Grocery prices will continue to skyrocket in Canada

Ocado sales rise 13% | Dirtiest in supermarket: fruit and veg (study)

AU: Woolies pressured suppliers for $60m: ACCC
Australia's competition regulator on Thursday said it has launched court proceedings against Woolworths Ltd, saying a request for funds from suppliers by the country's biggest supermarket chain amounted to "unconscionable conduct". The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said Woolworths sought about A$60.2m in "payments" from suppliers to help narrow a shortfall in earnings, under a scheme the supermarket called Mind the Gap. The agency said the scheme was approved by senior management, involved 821 suppliers, and was in contravention of consumer law. It said it was seeking an injunction requiring Woolworths refund suppliers and pay related costs. Woolworths denied any wrongdoing. "Not agreeing to a payment would be seen as not supporting Woolworths," the ACCC said in a statement. (Reuters)

Canadian grocery prices will continue to skyrocket next year

For the fourth year in a row, the increase in food prices is expected to outpace inflation next year. The rise will cost the average Canadian household an additional $345 in 2016. The Food Price Report 2016 released Wednesday predicts food inflation rates to rise by between 2 and 4%. The price of meat, fruits, vegetables and nuts will lead the price increases. The cost of dairy, eggs and grains will largely remain stable, predicted to see the most modest increases, or none at all. (globalnews.ca)

Lidl to launch in Serbia in 2016

After much speculation on when Lidl will launch its first stores in Serbia, the discounter has revealed that the construction of its first outlet should be ready by the end of March 2016 in the city of Smederevo. (igd.com)

UK: 4,000 Morrisons staff now seeking payout over data leak
Thousands of employees supermarket chain Morrisons have issued demands for compensation over what is believed to be Britain’s biggest ever data security claim. The development follows a High Court ruling allowing them to pursue a group claim against the retailer for failing to prevent the bank, salary and National Insurance details of almost 100,000 members of staff being posted on the internet by an employee with a grudge. (yorkshirepost.co.uk)

South Africa’s retail sales growth expected to exceed forecast
South Africa’s inflation rate recorded its highest points in four months. The retail sales growth is expected to exceed the forecast, thanks to the record inflation rate.The data was released by Statistics South Africa. The inflation rose for the second straight month in succession, after unexpected retail growth in October. (internationalsupermarketnews.com)

UK: Trouble for Tesco as shares close at 18 year lows

At the close of trading, shares in Tesco stood at 153p each, valuing the retailer at £12.6bn. That marks a new low for this year, and indeed the lowest the shares have closed since October 1997. (telegraph.co.uk)

UK: Dirtiest place in supermarket: fruit and veg (study)

A number of studies have revealed that ATM machines, conveyor belts, fruit and vegetables, and packaged raw meat all contain a high number of germs spread because of the number of people that come in contact with them. Fruit is often touch to check its ripeness. Fruits or vegetables with dents and bruising can be an entry point for pathogens, according to an article in the Denvor Post. Germs that enter a tiny pore can end up contaminating a large area of food. (dailymail.co.uk)

Lidl implements new store concept in Croatia
German discounter Lidl has commenced the introduction of a new concept store format in Croatia. Over €13m has been invested to roll out the new design across two new stores, located in Dubrava (Zagreb) and Zaprešić, taking the discounter's store count in the country to 88. (esmmagazine.com)

Turkish retail sales volumes increase 1.4%
According to Turkstat, retail sales volumes increased 1.4% in October in comparison with the previous month, reports haberturk.com. In the same month food and drink sales increased 0.2%, non-food sales (excluding automotive fuel) increased by 2.7%, automotive fuel sales by 0.2%. Sales over the internet decreased by 0.8%. In comparison with October 2014, the volume of retail sales increased by 3.4%, food and drink sales by 8.6%, non-food sales (excluding automotive fuel) decreased by 1.1% and fuel sales increased by 7%.

Asda CEO Andy Clarke reflects on ‘Project Renewal’
Ahead of the IGD Asda Trade Briefing in March 2016, Andy Clarke has spoken of Asda's long-term plan to rediscover sustainable sales growth. Clarke reiterated the acceleration of the “permanent structural change” which has gripped the grocery sector, to which he believes very few businesses are immune. The impact of these challenging trading conditions to Asda is well documented, but despite this, Clarke believes that Asda is operating “on solid financial foundations” and with a “coherent, long-term plan to redefine value retailing.” Supplier relationships are an important part of this future: “As valued partners, we’ll only win in this market when we work together to change the way we do business and give today’s customers what they want.” (kamcity.com)

7-Eleven says 90% of stores now operating under new franchising model
7-Eleven has claimed 90% of its stores are now trading under its new franchising agreement. The new, three-tiered agreement offers a 50-50 profit split between 7-Eleven franchisees and head office for stores with a gross profit of up to $500,000 a year. Those earning up to $1m are to give 53% of their profits to 7-Eleven head office, while stores earning more than $1m will have a 44-56% profit share arrangement with the parent company. (smartcompany.com.au)

Asda takes another 124 Carrier fridge units for trailer fleet
Supermarket chain Asda has taken delivery of 124 Vector 1950 MT trailer refrigeration units, from Carrier Transicold, following the success of 20 Gray & Adams double-deck trailers using the same fridges that went into service in 2014. (transportengineer.org.uk)

US: Kroger wants online grocery shopping in metro Atlanta
Kroger hopes to expand its online grocery service to metro Atlanta. The grocery chain has introduced "ClickList" shopping in select cities, including Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Nashville. Currently, the service is not offered in Georgia. (wsbradio.com)

UK: Ocado sees retail sales rise 13% in Q4
Online-only retailer Ocado saw its gross retail sales rise by 13% to £351.8m in the fourth quarter, according to a trading statement issued today (10 December). Average orders per week have risen 15.8% to 205,000 in the 16 week period to 29 November, the company said in the statement. In its full year results, Ocado saw a 17.3% rise in group sales, to £1.2bn, and a 14.7% rise in retail sales to £1.12bn. "We are pleased to report the thirteenth consecutive quarter of double-digit sales growth in what is a challenging and competitive grocery retail environment,” said Tim Steiner, Ocado CEO. (esmmagazine.com)

Walmart enters mobile payment as first US retailer
Walmart Stores Inc said it would launch 'Walmart Pay,' to become the first U.S. retailer to offer its own payment feature to expand consumer payment options and increase the speed of checkouts. Walmart Pay will be available on devices using Apple's iOS or Alphabet Inc's, Android operating system and allows payments with any major credit, debit, pre-paid or Walmart gift cards, the company said. It will also allow for the integration of other payment options such as mobile wallets in the future. (Reuters)

Freshop's grocery e-commerce platform chosen as a partner provider for AWG retailers
Freshop, Inc., a comprehensive grocery e-commerce solution, was recently chosen as a technology solution and provider for members of Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG). With more than 600 member-owners and 3,400 retail outlets in 31 states, AWG is the second largest retailer-owned grocery cooperative in the US. “We know consumers are looking for a different way to shop for groceries,” said Kate Favrow, AWG Corporate Marketing Manager. “AWG’s partnership with Freshop allows our retailers to meet that consumer desire while staying true to their established brand.” (Freshop)

Sobeys integration of Safeway grocery stores has been challenging, CEO says
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