UK: Morrisons replaces sweets with fruit at checkouts
Morrisons said sweets will disappear from shelves near checkouts from February next year. The company said it would replace the confectionery with a range of alternative snacks, including fruit, nuts and bottled water. Morrisons already offers alternatives to sweets at one in five of its supermarket checkouts. (

US: A&P wins approval of store sales for total of $370m

The operator of the A&P supermarket chain won bankruptcy court approval to sell 95 of its stores for $370m. Acme Markets Inc. is buying 71 stores from Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. for $246m, while Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. is taking on 24 locations for $124m. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain approved the sales Monday at a hearing in White Plains, New York. The deals will keep more than 10,750 people employed. Acme and Stop & Shop expect to reach labor agreements with the union representing workers at those stores, Ray Schrock, a lawyer for A&P, said at the hearing. “The two proposed sales are in the best interest of creditors and employees,” Drain said. “The prices are clearly the highest for this aggregation of assets.” An auction will be held on Oct. 1 and 2 for other company assets. About 128 bids have been received and an additional auction may be necessary, Schrock said. (Bloomberg)

UK: Kantar warns of impact Amazon Fresh

Sainsbury was the only supermarket among the Big Four to keep pace with the sector's growth over the last quarter, with Asda's market share continuing to tumble as Morrisons and Tesco also look bruised. Sales at Sainsbury were up 0.9%, in line with the sector as a whole, while spend at Asda fell 2.9%, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Revenues at Tesco's Express convenience stores actually grew, but were not enough to stave off declines through the rest of its store portfolio, meaning total sales were down 1% in the 12 weeks to 13 September. Sales at Morrisons continued their downwards trajectory, falling 1.4%. Aldi and Lidl have maintained their double-digit growth - up 17.3% and 16% respectively. In the past 12 weeks 56% of British households have visited one of the two discount grocers. Waitrose is also growing above the sector average, with sales up 2.9%, while sales at the Co-operative were up 1%. Iceland grew 3.4% during the same period. However Kantar warned there could be yet another challenge facing the sector in the form of Amazon's new online food delivery service Amazon Fresh. Kantar Worldpanel said: "Almost 7% of grocery sales are currently purchased through the internet and existing online supermarkets will be watching closely to see when Amazon Fresh will launch in the UK and whether it will steal market share or grow the online market even further.” (

Netherlands: Organic sales at Albert Heijn up 20% in one year
The decision of supermarket chain Albert Heijn to stop with AH Puur & Eerlijk (Pure & Honest) and market AH Biologisch (Organic) instead, has turned out well. According to Therese Opgenoort, formula manager of Albert Heijn, that decision led to sales of organic products at the market leader increasing by more than 20% in one year. And that increase is found in both fresh and groceries. Opgenoort lists a number of causes for that explosive increase. One of the most important ones is that organic now draws a younger target audience, who just want tasty and healthy food. Organic also benefits from the fact that it got rid of its old-fashioned image. "It's all become a bit brighter and lighter."

US: Hy-Vee to offer cheap online grocery
Customers can soon go online, select groceries, and have a personal shopper package items for up-pick or home delivery. Nic Hoch is the Manager Store Operations Director for Hy-Vee in Sioux Falls. He says the program is the first of its kind in the Midwest. “It’s a program that really is getting ahead of the Amazons of the world. Amazon charges $299 just to be eligible for their Amazon fresh program. We have very small fees, $2.95 for pickup or $4.95 for delivery but those fees are waved if the order is over $100, so it’s really economical,” says Hoch. (

Online grocer Grofers shifts base to Singapore

Online grocery delivery company Grofers is moving its base to Singapore, joining a growing list of Indian startups that have moved their base to overseas markets because of their business-friendly tax regimes and regulations. (

Dutch Aldi chooses Fairtrade organic bananas.

Fairtrade organic bananas, Fairtrade chocolate and Fairtrade honey. Supermarket chain Aldi will start this fall with a wide range of Fairtrade certified products. This is done under the heading of FAIR, Aldi's international brand. This new step will make Fairtrade products available in all the supermarkets in the Netherlands. (

AU: Amnesty wanted for 7-Eleven workers
Lawyers of a class action against 7-Eleven are calling for the Australian Immigration Department to offer amnesty to 7-Eleven workers fearing deportation if they speak out. (

Russian X5 launched a business forum programme
X5 Retail Group, a leading Russian food retailer, has launched a business forum programme, X5 Dialogue, to foster relations with Russian producers interested in cooperation with the Company’s retail chains. One of the key events of the programme was today’s X5 Regional Supplier’s Day in Voronezh. The programme will also include meetings with food producers’ unions and a conference with the Company’s top 100 suppliers, which is scheduled for October 2015. Voronezh was selected to host the first X5 Regional Supplier’s Day because it is Central Russia’s key agricultural region. (

Ex-Tesco CEO to take up leading AHDB role
UK levy body organisation AHDB has appointed Tesco’s former head of agriculture to its leadership team. Tom Hind, who left his role with the retailer earlier this year, will become AHDB’s chief strategy officer from October 5. He will be responsible for strategic planning at the organisation and oversee relationship management of AHDB’s six sector advisory boards. (

Russian retail trade decreases by 8%

According to, goods, including beverages and tobacco, in the summer of 2015, were sold at 10% less than in August last year; from January to August, the decline in sales of products amounted to 8.1%. At the same time, on a monthly basis retail sales grew over summer for the fourth month in a row- by 3%. In comparison with data from the first half of the year the depth of the fall of the market has increased by 0.5%. According to Rosstat, retail trade turnover in August 2015 amounted to €32bn, which in comparable prices is about 90.9% of the corresponding period last year. Retail trade turnover in Russia in January-August 2015 amounted to about €229bn.

REWE Group enhances support for refugees in Germany and Austria
REWE group increases its support to refugees and assist organizations with the first arrival or refugees. They urgently need all kinds of material such as food, hygiene and drugstore products, winter jackets and blankets. At the same time CEO Alain Caparros suggested possibilities to integrate refugees thought work, training, internships and job opportunities. Cities and communities are strained, sometimes beyond their limits. It is only logical that companies help and support, continued Caparros. (REWE)

UK: Sainsbury's seeks 'test bed' town as part of £10m food waste push
A new food waste project launched by Sainsbury's this week will provide £1m to a single UK town in order to test the most effective ways of reducing household food waste. The move is part of the new Waste Less, Save More initiative, which will see the company invest £10m over five years in food waste reduction efforts. (

France: Monoprix signs licensing deal with Starbucks

Groupe Casino subsidiary Monoprix has announced a licensing deal with Starbucks, that will see concessions of the coffee chain appear in selected stores around France. The first two locations to receive a Starbucks will be Monoprix Beaugrenelle in Paris and in the Monoprix GBL in Lyon. Both are expected to open by the end of 2015. (

ASDA hub sold for £31M

A major Northampton distribution site occupied by supermarket giant Asda has been sold to property investment group Segro for £31m. (

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Walmart needs a 'transformational change' to stop competitors from eating into the largest part of its business
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