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International expansion pushes Aldi to record sales

France: Lidl acquires the first green hydrogen vehicle in the mass retail sector
Following the inauguration of Europe's first green hydrogen-powered logistics platform in Carquefou (Loire-Atlantique) in March 2022, Lidl is reaffirming its commitment to environmentally-friendly delivery methods. In collaboration with Jacky Perrenot and Lhyfe, the company signed a charter at the Salon de l'Agriculture 2022 committing it to putting the very first green hydrogen-powered HGV on the road. This truck has been operating at the Carquefou platform since the beginning of the year, delivering to Lidl supermarkets in the Nantes region, marking a first in the French haulage landscape.

Source: Materials Handling World

UK: Asda warns shoppers will notice bank account is £264 short
Asda has warned shoppers face a £66 weekly shortfall in disposable income in a fresh Cost of Living blow. The supermarket giant - which is rivalled by Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons and Sainsbury's - has issued its Income Tracker which found average disposable income for all UK households has risen. It has soared by 15.1 per cent year-on-year in May to £239 per week, hitting a 32-month high. The latest figures from Asda's Income Tracker reveals that disposable income for low-earning households hit a near three-year high in May, the supermarket giant said.

Despite this increase, budgets for these families remain under pressure in real terms, as their take home pay was still not enough to cover bills and essential spending, leaving them with an average weekly shortfall of £66. It means households are missing £264 a month.

Source: Birmingham Mail

Germany: REWE launches 'Europe's largest' computer vision-based supermarket
German retailer REWE Group has announced the opening of a Pick&Go store in Hamburg, Germany following a phase of testing. Launched in partnership with Trigo technology, REWE claims the 1,200 square metre store is Europe's largest computer vision-based supermarket with over 20,000 items available in the store. Shoppers have a choice of four ways to pay for their purchases. They can pay through the Pick&Go app, by scanning and paying at a self-checkout terminal, by using the computer-vision technology or the usual method of paying with a cashier.

The supermarket said that all purchases are recorded securely using minimal data, and that cameras and sensors determine what items a customer has selected whcih allows customers to their bill automatically without going through the usual checkout process.

Source: Retail Systems

UK: Tesco increases staff in-office days to boost performance
Tesco is calling its corporate staff back into the office, as it ups its in-office days from two to three per week in an aim to build "high-performing teams with a collaborative culture." The new change is due to be introduced from September, and will see full-time staff work in the office – either contracted office or other location – for a minimum of three days a week.

The supermarket's part-time workers will also be expected to work from the office for an equivalent number of days to meet the principle. Tesco added that while it would continue to honour cases of existing flexible working arrangements, it believed the new change will allow staff to deliver more effectively on its core purpose and provided stronger connection among employees, customers and suppliers.

Source: Grocery Gazette

International expansion pushes Aldi to record sales
Aldi has achieved its highest worldwide sales ever: the two companies (Nord and Süd) together saw their sales rise 8.7 % to 112 billion euros. Meanwhile, its international expansion is still expanding. Last month, Aldi Nord recorded a turnover of 29 billion euros last year, which was a 7.5 % growth. Aldi Süd is a lot bigger still: the company increased its sales from 76 to 83 billion euros last year. Added together, the two companies thus accounted for 112 billion euros in worldwide sales in 2023: a growth of 8.7 %, Supermarket Inside reports. Although Aldi Nord and Süd are legally separate companies, they are working increasingly closely together, including with common private label brands.

Worldwide, Aldi now operates a combined 12,000 shops, but the companies aim to increase that number significantly. At least 800 additional stores are planned in the United States alone by the end of 2028, accounting for an investment of nine billion dollars (eight billion euros).

Source: Retail Detail

UK: Grocery giant Henderson reports 20% rise in pre-tax profit to £69m
The grocery supplier behind the north's Spar, Vivo and Eurospar network saw its profit-before-tax rise by more than 20% last year to £68.8 million. The Henderson Group said total revenue increased by £108m (8.6%) to £1.338 billion in the year ending December 31 2023.

The Mallusk-based grocer, wholesaler and retailer, which supplies around 500 convenience stores in the north, and owns around 100 itself, said its grocery departments experienced significant growth in 2023. It contributed to an £11.7m uplift in pre-tax profit from the £57.1m it recorded in 2022.

