Westlife to increase McDonald’s presence in India with 30 new stores

INDIA – Westlife Development Ltd, which owns Hardcastle Restaurants, the master franchisee of McDonald’s restaurants for western and southern India, has announced plans to adding more stores to its network. A company official privy to the matter said that the company plans to open three new stores in this quarter and then resume its growth journey of adding 25-40 stores every year from the next fiscal. These plans are a show of confidence by the McDonald’s franchisee that business in the fast-food sector will return to pre-COVID-19 level as from…

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EBRD, EU support puts Azerbaijani restaurant chain Pizza Mizza on a new growth pedestal

AZERBAIJAN – Pizza Mizza, an Azerbaijani restaurant, is on a new growth pedestal having benefitted from an EBRD advisory program that was sponsored by funds from the European Union. According to the company’s testimony the EU sponsored EBRD advisory project helped it boost brand awareness and customer loyalty and now the company prides itself with increased sales, more staff and a larger customer base of admirers of its Italian cuisine. Founded in 2014, the company grew its branches and employees steadily every year riding on the popularity of Pizza among…

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Walmart dispatches robots to select US stores to fasten online order fulfillment

US – American multinational retail corporation Walmart has announced plans to use robots in select stores across the United States to handle surging online orders, cut delivery times and significantly reduce operational costs. The US gaint says that the robots will be dispatched to dedicated warehouses which will be located within or next to existing stores where they will be involved in fetching items such as boxed and frozen food for online orders. The company however noted that Human workers will still be required at the stores and will be…

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Carrefour Kenya offers shoppers seamless shopping experience with launch of new online shopping app

KENYA – Carrefour Kenya, operated by Dubai-based conglomerate, Majid Al Futtaim has expanded its offering with launch of an online shopping app aimed to enhance the shopping experience of its customers. The new application dubbed MAF Carrefour App will enable customers to shop for their essentials virtually and have them delivered to their preferred location. Offering flexibility and value, the online shopping app allows customers to choose a 1-hour delivery slot either on the same day or the next day between 9am – 8pm, for a delivery fee of Kshs.…

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SA registers high fluctuations in SKU availability of alcoholic products on online platforms due to COVID-19 disruptions

SOUTH AFRICA – The retail industry has felt the effects of COVID-19 with lock-downs initiated in some countries forcing shoppers to stay away and, in some instances, the physical distancing protocol contributed to the immense reduction of foot traffic in stores. As a result, the retailers invested in their online presence by adapting the use of e-commerce to ensure continued service to their customers. With countries being in and out of lock-downs throughout 2020 and into 2021 there have been changes in online product availability in response to the shifting…

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Retailer Choppies to pay US$12m owed to banks and suppliers as it exits East African market

EAST AFRICA – Botswana-based retailer Choppies Enterprises Ltd is facing a US$12.4 million debt owed to banks and suppliers in Kenya and Tanzania, as the retailer prepares to exit from the East Africa region after closing down its operations in March 2020. Botswana Stock Exchange listed retailer which is also cross-listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange has discontinued operations in four countries — Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa. It is continuing with its operations in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia. The multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in…

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Online grocery to be the next battleground for e-commerce growth in India – RedSeer

INDIA – India’s e-commerce scene has been a battle ground of sorts in the past one year, with more players than ever before entering the market and jostling for a share of the retail segment from seasoned players. As the market reaches saturation and JioMart-the latest entrant in the scene- promising a massive potential to disrupt the space, market research firm RedSeer sees the delivery of groceries online as the the next battleground for growth. “Grocery is the largest retail category. This makes it an important category for retailers and…

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Domino’s becomes the first-ever QSR restaurant chain in India to offer plant-based meat pizza

INDIA – Domino’s India has launched a plant-based pizza, becoming the first-ever QSR (quick service restaurant) chain in India to include plant-based protein in their food menu, according to a report by ET Retail. In a statement, Domino’s – which is operated by Jubilant FoodWorks- said that the new plant-based protein pizza which is known as “The Unthinkable Pizza” has the same taste as that of chicken. According to the QSR chain, the Unthinkable Pizza will be made available across the major cities in India namely – Mumbai, Bengaluru and…

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India’s Gourmet meat startup Licious to raise US$80m to fund business expansion

INDIA – Gourmet meat startup Licious is seeking to raise US$80 million from new as well as existing investors in an effort to raise enough funds to fund its business expansion. If successful in its endevour to raise funds from investors such as TPG, General Atlantic, PremjiInvest and Multiples Alternate Asset Management, the Indian Gourmet meat startup will achieve a valuation of US$800 million. “The company is looking to raise primary capital to fund its business expansion,” a person with knowledge of the development said. Investment bank Avendus Capital has…

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Moroccan B2B e-commerce startup Chari.ma planning expansion after strong growth in Casablanca

MOROCCO – Chari.ma, a Moroccan B2B e-commerce platform that fashions retailers with suppliers is seeking an investment to enable it expand both at home and into other French-speaking African countries such as Tunisia, Algeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal. This follows its strong growth in its launch market of Casablanca, having already signed up 10,000 shops as its clients, reports Disrupt. Launched early last year, the company uses technology to resolve existing supply chain inefficiencies between retailers and suppliers by allowing traditional proximity store owners to order products through and easy…

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