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Amazon is strengthening its delivery network in Ontario

Empire: First-quarter profit rose nearly 50%

US: Publix takes No.1 spot on People magazine’s 50 Companies that Care list
6 retailers have been recognized for succeeding in business while also showing outstanding respect, care and concern for their employees, their communities and the environment - especially during the pandemic. Publix took the top spot in People magazine’s fourth annual 50 Companies that Care ranking. The other retailers on the list were Wegman’s Food Markets (No. 5), Sheetz (No.11), Target (No.12), Car Max (No. 16) and Burlington Stores (No.23). To see the full list of People’s 50 Companies that Care, click here.

Canada: Amazon is expanding in Ontario
Amazon is strengthening its delivery network in Ontario with plans for new fulfillment centres in Ajax and Hamilton. The two centres are scheduled to open in 2021 and, combined, will create more than 2,500 full-time jobs, according to the e-giant. The Ajax and Hamilton facilities will bring Amazon’s total to 10 fulfillment centres in Ontario and 16 in Canada. Amazon also has warehouses in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba.

Canada: Empire reports Q1 profit up nearly 50% year over year
Empire Co. Ltd., which owns the Sobeys and Safeway grocery chains, reported its first-quarter profit rose nearly 50% compared with a year ago as its sales climbed 9%. The grocer says it earned $191.9mln or 71 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended August 1, up from a profit of $130.6mln or 48 cents per diluted share a year earlier.

Brazil: Groupe Casino announces study to explore Assaí spin-off
Groupe Casino has said that its Companhia Brasileira de Distribuição (GPA) subsidiary in Brazil is undertaking a study to explore the potential spin-off of its profitable Assaí cash and carry unit. In a statement, Casino said that the goal of the potential spin-off would be to 'unleash the full potential of Assaí, on the one hand, and of the more traditional retail businesses of GPA and Éxito, on the other hand'.

Brazil's Bolsonaro says supermarkets 'committed' to lowering prices on basic goods
Brazil’s supermarkets are “committed” to lowering the prices of basic foodstuffs, President Jair Bolsonaro said, hours after the Justice Ministry said it would ask supermarkets to explain recent price increases for some products. Speaking at the presidential palace in Brasilia, Bolsonaro said there would be no government interference “whatsoever” in the food retail sector.

India's Ambani and Amazon's Bezos could strike a $20bln deal
Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries is offering to sell a roughly $20bln stake in its retail business to Inc. Amazon has held discussions about investing in the conglomerate's Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd. unit and has expressed interest in negotiating a potential transaction. Mumbai-based Reliance Industries is willing to sell as much as a 40% stake in the subsidiary to Amazon. A deal, if successful, would not only create a retail behemoth in India but will also turn Jeff Bezos and Asia's richest man from rivals into allies in one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world.

7-Eleven Japan to start home delivery from stores
Japanese convenience-store operator 7-Eleven is launching a home-delivery service from its outlets to meet continued demand sparked by the Covid-19 outbreak. According to the Asia Nikkei, the service will commence this year initially with 100 Tokyo stores, to be expanded to 1000 from next year. The service will take on other e-commerce operators in the territory such as Amazon with a 30-minutes target delivery time and by accepting late-night ordering, partnering with Seino Group to handle logistics.

Auchan France provides detail on 2022 transformation plan
In an interview in local trade publication LSA and in a subsequent press release, Auchan France has set out how it is aiming to implement the key initiatives set out in the 2022 transformation plan. In the interview with LSA, Auchan Retail France’s chief executive, Jean-Denis Deweine, set out how it was looking to drive growth by concentrating on 5 main areas: Improve the offer: with more focus on local and exclusive or artisanal products and private labels; Update its hypermarkets; Develop digital proximity through the opening of further Drives and pedestrian Drives; Evolve the supply chain; Transform business models to adapt to new tools, ways of working and jobs.

UK: Banks behind Asda buyout prep $5bln debt deal for grocer
Financing to back the potential buyout of U.K. grocery firm Asda Group Ltd. by a private equity sponsor could total just under 4bln pounds ($5bln), according to people familiar with the information. Three bidders are still involved in the process after final bids were submitted on Monday, Apollo Global Management, Lone Star Global Acquisitions Ltd, and TDR Capital LLP, the people familiar said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

Hungary: Spar expanding warehouse space around Budapest
Supermarket chain Spar said it is spending HUF4.5bln (USD14.89mln) to expand its warehouses on the outskirts of Budapest, writes Spar Magyarország will add 4,000 sqm of warehouse space to the logistics base in Bicske, which will raise the total storage area of the facility to 40,000 sqm. In addition, office development and the construction of a factory sidewalk will take place as part of the investment, which will cost a total of HUF2.5 bln. Some 8,000 sqm will be added to another logistics base in Üllő.

UK: Morrisons sales rise but profits hit by Covid costs
Sales at Morrisons surged in the first half of its financial year but the supermarket saw profits drop because of coronavirus-related costs. Morrisons said like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose by 8.7% in the six months to the beginning of August. However, profit fell by more than a quarter after costs rose by £155mln ($202mln) to deal with the pandemic, including hiring temporary workers and bonuses. It also said poor fuel sales hit income as people "took fewer car journeys". Pre-tax profits dropped by 28.2% to £145mln for the six months to 2 August.

Chinese RT-Mart’s new format: RT-Mart Super
China's largest retailer, Sun Art Group, a joint venture between Auchan and the Ruentex group, opened its first supermarket in September. RT-Mart's first supermarket, RT-Mart Super, opened in Changzhou on 1 September. This is RT-Mart's first medium-sized store. With a sales area of 3,900 Sq m, the store carries more than 1,500 SKUs, covering main categories such as fresh, dairy, chilled, ambient as well as general merchandise products.

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