Lidl Portugal is investing €100mln for expansion to Madeira

Gruppo Végé set to unveil 131 new outlets over the course of 2022

France: Auchan Retail appoints new chairman and CEO
Auchan Retail has announced the appointment of Yves Claude as its new chairman and chief executive officer. Claude succeeds Edgard Bonte, who successfully led Auchan Retail to return to a positive economic trajectory.

UK: Roll-Out of Co-op’s Amazon partnership continues
The Co-op has rolled out its grocery delivery partnership with Amazon to Bristol. The deal with the US online giant was announced in September, giving members of the Prime scheme the option to do a full Co-op grocery shop on the Amazon website, with same-day delivery. The latest expansion of the service includes the surrounding areas of Avonmouth, Chipping Sodbury, and Almondsbury.

Italy: Gruppo Végé plans 131 store openings for 2022
Italy’s Gruppo VéGé is aiming to accelerate its new store openings next year, with the group set to unveil 131 new outlets over the course of 2022. The retail cooperative, which consists of 35 associated companies, is also targeting 5th spot in terms of Italian grocery market share (7.5%). To achieve these goals, the group plans to take its total number of stores to more than 3,800 next year, accounting for more than 2.75mln sq.m of retail space.

China fines tech companies, including Alibaba, Baidu and for failing to report 43 old deals
China’s market regulator said it was fining companies including Alibaba, Baidu and for failing to declare 43 deals that date as far back as 2012 to authorities, saying that they violated anti-monopoly legislation. Enterprises involved in the cases would be fined 500,000 yuan ($78,000) each, it said, the maximum under China’s 2008 Anti-Monopoly Law. The deals, however, did not have the effect of eliminating or restricting competition, the regulator said.

Amazon to build its own courier network in Belgium
Amazon will develop its own network of parcel delivery companies in Belgium, thereby bypassing courier services such as Bpost. The American company is looking for subcontractors and will train them themselves. In the French-speaking part of the country, Amazon sends out 1 in 5 parcels.

Black Friday: largest boycott planned by independent retailers
This Friday, independent retailers across the country will shut down their websites, donate their profits to charity and plant trees as part of a renewed drive against the rabid consumerism encouraged by large online sellers offering deals for Black Friday. The number of retailers boycotting the event is the highest figure ever recorded by the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) and comes as part of a growing movement against huge online shopping websites such as Amazon that has gained traction since the start of the pandemic.

Russia: Magnit owner switch changes little for minorities
Magnit is shuffling the shareholder pack once again. VTB confirmed it was exiting the $9bln Russian supermarket by selling 5% to the market and around 12% to fellow shareholder Marathon. The state-backed lender bought the shares from founder and Chief Executive Sergei Galitsky back in 2018.

India: ‘Uber mobility demand rising as lockdowns end’
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the firm’s partnership with Zomato had been a “great bet” and that he was pleased about how the model had grown and gained share, and about the Indian entity’s IPO. He said Uber is witnessing a rise in demand as cities open up after COVID-induced lockdowns, and also expects the driver shortage easing. “The India food delivery market has been incredibly competitive and... [our] partnering up with Zomato was a bet on Deepinder Goyal, the founder and CEO there”, he said in a media interview. In 2020, Zomato had acquired the Uber Eats’s India unit in an all-stock deal that gave Uber 9.99% stake in the Indian food delivery platform.

Thailand: Central Food Retail unveils in-store AI service robots
Central Food Retail Co, operator of Tops Supermarket, Food Hall and Tops Daily, has introduced an AI service robot to offer convenience to consumers and as a part of the company's efforts to adapt to the new normal lifestyle. Chief executive Stephane Coum said: "In our bid to adapt to these new shopping behaviours, we decided to introduce 'Temjai', an AI service robot, to serve our customers as the 1st supermarket in Thailand".

Lidl Portugal to invest €100mln for expansion to Madeira
Lidl Portugal is investing €100mln to expand its operations to the autonomous region of Madeira. Within 2 years, the German discounter is planning to open its first 3 stores on the island, creating 150 jobs. The entry into Madeira takes place over a quarter of century since Lidl started operations in mainland Portugal.

Foodpanda Hong Kong and couriers reach deal on pay packages, ending labour dispute that sparked weekend strike
After 2 rounds of talks, Foodpanda promises to improve riders’ pay package and deal with ordering app issues. ‘They gave us a very good package and we’ve done our best to get what we want’, says one of negotiators representing firm’s 10,000-strong courier fleet.

US: Raley’s chief operations officer Kevin Konkel to retire
West Sacramento, California-based Raley’s has announced the retirement of chief operations officer Kevin Konkel, effective January 7, 2022, ending a nearly 4-and-a-half-decade career with the 124-store grocery chain. The company has yet to name a successor or interim replacement, but said it would announce a series of leadership changes in the weeks and months ahead.

US: Natural Grocers sets another record with fiscal 2021 net sales
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage's net sales in fiscal year 2021 exceeded the company's record-breaking sales of just a year ago, co-president Kemper Isely announced. Lakewood, Colorado-based Natural Grocers reported net sales of $1.06bln for the fiscal year that ended September 30, a 1.8% increase from fiscal 2020, when the company first broke $1bln. Net sales in fiscal 2021 are 16.8% higher than net sales from FY2019.

US: Giant expanding its Philly footprint with 2 grocery store openings next month
Giant's rapid expansion in the Philadelphia region is continuing with the opening of 2 full-fledged grocery stores and an Heirloom market next month. The Pennsylvania-based supermarket chain will open a new grocery store along the Delaware River waterfront and an Heirloom market at the Fashion District in Philadelphia. A 3rd store will move to a new location in Doylestown, Bucks County.

Canada: Produce Department Design 101
The quality of the fresh produce is often the top reason consumers cite for choosing one grocery store over another. Retailers can capitalize on that by making sure the look, feel and usability of their produce departments stand out as much as the fruits and vegetables sold there. When retailers set out to create a new produce department of revamp an existing one, they should remember that it’s crucial to create a sense of freshness, seasonality and convenience for customers, said Chris Schotsman, vice president of sales and marketing for Cayuga, Ontario-based Cayuga Displays. That includes flexible merchandising displays for seasonal and local produce items and using fruits and vegetables to create a mass display without overstocking product.

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