Walmart is teaming up with Zipline

First Amazon Fresh outside California

US: Kroger Dallas division associates ratify new contract
The Kroger Co. announced that associates working at 98 stores across Kroger's Dallas division ratified a new labor agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 1000. "Across the Kroger family of companies, we are proud that by the end of 2020 we will have increased our associate wage investments by approximately $800mln - $300mln more than we had originally planned as part of our Restock Kroger initiative", said Tim Massa, Kroger's senior vice president and chief people officer. "Kroger in Dallas is one of the numerous markets across the country that is rewarding and recognizing associates for their hard work with wage increases".

Walmart U.S. inks deal with second drone delivery company
Walmart is teaming up with a company called Zipline to launch drone delivery program early next year that will deliver health and wellness products close to the retailer’s headquarters in Northwest Arkansas. Walmart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, said it planned to eventually expand to general merchandise. It’s the second delivery drone deal for Walmart within a week. It’s using drones from startup Flytrex to deliver groceries and household essentials from its Walmart stores in North Carolina.

Amazon to hire 100,000 more workers in its latest job spree this year Inc said it is recruiting 100,000 more workers - the fourth hiring spree it has announced for the United States this year - to keep pace with e-commerce demand that jumped during the pandemic. The world’s biggest online retailer said the positions are for full and part-time work in its home country and Canada, and these will include roles at 100 new warehouse and operations sites it is opening this month. The Seattle-based company employed 876,800 people as of June 30, excluding contractors and temporary personnel.

US: SpartanNash hires new president/CEO
The year-long hunt for a new president and CEO of SpartanNash has come to an end with the appointment of Tony B. Sarsam, most recently the CEO of Borden Dairy Co. Inc. SpartanNash's Interim President and CEO Dennis Edison - who has held the position since David M. Staples resigned in August 2019 in the wake of the company's disappointing financial performance - will continue his role as chairman of the board and will serve as executive chairman for a period of 30 days to ensure a smooth transition with Sarsam.

Naperville will see first Amazon Fresh outside California
A former Dominick’s on Route 59 in Naperville will become Amazon’s second Amazon Fresh grocery store, the Chicago Tribune reported. The new format made its debut last month in Woodland Hills, California, near Los Angeles. No opening date has been announced, the Tribune reported. The Naperville store will have 10 parking spaces set aside for curbside pickup. Although an Amazon spokesperson declined to offer many details, the Tribune reported that the shopping experience will be similar to the one in Woodland Hills.

Saudi Arabia: BinDawood Holding sets IPO price range, aims to raise up to 2.2bln riyals
Saudi Arabian supermarket retailer BinDawood Holding set an indicative price for its initial public offering, seeking to raise as much as 2.19bln riyals ($585mln) in a Riyadh listing. The company plans to offer 22.86mln existing shares at an indicative pricing of between 84 riyals to 96 riyals per share in the planned IPO, according to a regulatory filing. It will sell 20% of the company through the sale of existing shares.

UK's Ocado: Shoppers are buying more M&S goods than Waitrose after food launch
More customers are buying Marks & Spencer’s products from Ocado than they bought Waitrose goods, the online grocer said. Two weeks after launching their joint venture, Ocado said “the weighting of M&S products in the average Ocado basket is higher than Waitrose prior to the switchover, reflecting positive customer reaction to the addition of M&S to the range”.

China: Alibaba eyeing cornerstone stake in Grab
Attracted by a massive database of customer behaviour spanning eight countries, Chinese tech giant Alibaba is said to be on the brink of investing US$3bln into Grab Holdings. With its origins as a ride-hailing company Grab has expanded into an app-anchored ecosystem covering food delivery, payments, courier services and wealth management. It also operates cloud kitchens in several markets. In Southeast Asia, where the vast majority of Grab’s business is conducted, there would be potential synergies with Alibaba’s Lazada online marketplace, not just through marketing alliances and cross-promotions, but in last-mile delivery solutions. Citing “people familiar with the matter”, Bloomberg has reported that Alibaba will deploy some of the funds to acquiring part of Uber’s stake in Grab, the result of a merger deal in March 2018 which saw Uber’s regional operations and brand name disappear leaving Grab in a market-dominating position.

UK's Iceland: Trial partnership with UberEats
Iceland is partnering with UberEats to trial a 20-minute delivery service from its store in Hackney, London. Shoppers can use the UberEats app or website to order groceries from the retailer. The range offered includes fresh produce, dairy and baked goods alongside its frozen food. Delivery will cost £2.79. This will widen Iceland's reach, allowing it to potentially gain new shoppers who do not use its high street stores. Alongside this, it offers a quicker option for their existing online shoppers than the standard next day delivery (free if over £35) offered via the retailer's website. Iceland aims to roll out the service further if successful.

UAE: Géant opens its first hypermarket in Dubai, in Al Khawaneej area
Urban Foods, set up as an alliance between Meraas and Dubai Holding, is opening the first Géant hypermarket in Dubai, at the Al Khawaneej Walk - Last Exit. “The success of food truck park - Last Exit - coupled with the rapid growth and development we have seen in the Al Khawaneej area, including the opening of a mall, made our decision to open in this neighborhood that much easier", said Mark Anthony Lack, CEO of Urban Foods. "Known globally as the grocer designed for urban living, Géant is certain to be well-received by the discerning residents who live and work in this area”.

Don Don Donki to launch into Taiwan
Japanese discount retailer Don Don Donki is set to make its debut in Taipei. As yet, the company has not revealed any details regarding the location or opening date, however various sources have confirmed the store will trade 24-seven in the popular shopping destinations of Ximendeng. News of the company’s Taiwanese debut spread quickly after advertising was spotted to recruit around 400 employees. With over 160 branches in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Hawaii, this will be Don Don Donki’s first venture in Taiwan.

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