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HEB to give stock to employees | Pingo Doce targets 400 stores

Publix sales, profits up | UNFI/Whole Foods extend distribution deal

Israel: Alon Blue Square reaches $223m debt arrangement
Yesterday evening, the management of Alon Holdings Blue Square, controlled by Shraga Biran, which owns troubled supermarket chain Mega, met representatives of its bondholders and its main banks and put together an outline of a debt arrangement that includes deferment by five years of the large majority of its repayments to them. According to the company, the arrangement was formulated "in a way that will enable Blue Square to realize and obtain maximum value for its assets and to meet all its commitments to Mega under the arrangement approved by the court." (

US: UNFI, Whole Foods extend distribution deal
United Natural Foods on Monday said it has reached an agreement to extend its wholesale distribution agreement with Whole Foods Market by five years to Sept. 25, 2025. The prior agreement was to have expired in September 2020. The companies did not reveal additional details of the deal. (

HEB grocery chain to give stock to 55,000 employees

At a time when the plight of low-wage retail workers has gained national attention, San Antonio-based grocery chain HEB is handing an estimated 15% of the company’s shares to employees. The plan is intended to recognize workers’ contributions to the company and enhance their long-term financial stability, said Craig Boyan, HEB’s president and COO. Under the plan, workers are able to cash out when they leave or retire from the company, and will also receive dividends based on the retailer’s earnings. (

Rwandan startup GroceWheels has launched its online grocery delivery service in Kigali

Formed in February, GroceWheels has formally launched after a trial period with 25 customers was successful. For now it only operates in Kigali, but founder and CEO Gael Murara told Disrupt Africa it plans to expand further within Rwanda and elsewhere in Africa. “People don’t easily have access to information on where to find the best products at the best price and they have to make multiple stops to fill a shopping cart,” Murara said on the reason for launching GroceWheels. (

US: Publix sales, profits up

Publix Super Markets Inc. continues to bag big numbers, with sales and profits trending upward in the third quarter. The Lakeland-based grocer said Monday that it saw sales of $7.8bn in the third quarter, up more than 6% from last year's $7.4bn. Its net earnings in the third quarter were up more than 7% from 2014, at $412.3m compared to $384.2m last year. Comparable store sales — a key metric of a retailer's financial health — also rose in the third quarter, up more than 4% compared to 2014. Comparable store sales measure sales at established stores and do not take into account sales growth from new stores. Sales were up for the first nine months of 2015 — $24.1bn, a 6.4% increase from last year’s $22.7bn. Comp store sales for the first nine months of 2015 increased 4.5%. (

French retailer Auchan lands in Hanoi (Vietnam)

France’s leading retail group Auchan will sign a strategic cooperation contract with the Military Petrochemical JSC (Mipec) on November 3 to get its supermarket chain underway in Hanoi. A contract to lease space at the Mipec Long Bien Commercial Center will also be signed. The strategic deal sees Auchan officially arrive in Vietnam’s capital under its plan to launch the Simply Mart supermarket chain in the northern region. According to Mr. Gilbert Infantes from the company’s Executive Board it will continue to expand to 20 Simply Mart supermarkets in Hanoi by 2020. (

Portugal: Pingo Doce targets 400 stores by end-2015
Portuguese supermarket chain Pingo Doce is aiming to close the year with 400 stores, up from the 385 that were in operation at the end of H1 2015. In an interview for daily Diario Economico, the general director of Pingo Doce, Luís Araújo, said that the retailer is focused on organic growth, but is also on the lookout for acquisition opportunities. (

US gets tied up with Japan’s 7-Eleven
US hedge fund Third Point has purchased a stake in the Japanese operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores. Third Point has a reputation for forcefully pushing for change at target firms including Sony. In a letter written in Japanese, to investors, the occasion and amount of the venture and asset, set up by billionaire Daniel Loeb was not mentioned. (

Bosnia Herzegovina/Serbia: Tropic Supermarkets optimize store operations
NCR Corporation announced today that Tropic Supermarkets has chosen NCR and its partner M.A.I. Trade to optimize inventory, and streamline supply chain management as well as store operations across its network in Bosnia Herzegovina and Serbia. By deploying NCR’s Power HQ, Power DAX, and Advanced Retail Solution, Tropic Supermarkets will be able to better manage its product portfolio and pricing, as well as optimize forecasting and inventory replenishment, thus helping to boost overall operational efficiency and profitability. (

India: Flipkart expands grocery delivery service

Flipkart is expanding the reach of its new hyperlocalgrocery delivery service across the city of Bengaluru where the service will be available. (

Disrupter technology keeps Ocado ahead of the game
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Amazon Fresh has got plenty to chew over for its UK launch: It could be competing not only with other grocers, but takeaways too

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