US: Grocery shoppers are ready to return to stores
After lockdowns and quarantines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are ready to return to physical grocery stores. 4 times as many shoppers plan to shop more often in a store in 2021 as those who plan to shop less, according to The Feedback Group’s “Grocery Shopper Intention Monitor” report. This strong expected shopping ratio (defined as the ratio of more to less often) appears strongest among rural shoppers (34% more often/4% less often) and the Baby Boomer generation (32% more/6% less). Walmart leads the way with the highest expected shopping ratio (34% more/11% less), followed by Costco (33% more/16% less), dollar stores (29% more/12% less) and grocery stores, including chains and independents (28% more/11% less).
US: Sprouts becomes MyFitnessPal’s first retail partner
Sprouts Farmers Market has joined MyFitnessPal as the online health and fitness platform’s first retail sponsor. Phoenix-based Sprouts said that it will support MyFitnessPal’s users with healthy recipes, articles, challenges and other content. For example, the natural and organic grocer helped introduce a new enhancement to MyFitnessPal’s Recipe Discovery feature that enables users to search and cook more than 100 healthy recipes, spotlighting fresh ingredients available at Sprouts. Premium MyFitnessPal members can log and save recipes directly in their profile to advance toward their fitness goals.
US: Taste intelligence startup Halla closes $4.5mln Series A1 to predict which grocery items shoppers will buy
Halla wants to answer the question of how people decide what to eat, and now has $4.5mln in fresh Series A1 capital from Food Retail Ventures to do it. Headquartered in New York, Halla was founded in 2016 by Gabriel Nipote, Henry Michaelson and Spencer Price to develop “taste intelligence,” using human behavior to steer shoppers to food items they want while also discovering new ones as they shop online. This all results in bigger basket orders for stores. SOSV and E&A Venture Capital joined in on the round, which brings Halla’s total capital raised to $8.5mln, CEO Price told TechCrunch.
Covid: ‘Pingdemic’ threatens shop openings say UK supermarkets
Supermarkets have warned they will have to cut opening hours or even shut shops if the number of workers forced to self-isolate continues to rise. M&S said the number of workers being notified by the NHS app is rising exponentially, and it may have to reduce hours if there are shortages. A leading supermarket, which declined to be named, said it could lead to massive disruption of food supplies. “And there’s a risk that there won’t be sufficient staff to open shops”.
Russia: X5 Retail Group on track for double-digit growth this year, says analyst
X5 Retail Group is on course to post double-digit topline growth this year, a leading industry analyst has said, after the Russian retailer reported a 10.6% increase in sales in the second quarter of its financial year. Artur Galimov of Sova Capital noted that following a dip in March and April, growth in monthly sales “gathered pace” in May and June.
India: Amazon to acquire apple, stone fruits, veggies in Himachal
Amazon has joined the list of private players involved in the procurement of apple, stone fruits and vegetables in the state. “Amazon opened its first collection centre in Balag 2 days back. It has come to the state for the first time and its entry will help farmers and growers get good prices”, said Shimla and Kinnaur APMC chairman Naresh Sharma. “Big companies like Amazon, Reliance and Big Basket have their own retail chain. When these companies lift produce from the regular market, it helps farmers and growers get good prices. That’s the reason we are promoting private players besides strengthening our own marketing yards,” said Sharma.
UK: Thousands of orders cancelled after Ocado robot fire
Ocado has cancelled thousands of orders after a fire at a fulfilment centre in south-east London. The online grocer said the blaze started when 3 of the robots that help pick its groceries collided at the Erith site. About 800 staff had to be evacuated and firefighters worked through the night to contain the incident.
Philippines: The Coop convenience
Shoppers have their pick of locally-sourced fruits and vegetables harvested straight from Philippine farms or international produce shipped fresh from countries as far as Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand, Spain, and the US. Opening the Coop Grocer website or mobile app, users are greeted by a clean and minimalist layout with a straightforward and user-friendly interface. What’s even more pleasing is its range of carefully curated meats, seafood, and poultry in various cuts. The online grocer also offers an extensive variety of alternative milk options, as well as fruits and vegetables with guaranteed overall freshness. What’s more, these items vary from the budget-friendly to the mid-range to the high-end premium.
South African retailers working ‘around the clock’ to restock stores affected by looting
South African retailers Shoprite and SPAR Group have issued statements on the continued unrest in South Africa, with Shoprite stating that it is ‘working around the clock’ to repair and restock looted and damaged stores, and SPAR confirming that deliveries to affected regions have recommenced. Shoprite said that as the authorities begin to restore stability in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng provinces, stores are becoming operational again, and are re-opening for business ‘by the hour’ while also seeking to ensure the safety of customers and employees.
Walmart’s Flipkart says Indian probe shouldn’t treat it the same as Amazon
Walmart’s Flipkart should not be treated the same as rival Amazon in an Indian antitrust probe as the evidence against the 2 firms was “qualitatively different”, Flipkart argued in a court filing seen by Reuters.
UK’s Morrisons set to unveil shop with NO workers: Supermarket that allows customers to put items straight into their bags and walk out
Bosses at supermarket Morrisons are close to unveiling an unmanned store that allows customers to put items straight from shelves into their bags, and walk out. The grocery giant – which is currently at the centre of a takeover battle – has been secretly working on the plan for more than a year and is likely to launch a pilot store to the public ‘within months’. It will require customers to download an app on to their smartphone which must be scanned on entry.
British supermarkets may shift supply chains to EU if N.Ireland trade not addressed
British supermarket groups, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, said they may shift some supply chains from the UK to the European Union unless the future of Britain-Northern Ireland trade is addressed urgently.