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M&S and Asda cut more prices as UK's food inflation outlook brightens

UK: M&S and Asda cut more prices as UK's food inflation outlook brightens
British supermarkets Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) and Asda announced more price cuts on Wednesday, adding to the country's brighter outlook for food inflation. M&S said it was cutting the prices of 200 food items by an average of 11%. Asda said it had reduced prices on 232 branded and own-label products by an average of 14%, including bread, fresh fruit and vegetables, and fresh meat. Grocery prices remain in the spotlight due to the ongoing squeeze on consumer budgets. Asda's monthly Income Tracker showed that more than 60% of UK households saw their disposable incomes fall in August compared to a year earlier, despite a slowdown in the official headline consumer price index inflation rate to 6.7%.

Source: Reuters

Scotland: Spar's wholesaler in Scotland acquires ScotFresh Group
CJ Lang & Son, Spar's wholesaler in Scotland, has announced the acquisition of Glasgow-based convenience chain ScotFresh Group. The purchase will see nine ScotFresh branded stores and 130 team members moving over to support the acquiring company. The chain is an award-winning independent retail operation founded in 1983, the business has stores in the city's west end. "We are delighted to confirm that we have acquired the ScotFresh Group of nine stores. ScotFresh has an excellent reputation in the industry and is a well-recognized brand with significant customer loyalty and strong relationships with suppliers," said Colin McLean, CEO of CJ Lang & Son. The ScotFresh stores will retain their existing branding and will be operated as a separate business unit initially.

Source: PetrolPlaza

Turkey: Turkish govt's call sparks nationwide discounts to tackle inflation
Turkey's major retail chains have announced successive discount campaigns after calls by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Trade Minister Ömer Bolat to back a collaborative effort to alleviate the burden on consumers and curb the rising costs of living amid stubbornly high inflation. Bolat last week said they "expect a substantial discount campaign from all markets in the 100th year of our republic."

On Tuesday, United Brands Association (BMD) President Sinan Öncel said 505 member companies were expected to join the campaign with 60,000 stores nationwide. Öncel recalled that BMD brands had participated in a similar effort back in 2018. "I predict that our brands will respond to the call with the same enthusiasm once again to break expectations of rising inflation," he told Anadolu Agency (AA).

Source: Daily Sabah

Isle of Man: Alarm among Isle of Man farmers over Tesco Shoprite takeover
There has been "considerable alarm" among farmers over the sale of supermarket chain Shoprite to Tesco, a farming union has said. It was recently announced that a deal had been reached with the British retail giant to purchase the chain's nine stores across the Isle of Man. The Manx National Farmers' Union (MNFU) said the deal presented "a significant risk" to local food production. Tesco said it would "engage with suppliers" and "the wider community."

The Manx government said the retailer planned to increase the local offering in the stores. Shoprite chains have stocked a variety of local produce since opening in 1972. Its sale has led to uncertainty among long-term Manx suppliers. The MNFU said: "We will continue to lobby for better product representation, value recognition, and fair access to the marketplace for our Manx produce, both in the private sector and with our government." The union's president, Ian Parsons, said the news had come as a "complete and utter shock" to farmers.

Source: BBC

UK: Farmers target supermarkets in supply chain protests
A group of farmers are leading a mass protest at supermarkets across the country to highlight the trade's unfair treatment of farmers. Members of Proud to Farm said they have been forced to take direct action and are appealing for farmers, producers, and members of the public to join them at more than 30 supermarket distribution sites on Friday, October 13, at 7 p.m. The group has launched a campaign via social media platform TikTok, which names the centers due to be targeted in what it hopes will be a mass protest. Farm worker and Proud to Farm group member Becky Dack from North Yorkshire said the aim of the action was not to cause disruption or to upset anyone but to let people know how farmers are being treated. "We just want to be heard," she said. "We have been ignored for years, and we need supermarkets to know that we can be seen. Farmers just want a fair price."

Source: Farmers Guardian

Canada: Major Canadian grocers won't confirm discounts, price freezes feds promised last week
Major grocers in Canada are not yet confirming whether they have committed to special promotions to stabilize grocery prices, as was recently promised by the federal government. Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne announced last week that the grocers have presented initial plans to stabilize prices, which include discounts, price freezes, and price-matching campaigns. The Canadian Press has reached out to the grocers – Loblaw, Empire, Metro, Walmart, and Costco – to confirm what exactly each of them has promised to do. Metro declined to comment, while Loblaw, Empire, and Costco have not responded to requests for information. In a written response, a spokeswoman for Walmart Canada said the company plans to keep offering "everyday low prices," which refers to Walmart's strategy of offering low prices on a regular basis rather than on promotion only. The federal government gave an ultimatum to grocers in September, saying they should present plans to stabilize grocery prices by Thanksgiving or face potential tax measures as a consequence.

Source: Toronto City News

US: CADS helps US supermarket chain Rouses improve productivity and increase sales
Retail space planning expert CADS has helped US grocery retailer Rouses Market improve its efficiency, communication, and profitability with StoreSpace software. Before adopting StoreSpace, family-owned Rouses used Excel spreadsheets and email threads for macro space planning, planogram management, and inventory tracking. Now, with StoreSpace implemented, Rouses is benefitting from a more streamlined space planning process with access to vital performance insights, an intuitive planning environment, and more.

Source: Retail Times

US: California Governor vetoes safety net for grocery workers affected by merger layoffs
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed Senate Bill 725 (Smallwood-Cuevas), the Grocery Worker Safety Net. SB 725 was part of the United Food and Commercial Workers' (UFCW) legislative package to mitigate the effects of mergers and acquisitions on the retail and grocery industries. It would have required a grocery establishment that conducts layoffs as a result of a merger or acquisition to provide workers with a one-week displaced grocery-worker allowance for every year of service. Newsom said that he vetoed the bill because other laws already protect these workers.

The UFCW Western States Council released the following statement following the veto: "The veto of SB 725, unfortunately, denies ... [grocery] workers the safety net they need and deserve if they lose their jobs to greedy corporate grocery chains. Unemployment insurance does not provide an adequate wage replacement for grocery workers already living paycheck to paycheck. SB 725 would have ensured they knew how they were going to pay their rent or put food on the table if they lost their job.

Source: Progressive Grocer

US: Walmart will close its doors on Thanksgiving Day for fourth consecutive year, CEO says
Walmart's CEO, John Furner, announced on October 9 that the retail giant will remain closed on Thanksgiving Day for the fourth consecutive year. Stores across America will be closed for business on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, yet again. The message was shared by the corporation on X, formerly known as Twitter. "Thanksgiving is a special day, and we want our store associates to have the chance to spend it with their families and loved ones," the post reads. This decision aligns with the company's commitment to prioritize its employees' and customers' well-being and safety since the COVID-19 pandemic. By giving its workers a much-needed break to spend time with loved ones, Walmart set an example for other retailers to follow.

Source: USA Today