US: April strike cost Stop & Shop $345m in net sales
The parent company of Massachusetts-based supermarket chain Stop & Shop says an 11-day strike in April that affected 240 stores in three states cost $345 million in net sales. Dutch company Ahold Delhaize in second-quarter results released Wednesday said the impact of the strike by workers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island on net sales is estimated at $224 million. The company said the sales loss during the recovery period following the strike was estimated to be $121 million.
Source: Boston Globe
US: Ahold Delhaize USA debuts private brand for kids
Retail Business Services, the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, has launched Nature's Promise Kids, a new private brand product line intended for children, that's an extension of the company's Nature's Promise free-from line. The company says products in the line are intended for children ages 4 and up and do not include synthetic colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, sweeteners, MSG and high fructose corn syrup. Food Lion, Giant Food, Giant/Martin's, Hannaford, Peapod and Stop & Shop will all carry the Nature's Promise Kids line. Products will hit stores between now and the end of the year, with the first two products being sparkling water and squeezable fruit pouches.
Source: Progressive Grocer
CANADA: Wholesale local food platform raises $550000 seed round
FreshSpoke, a wholesale local food software platform provider based in Barrie, Ont., has raised a $550,000 seed round. The company said it will use the investment to grow its team, expand its distribution capacity, and evolve its shared commercial delivery system. According to FreshSpoke, it aims to make local food more accessible to businesses, by allowing wholesale buyers to source product directly from local food suppliers, and delivering it using the excess capacity that already exists in commercial delivery. The platform currently works with over 200 suppliers and 500 wholesale buyers that include Sobeys, Whole Foods, Organic Garage as well as independent retailers and foodservice businesses in Ontario and Ohio. FreshSpoke plans to scale to other select regions in Canada and the United States, beginning in early 2020.
US: Ohio store damaged in tornado set to reopen next week
The Beavercreek Aldi store that has been closed since tornadoes seriously damaged the location in late May will reopen next week. The store at 2451 Lakeview Drive will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 15, “a celebration of community perseverance,” according to a statement from Aldi. “We’re pleased to reopen our Beavercreek store after experiencing such a devastating event, and we’re thankful for our employees and trusted business partners who were on site the next day to start the cleanup process,” said Sarah Brown, Aldi Springfield division vice president. “The entire community was affected in one way or another, and it’s encouraging to see how quickly we’ve come together to rebuild.”
Source: Dayton Daily News
US: Giant Eagle announces new tech hub
Giant Eagle has recently announced that it is building a new tech hub in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, which it says will be innovation-focused and e-commerce-charged. The 23,000-square-foot space will employ 150 current and new workers. According to local news source NextPittsburgh, President and CEO Laura Shapira Karet said in a press release, “As the retail industry continues through this amazing period of technological change, we are extremely fortunate to call Pittsburgh—a city with a deep and growing tech talent pool—home, The tech hub will be located at the TechMill 41 development and is slated to open in early 2020.
Source: International Supermarket News
THAILAND: Thai retail chain to double exports of Vietnamese agricultural products
MM Mega Market Vietnam will double its monthly export of Vietnamese agricultural products to Thailand from 100 to 200 tons. Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) MMVN signed with the Ministry of Industry and Trade on Wednesday, the Thai retailer would increase the distribution of Vietnamese goods in Thailand as well as boost their export to other countries like Singapore. MMVN distributes Vietnamese goods in Thailand on the retail network of its sister chain Big C, both owned by Thai food and beverage giant TCC Holdings. Goods typically exported to Big C outlets in Thailand include frozen pangasius, cuttlefish, grapefruit, dragon fruit. In the MOU, the Thai retail chain also pledged to ensure that Vietnamese goods make up at least 90 percent of product codes at its outlets in Vietnam. MMVN has already signed contracts with farmers to ensure supply of Vietnamese goods, including supply contracts for vegetables from the Central Highlands town of Da Lat and fruits from southern Ben Tre province, Pongwatana said.
Source: VN Express
UK: Lidl joins the war on plastic with reusable fruit & veg bags
Lidl has become the latest grocer to introduce reusable fruit and veg bags in its stores across the UK. The German discounter said it aims to reduce plastic packaging by 20 per cent by 2022. Meanwhile, Lidl reported that its initiative to remove all single-use carrier bags from sale in 2017 resulted in 26 million fewer plastic bags being sold annually. Meanwhile, Lidl Ireland has become the first retailer in Ireland to announce the introduction of reusable fruit and veg bags across all 162 stores nationwide. The bags will be available from September.
Source: Retail Gazette
NEW ZEALAND: Countdown set to open first of small Metro stores in December
Supermarket Countdown has secured a site at the Commercial Bay shopping and commercial precinct in downtown Auckland. The supermarket will open its first of a planned string of smaller-format stores at the bottom of the PwC tower in December. Research conducted by the supermarket operator found that 70 per cent of the people surveyed in the CBD wanted to access fresh fruit and vegetables more easily in the city. More than 70 per cent of people said they wanted more snack options and 65 per cent wanted hot lunch meals to takeaway.
Source: New Zealand Herald
FRANCE: Carrefour launches Spanish discounter Supeco in France
In September, French retail giant Carrefour is to open the first two stores of its Spanish discounter Supeco ('supermercado economico' or 'cheap supermarket') in France. The stores will open in Valenciennes, near the Belgian border. Supeco announces itself as a chain that saves money on anything from energy over logistics to decoration. The latter part is obvious in the very rudimentary design of the stores and the presentation of products in boxes and on pallets. Prices are displayed per unit and in bulk: a way for the chain to position itself as a combination of discount and cash & carry, targeting both families and professional customers. Retail expert Olivier Dauvers believes the Supeco stores will mainly be used to replace struggling Carrefour Market stores. The first store is to open on 3 September, followed by a second one 22 days later.
Source: Retail Detail
HONG KONG: Survey finds Hong Kong supermarkets inconsistent in use of plastic wrapping
Hong Kong’s supermarkets are inconsistent in their use of plastic wrapping for produce across their stores and even add extra layers to existing packaging from suppliers, environmental watchdog Greenpeace has found. The findings were made after Greenpeace ran a survey in April which revealed 70 per cent consumers preferred shopping in plastic-free supermarkets. In June, the green group followed up with a survey on the use of plastic wrap for fresh produce and cooked foods at 56 supermarket outlets. It gathered 125 volunteers to count how many layers of plastic were used to wrap fruits, pre-cut fruits, vegetables, bread and cooked food sold in supermarkets. At least half of more than 12,100 products analysed had packaging added in store, said Chan Hall-sion, a Greenpeace campaigner, at a press conference on Wednesday.
Source: South China Morning Post