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Amazon builds up pressure on UK grocers with pantry service

Albert Heijn's fresh products boost Ahold's performance

Chinese biggest supermarket to acquire Matsusei
The nation's largest grocery store Pxmart will acquire Matsusei Supermarket at a price tag of NT$450m, giving it over 800 stores nationwide. The deal was announced by Matsusei's parent company Wei Chuan Foods Corporation on Thursday. The deal is still pending the Fair Trade Commission's review. Wei Chuan held a board meeting yesterday afternoon to deliberate the takeover deal. It was decided later that all the asset and equipment belonging to Matsusei's 65 stores will be ceded to Pxmart. The logo and brand name of Matsusei will also be passed to Pxmart. The inventory is not part of the acquisition deal, however. (chinapost.com.tw)

Amazon builds up pressure on UK grocers with pantry service

Amazon.com is giving Britain’s embattled UK supermarkets another challenge by introducing a grocery service for members of its Prime service. Amazon Pantry, which debuted in the US about 18 months ago, will be available across the UK from today, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant said in a statement Friday. The online site will offer more than 4,000 everyday essential items from beer to pet food. The move will provide a fresh source of concern for established supermarket chains. (esmmagzine.com)

US: Safeway dropping $350m deal with Theranos
The Cincinnati region’s first 365 by Whole Foods Market store will be part of Kenwood Collection. The new grocery store concept from Whole Foods Market Inc. will lease a 30,000-square-foot space and is expected to open in 2017. (techtimes.com)

SpartanNash: Low inflation woes may continue
A low inflationary environment and sales challenges resulting from cannibalization and new competition triggered third-quarter financial results that came in below expected ranges from SpartanNash, the company said Thursday. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based distributor said consolidated sales of $1.8bn decreased by 1.2%, with retail sales falling by 2.8% and distribution sales dipping by 0.3%. Net earnings for the period, ending Oct. 10, were down 10% to $15.4m, although adjusted for merger-related costs and for continuing operations, earnings increased to $18.6m. (supermarketnews.com)

Albert Heijn's fresh products boost Ahold's performance
Ahold's Q3 results were excellent, with mainly the 4 % like-for-like turnover growth in the Netherlands as a remarkable stand-out figure. In the Netherlands, its Q3 net turnover grew 7.4 % compared to 2014's Q3. Ahold explains the impressive 4 % like-for-like turnover growth by pointing out the Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn handled more transactions and sold higher volumes in this past quarter, particularly when it comes to fresh products. (retaildetail.eu)

Fruit carts are killing New York supermarket business

Fruit carts are killing business for local supermarkets by setting up outside their doors — forcing some stores to lay off workers to make up for the lost income, according to the owner of Gristedes. Fruit carts have set up shop outside at least half of the Gristedes stores in the city and is costing the chain $7,000 a week in produce sales, according to owner John Catsimatidis. (dnainfo.com)

UK: Morrisons loses pay fighter Johanna Waterous

Johanna Waterous, who led the fight against Dalton Philips' bonus, is leaving the supermarket while Post Office boss Paula Vennells is joining the board. (telegraph.co.uk)

UK: Ocado to increase local distribution hubs on urban fringe

Ocado is planning to extend their list of a dozen local distribution hubs on the urban fringe as they step up their last-mile logistics infrastructure. The online grocery business, which has partnership deals with Morrisons and John Lewis, is understood to be looking for 2-3 acre sites within reach of larger centres of population. The sites will take smallish warehouses – perhaps up to 30,000 sq ft – along with parking and care for the local fleet of delivery vans. (shdlogistics.com)

Choppies enters Kenya with Ukwala acquisition

Botswana-based Choppies has acquired Kenya-based Ukwala Supermarkets, marking the former’s entry into the competitive market. Choppies first announced its intention to buy Ukwala in May, but has now completed the majority of legal requirements needed to purchase the retailer, for US$10m. (igd.com)

Choppies says it buys 75% locally in Zimbabwe

Separately, Choppies has said that it is buying an increasing share of its range locally for its stores in Zimbabwe. Discussing the evolution of its buying in the country, the retailer’s director for the country, Siqokoqela Mphoko, said that since entering the country two years ago, it had switched from importing 90% of its range to buying 75% locally, with only a handful of products being imported in 2015. Choppies planned to maintain the store opening programme and is aiming to operate 29 by the end of 2015. (igd.com)

Zimbabwe: Meikles Mega Market to grow in importance

Zimbabwe-based Meikles has said that it is aiming for its Meikles Mega Market fascia to account for 15% of group revenues as it continues to add stores under the banner. The company has said that it is investing US$1.6m in new stores, which it was hoping would enable it to operate 16 outlets by the end of its financial year in March 2016. (igd.com)

AU: Coal prices hurting Coles' parent company
Coles' parent company Wesfarmers says that ongoing investment in lowering food and grocery prices and better customer services were increasing transaction volumes and leading to bigger basket sizes. However the industrial division, which includes coal mines, is under pressure largely due to weak coal export prices, Mr Goyder told shareholders at Wesfarmers' annual general meeting on Thursday. (adelaidenow.com.au)

US: Safeway dropping $350m deal with Theranos
A report from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) claims that American supermarket chain Safeway is dropping a $350m deal with Theranos, a private medical-laboratory services firm based in California. (techtimes.com)

AU: Four Countdown supermarkets put up for sale
Four Countdown supermarkets from Auckland to Wellington are up for grabs - a portfolio thought to be worth more than $42m. The four supermarkets - in Dargaville, Auckland, Tauranga and Wellington - are owned and operated by retail giant Progressive Enterprises. This comes after the announcement that 19 supermarket sites - thought to be worth more than $200m - were put on the market. (stuff.co.nz)

US: HEB is going head-to-head with Walmart and Amazon
On Thursday, the regional grocer started selling 50,000 items on HEB.com, including food, health and beauty, household items, electronics, toys and pets supplies. However, H-E-B won’t be shipping fresh foods and produce. (dallasnews.com)

Publix among largest private companies in the U.S.

Publix Super Markets is one of the nation's top 15 privately-held companies. That's according to PrivCo, which released its latest ranking of the 100 largest private companies in the U.S. this week. Cargill Inc. — which provides food, agricultural, financial and industrial products — topped this year's list after generating more than $134bn in revenue last year. (theledger.com)

How Sprouts is winning the natural food battle
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