US: Walmart to hear from 850 entrepreneurs in the October virtual Open Call
Walmart has narrowed the field of prospective suppliers down to 850 participants for this year’s virtually conducted Open Call slated for October 1. The retailer sifted through more than 4,800 product pitches this year, a 44% increase from the number of submissions last year. COVID-19 forced Walmart to conduct the annual event virtually and it was pushed back to October from June. Participants this year come from 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia and Mozambique. The businesses selected to participate in Open Call will have a 30-minute virtual one-one-one pitch meeting and their chance to “realize the American Dream”, Walmart said in a news release.
US: Whole Foods to offer pickup from nearly all of its stores by end of month
Whole Foods Market plans to offer grocery pickup from 480 stores by the end of this month, a company spokesperson said. The natural foods retailer has tripled its pickup availability since March as e-commerce demand has soared during the pandemic, the spokesperson noted. Last December, the grocer only offered pickup at around 80 stores. Whole Foods currently has over 500 stores, including 487 in the U.S., according to the company’s webpage. It also offers two-hour grocery delivery in more than 2,000 cities and towns.
US: Hung Vuong chain brings its biggest supermarket to Cherry Hill
The recently opened supermarket at Brace Road is the first in South Jersey for Hung Vuong, which has three locations in Philadelphia and is preparing another in Allentown, Pennsylvania. At about 62,000 square feet, it’s the largest market for the 16-year-old chain, said store spokeswoman Jessie Hu. A wide-ranging produce section at the Asian market includes durian, mangosteen, jackfruit and rambutan.
Amazon opens second Go Grocery store
Amazon’s latest Go Grocery store opened Wednesday in Redmond, Washington, a company spokesperson said in an email. With a selling floor size of approximately 7,350 square feet, the store offers a selection of hot foods prepared in a back-of-house kitchen, Just Walk Out technology and an onsite Amazon Hub Locker+ where shoppers can pick up or return Amazon orders.
US: Walmart piloting drone delivery
Walmart is partnering with Flytrex to pilot drone delivery for grocery and household essential items. The pilot is taking place in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The goal of is to take learnings which could form the basis of a larger-scale drone delivery programme. The drones, which are controlled over the cloud using a smart and easy control dashboard, will provide insight into the customer and associate experience, from picking and packing to take-off and delivery.
US: Rouses teams up with Produce for Kids
Rouses Markets has joined the Produce for Kids initiative, with the aim of teaching shoppers the advantages of healthy eating while supporting local Feeding America member food banks. The campaign, which began September 9 and will run through the end of the year, features signage near each of 10 produce company partners aligned with the initiative, as well as family-friendly recipes highlighted in-store with scannable QR codes to access the recipes.
Amazon builds team to develop autonomous delivery technology, Amazon Scout, in the UK
Amazon has announced a new investment to expand research and development of autonomous delivery technology in the UK with the creation of a new team at its Cambridge development centre. The team will be focused on Amazon Scout, Amazon’s fully-electric autonomous delivery service. Amazon Scout devices are the size of a small cooler and roll along pavements at a walking pace. The service is in field test mode, currently delivering packages to customers in four states in the U.S, but will continue to expand to more customers.
UK: Tesco launches the ‘Tesco Red Door’; invites innovators to share ideas
Tesco has launched the ‘Tesco Red Door’, a new approach to disruptive innovation. At a virtual event for international innovators and technology start-ups, Tesco announced it was inviting innovators with new products, ideas or emerging technologies with the potential to cause disruption in the future to contact its newly established Group Innovation team. This team will be a single point of contact, responsible for quickly evaluating ideas, supporting partners to access Tesco, and helping them to develop and implement their ideas.
Belarus top supermarket Eurotorg brushes off the coronacrisis with revenues down only 2% in dollar terms in 1H20
Belarus’ largest food retailer Eurotorg (aka Euroopt) Holding managed to brush off the coronacrisis and put in a decent set of results for the first half of this year that showed only a small decline in revenues in dollar terms, but an increase in local currency terms. Eurotorg’s revenues fell by 2.4% year on year to $1.1bln in equivalent dollar terms in January-June 2020, the company said, citing audited operating results on September 8.
Sweden: ICA sees like-for-like sales up 5.2% in August
Swedish retailer ICA has continued its strong year to date with a 5.2% increase in like-for-like sales in August, as more Swedish consumers stayed at home this summer. Sales totalled SEK11.14bln (€1.07bln) for the month, which is an increase of 5.4% on the same period the previous year. Sales in the period January to August were 7.3% higher, at SEK86.9bln (€8.37bln).
UK: Morrisons extends deal to 20,000 in McCarthy & Stone homes
Morrisons has partnered with McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s leading developer and manager of retirement communities, to extend its doorstep food delivery service to its homeowners. Following a successful trial, McCarthy & Stone’s 441 communities can now order their groceries from Morrisons over the phone using a dedicated telesales line.
Tesco to trial drone deliveries for groceries in Ireland
Tesco will partner with Irish drone company Manno Aero to trial grocery home deliveries with drones. Irish entrepreneur Bobby Healy's drone Manna Aero business has already been trailing fast food deliveries using its flying drones. Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said the grocery deliveries pilot would take place in Ireland. “They (Manna) have already proven the capability, the question is how do we take that capability and apply it to Tesco and that’s the detail that’s been worked on now before we get to the trial”, Tesco's Lewis said during a webcast Tesco hosted on “disruptive innovation”.