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'Shrinkflation' stickers come into force in French supermarkets

UK: Loophole on import duty should be closed, says Sainsbury's boss
A UK tax loophole that benefits foreign e-commerce platforms such as Shein should be closed, the boss of British supermarket Sainsbury's (SBRY.L), opens new tab said on Tuesday. Under UK tax rules, individuals can order parcels worth less than 135 pounds ($170) online from overseas without incurring customs duty. In the EU, the equivalent threshold is a similar 150 euros. "All retailers should be working on the same basis," Sainsbury's CEO Simon Roberts told reporters after the group, which makes a quarter of its sales in non-food categories, updated on trading.

Source: Reuters

France: 'Shrinkflation' stickers come into force in French supermarkets
Supermarkets will now have to inform their clients when a product is a victim of "shrinkflation". This means that the amount of goods being offered is lower than previously while the price stays the same, or rises. As of the start of this week, retailers are required to place visible labels on these products, according to a ministerial order published on 16 April. Shops with an area smaller than 400m² are exempt from the ruling, which also only concerns products that are marketed at a constant quantity.

Source: Euronews

UK: Lidl and WWF launch ambitious international partnership
Lidl and WWF announce the start of a new five-year international and strategic partnership active in 31 countries. The long-term cooperation with WWF will focus on working along Lidl's value chain, thereby helping to address the global ecological challenges of our time, ensuring that more households have access to more sustainable choices and encouraging business models that work in harmony with nature and within planetary boundaries.

Christoph Pohl, Chief Purchasing Officer at Lidl International: "In our role as one of the largest food retailers, we are aware of our responsibility and our influence. For Lidl, sustainable management is not only a question of attitude, but also the basis for the future viability of our business model. With the support and expertise of WWF, we will now take our commitment to sustainability to the next level."

Source: Climate Action

Migros to focus on lower prices, private-label brands, says CEO
Swiss retail giant Migros has said that it plans to focus on lower prices, a more convenient store network, a broader range of private label products, and improving the efficiency of its workforce, as part of a company repositioning. This strategic shift will enable the retailer to compete more directly with discounters Aldi and Lidl. In an interview for Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung, CEO Mario Irminger explained that the expansion of the group's private-label range represents a "clear break" with the strategy implemented so far.

Source: ESM Magazine

UK: Marks and Spencer: Dead 'green wall' on Ecclesall Road store branded 'eyesore' and 'fire hazard'
A 'green wall' on a flagship Marks and Spencer in Sheffield has gone brown - sparking questions about its commitment to sustainability. Scores of plants on the huge feature on the Ecclesall Road store have died, creating an eyesore on the upmarket street amid fears of a fire hazard. M&S opened the shop in 2011 boasting of its green credentials and stating it was the first to 'fully embed' its biodiversity best practice principles. The living wall had 62 types of native plants and species of wildlife value, it said. A spokesman for M&S said: "I have looked into this and it appears there has been some drainage issues so we have a contractor visiting to arrange replanting."

Source: The Star

Australia: Retail union pushes through sell-out wage deal at Woolworths amid growing worker opposition
Around 130,000 workers at Australia's supermarket chain, Woolworths, confront another four years of dire wages and conditions under a deal pushed through last month by the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association (SDA).

The agreement contains a supposed pay "increase" of 3.75 percent this year, while the latest inflation figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show a 4 percent rise over the year to May. The price of many essentials like rent is rising faster still. Fuel costs went up 9.3 percent, power bills rose by 6.5 percent and there was a 5.2 percent jump in housing costs, including a 7.4 percent increase in rents.

Source: WSWS

UK: Amazon is now offering all 18–22-year-olds in the UK 50% off Prime membership
Amazon is offering a major discount on its monthly Prime subscription for anyone of a certain age. If you're between 18 and 22 years old, you'll be able to get the popular service for half price. The online retailer's huge Prime Day sale is just around the corner, with thousands of products set to be discounted from July 16 to July 17. Ahead of this, shoppers can get a 30-day free trial of Prime - but this deal might be better.

For those aged 18-22, Amazon is cutting the usual £8.99 monthly price down to £4.49. Access to the Prime Day sale isn't the only perk either, as members will get access to the full range of Prime benefits as well as getting access to exclusive perks for students and young adults. These include 10% off shopping with Amazon Fresh.

Source: Lincolnshire Live

How big retailers are making stores more shoppable
Despite the challenges some retailers are facing with self-checkout, traditional supermarkets and other big-box retailers will continue to leverage technologies and merchandising innovations to improve the in-store experience for customers, while minimizing labor costs, according to one analyst.

"I think the days of standing in long lines are over," Keith Daniels, managing partner at Carl Marks Advisors, told Supermarket News. "That's very frustrating for the consumer."

Retailers will continue to tweak their checkout offerings by limiting the number of items and possibly through the use of smart carts or phone-based scanning, in order to make self-checkout more convenient, he said.

Source: Supermarket News

Australia: Supermarket chains could be broken up for price-gouging as 'last resort' under Coalition proposal
Supermarket and hardware chains could face being broken up as a "last resort" for repeated price-gouging under a Coalition proposal to crackdown on the grocery sector. Tuesday's announcement has also been welcomed by the Greens, but has been criticised as "half-baked" by the treasurer, Jim Chalmers, who claimed it could make the competition problem worse not better.

The Coalition's pledge goes further than the Labor government's response to concerns about duopoly power and rising prices for food and essentials. Following a review by the economist Craig Emerson into the grocery code of conduct, Labor last month promised to legislate massive new fines for breaches of up to $10m or 10% of turnover in the preceding 12 months.

The Coalition would preserve those penalties but add the potential of forcing the breakup of big firms in the grocery and hardware sector, if ordered by a court – a step the review did not recommend, and which Labor has strongly resisted. The Coalition would also create a supermarket commissioner.

Source: The Guardian

US supermarket to pay $400k for refrigerant leaks
A New York City supermarket chain has agreed to pay a $400,000 penalty for leaking 19 tonnes of R22 and R404A refrigerant over a three-year period. The civil lawsuit filed by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York against Gristede's Foods NY Inc alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and the US EPA's Recycling and Emissions Reduction Rule (RER). The violations covered by the lawsuit occurred between 2019 and 2021, when Gristedes owned and operated a chain of approximately 20 supermarkets in New York City.

Source: Cooling Post

Grocers look to turn down inflation heat this July Fourth
Consumers can expect a break from the heat of inflation this Fourth of July as retailers like Walmart, Kroger and Natural Grocers roll out promotions to help shoppers save and stay on budget. This year, hosting a 10-person barbecue on July Fourth will cost $99, "the highest [dollar amount] on record" with essentials like beer, beef, soda and lettuce making up 64% of the total cost, according to data from Rabobank Group's 2024 Rabobank BBQ Index.

Source: Grocery Dive

Anti-theft shopping carts at Loblaw stirs up anger for Canadians, company says they're needed to prevent 'organized retail crime'
A video circulating online has triggered many Canadians as it shows a customer whose shopping cart wheels lock at the exit of an Edmonton, AB Loblaws. According to the post, which was shared on Reddit, a sensor system jams the wheels of a shopping cart if it is not detected near the checkout. The footage shows the customer with the locked cart presenting proof of payment before an employee uses an electric device to release its front left wheel. "It locks up because if you don't go close to the till, it doesn't read it, it's a computerized system, that's why," the Loblaw employee tells the person filming the incident.

Loblaw told Now Toronto on Tuesday that wheel-lock technology has been implemented at certain stores.

Source: Now Toronto