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Carrefour partners with Altarea

Most popular destination for online retailers looking to expand: The Netherlands

UK: Tesco urged by investors to sell more healthy food
A group of investors is trying to pressure Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket, into selling healthier food and drink amid a growing obesity problem. Investors led by pressure group ShareAction will ask shareholders to vote for their plan. Tesco is due to hold its annual meeting in the summer. The company insists that it already has a plan to make healthy and sustainable food available. ShareAction praised recent Tesco initiatives, which showed that price cuts on fruit and vegetables raised sales, and that removing chocolate from prominent promotion spaces cut consumption.

Belgium: Carrefour lets the public vote on alternative packaging
In cooperation with Denuo, the Belgian federation of the waste and recycling industry, Carrefour launches the platform 'Mission Zero Waste', a participatory consultation to combat waste. The aim of the platform is to actively involve citizens, consumers and stakeholders in the development of packaging solutions. They can suggest ideas to reduce waste, give their opinion on certain solutions and even vote on future packaging initiatives by Carrefour. This could involve both the elimination of packaging and making the packaging material more sustainable. Especially the packaging of fruit and vegetables, fresh products (bread, coffee cakes, etc.) and liquids pose a challenge.

January lockdown pushes UK retail sales negative
The latest release from the British Retail Consortium Retail Sales Monitor (BRC-RSM) shows that UK retail sales fell by 1.3% in January, with the current coronavirus lockdown (in force from 4 January) heavily impacting non-food retailing, in a month typically known for its start-of the-year sales events. With the out-of-home sector shut down nationally, food & grocery retailers continued their role as the critical line of supply to a population required to stay at, and work at, home wherever possible. On a 3 month basis (November to January) food & grocery sales strengthened to +7.9% over this latest 13 weeks.

The Netherlands: top spot for online retailers to expand logistics
The Netherlands is the most popular destination for online retailers looking to expand. These ecommerce players see this Western European country as the number 1 place to expand their logistics operations. They are also increasingly looking for fulfillment centers and warehouses outside the traditional locations. Other countries in Europe where online retailers want to expand their logistics are, in order of preference, Italy, the Czech Republic, Greece, and Germany. This is one of the findings from the European Logistics Occupier Survey by CBRE [pdf], a survey among over 100 European users of logistics real estate.

Sweden: ICA Gruppen Year-end report 2020
ICA Gruppen reported it's fourth quarter 2020: "Consolidated net sales increased by 5.6% to SEK32,593mln (30,850). Operating profit excluding items affecting comparability increased to SEK1,371mln (1,267). Overall, non-recurring items in operating profit are considered to be insignificant. In operating profit for 2019, these were calculated at SEK-50mln net. Consolidated sales and operating profit were affected by the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, where ICA Sweden and ICA Real Estate benefited, while other segments were negatively impacted. The estimated, overall effect on consolidated operating profit for the fourth quarter is approximately SEK+25mln".

France: Carrefour partners with property developer Altarea
Carrefour is set to work alongside property developer Altarea on 3 urban development projects in Nantes, Sartrouville, and Flins/Aubergenville, in France. Carrefour co-owns the sites, which total approximately 25 hectares, and through the partnership, it plans to transforming the locations into hubs where people congregate, in addition to their primary commercial purpose.

Mexican online grocer Jüsto raises $65mln in General Atlantic-led Series A
Jüsto, an online supermarket based in Mexico City, announced it has raised $65mln in a Series A round led by General Atlantic. The amount is sizable for a Series A in general, but supersized for a LatAm startup. In fact, according to PitchBook data cited by General Atlantic, the round represents the largest Series A raised in Latin America in the past decade.

US: Giant Co. continues investment in Philadelphia
As The Giant Co. prepares to begin construction on its newest store in Philadelphia, the Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based retailer expresses its continued investment into the city. “With its diverse neighborhoods, people and undeniable passion for food, there’s no place quite like Philadelphia, and that’s exactly why The Giant Co. continues to invest in new stores across the city”, said President Nicholas Bertram in a release.

U.S. Conference of Mayors highlights Dollar General and Baton Rouge partnership
The U.S. Conference of Mayors highlighted Dollar General’s role in helping to increase fresh produce and access to healthier food in Baton Rouge in its newly-released 2020 Best Practices Report. The report - produced annually by the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Business Council, and showcasing innovative public-private partnerships that are helping to address challenges facing communities across the country - highlighted how Dollar General partnered with Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to two stores. The “2020 Best Practices” report can be accessed on the U.S. Conference of Mayors website here (Dollar General is featured on page 22).

US: Aldi accelerating digital, opening 100 stores
Aldi is heading into the second quarter of 2021 with plans to open 100 new stores, expand grocery pickup, and break ground on a new distribution center as the company looks to capitalize on pandemic-led growth. The retailer announced that it will open approximately 100 new locations nationwide in 2021, with a focus on Arizona, California, Florida and the Northeast. The company also said it will add curbside grocery pickup service to 500 additional stores by the end of the year, bringing the total number of curbside locations to more than 1,200. Aldi will also continue to offer grocery delivery via Instacart in almost all of its stores.

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