JTB unit to sell luxury produce from Japan

Aldi's fresh food offer puts heat on Woolworths and Coles

UK: Asda cuts nearly 300 jobs at its head office
Asda has axed nearly 300 jobs at its head office as part of a cost-cutting drive at the supermarket. The grocer, which is owned by Walmart, informed 288 affected staff about the cull on Wednesday afternoon, instructing all of those workers to leave their posts immediately. A further 800 staff have had the scope of their job descriptions changed as part of the shake-up. (theguardian.com

Shoprite first big retailer to run foul of reckless-lending laws
The Shoprite Group is the first large retailer to be found guilty of reckless lending by the national consumer tribunal. The national credit regulator announced on Wednesday that the tribunal had fined Shoprite R1m for entering into credit agreements with consumers without conducting a reasonable and objective assessment of the consumers’ ability to afford the loans. (businesslive.co.za

JTB unit launches website to sell luxury produce from Japan
JTB Western Japan Corp. opened a mail order website on Tuesday to sell luxury food made in Japan for foreign customers. The company, based in Osaka, launched 16 items, including Shine Muscat grapes grown in Okayama Prefecture and Crown Melon produced in Shizuoka Prefecture, on the J’s Agri website for customers in Hong Kong. The unit of major travel agency JTB Corp. plans to expand the number of items on sale and offer similar services for customers in Singapore and Malaysia from November. (the-japan-news.com

Aldi's fresh food offer puts heat on Woolworths and Coles
Aldi's billion-dollar fresh food facelift for its supermarkets is reaping benefits, accelerating its market share growth against Coles and Woolworths and giving it more pricing firepower. That's the view of Morgan Stanley analysts who say Aldi's new store format, which its started rolling out in 2016 and increases floor space dedicated to fresh food from 15 per cent to 25 per cent, had been a "game changer". "Margins tend to be higher in fresh food products which means the success of the refurbishment gives Aldi more dollars to invest in price," analyst Thomas Kierath said. (smh.com.au

AU: Coles tries 30 minute home delivery 
Coles has added another twist to its experiments with online delivery, teaming up with the bicycle-based service Deliveroo to offer 30-minute home deliveries on groceries. The partnership upped the ante last month and is now offering a range of basic groceries for home delivery, including fruit and vegetables. (brisbanetimes.com.au)

Italian Carrefour to sell produce in wooden crates
Carrefour has selected the ‘Marketplace’ crate from Polymer Logistics for deployment in its two newest formats in the market – Market Attrazione 2.0 and Express 3 Minuti. With its wood-look exterior, the Marketplace crate “evokes a farm-fresh ambience that has proven to help boost sales in all formats”. The durable, standardised containers also claim to contribute to reducing product loss and supply chain logistical costs, thus helping retailers to compete successfully in both convenience and value pricing environments. (kamcity.com)

Singapore: NTUC FairPrice to extend support local suppliers
NTUC FairPrice has committed S$1 million to renew a programme which supports local small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), the supermarket chain said on Thursday (Sep 7). First introduced in 2009, the SME Supplier’s Support and Development Programme is available to local suppliers with an annual turnover of less than S$5 million. Under the scheme, suppliers can apply for support such as discounts on listing and processing fees, and to be paid within 30 days instead of the usual 60 days. (channelnewsasia.com)

Ahold Delhaize named sustainability leader
Ahold Delhaize was once again recognized today in the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World), ranking among the industry leaders in the Food and Staples Retailing sector. Ahold Delhaize received a total score of 73 (out of 100), well above the Food and Staples Retailing industry median score of 45. The DJSI World is a key benchmark for investors. (globenewswire.com)

LuLu expands in Indonesia
United Arab Emirates (UEA)-based hypermarket chain LuLu has opened its second store in Indonesia in Serpong, Tangerang, Banten, as part of its plan to further expand its new-found retail business in the country. LuLu is targeting to set up 10 stores in Indonesia by 2019. The next two outlets are expected to open in Sentul and Cikarang, West Java, before mid-2018. (thejakartapost.com

More shoppers head to Whole Foods after Amazon merger
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US: UrthMarket launches ethically sourced grocery delivery service
Online snack subscription service UrthBox is launching an online marketplace, dubbed UrthMarket, later this month, according to Food Navigator. Company spokeswoman Kathy Chang explains that UrthMarket will be “a platform which would allow consumers access to a large selection of healthy, ethically sourced, and GMO-free products in food, beauty, skincare and lifestyle goods.” The UrthMarket model is akin to online retailer Thrive Market, but consumers can expect significant savings because UrthMarket doesn’t require a membership fee. (fooddive.com

Walmart click-and-collect reaches 1,000 stores
Wal-Mart Stores said Wednesday that it would give away Google Home devices to the first 250 shoppers to sign up for its Grocery Pickup service in Seattle, where the company’s 995th to 1,000th U.S. stores to offer the service are going live this week. Walmart said it would celebrate its 1,000th Grocery Pickup opening elsewhere by providing customers nationwide with a $5 promotion code. (supermarketnews.com

CA: Couche Tard beats estimates 
Couche Tard reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday as the world's second biggest convenience store operator benefited from strong motor fuel sales. It's first-quarter net income rose to US$364.7 million from US$322.8 million a year earlier. (bnn.ca

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