Amazon accused of unfair pricing policies by Washington DC
Amazon is being sued by Washington DC over allegations it abuses its position as a retail giant. The lawsuit claims that Amazon’s control of up to 70% of US online sales results in higher prices for consumers. “Amazon’s online retail sales platform benefits from, and is protected by, Amazon’s anticompetitive business practices”, it said. Amazon said that the lawsuit “has it exactly backwards”.
US: Whole Foods Market releases first-ever plant-based trend predictions
Whole Foods Market revealed its first-ever plant-based trend predictions, with nut-based cheese alternatives, banana blossoms and creamy cashew dips topping the list. Looking ahead to summer and beyond, the grocer’s Trends Council pooled members’ industry knowledge, product-sourcing expertise and hands-on work with emerging and existing plant-forward brands to inform the predictions.
US: Kroger Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky associates ratify new contract with UFCW Local 75
Kroger’s Cincinnati-Dayton division and United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 75 members in Cincinnati, Dayton, Northern Kentucky, and Southeastern Indiana ratified a new labor agreement.
Amazon to buy MGM Studios for $8.45bln
Amazon is buying MGM Studios for $8.45bln, the companies announced, marking Amazon’s most ambitious move yet into the entertainment business. The deal is Amazon’s second-largest acquisition. It paid $13.7bln for Whole Foods in 2017.
Introducing Cencosud’s 35-minute grocery delivery service in Latin America
Chilean-based retailer Cencosud is rolling out a 35-minute delivery service (Spid35) in all of its operating markets (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru). Rapid deliveries are made possible through the use of its own dark stores and through strategic partnerships with some of the regions’ largest last mile delivery businesses. Having launched the proposition earlier this year (January 2021), Spid35 is now available in some of Latin America’s major cities, including Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Santiago.
The importance of GD in the Brazilian economy
According to the ABRAS / SuperHiper 2021 yearbook, published by the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (ABRAS), the sector, which brings together 3mln direct and indirect employees and approximately 91,351 stores, has a turnover of R$554bln (Real Brazilians) in 2020, a figure that represents 7.5% of Brazilian GDP. The list of the main supermarket chains by turnover sees the Carrefour Group in first place, with total turnover of R$74.7bln, of which R$51.8bln made by the Atacadão flag and R$22.9bln by the flag Carrefour. Followed by Assaí Atacadista, with turnover of R$39.4bln, and GPA, with turnover of R$31bln.
Chinese veggie supplier Meicai files confidentially for U.S. IPO
Meicai, a Chinese startup that connects restaurants with vegetable producers, has confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the U.S., according to people familiar with the matter, pushing ahead with plans to go public despite a tech selloff that has deterred other listings.
Holland: Albert Heijn expands AH Compact service area
Dutch retailer Albert Heijn has announced that it has extended its free delivery service to Velsen, Hoorn, Deventer, Purmerend, Edam-Volendam, Alphen aan de Rijn and Zoetermeer. Residents in these areas can order groceries via AH Compact, a free-of-cost service introduced last year for small households. Customers can choose from 5,000 grocery items, with a minimum order amount of €35 for free delivery.
France: Carrefour and La Poste launch a new type of Pedestrian Drive
Carrefour has teamed up with La Poste via its subsidiary Pickup to create a new nationwide partnership to launch a new Pedestrian Drive business model. Henceforth, customers will be able to visit “Pickup drives” to access several local services – all under the same roof: they’ll be able to pick up their food shopping, as well as picking up or dropping off parcels.
UK: M&S to close 30 more shops as Ocado deal pays off
Marks & Spencer has said it plans to close another 30 shops over the next 10 years as part of its turnaround plan. M&S has already closed or relocated 59 main stores, as well as cutting 7,000 jobs across stores and management. The chain has reported big losses for last year as the pandemic took its toll on clothing sales. But food sales were up thanks to its Ocado tie-up, contributing to “a resilient financial performance in a year of disruption”.
Germany: Kaufland introduces local produce in Saarland stores
Kaufland is offering fresh vegetables from the producer group Lisdorfer Frischgemüse from Saarlouis in its 8 Saarland branches. The German retailer attaches great importance to products from regional suppliers and makes a strong effort to support local agriculture.