US: 127 Wall and Yellow Banana partner with the City of Chicago in tackling food deserts
Yellow Banana, the owner and operator of eight Save A Lot locations in the Chicagoland area, announced the receipt of a $13.5mln Community Development Grant from Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the City of Chicago that will enable Yellow Banana to invest in significant upgrades to its existing Chicago stores, as well as to re-open a location in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood that closed in 2020. The City’s grant, combined with other financing and funding from Yellow Banana, will bring approximately $26mln in investment into six locations in underserved communities throughout the City’s South and West Sides.
US: Home Chef expands southeast footprint with more production space
To better serve its growing meal kit consumers, Home Chef is expanding its southeast footprint to a brand-new production space that will allow for more capacity and increased efficiencies. The company has leased a 181,000-square-foot facility at 2120 Skyview Drive in Douglasville, Georgia.
20 Years of FreshDirect
It may seem hard to believe, but FreshDirect, the Northeast’s leading pure-play online grocer, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. To mark this milestone occasion, Progressive Grocer Managing Editor Bridget Goldschmidt spoke with FreshDirect Managing Director Dave Bass on how the Bronx, New York-based company, acquired last year by Ahold Delhaize, began back in 2002 and where it’s headed, along with the future of e-grocery in general.
US: Save A Lot eyes expanded product sourcing
Discount grocer Save A Lot is leveraging the RangeMe online product discovery platform to source new and innovative suppliers. RangeMe, a subsidiary of Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM), said that Save A Lot will have access to more than 200,000 suppliers, with the end goal of sourcing novel private- and national-brand products, increasing selection and providing continued value for its consumers. The grocery banner carries an inventory of roughly 70% private brands.
Amazon handed £1mln UK tax credit as profits surge 60% to £204mln
Amazon’s core UK division was handed a tax credit of just over £1mln last year by HM Revenue and Customs despite the online retailer’s profits soaring by almost 60% to £204mln. The tax benefit was part of €1bln (£850mln) in tax credits provided to Amazon by governments across Europe, up from €56mln a year before, according to accounts filed for the US company’s Luxembourg-based division.
Italy: Selex sees turnover up 4.3% in FY 2021
Italian retail group Gruppo Selex reported a total turnover of €16.9bln in its financial year 2021, up 4.3% compared with 2020. In December of last year, the company forecast a turnover of €16.7bln for full-year 2021, which would represent a 3.1% growth compared to 2020.
New Zealand: New World Wairoa opens on a new site with a brand-new next generation store
New World Wairoa has welcomed their first customers to its much-anticipated brand-new store at 51 Queen Street, Wairoa. The store completely replaces the original store and is the latest generation New World design and format, while keeping its community at heart. The brand new 2,009sqm store, almost double the size of the previous store, will provide Wairoa locals and visitors with all the essentials, including a larger range of grocery offerings, wider variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, a delicious new bakery range - and a bigger range of convenient options to grab-and-go.
Ocado Retail boss Melanie Smith to leave business next month
Ocado Group, the online supermarket and technology firm, said that Melanie Smith, the CEO of its Ocado Retail joint venture with Marks & Spencer, would leave the business at the end of next month.
China: Tencent-backed Missfresh weighs unit stake sale for funds
Missfresh Ltd. is weighing selling stakes in a unit that offers services to fresh produce sellers including business consultation and setting up online stores, according to people familiar with the matter, as the struggling firm looks for a lifeline. The Tencent Holdings Ltd.-backed firm is working with advisers to gauge investor interest for its intelligent fresh market business, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. The process kicked off late last year and Missfresh is seeking a valuation of about $100mln for the unit, the people said. That’s higher than the New York-listed company’s market value of $79mln.
Portugal: Continente joins Too Good To Go's latest initiative
Retailer Continente, a part of Sonae MC retail group, has joined food waste prevention app Too Good To Go's new initiative 'Observar, Smeirar, Tavar' (Look, Smell, Taste).
Grocery app Yuu partners with Gophr to guarantee 1-hour delivery
Scottish grocery app Yuu has announced a partnership with last-mile, on-demand delivery network Gophr, to deliver everyday essentials across Glasgow within 60 minutes as it looks to tackle the rise of ‘dark stores’ (retail distribution outlets that cater exclusively to online shopping) in Scotland.
Carrefour sells stake in Taiwan business to Uni-President
Carrefour has announced it is to sell its 60% stake in Carrefour Taiwan to its long-time partner and co-shareholder in the business, Uni-President. The transaction values Carrefour Taiwan at an enterprise value of €2.0bln, Carrefour said in a statement.
UK: Dobbies ditches Sainsbury’s for Waitrose foodhall partnership
Dobbies Garden Centre’s has launched a new partnership with Waitrose after resident grocery supplier Sainsbury’s pulled out of supply deals. As a result of the partnership, Waitrose will now provide Dobbies customers with a range of high-quality food, grocery products and everyday essentials in over 50 garden centres across the UK.
Kazidomi acquires French competitor Smartfooding
The French market is becoming increasingly important for Kazidomi: the Brussels-based organic webshop has acquired its French competitor Smartfooding - including the latter’s organic baby food store Graine de bonne santé.
Sainsbury’s invests £1mln in UK retail first incubator programme for Black-led businesses
Sainsbury’s announced the launch of a free 16-week incubator programme for Black-led start-up businesses, with a £1,000,000 commitment to supporting their transition to supermarket shelves. Created and delivered in partnership with Foundervine and Mission Ventures, the programme is open to entrepreneurial food and drink businesses seeking to grow but facing one of many barriers that might be holding them back.
China: Didi gets a tentative green light from Beijing
Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi may be reversing out of Beijing’s doghouse. Authorities are readying a fine of more than $1.3bln, or around 4.7% of the company’s revenue last year, according to Reuters. That should put an end to a year-long cybersecurity investigation that has hampered business and effectively cost the company its New York listing.