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Target stores in Maine making changes to speed up checkout

Target stores in Maine making changes to speed up checkout
As brick-and-mortar stores across the country continue to adjust to the ever-changing habits of shoppers, one thing has become abundantly clear: if you want people to visit your store, they need to be able to get in and out as quickly as possible. It's the convenience element of the self-checkout lanes that has caused Target to make a significant change. Target stores throughout Maine have activated a 10-item or less limit for self-checkout lanes. That will be welcome news for customers at some Target stores in Maine, where lines can extend more than 50 people deep on the busiest of days and times.

Source: WCYY

Two dozen Alaska legislators join opposition to Kroger-Albertsons merger plans
Almost half of the Alaska Legislature has signed a letter opposing a merger of two grocery chains that could lead to hundreds of layoffs and the closure of local stores. On Oct. 2, 24 of the Legislature's 60 members asked the chair of the Federal Trade Commission to block the impending $24.6 billion merger of Kroger and Albertsons. The combination of Kroger — which owns Alaska's 12 Fred Meyer stores — and Albertsons, which owns 35 Safeway grocery stores in the state, could limit competition in Alaska, driving up prices. "We cannot, in good conscience, support unnecessary cost increases that place barriers on Alaskans' ability to put food on the table," the letter said in part.

Source: Alaska Public

Costco accused of sharing users' health data with Meta
Costco allegedly shared website users' private communications and health information with Facebook-parent Meta without their consent, a lawsuit filed Friday said. The lawsuit filed in Washington Western District Court alleges Issaquah-based Costco used Meta Pixel, a code that allows companies to track visitor activity on their websites, in the health care portion of its website. The tracking pixel would allow Meta to have access to users' personal and health information. "Costco represents to patients that its website, which includes its pharmacy webpages, is a secure platform," said the suit, which is seeking a class-action status. "Yet, Costco fails to disclose or omits the fact that it shares patient online activities and personal health information with Meta via Pixel."

Source: Seattle Times

Budgens celebrates 400th store opening
The new 1800 square feet store boasts an extensive fresh range and a range of local products such as eggs, which come from six miles up the road. The store was previously a garden center with the retailers Paul McKenna and Graeme Wilson, identifying an opportunity to give local people a place to shop, with the choice, prices, and services they need, while also being at the heart of the local community, as it is a 40-mile round trip to the nearest supermarket. Working closely with the Budgens team, £650k has been invested in the store. The stone-built building was stripped back completely, with the floor being excavated and the building also needing rewiring and re-plumbing to maximize the opportunities of a modern convenience store.

Source: Talking Retail

UK: Supermarkets warn UK risks becoming a leakage market for deforestation
The supermarkets, including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, M&S, Lidl, and others, are calling for the urgent introduction of legislation in the UK that will ensure direct and indirect suppliers have "deforestation-free supply chains." In a letter sent to UK environment secretary Therese Coffey on October 5, the retailers explained that they have just 15 months to meet new EU regulations that are aimed at curbing deforestation in all supply chains. By the end of 2024, companies operating in EU countries, as well as Northern Ireland, will not be able to import food and other materials that are linked to deforestation in supply chains. If the UK doesn't catch up and align its regulations with the EU, the ability to export UK-made produce to Europe is put at risk, argue the signatories, which are members of the Retail Soy Group.

Source: Feed Navigator

Isle of Man: Tesco purchases Isle of Man Shoprite supermarket chain
A supermarket chain that has served the Isle of Man for more than 50 years has been bought by Tesco. The retail giant said it would rebrand all nine of the island's Shoprite stores over the next nine months. Responding to the announcement, Enterprise Minister Tim Johnston said he understood there would be "a number of staff at risk outside the stores." "While any announcements that result in job reductions are never welcome, I am heartened by the commitment from Tesco to retain the majority of staff in the immediate term and invest heavily in the existing store network over the next 12 months," he added. Prices at Tesco's planned new stores on the Isle of Man will be similar to those at its UK supermarkets, the retailer has confirmed.

Source: BBC

UK: Asda rebrands first former Co-op sites into Express stores
Asda has launched its program to convert 116 former Co-op convenience stores and attached petrol station forecourts into Asda Express shops. The supermarket has rebranded 11 Asda Express stores so far in locations including Yorkshire and Devon. The grocer plans to convert the remaining 105 by the end of Q1 next year across sites including Manchester Oxford Road and Romford Station. Asda acquired 132 sites from rival supermarket Co-op last year under a £438m deal. The move came under the grocery giant's long-term strategy to become the UK's second-largest supermarket by moving into the convenience market.

Source: Retail Gazette

Mexico: Antitrust body probes Walmex 'monopolistic' moves, shares slump
Mexico's antitrust watchdog, Cofece, said it has summoned a supermarket retailer to face allegations of imposing prices and terms on its suppliers or distributors after Walmart de Mexico said it would face an antitrust panel. Cofece did not name the company under investigation, but a source familiar with the matter said it was Walmart's Mexico unit, often known simply as Walmex, the country's biggest supermarket chain. The head of Cofece's investigative unit, Jose Manuel Haro, said the case involves potential abuse of dominant power, known as "relative monopolistic practices," which can carry a fine of up to 8% of a company's annual income. While the company said in a statement that it was confident it had acted lawfully to ensure good prices and product supply, Walmex shares slumped more than 5% to their lowest level in more than 30 months.

Source: Reuters

UK: Amazon doubles down on grocery market amid Waitrose talks
The biggest question about any possible tie-up between Amazon and upscale supermarket chain Waitrose is who stands to gain the most. Waitrose has enjoyed a pretty miserable time of late, with its market share in the grocery industry slumping from 5.1% to 4.6% since the beginning of 2020, according to tracking from Kantar. In the meantime, Amazon has been unusually passive in its market penetration of Britain's ultra-competitive grocery sector, and despite a number of headline initiatives, its share of the basket will hardly be giving industry giants like Tesco, Sainsbury's, Aldi and Lidl sleepless nights. So, could a partnership with Middle England's favorite supermarket chain offer a lifeline for either or both? Certainly, if Waitrose were to sell its groceries via Amazon, then it would undoubtedly claw back some of that lost market share simply through the power of the platform and widen its availability to the whole of the UK, not just the well-heeled neighborhoods it tends to frequent.

Source: Forbes