Ahold 1st retailer to protect farmers | Delhaize posts surprising results

Whole Foods sales sour after price scandal

Amazon Italy adds food to range
Amazon Italy has added a selection of food and household products to its website, igd.corm reports. The food ranges cover "thousands" of national and international brands, and are mainly products with a long shelf life. Later in the summer Amazon Italy will offer third party vendors, encouraging Italian food producers in particular, the chance to sell on the site, said country manager for Italy and Spain, François Nuyts.

AU: Woolworths sells millions of ugly fruit

A new initiative is ending discrimination against 'ugly' fruits and vegetables and tackling the major problem of food wastage in Australia, dailymail.co.uk reports. Woolworths introduced their 'The Odd Bunch' fresh produce range in December last year, which offers customers the opportunity to buy half-price 'ugly' fruit and vegetables – which look abnormal but are equally as delicious as their perfectly formed counterparts. The national supermarket chain has announced they have already sold over 14m kilograms of fruit and vegetables that would otherwise have been rejected or thrown away. The produce range is an attempt to tackle the major issue of food wastage in Australia, with the supermarket urging consumers to 'choose taste over waste'. Woolworths reveals they are forced to throw away 25% of their edible produce due to visual imperfection or cosmetic damage every single year in Australia. In Australia a staggering $2.67bn worth of fresh food is wasted every single year, according to FoodWise.

US: Raley's will leave Kehe for UNFI

Raley's Supermarkets will reportedly switch to United Natural Foods Inc., Providence, R.I., as its primary supplier of natural and organic foods, trade sources told supermarketnews.com Wednesday. The West Sacramento, Calif.-based retailer has been buying approximately $14m worth of products from Kehe Distributors, Naperville, Ill., the sources said. Executives at Raleys, Kehe and UNFI could not be reached for comment, supermarketnews.com reports.

Is Tesco pulling out of Turkey?

Tesco bought into Turkey with Kipa in 2003, but borsagundem.com reports that they have decided to sell their unprofitable stores in the country. The speculation is based on sales talks as disclosed on the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP), but Tesco Kipa Corporate Relations Director Nazlan Ertan states that the chain only intends to sell the stores that are producing no profit. Ertan made a statement to the newspaper Zaman, explaining that they are in negotiations to sell the stores to the retailer Begendik, although some media outlets are reporting that around 20 stores are planned for sale, Ertan claims that it is less. Ertan reports that Kipa's strategy is to be as profitable as possible.

Ukraine’s retail giant Evrotek may change owners
Private equity firm ‘Realty Group’, from Radovel in the Zhytomyr region intends to acquire 99% or 6,999,300 shares of PJSC ‘Evrotek', reports forbes.ua. The PE group announced its intention to purchase the company in a press release. ‘Evrotek’ was founded in 1995 by Mikhail Veselskiy, initially they specialized in the sale of grain, sunflower seeds and the supply of petroleum products to farmers. In 2003 they became sunflower oil producers and within 3 years had a 15% share of the Ukrainian market, with annual sales of €86m. In 2006, M.Veselsky sold his business group ‘Kernel’ and invested the proceeds in a new retail network ‘Fresh’. ‘Evrotek’ developed five chains of multi-format grocery stores: ‘Fresh’, ‘Arsen' , ‘Union' , ‘Kvartal’ and ‘Fresh- market'. They have their own distribution center on 10,400 m2 in Brovary (Kiev region) and according to the group’s website, as of July 25, 2015 the company has 62 retail outlets in Ukraine.

Casino to sell assets to Colombia’s Exito for $1.9bn

Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA said it will sell Brazilian and Argentine assets to Colombian unit Exito to simplify its structure in Latin America and boost its growth prospects, esmmagazine.com reports. Casino has agreed to sell half its stake in Brazilian unit GPA and all of Argentina’s Libertad to Exito for 1.7bn Euro ($1.9bn), the Saint-Etienne, France-based company said on Thursday in a statement. Casino will remain the controlling shareholder of Exito, in which it holds a 54.8% stake.

Ahold USA joins coalition of Immokalee Workers Fair Food Pact

Ahold USA today became the first of America's major grocers to join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' (CIW) Fair Food Program, the widely-acclaimed partnership to improve the lives of the country's farmworkers, prnewswire.com reports. The CIW aims to protect the rights of tens of thousands of workers on farms across the east coast, from Florida to New Jersey. Today's announcement builds on the work that the CIW as well as Ahold USA and its suppliers have done to deliver responsibly sourced tomatoes to customers and to help improve conditions for farmworkers in Florida. Ahold USA's participation in the program will increase the number of US grocery stores carrying Fair Food tomatoes by approximately 75%. "We are truly proud to welcome Ahold USA into the Fair Food Program and excited about the opportunity to work with an industry leader like Ahold," said Gerardo Reyes of the CIW. "Ahold USA is the first of the country's major grocers to join the program and, as such, not only will its partnership help propel to new heights our efforts to protect farmworkers' rights, but we believe its market leadership will send an invaluable message to the rest of the grocery industry that social responsibility is greatly strengthened when workers, suppliers and retailers work together toward a more modern, more humane agricultural industry."

Polish supermarket tax not possible before 2017

Poland may introduce a new tax on bank assets and supermarkets in 2017 rather than next year, as some investors had expected, Henryk Kowalczyk, a member of Poland's main opposition party Law and Justice, said. "There are no great chances to introduce the bank or supermarket tax in 2016," Kowalczyk told Reuters. "Assuming that the new government will be created in late November, there is too little time to introduce such levies starting next year." Details of the supermarket tax are not yet known, but Law and Justice has estimated it would yield 2-3bn zlotys a year, Reuters reports.

