Britain's convenience shop market valued at £37.7bn
The fast-growing convenience sector has been valued at £37.7bn as an increase in time-poor shoppers spurred the opening of two new stores a day last year. There are now 51,524 convenience stores across the UK, according to the Local Shop Report, which is compiled by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS). The research has revealed that the sector, which also employs more than 407,000 people, contributes £5bn to the UK economy. Please, click here to read more at

Google gets into the home-delivered grocery game with Express
Google is getting into the fresh foods business. The company confirmed on Tuesday that Google Express, the company’s delivery service, will send fresh fruits and vegetables to customers in San Francisco and one other city (so far unnamed) later this year. The tech company also announced it will expand its next-day delivery service – which is already available in cities including Chicago, New York and San Francisco and works with partners like Barnes & Noble, Target and ToysRUs – to areas in the midwest. “Today, we’re very excited to be further expanding our efforts – making it easy for over 25 million people in the midwest to get things they need from stores they love – delivered overnight,” said Brian Elliott, general manager of Google Express. Google Express is unique among home-delivery market competitors by virtue of its partnerships. Rather than sell items out of its warehouses (which Google tried earlier this summer), the company works with Whole Foods in the case of its fresh goods, in addition to Costco, Fairway and many others when it comes to selling dry goods. (

Marks & Spencer curbs overseas expansion amid Russia and China crises
Marks & Spencer is slowing its overseas expansion drive amid economic turbulence in China and Russia, its international boss has revealed. Battling tough markets at home, M&S chief executive Marc Bolland set targets in 2014 to open 250 new stores overseas in three years. The aim was to increase international sales by a quarter and push profit up by 40pc, with China, Russia, India, the Middle East and western Europe the focus. Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, M&S’s executive director of marketing & international, told Reuters the firm remained committed to both Russia and China but signalled those overseas targets were now unobtainable, prompting a re-think of the pace of expansion over the short term. (

Haggen supermarkets files for bankruptcy
Supermarket chain Haggen filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday, and documents revealed the market owes its biggest creditor $14.8m. The 22-page federal court filing listed more than a dozen creditors. Unified Grocer is Haggens biggest creditor, and the supermarket chain owes them an estimated $14.8m. Albertsons, which is suing Haggen, is listed as being owed an “undetermined” amount of money related to the litigation. Dale Henley, the company’s former CEO, is listed as being owed nearly $5m in deferred compensation. Haggen has been on the ropes most of the year, ever since it bought nearly 150 Safeway and Albertsons stores that came on the market when the two companies merged. As a result of the merger, the federal government forced the sale of dozens of stores. (

Chinese supermarket on hunt for more products for its NZ section

Major Chinese supermarket chain Seashine, which can fast track importing, is on the hunt for more New Zealand products. On Tuesday it opened its first New Zealand products section, selling 189 Kiwi items. Seashine vice general manager Xie Yin said New Zealand products were highly valued and there was room for many more. Seashine owns 75 supermarkets and eight large wholesale food markets. It has an annual turnover of US$2bn (NZ$3.1b). (

FamilyMart buys midsize convenience store chain Cocostore
Japanese convenience store operator Family Mart will buy 650 store convenience chain Cocostore for approximately US$99.9m. Following the deal, FamilyMart will operate approximately 12,000 stores in Japan, catching up with key competitor Lawson with 12,142 stores in Japan at the end of July. FamilyMart is also in merger talks with Uny Group Holdings, owner of Circle k Sunkus chain, with plans to merge in September 2016. (

Retail CEOs will need to learn new skills, study finds

A study of the leadership teams of leading retail groups has found that executive boards will need to learn new skills in the next five years or risk being past their ‘sell-by date’. The report, which was released at the World Retail Congress taking place in Rome this week, suggests that there is a poor self-perception of top talent within the retail industry. ‘Today’s boards mainly consist of individuals who have grown up in one discipline. However, a more holistic leader is required to keep up with the rapidly changing retail environment,’ the report finds. (

Lidl introduces new store concept in Croatia
Discount chain Lidl has started implementing a new store concept in Croatia and is also continuing to expand its retail network in the country. The store concept includes a larger sales area, sanitary facilities adapted to baby changing and a spacious parking lot. The discounter is also planning to open two new stores in Zaprešić and Zagreb by the end of this year, taking the store total to 88. (

Kaufland extends operations in Bulgaria
German hypermarket chain Kaufland intends to open up to ten new stores in Bulgaria, Lebensmittelzeitung has reported. The retailer plans to increase on its 55 stores in the country, as it looks to extend its presence with the opening of new stores in Sofia and Burgas, which should be competed during the next few months. (

Unions, Trustee object to A&P retention plan

A&P’s motion to grant $5m in payments to retain certain employees as it winds down its business has been met by a rash of objections in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, including one from the Trustee overseeing the case, arguing in part that the plan unfairly discriminates against union employees. (

Botswana: Choppies says it is expecting FY results ‘ahead of last year’
Botswana-based Choppies has said, in an announcement ahead of its full year results at the end of September, that it is expecting earnings for its 2015 financial year ending June, to be ‘significantly better’ than in the previous year. The results will be particularly positive for the retailer given that it has been investing heavily in opening new stores, with 31 more set to be opened in South Africa and Zimbabwe by the end of 2015 and a longer term target to operate more than 200 across six countries by the end of 2016, up from 125 at the moment. (

Low prices, large selection lure Canadian shoppers to American supermarkets
Ontario consumers say it is worth their while to cross the border for the chance to fill their carts from the vast selection of low-cost groceries available here. (

India: Online grocery stores eye Tricity, Punjab markets
After PepperTap, another online grocery store Grofers has launched services in Chandigarh and Ludhiana. While PepperTap launched in the Tricity (Chandigarh-Panchkula -Mohali) in July, Grofers too has entered the fray last week, giving stiff competition to the local companies like GP Cart Grocery, which is based in Chandigarh. More cities in Punjab are on the radar of the online grocers.

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