Japan: Seven & I to close 40 Ito-Yokado supermarket stores
Japanese retail giant Seven & I Holdings Co., Ltd. said Friday its Ito-Yokado Co. supermarket chain will shut down 40 unprofitable stores, or about 20% of its stores, over the next few years. It is expected to close several stores within its current business year ending in February 2016. (japantimes.co.jp)

Singapore: NTUC FairPrice opens new HQ and DC

NTUC Fairprice opened its SGD$350m (US$249m) headquarters that house a new and innovative DC. The DC has a highly automated system that uses robotic technology and autonomous vehicles mounted on a monorail. This increases warehouse capacity from storing 22,000 pallets to over 74,000 pallets. The DC is designed to handle the increasing consumer demand over the next two decades and can manage 120,000 cartons per day which is twice as productive as a manual conventional DC. (igd.com)

US: Indiana Grown officially announces partnership with Marsh Supermarkets
Following its successful statewide launch, the Indiana Grown Initiative officially announces Marsh Supermarkets as a major in-store retail partner. The partnership will continue to make it easier to identify, find and purchase locally sourced products with the launch of 50 kiosks selling 100 Indiana Grown products in Marsh stores throughout Indiana. With the help of its retail partners, Indiana Grown will create new local and regional market channels for Indiana agricultural and food businesses by educating consumers on the importance of buying Indiana Grown products, increasing networking and sales opportunities for Indiana farmers, and expanding support for Indiana processors in their efforts with Indiana Grown products. (rushvillerepublican.com)

Poland: Biedronka's e-commerce plans
Biedronka is preparing launch of grocery e-commerce, COO at Jeronimo Martins Group & Country Manager at Jeronimo Martins Poland & Portugal has revealed. (igd.com)

AU: Woolworths to spend $65m fixing stores

Woolworths has admitted it got it wrong by slashing staff hours in a bid to cut costs, resulting in poorly stocked shelves and dismal service, but the supermarket giant claims customers are beginning to see the results of a massive turnaround plan. Dave Chambers, the new director of Woolworths supermarkets who replaced Tjeerd Jegen in February, told the Australian Financial Review he was shocked by what he saw when he first joined the company, from long queues to trolleys in disrepair. But the retailer says its making progress as it rolls out $65 million worth of upgrades to its stores, and now receives daily feedback as part of its “voice of the customer” surveys to quickly address issues. (news.com.au)

UK supermarket chains cut space for first time in a decade
The total floorspace owned by Britain’s supermarkets has shrunk by over a million square feet in the past year – the equivalent of 13 football pitches – the first reduction in more than a decade. Analysts have examined the largest groups as far back as 2004, when Tesco was almost half its current size, but some observers believe the cut may be the first since the 1940s. Supermarket retailers have been hit by what has been described as a ‘perfect storm’ in the past 12 months with the implementation of price cuts aimed at undermining rivals, the falling cost of some foods and the looming impact of the Government’s new national living wage. In addition, shoppers are making fewer trips to big stores, preferring to shop locally at convenience shops or ordering online. The net reduction of floorspace – the result of closures or sale of sites – contrasts with the fastest rate of growth in 2009 when the biggest eight store groups grew by almost ten million square feet. (thisismoney.co.uk)

Israel: Eden Teva Market demanding payment from Mega
Eden Teva Market claims that for the past two weeks Mega has failed to deliver the sales revenue from Eden Teva Market's stores-within-stores in Mega branches. The receiver appointed to the Eden Teva Market foodstore chain has applied for the seizure of assets from Mega, a supermarket chain with its own financially troubles that formerly owned 51% of Eden Teva. (haaretz.com)

UK: Morrisons CEO backs retailer after shares drop 10% in a week

Morrisons' CEO David Potts has again backed himself to turn around the supermarket group by buying shares worth £500,000.His move follows a week when Morrisons' share price has fallen by 10%. (thebusinessdesk.com)

SA supermarket customers less satisfied: survey

Over 2 000 South Africans were interviewed about supermarket satisfaction. SA Customer Service Index, says 2015 satisfaction scores show a major decline from last year, and no major retailer escaped criticism. While Woolworth’s customer satisfaction stands at a healthy 80%, making it the most satisfying major supermarket in the country, its quality rating declined by 3,3 index points. At the bottom of the pack is Spar, with a satisfaction score of 75,7%, and not too far behind is Pick n Pay with a satisfaction score of 76,2%. Checkers and Shoprite unsurprisingly both received the same score – 77,1%. Even though these two supermarkets scored the same overall, it’s important to note that the index indicated that customers expressed the view that Shoprite offers better value for money than Checkers. (destinyconnect.com)

UK: Central lines up rapid expansion
A convenience store chain based in the south of England has ambitious plans to significantly expand its franchised store estate over the next few years, reports today’s Independent Retail News. “We have plans to grow rapidly over the next three years and in five years the plan is to have 200 company-owned and 100 franchised stores,” Mike Godwin, buying director at Central Convenience Stores, told Independent Retail News. (talkingretail.com)

US: Stop & Shop parent can ‘reinvent’ with new Allston store
Stop & Shop parent company Royal Ahold NV has long let that chain serve as its regional representation in New England. But by debuting a new brand in Allston this month, called bfresh, Ahold is putting a different foot forward in Boston. bfresh spokeswoman Suzi Robinson said the new store’s mission is defined in its name. “There’s definitely a big market for an emphasis on fresh,” she said. Robinson said freshness has grown increasingly important to consumers in recent years. “The company has recognized consumers have for some time been very conscious about the food they’re eating,” she said. The new store touts a wide produce selection, as well as a prepared foods section. Organic food is also a priority, Robinson said, and bfresh also intends to source as locally from New England as possible. (boston.com)

Haggen attempts $12M asset sale to Albertsons
Stricken supermarket chain Haggen is attempting to sell $12.2m in assets back to Albertsons and Safeway. A proposed sale filed as part of Haggen's bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. District Court of Delaware on Wednesday would hand over $3.57m of the chain's inventory as well as $8.9m in “records and goodwill." That includes prescription records, customer records, lists and medical profiles, as well as all other written or recorded information relating to pharmacies' operations. This comes after a string of other major challenges for Haggen, which was recently slapped with a $41m suit from Albertsons. Haggen later filed a $1bn suit against the Albertsons, alleging the larger chain sabotaged the transition of stores. (bizjournals.com)

US: Acme pulls out of buying 4 local A&P stores
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