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No more Iowa for Schnucks

Walmart: New partnership with Shopify

Canada: Alberta Safeway workers mulling strike over stalemate in union talks
The union representing Canada Safeway workers in Alberta says it is consulting with its members about a possible strike vote. The contract between Sobeys, which owns the grocery store chain, and its 8,000 workers at 75 Safeway stores in the province expired in 2017. A union official says little progress has been made in talks despite the addition of a government-appointed mediator in February. Michael Hughes, a spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401, says the stalemate is hard to take, since the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a financial boom for grocery stores where workers have been designated as essential.

US: Walmart partners with Shopify to expand its online marketplace
Walmart announced a new partnership with e-commerce shopping platform Shopify, now used by over 1mln businesses. The deal will open Walmart’s Marketplace to Shopify’s small business sellers, with the goal of bringing 1,200 Shopify sellers to the marketplace this year. The partnership will greatly expand the reach of the participating brands by placing them in front of Walmart Marketplace’s 120mln monthly visitors.

US: Schnucks exits the Iowa market
Schnuck Markets Inc. is permanently closing the doors at its Bettendorf, Iowa, store on Sunday, August 16. The 61,000-square-foot location is the Midwest grocer's only store in The Hawkeye State. “Our teammates have put forth a great effort and have been proud to contribute to the Bettendorf community; unfortunately, the store has simply not been profitable”, said Schnucks Chairman and CEO Todd Schnuck. “While this was not a decision we made lightly, we know our teammates’ contributions - as individuals and as a team - will be long remembered among their loyal Schnucks customers in the area”.

US: Whole Foods, Costco, Trader Joe’s most trusted on health and safety
According to global research firm Ipsos’ “Consumer Health & Safety Index”, Whole Foods Market, Costco and Trader Joe’s have emerged as the retailers most trusted by consumers to protect customers and associates from becoming ill from the coronavirus. The ongoing health-and-safety benchmarking study evaluates how retailers in seven industries are operating amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Holland: Ahold Delhaize publishes inaugural Human Rights Report
Ahold Delhaize announced the publication of its inaugural Human Rights Report. The report is an important milestone to show what steps Ahold Delhaize and its great local brands are taking to safeguard human rights, both within the organization and across the supply chain, as well as increase transparency on the highest priority human rights issues for Ahold Delhaize and its brands.

Gruppo PAM extends Italian footprint with RetailPro
Gruppo PAM has partnered with RetailPro to bring the PAM store banner to Italy’s Campania region. The agreement, signed by Gruppo PAM subsidiary PAM Franchising, will see the opening of 100 stores in southern Italy in January 2021 and the creation of 3,000 jobs during the 2020-2021 period. RetailPro is a newly-established retail investment business, of which which Gruppo PAM is an active partner and shareholder.

UK: Costcutter’s new stores programme ‘thriving’ through Covid-19
Costcutter says it has continued to attract independent retailers and open new stores throughout the Coronavirus crisis. The symbol group is sharing its partners’ success stories and plans for further store openings on its corporate website, including Birmingham store owner Shahih Ahmed, who switched his Crankhall Lane forecourt store to Costcutter in March. He has seen daily footfall triple to 1,000 and weekly sales grow from £5,000 to £30,000 and now plans to convert his other two stores to Costcutter later this year.

Spain: LCN Capital Partners signs an agreement with Mercadona to buy 36 of its supermarkets
An international fund has closed its first operation in the Spanish real estate market, which is still suffering from the hangover caused by the effects of Covid-19. The fund LCN Capital Partners has signed a pre-agreement with Mercadona to acquire a portfolio of 36 supermarkets, which the company led by Juan Roig put on the market in March, according to sources close to the operation speaking to As this newspaper reported, Mercadona had reached an agreement with an international fund to exclusively negotiate the sale of this portfolio of 36 commercial establishments, spread across 13 autonomous regions, after ruling out various offers from other domestic and international investors.

UK: Amazon and Tesco to benefit most from recent changes in shopper behaviour
Analysts at insights firm Edge by Ascential have updated their pre-existing forecasts to account for the significant long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic on consumer shopping behaviours and preferences. The recent surge in online shopping caused by the crisis is expected to add an extra £5.3bln to UK e-commerce sales this year. Prior to the pandemic, analysts had expected the e-commerce market to grow 11% to £73.6bln during 2020. However, online sales are now on track to grow 19% to £78.9bln. Amazon looks set to benefit the most from this increase in demand with it likely to add an extra £2bln in UK sales, totalling £31.1bln by the end of 2020. This is up from analysts’ previous forecast of £29.1bln. However, Tesco will still generate the most revenue in the retail sector in 2020, with gross sales forecast to rise by an extra £1.7bln to reach a total of £61.1bln, up from previous predictions of £59.4bln. This is followed by Sainsbury’s, which is on track to add an extra £0.6bln in sales to reach £31bln (from £30bln) by the end of the year.

Irish same-day grocery delivery startup Buymie raises €5.8mln in fresh funding
Dublin, Ireland-based Buymie, a same-day grocery delivery company, has secured an extra €5.8mln, bringing total capital raised this year alone to over €8mln. The cash infusion is meant to support Buymie’s rapid expansion across the UK (where it has just recently launched in Bristol) and its home base of Ireland as the coronavirus pandemic has spurred demand for fast delivery services in generally, and particularly for food and groceries. It is also going to support the startup’s expansion of its partner network - it already has partnerships with retail partners such as Lidl and The Co-op - and to fend off the likes of Amazon. This new round was led by an equally new investor into the startup: Wheatsheaf Group, the food and agriculture investment arm of the Grosvenor Estate, and joined by prior backers Act Venture Capital, Sure Valley Ventures, Haatch Ventures, and HBAN.

India: Safal partners with Zomato to deliver fruits, veggies to your doorstep
Mother Dairy-owned Safal brand has partnered with food aggregator Zomato to deliver fruits and vegetables to customers’ doorstep. “In the initial phase, key locations of Delhi-NCR like Saket, Vasant Kunj, Dwarka, Janakpuri and Panchsheel Enclave in Delhi and Sector 50 and sector 29 in Noida will be covered”, Pradipta Sahoo, Business Head - Safal, Mother Dairy Fruits & Vegetables Pvt Ltd, said in a statement. The company looks to scale up operations pan-Delhi in the coming time. The currently operational Safal booths will for now cater to locations within the radius of 10 km each and the customers can place orders for Safal products via Zomato application.

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