US: Whole Foods sales sour after price scandal

Allegations that Whole Foods Market locations in New York City overcharged for prepackaged foods dragged down sales in the final weeks of the retailer’s latest quarterly results, fortune.com reports. Same-store sales growth dramatically slowed in the days after Whole Foods generated negative press attention after a New York City Department of Consumer Affairs report released the results of an investigation that alleged stores in the area listed improper weights on prepackaged foods, resulting in overcharges. Whole Foods executives later issued an apology. Same-store sales for the first 10 weeks of the Q3 were up 2.6%, but growth slowed to just 0.4% in the final two weeks of the quarter. In the first three weeks of the current Q4, a period that ended July 26, same-store sales still only rose a slim 0.6%. Overall, sales totalled $3.63bn for the latest period, with profit of 43 cents a share, both rising from last year but not reaching the levels analysts had hoped for. Whole Foods also said it sees 7% sales growth for the Q4, while analysts had projected a 10% increase.

AU: Woolworths sells millions of ugly fruit

A new initiative is ending discrimination against 'ugly' fruits and vegetables and tackling the major problem of food wastage in Australia, dailymail.co.uk reports. Woolworths introduced their 'The Odd Bunch' fresh produce range in December last year, which offers customers the opportunity to buy half-price 'ugly' fruit and vegetables – which look abnormal but are equally as delicious as their perfectly formed counterparts. The national supermarket chain has announced they have already sold over 14m kilograms of fruit and vegetables that would otherwise have been rejected or thrown away. The produce range is an attempt to tackle the major issue of food wastage in Australia, with the supermarket urging consumers to 'choose taste over waste'. Woolworths reveals they are forced to throw away 25% of their edible produce due to visual imperfection or cosmetic damage every single year in Australia. In Australia a staggering $2.67bn worth of fresh food every single year, according to FoodWise.

UK: New boss for Tesco online
Tesco has rehired Adrian Letts, the co-founder of blinkbox, to lead its online operations, igd.com reports. The recruitment of a new MD for online fills an important gap in Dave Lewis's new Tesco. Online is a vital area for Tesco to continue to show leadership and a channel where competition continues to increase as more choices become available to shoppers. The recent restructuring of accountabilities at Tesco into Customer, Products and Channels (under Robin Terrell) elevates the role of online within Tesco.

Ahold-target Delhaize posts better-than-expected sales performance
Belgian grocer Delhaize , which Dutch rival Ahold plans to buy, on Thursday posted better-than-expected sales results in its main markets in the United States and Belgium, Reuters reports. Sales at stores open for at least a year increased 2.5% in the United States, Delhaize's largest market with some 65% of sales. Analysts had on average expected a 2.2% increase. In Belgium same store sales fell 0.6%, compared to analyst expectations of a 2.3% fall.

US: 7-Eleven pruning sites in 10 states

Pruning its extensive network, 7-Eleven Inc. is selling 25 gas stations and convenience stores, including six locations in Virginia, three each in Colorado, Illinois, Texas and West Virginia, two each in Florida and Missouri, and one each in Nevada, New York and South Carolina, cspnet.com reports. “This package contains many high-quality assets that simply do not fit 7-Eleven’s current business model," said Robbie Radant, 7-Eleven vice president of mergers and acquisitions. "All of these stores should provide good opportunities for the right buyers.” All of the locations are operational; 16 of the sites are convenience stores with gasoline, while nine of the sites do not offer fuel.

UK: Sainsbury's sells pharmacy business to rival
Sainsbury's has sold its chain of pharmacies to the owner of LloydsPharmacy for £125m, telegraph.co.uk reports. Celesio, the German drugs wholesaler that owns LloydsPharmacy in the UK, said that it would buy 281 pharmacies in total from the supermarket group. This includes 277 in-store pharmacies and four Sainsbury's-branded hospital pharmacies. The grocer said that all of its pharmacies would be rebranded as LloydsPharmacy and 2,500 of the grocer's staff would be transferred to Celesio.

UK: No significant growth for Booths

The Chairman of Booths said his upmarket northern grocery chain saw no significant growth last year and warned that the supermarket price war has created a domino effect throughout the wider industry, yorkshirepost.co.uk reports. In an interview with The Yorkshire Post, Edwin Booth said Booths was “stand on” in the year ending March 2015 with unaudited sales of around £280m in spite of opening a new store. He said volumes held up but revenues slipped as a result of food deflation of around 4% during the period. Mr Booth said profits have been hit quite heavily by the cost of integrating fresh produce supplier Sharrocks into the business but he is hopeful that the acquisition of November 2013 will yield some benefit in the future. (Please, click here to read more at yorkshirepost.co.uk)

UK: Lidl spends £26.5m on TV advertising in H1

Following its strong debut brand campaign last year, Lidl has continued to invest heavily in its marketing, with spend on TV marketing in H1 this year reaching £26.5m, igd.com reports. This figure is £8.4m more than the second biggest spender, Asda, and more than double that of most of the UK's other leading grocery retailers.

US: Fresh & Easy to close 14 stores

Fresh & Easy confirmed plans Wednesday to close three more Orange County grocery stores, as it continues to downsize in an ever-challenging Southern California supermarket industry, ocregister.com reports. The locations, to close by the end of the week, are in Fountain Valley, Lake Forest and Seal Beach. They are among 14 slated for closure by the El Segundo-based chain. Other stores closing are in San Diego, Los Angeles, Arizona and Las Vegas. “Fresh & Easy is closing a small number of underperforming locations,” company spokesman Brendan Wonnacott told the Register early Wednesday.

US: Whole Foods to open five 365 locations in 2016

Whole Foods Market said it expects to open the first five units of its new, smaller format — 365 by Whole Foods Market — in the second half of next year and to double the number of openings the following year, supermarketnews.com reports. The first stores will open in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles.


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