But the company said the trading conditions for the first half of 2024 have proved more challenging.

Source: Irish News

UAE: Mastercard, LuLu Group partner to foster sustainability in GCC's retail payments
Mastercard has entered into a partnership with LuLu Group to boost sustainability, innovation, and efficiency in retail payments across the six GCC markets. The partnership, extending across Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia—will integrate Mastercard's expertise into LuLu Group's operations, enhancing efficiencies, scale, and data-driven decision-making, according to a press release.

The collaboration will support various projects, including sustainability initiatives, co-branded credit card portfolios, and innovative technology enhancements. New features and benefits introduced by the partnership include digital in-store transactions, increased cashless experiences, personalised rewards, and cashback offers at LuLu stores.

Source: Zawya

US: Walmart's 'buy again' option reveals wild grocery inflation prices
People have been complaining about the increase in basic necessities for a while now. It seems that things are simply costing astronomically more now than they were just a few short years ago. One TikTok creator found himself in need of more groceries and opened up his Walmart account to order some food. While in the account he saw the "reorder all" option (which is handy in a pinch) and decided to check out how much his groceries were a couple of years ago. Turns out, his groceries were a pretty reasonable price for 45 items. It was when he clicked the "reorder all" button that the price of those exact same items seems to have sent him into a cold sweat.

"I feel like I'm going to be sick. I just looked through my Walmart history and I found my order from two years ago for the whole month worth of groceries. 45 items costs $126," the man says before revealing the price jump. "Now, this order of 45 items for one month would've cost $414. That is four times more." The price difference is outrageous and commenters agree with the man, including a few of the sentence enhancers he uses to express his frustration.

Source: Upworthy

US: Food 4 Less workers ratify new labor deal with grocer
Unionized Food 4 Less grocery workers voted to ratify a new three-year labor contract with the grocer, the union announced Wednesday. "Today, by ratifying this contract, Food 4 Less/Foods Co. workers have secured meaningful raises, increased hours for part-time workers, and a more direct path to top-rate pay over the next three years," according to a joint statement from the various included locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers union. "After countless hours at the bargaining table and in the streets between their shifts, the hard-working members of UFCW stood together for their families and each other and secured a strong contract.

Workers had previously authorized a work stoppage if labor talks failed. But last week, representatives of UFCW Locals 8GS, 135, 324, 770, 1167, 1428 and 1442 announced that they had reached a tentative deal that includes "substantial wage increases for all workers, more guaranteed hours and other contract improvements."

Source: ABC7

US: Target joins ranks of Aldi, Whole Foods as stores no longer taking checks
The Minneapolis retailer Target said it will stop accepting personal checks in stores later this month, with the payment method dwindling in popularity through the years as more people use credit and debit cards as well as a growing segment of digital-exchange platforms.

"Target is committed to creating an easy and convenient checkout experience, and that includes providing our guests with numerous ways to pay, including our new Target Circle Cards (formerly known as Target RedCard); cash; digital wallets; SNAP/EBT; buy now, pay later services; and credit and debit cards," said Target company spokesman Brian Harper-Tibaldo in an email. "Due to extremely low volumes, we'll no longer accept personal checks staring July 15. We have taken several measures to notify guests in advance to aid an easy and efficient checkout experience."

Source: Spokesman

US: Florida woman wins over $4M in lawsuit against Publix after slipping at store
A Lake County jury awarded over $4 million to a woman after she slipped in a Publix store nearly four years ago, according to law firm Morgan & Morgan. Court records show that the woman — Heidi Jordan of Brevard County, who is represented by Morgan & Morgan — visited a Publix Supermarket along US-27 in Leesburg back in August 2020.

While shopping, Jordan slipped on water in the produce department, causing her to suffer major injuries, she claimed. She then filed a lawsuit against Publix, arguing that the company's negligence was responsible. The release says that Publix admitted to negligence days before the trial started, but the chain "challenged the validity of Ms. Jordan's injuries and her motives for acquiring legal counsel." However, attorneys said that the judge ultimately ruled a directed verdict on liability. In total, Jordan was awarded $4,261,410.80.

Source: Click Orlando