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ICA Gruppen in talks with IKI | Kaufland to support Romanian farms

Metcash hurt by discounters | Sainsbury's asks for help from farms

Japan: Vegetable delivery services see jump in demand -
Vegetable delivery services are increasingly drawing attention in Japan as unfavorable weather causes prices to rise. Vegetables handled by delivery firms are somewhat expensive because they are procured at preset prices from farmers. But sales are expanding as the gaps between their prices and the prices of vegetables sold at supermarkets and other stores narrow. (

Metcash hurt by intense competition
Food and grocery wholesaler Metcash's earnings have taken a hit from intense price competition and Aldi's expansion into South Australia and Western Australia. Metcash's profit tumbled 38.6% to $75m for the six months to October 31, as its core supermarket business suffered an 8% fall in underlying earnings to $84.5m. Wholesale sales declined 4% due to independent retailers selling and closing stores, Woolworths cutting prices and Aldi's expansion beyond the eastern states, chief executive Ian Morrice said. (

China: Tmall and promote Ecuadorian mangoes

For the first time in China, mango lovers will be able to purchase Ecuadorian mangoes online. The tropical fruit's entry into the Chinese market was signaled by the November 15 launch of a big Ecuadorian mango promotion campaign between Ecuador and Chinese online shopping platforms and Tmall in Shanghai. (

UK: Sainsbury's asks for help from farmers

Sainsbury’s is asking its farmers and growers to help it become more ‘distinctive’ in an attempt to fend off increasing competition from its rivals. (

Mercadona to invest $50m in Portuguese suppliers
Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona purchased €35m of products from Portuguese suppliers in the nine months leading up to September, Portugal's Dinheiro Vivo reported last week. However, this figure is likely to surpass €50m for the full year, Elena Aldana, director of external relations for Mercadona in Portugal, told the publication. Although the Spanish company has yet to open its first supermarkets in Portugal (expected in 2019), it has a long-standing relationship with Portuguese suppliers for its 1,574 stores over the border. (

Mercator revenue and profit drops in 9M

Slovenian retailer Mercator has reported a drop in both revenue and net profit for the first nine months of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015. Revenues amounted to €1.89bn (-3.3%), while net profit was €8.2m, down by around three-quarters on the same period last year. The revenue decline was the highest in Croatia (-8.3%), due to the closure of the entire market program in June 2015 as a result of market consolidation within the Agrokor Group, while revenues in Montenegro increased by 9.8%. (

ICA Gruppen confirms potential acquisition of IKI
Swedish retailer ICA Gruppen said that it was in talks with Lithuania's Palink over a potential acquisition of its IKI chain in a statement on Friday, confirming local news reports. It emphasised that no agreement had been made and that any further information would be published when available. Palink is the second largest food retailer in Lithuania, while ICA Gruppen is the fourth largest. A merger of the two could raise some antitrust issues in some states, according to Barclay Capital Inc. (

Big supermarkets to buy direct from PH onion farmers
Five of the country's biggest supermarket chains yesterday committed to buy direct from onion and garlic farmers in what could be the start of the struggle to dismantle cartels controlling these important commodities in the country. SM, Rustan's, Mindanao-based NCCC Mall, ShopWise and SaveMore will now source their garlic and onion supplies from the Filipino farmers. (

Dutch SPAR to launch on Texaco petrol forecourts
Mirroring steps taken by Albert Heijn earlier in 2016, it has been announced that the SPAR Express brand will be opened as part of a trial on three Texaco forecourts in January 2017. After the initial launch, two more will be opened to expand its trial to five stores. (

Les Mousquetaires celebrates 25 years in Portugal
French retailer Les Mousquetaires is celebrating 25 years in Portugal, where it now has 308 stores with a total surface of 365,000 square metres. The 2015-2020 expansion plan foresees the opening of 63 stores by 2020 and the investment of €200m. (

French Franprix wins ‘Janus du Commerce 2016’ award
French retailer Franprix has received the prestigious Janus du Commerce award from the French government for its ‘Mandarine’ store format. Judges lauded the outlets’ aesthetic qualities, traditional epicerie feel, and convivial nature, complemented by juice bars and well-lit, comfortable shopping spaces. (

Kaufland to support Romanian farmers

German retailer Kaufland, the largest player in the Romanian retail market, together with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), member of the World Bank Group, will financially support 15 Romanian vegetable and fruit producers in obtaining the most prestigious international quality and food safety certification, GLOBAL G.A.P. (

Danish supermarket offers fresh take on expired food
A supermarket in Copenhagen selling surplus food has proved to be so popular it recently opened a second store. After launching in the gritty inner city district of Amager earlier this year, the “Wefood” project earlier this month drew a long line as it opened a second branch in Norrebro, a trendy neighbourhood popular with left-leaning academics and immigrants. (

Major reasons why Alibaba is investing in physical supermarkets
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Fresh food is key to grocery success
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