US: Walmart announces creation of new fintech startup
Walmart announced the creation of a new fintech startup designed to develop and offer modern, innovative and affordable financial solutions. The new company is a strategic partnership with leading fintech investment firm Ribbit Capital. The venture will bring together Walmart’s retail knowledge and scale with Ribbit’s fintech expertise to deliver tech-driven financial experiences tailored to Walmart’s customers and associates.
Amazon hiring for its Fresh grocery stores
Amazon is looking for Fresh help. The e-commerce operator is hiring for its two new Amazon Fresh grocery stores that will open in King County, Washington, according to a spokesperson. New Amazon Fresh employees will join more than 80,000 full- and part-time Amazon employees already working in Washington with industry-leading pay and a variety of benefits packages starting from their first day on the job.
US: HelloFresh boosts Distribution
Meal-kit provider HelloFresh has opened a new distribution center, this one located in Totowa, New Jersey. The 127,055 square-foot facility supports the production and distribution of EveryPlate, HelloFresh’s rapidly growing meal-kit brand focused on value, convenience and customization.
GrubMarket: Leveraging technology innovation for a farm-to-table experience
Agriculture is not typically associated with cutting-edge technology, but that may soon change thanks to companies such as GrubMarket. Founded in San Francisco in 2014 by software engineering executive Mike Xu, GrubMarket has scaled quickly by building digital platforms to help local farmers and producers connect directly with buyers, with a mission of providing access to fresh food at lower prices. GrubMarket’s approach is two-pronged. The first digital platform centers on a B2C app where consumers can order fresh produce directly from farmers, and the second digital platform centers on a B2B model, which supplies grocery stores, meal-kit companies and other food-based businesses. Additionally, the company also provides vertical software as a service (SaaS) to resolve any inefficiencies in the food supply chain.
Ahold Delhaize USA pilots UV disinfection robot in workplace
Retail Business Services (RBS), the services company of grocery Ahold Delhaize USA, has launched a pilot of UV disinfection robots from Ava Robotics in two of its affiliated distribution centers to aid in enhanced cleaning procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Covid-19 propels Amazon to Top U.S. Grocery Retailer for the 2021 dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index
dunnhumby, the global leader in customer data science, released the fourth annual dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index (RPI), a comprehensive, nationwide study that examines the approximately $1tln U.S. grocery market. In a year dominated by Covid-19, Amazon eclipsed last year’s winner H-E-B and runner up Trader Joe’s to take the top spot. Due to strong Covid-driven momentum, Target broke into the First Quartile of the RPI for the first time, jumping 6 places to move out of the Second Quartile, a spot they occupied the previous 3 years.
Click & Collect slots now available from 447 Morrisons stores across the UK
Morrisons is expanding its Click & Collect service to 447 stores across the UK to help feed the nation during the third national lockdown. At the start of March 2020, there were just 14 Morrisons stores offering the Click & Collect service, growing to 280 in the second lockdown in November. Now, Morrisons has extended the service even further to help customers during the latest January lockdown, with 447 stores now fulfilling Click & Collect orders across the country.
UK: GCA launches annual survey
The UK’s Groceries Code Adjudicator, Mark White, has launched the regulator’s annual survey, inviting suppliers to share their experiences of how the sector is operating during highly challenging times. The survey is an important opportunity for suppliers to tell the GCA about any Code issues they are facing and whether the retailers it regulates are treating them fairly and lawfully.
Israel to sell its ‘smart’ shopping carts to UAE’s biggest supermarket chain
Israel set to sell its “smart” shopping carts to one of the biggest supermarket chains in United Arab Emirates, in a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Israel and the UAE recently signed a U.S.-brokered normalization agreement that opened doors to a lot of business cooperation between the country and prompted hundreds of Israelis to flock to Dubai. The cart, developed by A2Z Smart Technologies Corp, is priced at NIS20,000 each and would allow customers to shop without having to go through checkout.
Italy: Todis sees 13% revenue growth in 2020
Italian supermarket chain Todis expects to report a 13% annual growth in turnover, to €870mln, for full-year 2020, with like-for-like sales up 7%. Over the past 5 years, the number of stores operated by the group has grown by 30%. The retailer opened 22 new stores in 2020, taking its total to 251, 80% of which are proximity stores, operating in 11 regions of Central and Southern Italy. All stores are franchised and operated by 205 affiliates.
Jumbotail raises $14.2mln for its wholesale marketplace in India
Jumbotail, an online wholesale marketplace for grocery and food items, said it has raised an additional $14.2mln as the Bangalore-based startup chases the opportunity to digitize neighborhood stores in the world’s second-largest internet market. The five-year-old startup said the new tranche of its Series B financing round was led by VII Ventures, with participation from Nutresa, Veronorte, Jumbofund, Klinkert Investment Trust, Peter Crosby Trust, Nexus Venture Partners and Discovery Ventures.
UK: Ocado warns product availability being impacted by COVID-hit suppliers
British online supermarket Ocado has become the first major food retailer to warn that the availability of some products is being impacted by COVID-19 pandemic related staff absences in its supply chain. “Staff absences across the supply chain may lead to an increase in product substitutions for a small number of customers as some suppliers consolidate their offering to maintain output”, an Ocado spokeswoman said.
Carrefour to open 2 more hypermarkets in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) this spring
Carrefour will open two more hypermarkets in Tashkent this March-April. They will be located in the shopping and entertainment centres Samarqand Darvoza and Compass according to Carrefour Uzbekistan. The first store of the French brand was opened in the capital at the end of December on Karatash Street.
Japan: Kansai Halifax Holdings releases report on Tencent increasing stake in commodity start-up Xingsheng Youxuan
Kansai Halifax Holdings have released a research report on Tencent Holdings Ltd increasing its stake in Xingsheng Youxuan. The global technology conglomerate is investing $100mln in the Chinese online grocery startup, which is reportedly valued at around $5bln.
India retail king Biyani sees quick OK of Future’s $3.4bln deal despite Amazon dispute
India’s Future Group expects swift regulatory approval of its $3.4bln deal to sell its retail assets, its chief executive said, even as its warring business partner Amazon.com Inc intensifies efforts to block the deal. Future and Amazon are at loggerheads over the Indian group’s August deal with Reliance Industries Ltd. The U.S. giant alleges the deal breached some of its pre-existing contracts with Future.