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Autonomous deliveries in Santa Monica launched by Motional and Uber Eats

Walmart cut its full-year profit forecast

US: How Umamicart uses shoppable recipes to drive sales
Asian e-commerce grocer Umamicart is betting on recipes to get people to fill up their online shopping carts. From fruits, condiments and snacks, Umamicart sells about 2,000 products on its website, which are currently available for delivery in over 12 states. Umamicart declined to share revenue figures, though it has raised $7mln in funding to date.

US: Whole Foods Market's next NYC store to welcome shoppers on June 1
Whole Foods Market is taking more of Manhattan with a new store at 63 Madison Avenue. The location in the NoMad (short for North of Madison Square Park) neighborhood is slated to open on June 1. The 54,000-square-foot Whole Foods is said to balance an urban look and feel with a slew of locally-sourced offerings, including organic produce grown at more than 20 farms in the region and more than 1,000 items procured from NYC-area makers.

US: DC Greens’ Produce Rx program expands to 3 more Giant Food stores
Participants in DC Greens’ Produce Rx program can now use their produce prescriptions - $240 valid for 90 days loaded on a Giant Bonus Card - at the O Street NW, H Street NE, and Brentwood NE Giant Food locations. The program is already available at the banner’s 1535 Alabama Ave SE (Congress Heights) or 1345 Park Road NW (Columbia Heights) stores. The program enables partner clinics to support patients with such diet-related chronic illnesses as pre-diabetes, diabetes or hypertension by making it easier to buy fresh and frozen produce and receive wrap-around nutrition education.

US: Walmart cuts full-year profit forecast as fuel, labor costs spike
Walmart Inc cut its full-year profit forecast, signaling a bigger knock to the retail giant's profit margins from surging costs of everything from fuel to labor. Net income attributable to the company slumped nearly 25% to $2.05bln in the three months ended April 30. Total revenue for the first quarter rose 2.4% to $141.57bln, beating analysts' average estimate of $138.94bln, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Share of U.S. shoppers buying groceries online stabilizes
Momentum in the U.S. online grocery market has continued to tail off since the boom triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study from Coresight Research shows. Of nearly 2,100 U.S. adults polled, 54.3% had purchased groceries online in the past 12 months, down from 59% a year ago, according to Coresight’s “U.S. Online Grocery Survey 2022” report. What’s more, 46.9% said they plan to buy groceries online in the next 12 months, a decrease from the 49.5% who planned to do so in the 2021 survey. That marked the second straight year in which customer expectations for the upcoming 12 months were below actual behavior in the past year.

US: Motional and Uber Eats launch autonomous deliveries in Santa Monica
Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Uber Technologies Inc launched autonomous deliveries for Uber Eats customers in Santa Monica, California. Motional's all-electric IONIQ 5 vehicles, operating autonomously, are now conducting end-to-end food deliveries.

Coop Switzerland strengthens ties to Swiss producers
For approximately ten years, Coop Switzerland has been sourcing its Swiss fresh vegetables through three regional fresh vegetable alliances, Alliance Ost Gemüse AG, Alliance Mitte AG, and Alliance Romande SA. The retailer announced that these three organisations will merge on January 1, 2023 to form Alliance Gemüse Schweiz (Vegetable Alliance Switzerland) and continue their cooperation with Coop.

Ireland: Aldi unveils its newly renovated Dungloe “Project Fresh” store
Aldi’s Carnmore Road, Dungloe “Project Fresh” store has reopened its doors to customers following an extensive renovation project worth almost €1mln. The newly refurbished store has received a full makeover in line with Aldi’s award-winning Project Fresh design, which was recognised at the National Grocery Retail Awards when Aldi scooped the Discounter Store of the Year award for its Killaloe store, thanks in part to its superior quality of display across its fresh fruit and vegetable offering.

Flink acquires French q-commerce pioneer Cajoo and partners with Carrefour
Flink SE, Europe’s leading quick commerce company, announced the acquisition of Cajoo, quick commerce pioneer in France, to accelerate its expansion in the French market and to further consolidate its leading position in Europe. Carrefour, an early investor and exclusive retail partner of Cajoo, will become the exclusive partner for the French market for Flink and a direct shareholder in the company.

Finland: Kesko sees sales increase by 3.1% in April
Retail conglomerate Kesko Group's sales totalled €998.7mln in April, which marks an increase of 3.1% from the previous year, with comparable sales growth of 2.5%. In the grocery trade, Kesko generated sales worth €496.6mln in April, an increase of 4.9% compared to the previous year. Grocery sales to K-food stores remained at the previous year's level, the retailer noted. Sales decreased in K-Citymarket's home and specialty goods trade, while Kespro's sales increased by 41.1%.

Britons are trading down amid cost of living crisis - McKinsey
British consumers are reacting to the cost of living crisis by trading down in both stores and products, switching from supermarkets to discounters and from branded to lower priced and private label products, a report from consultants McKinsey said.

Woolworths Group set to flip the switch on 100% green energy in South Australia for a better tomorrow
Woolworths Group’s operations in South Australia will be powered by 100% renewable electricity from July this year - the first state to go completely green in the retailer’s nationwide transition by 2025. A new South Australian renewable energy partnership will see the retailer’s almost 70 Woolworths supermarkets, 17 BIG W stores and the Adelaide Regional Distribution Centre go green - equivalent to every home in Brighton and Glenelg switching to green energy.

Ireland: Centra reports 2.5% growth in full-year sales, to €1.98bln
Irish convenience retailer Centra, which is part of the Musgrave Group, has reported a 2.5% increase in sales in full-year 2021, to €1.98bln. The group said that its performance was driven by its own-brand ranges, its Frank and Honest coffee offering, and freshly prepared meals.

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