US: Walmart unveils new product return service

Walmart unveils new product return service
Walmart Inc said on Monday it had launched a service through which customers can schedule a return for a product bought online, in-store or from a third-party vendor. The service, called Carrier Pickup by FedEx, can be initiated either on the Walmart app or website, the U.S. retailer said. Customers can choose to return a product by selecting the pickup option from home or they can drop it off at a FedEx Corp office.

Source: Reuters 

Amazon shuts New Jersey facility till Dec. 26 on virus spike among workers
Amazon.com Inc said on Sunday it had closed one of its warehouses in New Jersey out of caution till Dec. 26, after seeing an increase in asymptomatic positive cases amongst workers. “Through our in-house COVID-19 testing program, we detected an increase in the number of asymptomatic positive cases at our PNE5 facility in northern New Jersey and have proactively closed the site until December 26th out of an abundance of caution,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement to Reuters. Amazon said it isn’t anticipating any impacts to operations or deliveries due to this shutdown. It did not specify the number of workers who contracted the disease at its PNE5 facility, which is a sorting center.

Source: Kitco 

Aldi launches curbside pickup through Instacart
Aldi is now offering curbside grocery pickup services through Instacart. Shoppers can order ALDI products for delivery via shop.aldi.us. Curbside grocery pickup is available as well. The demand for grocery delivery and pickup surged with the pandemic, according to ALDI. Customers can visit shop.aldi.us or enter their ZIP code in the Instacart mobile app to place a curbside order. At checkout, customers choose a pickup time and store location. There are designated areas marked in blue. ALDI employees will load groceries directly into shoppers’ cars.

Source: CorneliusToday

Giant Food introduces shelf labels to spotlight products owned by minority businesses
Giant Food, a Washington D.C. regional grocery chain, is helping customers identify products owned by minority based businesses through updated shelf labels. Starting next month, all 164 Giant stores will feature the shelf labels, informing shoppers of products offered by businesses that are women, Black, Asian-Indian, Hispanic, LGBT, Asian-Pacific, or veteran owned. Over 3,100 products in Giant stores will feature the updated shelf labels, owned by 218 businesses in Giant's network of vendor partnerships. For customers looking to purchase their groceries online and enjoy the convenience of Giant Pickup or Giant Delivers, these product labels will also be featured on the Giantfood.com website and Giant Food mobile app in 2021.

Source: PRNewsWire 

Piggly Wiggly® independent store owners purchase two stores from Southeastern Grocers
Two Independent Piggly Wiggly® store owners, with the support of C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement with Southeastern Grocers, Inc. (SEG) to acquire one BI-LO store in South Carolina and one BI-LO store in Georgia. This agreement is part of a series of transactions for SEG as part of their strategic decision to divest of the BI-LO banner, which was announced on June 4. "Our Independent Owners are excited to grow their existing store footprint and expand the Piggly Wiggly brand in the Southeast," said John Owens, Vice President and Southeast General Manager for C&S Wholesale Grocers.

Source: PRNewsWire 

UK: Marks and Spencer introduces new way of paying so customers can avoid long queues
Marks and Spencer has become the first retailer to launch an on-the-spot payment solution called Pay With Me. It allows customers to beat the queues in the last few days before Christmas. With the pandemic causing many supermarkets to change their way of working this year, M&S has introduced various methods to help customers speed up their shop. Their newest addition to help shoppers check out their shopping faster is the Pay With Me app. It has been rolled out across 200 stores and allows an M&S colleague to pick out customers waiting in line to pay for just a few items. Customers can also use Apple Pay to purchase their goods, which has recently been added as a payment option on their website. The idea is that shoppers can reduce the amount of time spent in stores as well as skip the checkout queues.

Source: Express

UK: Costcutter acquired by Bestway Wholesale
Convenience symbol group Costcutter has been acquired by Bestway Wholesale. In a statement, Bestway Wholesale confirmed agreement for the acquisition of Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG), from Bibby Line Group. Pending Financial Conduct Authority approval, the deal is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2021. Approximately 1,500 stores branded under Costcutter, Mace, Supershop, Kwiksave, and Simply Fresh, along with 20 Costcutter and 4 Co-op franchises, will join Bestway Wholesale’s retail estate.  Managing director of Bestway Wholesale Dawood Pervez said: “Costcutter is a great brand with a long heritage and a history of success alongside industry-leading and loyal retailers, with some of the best in-store execution in the business.”

Source: conveniencestore.co.uk 

Ireland: Jobs boost for Kildare as Lidl Ireland announce local recruitment drive
Lidl Ireland has launched a recruitment drive to fill 50 new roles in its state-of-the-art warehouse facility in Newbridge. The successful candidates will join the current team of 205 at Lidl’s Newbridge warehouse, keeping the retailer’s 168 and growing stores fully stocked for its valued customers. With the Irish labour market experiencing a 62.4% increase in unemployment over the last year, Lidl Ireland Regional Director, Niall Murray said; “We are delighted to announce the addition of 50 new jobs in our award-winning warehouse facility in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. It’s been a difficult year for many and we are thrilled to be starting off 2021 with the good news of this jobs boost.”

Source: KildareN

UK: Tesco’s cashierless shopping partner Trigo raises $60 million
Trigo, an Israeli startup developing cashierless shopping technology to rival that of Amazon.com Inc., raised $60 million to fund growth.  
The funding round was led by 83North and includes existing investors such as Red Dot Capital Partners and Tesco Plc, which is working with Trigo on opening its first such store, according to a statement. Trigo will use the new funds to grow its research and development division and expand into other geographic markets.

Source: Bloomberg

Norway: SPAR expands EUROSPAR portfolio in Tromsø, Northern Norway
SPAR Norway has expanded its store portfolio with the opening of a new EUROSPAR in Tromsø, Northern Norway, at the end of November. With a sales area of 1072m2, EUROSPAR Storgata's highlights include a high-quality delicatessen department as well as an extensive fruit and vegetable section. For customers looking for convenient meal solutions, the new store offers a vast food-to-go assortment. This new EUROSPAR store uses cutting-edge digital technology with price tags and screens that are integrated into the decor both instore and on the facade. Customers can use a handheld device called Zebra to scan these price tags and screens, boosting customer experience. The software used here is fully integrated into SPAR Norway’s back-office systems.

Source: SPAR


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