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Waitrose delivers solid H1 sales

HelloFresh to chop vegetables for customers

South Korea's Lotte to sell China stores
South Korea's Lotte Group is to sell some of its Chinese stores in the face of crippling measures imposed by Beijing over a US missile defence system, it said on Friday (Sept 15) - and could dispose of them all. Lotte provided a golf course to Seoul for the THAAD missile-interception system installed by South Korea and the US to defend against the North's missile threats. (

HelloFresh to chop vegetables for customers
Meat kit company HelloFresh has launched 20-Minute Meals, according to a company statement. The new kits will cut down on prep-time and clean up, and are in addition to HelloFresh’s standard kits that require more user prep. The new recipes are in response to customer interest in quicker and simpler kits. Too much time spent chopping vegetables and cleaning dishes has been a common complaint. (

UK: Waitrose delivers solid H1 sales
The John Lewis Partnership reported gross sales growth of 2.3% for both Waitrose and John Lewis in the first half of the year. Waitrose sales increased 2.3% to £3.3bn, underpinned by like-for-likes of 0.7%. Operating profit declined -17.4% to £100.8m. This reflects exchange rate driven increase in cost prices, putting pressure on margin. (

Kenya: Nakumatt and Uchumi take lion’s share of supplier debt
The top five largest retail chains in Kenya owed suppliers at least Sh700mln (€ 5.7mln), which was 83% of the total debts outstanding by the end of last year, a report shows. According to the report released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the five retailers accounted for 92% of the debt owed for 60 days or more. It says the two most troubled supermarkets, Nakumatt and Uchumi, alone accounted for 73% of the debt, making the two the worst nightmare for suppliers. (, Thai retailer Central Group form $500mln e-commerce JV Inc and top Thai retailer Central Group will form a $500mln joint venture in e-commerce and financial technology, the companies said, as China’s second biggest e-commerce company seeks to boost its presence in Southeast Asia. (Reuters)

Irish Dunnes Stores undergoes operational changes
Irish retailer Dunnes Stores is undergoing its 'biggest change in more than a generation', according to the Irish Independent, as CEO Margaret Heffernan appoints her daughter Anne Heffernan and niece Sharon McMahon as company directors. (

German Metro launches 'Unboxed' exhibition in Düsseldorf
German wholesale and retail company Metro has announced that it is launching an interactive exhibition, 'Metro Unboxed', in the centre of Düsseldorf. The temporary exhibition, which runs until 2 October, will give visitors a chance to try international specialities from the countries that Metro operates in, such as Japanese sea greens. (

New My Auchan store concept launched in Moscow
Auchan will consolidate its 29 own-brand product range in its Russian operation under the Auchan umbrella brand. The process will involve 3,300 SKUs across 400 suppliers over a period of two years. This emphasises Auchan’s private label credentials, demonstrating value and is part of Auchan global strategy to standardise its range more. (

Rusian Magnit launches “Magnit Family” supermarket concept
Magnit has opened its first, "Magnet Family" new supermarket concept in central Moscow to be rolled out in all new store openings. Magnit Family will stock an assortment of 9,000 SKUs with more sales area given to fresh food, alcoholic drinks, and beauty products. (

UK: Morrisons to supply revived Safeway brand to McColl’s
The new Safeway range will include more than 400 fresh, frozen and ambient food products, which Morrisons has been developing since the end of 2016. McColl’s will have exclusive access to the range for one year. The revived Safeway brand will start appearing on own-brand packs in 1,000 McColl’s convenience stores from January next year, supermarket giant Morrisons has announced. (

CA: Sobeys sprouts green shoots of recovery
Sobeys reported an improved performance in Q1 as it starts to put elements of its turnaround plan, Project Sunrise, into action. First quarter sales increased by 1.4% to $6.3bn, with same-store sales up 0.5%. Adjusted net earnings increased by 18.9% to $87.5m. These results reflect an improved performance at the retailer, following five successive quarters of negative same-store sales growth. Inflation played a role at 0.5%, but the business also saw an improvement in western Canada and within its discount operation. (

CA: Sobeys: Making progress, still work to do
Sobeys Inc. is making progress in its turnaround efforts after a troubled few years but still has work to do to fully revive its grocery operations. "You won't be hearing any champagne corks popping over here," Michael Medline, CEO of parent Empire Co. Ltd., told an analyst conference call on Thursday after posting better-than-expected quarterly results. "We still have significant work to do in all facets of our business." (

US: Costco's Kirkland Signature growth pressures name brands
Costco's Kirkland Signature private label generates about a quarter of the wholesaler's $118.7bln in annual sales, a percentage company executives expect to grow, according to The Wall Street Journal. (

US: Publix earns inaugural FMI Food Safety Innovation Award
Publix Super Markets has been named the first recipient of Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) inaugural Food Safety Innovation Award for demonstrating a commitment to the advancement of food protection through performance, practice, creation, sustainability and leadership. The award recognizes companies “that have made an innovative contribution and commitment to food safety.” (

US: Lidl confirms Alabama target
Lidl is in the early stages of planning stores in Alabama, a spokesman confirmed to SNThursday. Decatur, Ala., Mayor Tab Bowling in a Facebook post Wednesday night said Lidl would build its first Alabama store in that city. “The ripple effect is tremendous for Decatur,” he said. (

US: ShopRite’s adding more organic produce
ShopRite is adding to its Wholesome Pantry line of affordably priced organic and better-for-you products. The new offerings span the fresh produce, grocery and dairy categories. (

US: United Natural Foods reports strong sales 
United Natural Foods Inc. reported net sales of $2.34bln in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, a 5.7% increase over the same period last year, according to a company release. On the year, UNFI reported $9.27bln in net sales, up 9.5% from last year. (

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