US: ‘H-E-B Guy’ Scott McClelland confirms upcoming retirement as president of supermarket chain
Scott McClelland, the charismatic and lovable “H-E-B Guy”, has confirmed to KPRC 2 that he is stepping down as president of the supermarket chain. McClelland clarified he will have a change in status as he moves toward retirement. “I am stepping down as president of H-E-B Food and Drug and am working part-time in 2022 to assist with H-E-B’s entry into Dallas”, McClelland told the KPRC 2 digital team.
US: Kroger announces 10 food trend predictions for 2022
The Kroger Co., America’s largest grocery retailer, announced its 2022 Food Trends Report, which predicts emerging food trends, consumer behaviors and popular items for the year ahead. This 4th-annual report centers on the continued dominance of at-home meals, powered by convenience, affordability, social gatherings, and the desire for sustainable and nutrient-rich food items. To download Kroger’s 2022 Food Trends Report graphic, visit here.
US: PCC Community Markets names Krishnan Srinivasan president and CEO
PCC Community Markets (PCC), the Seattle-based community-owned food market, announced that Krishnan (“Krish”) Srinivasan has become the new president and CEO of the 15-store chain. His appointment fills the vacancy left by Suzy Monford, who departed the company in August 2021.
US: Pickup-and-delivery duo pays off in online grocery
For supermarkets, it pays to offer both pickup and delivery for online grocery service. Weekly online grocery sales for stores providing order pickup and home delivery were 44% higher than stores offering delivery only and 55% higher than stores offering pickup only, according to the Brick Meets Click eGrocery Performance Benchmarking 2021 Wave.
Canada: M&M Food Market to be acquired by Parkland
Parkland Corporation has reached a deal to acquire M&M Food Market for $322mln. As part of the deal, Parkland – a convenience store operator and fuel retailer – gains M&M’s national network of more than 300 M&M stores, over 2,000 M&M Express locations and nearly 500 specialty frozen products.
China: JD.com and Shopify ink strategic partnership to simplify cross-border e-commerce
JD.com and Shopify announced that they have come together to create a strategic partnership to give independent brands in the US a simple, trusted way to access consumers in China, while simultaneously enabling Shopify merchants worldwide to access JD’s quality supplier network. The partnership will link Shopify’s millions of merchants worldwide with JD.com’s 550mln active customers in China who use the platform to find authentic, high-quality products.
Poland: Żabka Nano autonomous stores powered by AiFi outpace industry with 25 live locations
Żabka Group is now the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe after launching 25 AI-powered stores called Żabka Nano. The innovative concept enables quick shopping without checkout clerks, queues, or cash to sell products precisely matched to location and customer demographics. The stores operate in several formats such as standalone shipping container-inspired stores, traditional brick-and-mortar and store-within-a-store points of sale; each leveraging AI-powered computer vision technology created through close cooperation with American technology company AiFi.
Omicron impacts Christmas shopping in the UK: IGD
Christmas shopping took a different turn for people in the UK amid rising uncertainty due to the Omicron variant, the latest research by ShopperVista from IGD has revealed. Under a third of shoppers (32%) stated that the news of Omicron affected their celebrations and 27% claimed to have avoided making plans altogether due to the possibility of last-minute restrictions.
Metro to sell Belgian stores?
German retailer Metro is looking for a buyer for its Belgian branch, which has been haemorrhaging money for years. The Metro group has 2 chains in Belgium: its eponymous chain of hospitality suppliers has 11 stores in the Kingdom, while wholesaler Makro has 6. Belgian business newspaper De Tijd reports that Metro has asked the Rothschild bank to explore all the options for a sale, and it is reported there have already been talks with interested buyers. The Dutch Sligro Group may be one – after all, the group has already done several acquisitions in Belgium. Moreover, supermarket chain Jumbo might be interested as well, although the huge Makro stores are way too big to host only a supermarket.
SPAR Ireland spearheads AI-enabled technology to create a smart ordering platform
SPAR operator BWG Foods has become the 1st grocery retailer in Ireland to spearhead a smart ordering platform, ShopLink Pro, as part of a new pilot scheme across its retail network. The platform was developed by US-based AI leader R4 Technologies.
Russia: X5 appoints Vladislav Kurbatov to lead Pyaterochka
X5 Retail Group N.V. (“X5” or the “Company”), a leading Russian food retailer that operates the Pyaterochka, Perekrestok and Chizhik retail chains, announced changes in its top management team. Vladislav Kurbatov, previously the general director of Perekrestok supermarkets, was appointed general director of Pyaterochka proximity stores to replace Sergei Goncharov, who has decided to leave the company. Sergei will remain as an advisor to the X5 CEO in order to ensure a smooth transition.
Reliance joins calls for India to tighten marketplace rules – sources
Indian retailer Reliance has called for tighter regulation of marketplace e-commerce platforms to ensure such websites treat all sellers equally, 4 sources told Reuters.
Australia: Canstar Blue puts Aldi top of list for best fruits, veggies and organic food
Aussies appear to favour the fruit and vegetable offerings from a giant German grocery retailer. Aldi won the 2021 Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers awards for Supermarket Fruits and Vegetables. It also picked up the award for its organic products.
Alibaba unveils promising export opportunities for Vietnamese SMEs
Alibaba.com recently issued a report on the overview of Vietnam’s digital transformation 2022 that unveils promising export sectors for Vietnamese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Accordingly, promising export opportunities in 3 fields that the Vietnamese SMEs should grasp to expand their business operations on Alibaba platform include farm produce, personal care and beauty products, and housing and gardening.
India: Foodtech platform Pluckk raises $5mln seed capital from Exponentia Ventures
Fresh produce food-tech venture Pluckk, a brand owned by Fruveggiie Tech Pvt Limited, has raised $5mln seed capital from Exponentia Ventures, a fund focussed on emerging business ideas in both B2C and B2B space. Founded in 2021 by Pratik Gupta, Pluckk aims to build India’s first digital commerce business to serve the growing demand of lifestyle-oriented fresh produce.
UK: Once ‘diet-obsessed’ man sets up ‘affordable’ nutrition firm
A fitness fanatic who admitted becoming unhealthily obsessed with counting calories has co-founded a new online grocery business to help others. Sonny Drinkwater had reduced his daily intake to around 1,000 calories while exercising 20 times a week, until he realised something was wrong. He said it took a “massive toll” on his mental health while at university. After learning about nutrition, he co-founded WellEasy to help make healthy food affordable to anyone.
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