Grocers Aldi and Woolworths to Amazon: BRING IT ON -
When news broke yesterday that US internet giant Amazon would “destroy” Australian retailersnext year, armed with a fresh food catalogue, the gauntlet was laid down to the local supermarket chains. Woolworths and Aldi have now responded, welcoming Amazon to Australia — and calling “game on” for the new grocery landscape. “Australians are keen for an alternative place to shop and Aldi believes that greater competition in the grocery market is in the best interest of consumers. We accept competition as a healthy part of the retail landscape,” an Aldi Australia spokesperson told Business Insider. Please, click here to read how Woolworths and Coles responded. (Business Insider)

UK: M&S expected to announce closure of up to 30 stores
Marks & Spencer is expected to announce the closure of up to 30 stores next week as part of an attempt to revive the British retailer. Smaller outlets in flagging towns and shopping centres are likely to form the bulk of the closures, and other stores could be relocated or downsized over several years, potentially leading to thousands of job losses. (

Germany’s favorite grocery stores

Aldi Süd customers are the most satisfied with their price-levels. In the category performance, measured by range, quality and service, customers favored Globus. This supermarket chain also comes in first place, together with Kaufland, when price and performance perception are combined. (

Aldi will launch Chinese web shop
German discounter Aldi wants to conquer China, starting with the launch of a Chinese web shop. This will however mean competing with local giants Alibaba and The new web shop will be supplied by its Australian subsidiary Aldi Stores. Several of its Australian suppliers have already been informed, giving them time to alter the labels and packaging wherever necessary. (

GMA to fight largest campaign finance penalty in U.S. history

The Grocery Manufacturers Association has vowed to correct the “injustice” of being ordered to pay $18m — the largest campaign finance penalty in U.S. history — for violating Washington state’s campaign finance laws during its opposition to a ballot initiative related to GMO disclosure. “GMA believes there is no basis in law or fact to support this unprecedented, inequitable and clearly excessive penalty — nearly 18 times higher than any other Washington State public disclosure fine,” said GMA in a statement. (

SpartanNash acquires Caito Foods Service

SpartanNash and Caito Foods Service announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement, under which SpartanNash will acquire certain assets of Caito Foods Service (“Caito”) and Blue Ribbon Transport (“BRT”). Under the terms of the agreement, SpartanNash will acquire Caito’s produce distribution business, fresh cut fruits and vegetables business, the company’s newly constructed Fresh Kitchen facility, which is designed to process and package fresh-prepared foods, and the logistics business of BRT. (

Walmart to double locally grown fruit
Walmart President and CEO, Doug McMillon, detailed Friday the elements of the company’s latest sustainability agenda, in the effort to usher in a “new era of trust and transparency.” The sustainability agenda will include doubling sales of locally grown produce by 2025 and expanding sustainable sourcing to cover 20 key staple items, including bananas and grapes according to the company. (

Italians shunning hypermarkets in favour of superstores, study finds

Italians are increasingly shunning hypermarkets, preferring the simplicity of neighbourhood stores and superstores, an industry study has found. An Ipsos survey for the Italian Brands Association (Centromarca) has revealed a lessening appeal among consumers for hypermarkets. The popularity of discounters is also waning, the same study found – despite the savings offered. The perfect format in the eyes of consumers, the study found, is the so-called superstore (medium to large supermarkets) with clear signage and accessible lanes. (

Italian retailer Conad bets on premium and healthy products

Italian retailer Conad has opted to invest in product categories offering higher margins, such as premium and healthy-eating, in an attempt to deal with a current period of stagnating sales. The company recently introduced new product lines, such as Verso Natura, targeted at customers looking for bio, eco, vegan and fair trade products. (

US: Mrs. Green's supply woes continue

The bare shelves plaguing Mrs. Green's Natural Market stores — an issue company officials had hoped to have solved already — have since worsened, leading some industry observers to conclude vendors were fearful of the company filing for bankruptcy. (

Grocery retailers ‘don’t make the right pricing decisions’, study finds

A study of 750 retail managers and directors in the UK has found that many feel that they are not making the right pricing decisions for their customers. The study, carried out by Blue Yonder, a provider of predictive applications for retail, found that 52% of senior managers confirmed they have invested in price optimisation in the last two years, with 25% saying they feel they need better price optimisation in their businesses. In addition, less than half (46%) of retail managers say they base price on external factors, such as competitor pricing, while 27% of prices are set manually by managers. (

Lidl launches own-label, free-from, organic range in Italy

Lidl has launched an own-label range of free-from and organic products in Italy, comprising more than 60 products inclusing fresh products. The discount retailer said the new lines have "have been developed in order to cater for all our customers' needs due to an increase in food allergies and the fact more and more customers have developed an interest in a healthy and environmentally-friendly diet". (

AU: Aldi hires new media agency

Aldi has dropped its media partner of 14 years, an agency called Maxus, and has instead chosen ZenithOptimedia. The move is seen as part of the retail giant's ongoing plan to win the wallet of more Australians. Aldi is keeping its creative partner, BMF. The change in media agency suggests Aldi wants to get even more bang from its advertising spend, which hit $42m last year. (

Sprouts offers one-stop organic offerings for holiday season
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Whole Foods shareholder said planning push for changes, sale
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Kroger exec on Roundy’s: ‘We’re shining up a slightly tarnished star’ — Here's how
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