US: C&S names Bob Palmer CEO
C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc., the largest wholesale grocery supply company in the United States, has appointed Bob Palmer CEO, succeeding Michael A. Duffy in the role. “C&S has been a leader in the rapidly changing grocery industry for over 102 years”, said Rick Cohen, chairman of Keene, New Hampshire-based C&S. “We will continue to drive innovation and adapt to the dynamic market conditions to better serve and support our customers. These unique times have required us to refocus our efforts and priorities”.
US: Fresh food makes pandemic-stressed consumers happy
What made consumers happy during the pandemic? Fresh food – at least according to Deloitte. In its new “The Future of Fresh: Patterns from the Pandemic” report, Deloitte found that nine of 10 survey respondents said that fresh food literally makes them happy. The findings were based on interviews of 2,000 adults (age 18 to 70) in the United States who influenced fresh food purchases in their households. The interviews were conducted in July.
US: Smart & Final improves store planning, workforce management
Smart & Final has implemented Logile Inc.’s store-planning and workforce management technology solutions in all of its stores. According to Logile, these solutions enable retailers to understand true labor costs and impacts, improve labor use, and achieve unparalleled operational optimization and visibility. Logile’s software supports compliance with regulatory requirements, including predictive scheduling, which applies to several Smart & Final market areas.
US: Consumers cut down grocery trips but still overspend
Consumers are making fewer trips to the grocery story but are spending more, according to new LendingTree data that offers one of the most recent views of food retail trends during the pandemic. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based online lending marketplace found that U.S. consumers now spend $190 per week on groceries, up 17% from $163 before the pandemic. That said, 25% of consumers they are talking fewer shopping trips now. More specifically, 51% of men and 49% of women are the taking fewer shopping trips.
Amazon workers in Germany strike on ‘Prime Day’
A German trade union called on workers at seven Amazon warehouses to go on strike on Tuesday to coincide with the global “Prime Day” promotion event that was postponed due to operational challenges from the coronavirus pandemic. Verdi said it was organising the two-day strike as part of a long-running battle with Amazon in Germany over better pay and conditions, noting that a coronavirus bonus introduced for workers in Germany in March had been scrapped again in May.
India: FreshToHome in talks for $130mln funding from Raed Ventures, DFC, others
Bengaluru-based online marketplace for perishable goods FreshToHome is finalising a $130mln funding round from investors including Investcorp, Saudi corporate venture capital firm Raed Ventures, Middle East Oils and Grains, and US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). Existing investors Iron Pillar and Ascent Capital, and new backer David Wehner, the chief financial officer of Facebook, also participated in the round. Ascent Capital has already invested about $16.2mln, while DFC has committed to $20mln.
UK grocery sales rise, but shoppers aren’t stockpiling – Kantar
British grocery sales growth accelerated in September as shoppers geared up for new restrictions to stem the spread of COVID-19, though there was “limited evidence” of a new wave of stockpiling, industry data showed. Market researcher Kantar said sales rose 10.6% year-on-year in the 4 weeks to October 4 as shoppers moved a greater proportion of their eating and drinking back into the home. “This is likely a response to rising COVID-19 infection rates, greater restrictions on opening hours in the hospitality sector, and the end of the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme”, said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar. Morrisons was the best performer of the country’s so called “big four” supermarkets, with sales up 11.5% over the 12 weeks to October 4. Sales rose 9.2% at Tesco and were up 6.8% at Sainsbury’s and 5.4% at Asda. Sales at online grocer Ocado, which started delivering Marks & Spencer products on September 1, were up 41.9%.
How Singapore’s biggest supermarket player plans to unpack the packaging waste issue
FairPrice Group will explore ways to reduce packaging waste while ensuring product safety and quality, says its group chief executive Seah Kian Peng: “A variety of packaging including cling wrap, foam nets, trays and bags is used to ensure consistency, minimise damage and preserve the quality of the product, particularly for fresh produce such as leafy vegetables and corn”, he said. “This means that we are able to prevent food wastage by lengthening the shelf life of these fresh produce”. Vegetables are wrapped in bags to minimise mishandling and delicate fruits like mangoes and strawberries are packed in boxes to prevent bruising, he said. Fresh produce sold by FairPrice are mainly pre-packed by suppliers before they arrive at stores, Seah added. Stores may, however, also use their own packaging to wrap pre-cut fruits and vegetables. At times, they have to re-pack some produce to replace damaged packaging or cut the risk of cross-contamination.
France: Monoprix launches autonomous store
Casino-owned Monoprix has opened its first unstaffed store, under the Monop’ Box brand. The store is being trialed at the retailer’s headquarters, with Monoprix noting that the technology used by the store also able to be scaled up to its wider estate. The retailer said the Box will be repositioned from its headquarters to a site accessible by the public as part of a ‘live’ test.
Belgium: Colruyt tests grocery delivery by cargo bike in Brussels
In Ixelles (Brussels), Colruyt has launched a new variant of its grocery delivery service. Collect&Go City brings groceries ordered online by cargo bike to Place Flagey, where customers can pick them up. The new ‘Collect&Go City’ service is specifically tailored to the city. “City dwellers are a separate target audience with specific needs”, says Tom Deprater, responsible for Collect&Go, to Bruzz. “They do small shopping several times a week, often ‘on the go’. They have a heightened awareness of sustainability, food waste and packaging, and nowadays they lose quite a lot of time in small city shops”.
MyNews to open 500 CU convenience stores across Malaysia
MyNews has won a 10-year licensing agreement to operate South Korea’s CU convenience stores in Malaysia. According to MyNews’ founder and CEO, Dang Tai Luk, the group aims to launch CU-branded convenience stores in the country by early next year and roll out 500 CU stores in the next five year. Founded in 2012 by BGF Retail, CU is one of South Korea’s biggest c-store chain with approximately 15,000 outlets in the country.