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“Carrefour to acquire 47 SuperCor stores in Spain from El Corte Inglés in €60 Million deal”

Balkans: Discounter Lidl set to enter four Balkan markets
Discounter Lidl is in the process of entering the markets of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Kosovo following the rollout of successful operations in Croatia, Slovenia, and Serbia. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lidl has commenced construction of a large distribution center in Lepenica, near Sarajevo, a key step before starting operations in that market. The 60,000 square meter center is located near a highway linking the cities of Sarajevo and Mostar. Over the past two years, the supermarket chain has been hiring workers and searching for locations throughout the country.

Source: ESM Magazine

Belgium: Delhaize opens first franchised store without problems
This morning, Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize reopened its first store with independent entrepreneurs at the helm in Denderleeuw. The chain plans to reopen all of its 128 integrated stores as franchised stores before the end of 2024. Delhaize had already announced its plans to sell all of its 128 integrated stores to franchisers in March, followed by a first list of fifteen concrete stores in August. Delhaize Denderleeuw was one of these fifteen and was earmarked to be reopened by local couple Stijn Van Der Weeën and Laure Misseeuw – who have already been operating a Proxy Delhaize convenience store in the same municipality since 2015.

Source: Retail Detail

Spain: "Carrefour to acquire 47 SuperCor stores in Spain from El Corte Inglés in €60 Million deal"
Carrefour has agreed to acquire 47 SuperCor stores in Spain from El Corte Inglés. These stores are located primarily in the regions of Madrid, Catalonia, Andalucia, and Comunidad Valenciana, which are some of the most populous and economically significant regions in Spain. The total value of the transaction is stated as 60 million euros. Carrefour plans to convert these acquired stores to its own banners, which include Carrefour Market, Carrefour Express, and Supeco. This conversion will allow Carrefour to leverage its brand strength, commercial policies, Carrefour-branded products, and favorable purchasing conditions. This acquisition is in line with Carrefour's strategic objectives, allowing them to further diversify their store network and geographical footprint in Spain. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the first semester of 2024, subject to customary conditions.

Source: International Supermarket News

UK: Asda to open 116 stores with first 11 already open
Asda will be opening 116 new Asda Express stores over the next few months, with 11 stores already open. The new sites will all be old Co-op forecourts, which the supermarket chain bought last year. Asda took over a total of 132 Coop forecourts last year in a deal worth £438million as part of its plan to become the UK's second-largest supermarket chain and grow in the convenience store sector.

Source: Mirror

Australia: Coles, Woolworths promise ongoing negotiations after some workers strike
Coles and Woolworths say they are committed to continuing negotiations with a small union representing workers who staged a strike last weekend demanding higher wages and favorable working conditions. Both supermarkets expressed commitment to reach a deal with the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) that would benefit all concerned parties. The union, which represents the protesting workers, said the wages Coles and Woolworths pay to these laborers are among the lowest in Australia. The union added that on top of not having secure jobs, these workers are facing abuse, assaults, threats, and harassment in their workplaces. The union said that Coles has decided to stand down workers who implemented bans on activities such as not cleaning up vomit or bodily fluids, tidying the manager's toilet, or talking to customers about their industrial action.

Source: Inside FMCG

US: September online grocery sales down 3% year-over-year to $7.5B
The online grocery market in the US declined 3.1% in September vs. last year, ending the month with $7.5 billion in sales, according to the latest monthly Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey fielded September 29-30. Declines in order frequency and spending per order contributed to the drop while an expanded base of monthly users softened the slip in overall sales and signaled continued interest in buying groceries online. Most of the sales decline was driven by contractions in order frequency as the average number of orders per monthly active user (MAU) fell 8% vs. a year ago. September 2023 finished at 2.31, the lowest order rate since the COVID pandemic disrupted grocery shopping patterns. And, while September's order frequency remains above pre-COVID levels, it was only about 14% higher than the 2.03 orders per month posted in August 2019.

Source: Supermarket News

Canada: Canada's biggest grocers answer government's call to rein in food pricing
After meetings with government officials, Canada's five largest grocers—Loblaw Cos., Sobeys/Empire Co. Ltd., Metro Inc., Walmart, and Costco—have agreed to take action to stabilize food prices. Just before the weekend, Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne reported that "initial commitments have been secured from the top five major grocery chains" in meetings over the past several weeks and that "the grocers are following through on their engagement to support efforts aimed at stabilizing food prices and to propose concrete actions by Thanksgiving." No details on the grocers' price stabilization plans were disclosed, but each company "has already identified an initial series of actions that will be implemented in the coming days and weeks," according to Champagne.

Source: Winsight Grocery Business

US: Costco and Walmart move away from self-checkouts after customer backlash
After customers voiced frustrations with self-checkout machines, some big retail stores decided to make changes. This comes as shoplifting continues to surge. Stores such as Costco and Walmart have launched new methods to combat the increasing backlash from customers regarding their systems. Walmart announced that it is completely removing self-checkouts in three of its stores in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Walmart spokesperson Josh Havens told Insider: "We continually look at ways to provide our customers with the best shopping experience, and that includes adjusting the checkout area in stores."


US: Wegmans class action alleges store falsely advertises canned fruits
Wegmans Food Market is facing a class action lawsuit claiming that the company sells canned fruit advertised to be 100% juice, but the fruit juice actually contains ascorbic acid. Wegmans advertises the fruit cups as having no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, but ascorbic acid is an artificial ingredient that acts as a preservative. Wegmans also sells nearly identical fruit without ascorbic acid under its "Organic" label, the Wegmans canned fruit lawsuit claims.

"Defendant's deceptive marketing is further bolstered by the aura of healthiness created by its 'Food You Feel Good About' stamp on its products—which promises, inter alia, that the food item won't contain any 'artificial colors, flavors or preservatives,' "the Wegmans class action claims. "Defendant, however, creates a special exception when it comes to ascorbic acid." Consumers in the class claim they relied on the canned fruit claims on the package when they decided to purchase the canned fruits. While ascorbic acid can be found naturally in citrus fruits, it's cost-prohibitive for companies to choose that process in large quantities.

Source: Top Class Actions