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UK: Gousto launches new Alexa skill as the business grows

Hofer named cheapest supermarket in Austria

Profi opens eight new stores in Romania
Romanian supermarket chain Profi has continued to expand its network by opening eight new stores across the country in the past week. With 631 stores in 343 locations across Romania, Profi is the leading grocery retailer in the country in terms of geographical coverage. (

Hofer named cheapest supermarket in Austria
Austrian discounter Hofer has been named as the cheapest supermarket in the country by Austria's consumer association Verein Fur Konsumenteninformation. The association analysed prices in eight domestic food retail chains, comparing 143 every-day products, including low-price, branded, and organic items. (

Coop Switzerland's transgourmet acquires Russian global foods
Coop Switzerland has announced that its wholesale business, Transgourmet Central & Eastern Europe, has acquired Targovy Dom Global Foods. Moscow-based Global Foods is one of the leading companies in the catering supply market in Russia, with an annual turnover of RUB 2 billion. (

UK: Gousto launches new Alexa skill as the business grows
Gousto has launched a new Alexa skill for Amazon Echo devices that gives vocal cooking instructions. It is the first UK meal kit operator to launch an Alexa skill, taking the convenient nature of its meal kit offer one step further. The Alexa skill supports the recipe cards by guiding the Gousto customer through recipes step-by-step, allowing them to cook ‘hands-free’. Customers can also use the Alexa skill to review what is in their box and remind themselves of the recipe orders they have placed for the following week. (

Italy: Decò opens first gourmet store in Sicily
Sicily-based grocery retailer Arena Group has opened the first store of its new format, Gourmet Decò, in Catania. According to the retailer, the new and exclusive format was designed and developed for consumers 'who want to live a healthy lifestyle but who do not want to give up the taste'. The new format’s offer includes fresh produce. (

Lidl targeting Lithuanian cities
Lidl, which recently entered Lithuania is establishing new stores and expanding its presence. ICA has also acknowledged the impact that Lidl is having on its Lithuanian business. Lidl now operates around 30 Lithuanian stores, with the country’s major cities a key focus for store development. (

Retail sales in Romania record highest annual growth in EU
Retail sales in Romania increased by 15.8% in August compared to the same month in 2016. It was the highest annual growth recorded among the EU member states, according to EU’s statistical office Eurostat. The retail trade in EU was influenced by the 3.3% increase in the sales of non-food products, as well as the 1.2% growth in sales of food, beverages and tobacco. (

India: BigBasket in final stages of closing $250-million Series E funding

The country’s largest grocery e-tailer BigBasket is in the final stages of closing $250-$300 million in Series E funding from new and existing investors. According to sources, the new round of funding could take the e-tailer’s valuation to more than double that of its previous valuation of $450 million following its last fund raise of $150 million from the Abraaj Group last March. The six-year-old start-up is also planning to pump in $150 million into its food retail business, which will go into building its private label brands and expanding its farmer connect programme, Hari Menon, co-founder and CEO,, told BusinessLine. He, however, declined to comment on the company’s fresh fund raise efforts. (

Report: Lidl should focus on premium fresh products
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US: Meijer reducing its IT payroll by 400 employees
Meijer is making major cuts in its information technology department, laying off or transferring hundreds of employees. Former employees told 24 Hour News 8 that 400 IT department workers are no longer employed by Meijer. They say 250 contract workers were laid off in July, 75 more were cut in August and another 75 received their notifications this week. (

US: Costco launches new grocery delivery service

Costco is launching CostcoGrocery, a service that will offer two-day delivery on shelf-stable products ordered through its website with free shipping for orders over $75, according to The Wall Street Journal. The announcement came as part of the company’s most recent earnings report, which saw sales of $129 billion on the year, up 8.7% from last year. Costco also announced it is expanding its delivery relationship with Instacart to include more locations and a wider selection of fresh items like meat, eggs and produce. (

Online grocery startup Farmstead uses AI for precision sourcing

Farmstead, an online grocer that delivers local products to consumers and uses artificial intelligence for precision sourcing, has launched in San Francisco, according to a company release. The company has raised $2.8 million in seed funding, and claims that it can deliver local food from "farm to fridge" in 60 minutes. Using proprietary machine learning software, Farmstead can predict a customer’s habits after one order, and will source accordingly from local suppliers. The company also utilizes a series of small warehouses rather than one large facility to fill orders, and maps out “eco-friendly routes” to get orders to customers quickly and efficiently. (

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