used to shop before the advent of larger supermarkets.”

US: Albertsons is suing Haggen over $41m in grocery inventory

A grocery deal between Albertsons and Haggen has taken a hostile turn, reports. Albertsons has sued Haggen, accusing the Bellingham-based grocer of fraud for failing to pay more than $36m as part of the agreement when it acquired 146 grocery stores, the Los Angeles Times reports. The sale of the stores was part of a mandatory divestiture as Albertsons merged with Safeway earlier this year. According to the Times, the lawsuit filed in California federal court alleges that Haggen refused to pay for $36m worth of inventory at 32 of the stores it acquired. Albertsons also says Haggen owes it nearly $5m in inventory at another six stores, which it says will be past due Tuesday. That brings the total to more than $41m, the suit said.

Wal-Mart de Mexico sales rise

Retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico posted its strongest sales growth in almost three years during the second quarter, although its net profit fell from a year earlier when the sale of its restaurant business had boosted the bottom line, reports. Walmex, as the unit of Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is known, reported net profit of $426m in the April-June period, compared with $650m a year earlier.

Irish Aldi entitled to injunction against Dunnes
A High Court judge has ruled Aldi is entitled to an injunction restraining Dunnes Stores infringing its trademarks, reports. The exact wording of the injunction will be decided later, Mr Justice Brian Cregan said. Aldi sought the injunction arising from the judge’s ruling last month that Dunnes engaged in misleading commercial practices in an advertising campaign of 2013 comparing prices of certain products with those of Aldi. Dunnes is appealing that ruling and had argued no injunction should be granted pending that appeal. It also argued any order might have a "“chilling” effect on any future campaigns it might run.

India: Ola launches online grocery delivery service

After Ola Cafe, the ride service app has now launched a separate standalone hyper local grocery delivery service called Ola Store, reports. The new service debuts in Bangalore and claims to list 12,000 products across 13 product categories including fruits and vegetables.

Difficulties in China for Lotte and Emart
Lotte Mart has announced the closure of four stores in the Shandong province of east China, following like-for-like sales decline of -7.2% in China in the first quarter of the year, reports. Even taking these closures into account, the retailer operates a significant network of 99 stores in China, with plans to extend this to 110 by the end of the year. In Q1 Lotte opened two new fresh distribution centres, with plans for further investment in logistics, as well as in-store efficiencies to secure long term growth in the market. Both Lotte and it's competitor Emart are pushing ahead with expansion into higher growth Asian markets. Lotte achieved like-for-like sales of +15.5% in Vietnam and +6.5% in Indonesia in the first quarter. Emart is poised to open its first store in Vietnam in December.

US: Lowes Foods plans more area stores in coming years

Lowes Foods, scheduled to break ground Wednesday in Greer for its first Upstate store, plans at least three to five Greenville-area locations in the next four to five years, according to the company's president, reports. Company officials are doing "a complete market review" of the Upstate area and the city of Greenville, including downtown, is part of that process, Tim Lowe, the president, said Tuesday in an exclusive interview with The Greenville News. The arrival of Lowes Foods will add to the Greenville-area's crowded mix of grocery stores, which include BI-LO, once based in Mauldin, Publix, Ingles, Walmart and others. It's a highly competitive, "penny-profit" business with tight margins, Lowe said.

Korea: MERS outbreak taking toll on store sales

Korea was hit by an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in May, with an ongoing impact on the economy, igd.comn reports. Thousands of tourists cancelled trips. As a result of this, online sales are soaring: Emart reported a 63.1% rise in sales compared to last year at the start of June, according to Retail News Asia, with food categories such as fresh and prepared meals performing strongly.

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