The importance of ethical practice continues in today’s issue. Aldi will trial paper and compostable bags across in Britain, Canada's government wants to ban single-use plastic, in Russia, X5 Retail and Unilever buddy up for a circular economy and online grocer Ocado is looking into 'vertical farming'. Read on and find out what else happened in our industry.




Tuesday, 11 June 2019





Hello ,

The importance of ethical practice continues in today’s issue. Aldi will trial paper and compostable bags across in Britain, Canada's government wants to ban single-use plastic, in Russia, X5 Retail and Unilever buddy up for a circular economy and online grocer Ocado is looking into 'vertical farming'. Read on and find out what else happened in our industry.




US & Canada


Crucial decisions ▪ A group of investors in Hudson's Bay, including chairman Richard Baker, offered USD $ 1.3 billion in cash to take the struggling retailer private. A special committee will review the proposal. The Canadians have also reached an agreement with Austria's Signa to sell its European operations for USD 1.5 billion.



Growth plans ▪ Canadian grocer Sobeys plans to convert more Safeway stores in British Columbia to discount banner Freshco. The retailer also aims to expand its fresh market chain Farm Boy, which it has acquired last year. Overall, Sobeys operates more than 1,500 food and drug stores in Canada.



Sweet experience ▪ Krispy Kreme plans to open a flagship on Times Square in New York, which will be open 24 hours. The doughnut and coffeehouse chain promises to offer "the most awesome doughnut experience imaginable" and to showcase the baking process from start to finish.




Europe


Pay raise in Britain ▪ Tesco will increase the hourly pay for its store and warehouse workers from GBP 8.42, which is one of the lowest rates in the supermarket industry, to GBP 9 per hour, bringing the supermarket leader into line with current rates paid by Lidl and Asda.



Branching out ▪ Ocado has made major investments to expand into food productions. The online grocer has bought a majority stake in Jones Food, a “vertical farm” that grows fresh herbs with LED lights. Ocado has also entered joint ventures to build new tech solutions.



Joining forces ▪ Russia's X5 Retail and consumer goods giant Unilever have signed an agreement to implement circular economy principles. The two partners want to launch a programme for the installation of vending machines, that accept used consumer plastic containers for recycling.



Shrinking portfolio ▪ Debenhams chairman Terry Duddy wants to close 30 department stores to revitalise the chain for the online era. The retailer currently has 165 shops and 25,000 staff members and has struggled for over a decade under debts that have reached GBP 1.1 billion.




Asia & Australia


Going public again ▪ Alibaba has reportedly picked Credit Suisse and Chinese investment company CICC to lead the planned Hong Kong share sale, but is also in discussion with other companies. The e-commerce retailer plans to file a formal listing application as soon as the next few weeks.



Payment experience ▪ Australian department store operator Myer will offer a new payment service. Afterpay allows customers to buy now and pay later. The decision comes amid the retailer’s customer-first turnaround strategy, in which it seeks to bring customers back to its retail locations.




Environment matters


Compostable alternatives ▪ Aldi UK will ditch its plastic bags for paper and biodegradable ones, starting next month. Half of the stores will offer paper bags while the other half will trial a compostable option. The discounter has pledged to cut down plastic packaging by 25% in 2023.



Plastic ban ▪ The Canadian government has announced a plan to ban single-use plastics. The list of forbidden plastics isn’t set yet but could include fast-food containers, plates, cutlery, and shopping bags. Prime Minister Trudeau wants to follow the model chosen by the European Union.