Retail sales rose 3.2% in January amid Omicron surge: Statistics Canada
Retail sales rose 3.2% to $58.9bln in January, even with public health restrictions in several parts of the country to deal with the Omicron surge in COVID-19 cases at the start of the year, Statistics Canada said. However, the agency said its early estimate for February suggested retail sales fell 0.5% for that month, though it cautioned the figure would be revised.
US: Pickup-only online grocer Fresh Street makes debut
In the wake of a flood of ultra-fast grocery delivery startups, fledgling online grocer Fresh Street is taking a different approach: pickup-only. Chicago-based Fresh Street launched its 1st click-and-collect location in the Windy City at 6191 N. Lincoln Ave. The e-grocery platform, available via mobile app (iOS and Android version) and online at freshstreet.com, currently offers customers 4,000 SKUs of food and nonfood items for free curbside pickup within 30 minutes of their order being placed.
Amazon's 2nd union vote in New York set for late April
Amazon.com Inc workers at the company's "LDJ5" warehouse in Staten Island, New York will vote in person starting on April 25 on whether to unionize, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board said in an election notice.
US: Buyk ceases operations
Buyk, the real-time retail grocery delivery service that launched in New York City and Chicago in 2021, has filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The company intends to use the Chapter 11 proceedings to wind down operations and dispose of inventory and assets.
Brazil: Assaí sees 4th-quarter profit up by 76%, opens 21 new stores
Cash-and-carry banner Assaí Atacadista recorded a net profit of R$527mln (€90.5mln) in the 4th quarter of 2021 - up by 76%, year on year. Net revenue in the quarter increased by 8.1%, to R$11.55bln (€2bln), while same-store sales fell by 3.1% in the period, impacted by strong comparative factors (+19.4% in Q4 2020).
UK: Sales of fruit and veg will fund meals for children in Tesco’s Buy One to Help a Child campaign
Tesco customers buying fruit or vegetables in their local store or online will be helping to support thousands of children living in food insecurity. From Monday 21 March until Sunday 3 April, Tesco will give a donation when customers top up their trollies with healthy fruit and vegetables in store or online at Tesco.com during the supermarket’s Buy One to Help a Child event.
Montenegro’s Domaća Trgovina expands City Market format to Serbia
Montenegrin retail group Domaća Trgovina has expanded its new City Market store format to Serbia. After rolling out the new City Market format in Montenegro in mid-2021, the company has now opened its 1st 2 outlets in Belgrade. The 1st City Market store opened at Birčaninova 32-34, in Belgrade, which was followed by a 2nd store, in Banovo brdo, at Zrmanjska 7-9. 4 more stores will follow by the start of April, while another 20 should be opened by the end of 2022.
Cyprus' Alphamega e-shop: 1 year and 25,000 new clients later
Just 1 year on from its launch, Alphamega Hypermarkets’ e-shop has gained 25,000 new customers and recorded sales that match the sales of one of its physical stores. Alphamega Hypermarkets’ e-shop, the 1st to be launched by a Cypriot supermarket chain, is celebrating its 1 year anniversary this March, with the company’s data showing that it was not only embraced by the public, but that it was something the Cypriot retail market was missing.
China: E-commerce firm Dingdong apologises after food safety concern
Chinese e-commerce firm Dingdong (Cayman) Ltd apologised for selling expired food products after the firm was summoned by Beijing's market regulator following a report on food safety by Beijing News. Dingdong said it has suspended operations at the site where out-of-shelf-life vegetables were relabelled with new expiry dates, and frozen fish products were labelled as fresh, it said in a statement posted on its official Weibo account.
Stores benefit as lorry driver shortage finally eases
The HGV driver shortages affecting availability to convenience stores last year have begun to improve, according to Unitas managing director John Kinney. Throughout 2021, a combination of Brexit and the pandemic was blamed for a lack of delivery drivers.
Farmers and consumers to benefit from $120mln investment in Indonesia's leading e-Grocery start-up
Farmers across Indonesia stand to benefit from higher income and better access to a market already worth $120bln a year following a successful round of fundraising for Sayurbox, the nation's leading B2C e-Grocery platform. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, invested $10mln in Sayurbox as part of a $120mln fundraising that includes injections led by Alpha JWC Ventures and Northstar. The funds will enable Sayurbox to scale up its digital platform and dramatically boost direct farm-to-plate access nationwide.
Independent Spars in Scotland join free fruit for children scheme
Spar stores in Scotland are continuing their programme of handing out free fruit to schoolchildren. Spar Scotland has already completed 3 free trials in partnership with the Healthy Living Programme and the latest effort involves independent stores in Blantyre, Inchture, Scone and Kinmylies. Each store has a day when free apples, pears and bananas are given to schoolchildren between 2pm and 4pm. The campaign is intended to encourage children to eat more fruit.
Ocado revamps delivery service branding
Ocado has rebranded its within-an-hour grocery delivery service switching up its names, logo and colours. Previously known as Ocado Zoom, it has been revamped as Zoom by Ocado featuring bright pink colours instead of green and blue.
Australia: Fresh and frozen food prices will stay high for months, supermarket boss says
Ritchies IGA chief executive Fred Harrison said the price of fresh broccoli had jumped to $7 a kilogram and that processors were "battling" to get frozen vegetables into supermarkets. "Vegetables are very scarce at the moment due to the floods", he said. "So we've seen cabbages, potatoes and broccoli in particular jump 75% compared to a couple of weeks ago". Fruit and vegetable prices are set to remain high for at least 6 months, Mr Harrison said, with frozen vegetable prices also set to rise.
UK: Asda opens largest Asda On the Move store
Asda has opened its largest store on an EG Group petrol filling station to date in Nottinghamshire, offering customers more services and greater choice through popular foodservice brands. The 5,000 sq ft Asda On the Move store - located on EG’s London Road forecourt in Retford - offers more than 2,500 Asda own brand and branded items, including Extra Special, fresh and chilled products, alongside EG-operated food service brands LEON and KFC.