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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American retail giant Walmart to use smart coolers to keep grocery deliveries fresh for longer

US – Walmart, a leading American retail chain has announced that it will be testing out grocery deliveries using a HomeValet’s smart box to keep food on delivery fresh for longer periods. From the spring of 2021, participating customers in Bentonville, Arkansas, will be able to receive deliveries from their local Walmart directly in a temperature-controlled HomeValet-powered smart box placed outside their home. As a result, Walmart says customers will have the ability to receive secure contactless deliveries and will know their grocery items will stay fresh whether they are…

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Walmart to sell majority stake in Japanese supermarket Seiyu to KKR and Rakuten

JAPAN – American multinational retail corporation has announced plans to sell a majority stake in Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu to investment firm KKR and e-commerce giant Rakuten. The deal which values Seiyu at US$1.65 billion including debt, comes after a long period of speculation about Walmart looking to exit Japan after suffering years of poor profitability amid stiff competition from rivals. According to a report by TechCrunch, KKR will buy a 65% stake in Seiyu, while Rakuten,  Japan’s largest e-commerce company, will take a 20% stake through a newly created…

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US retail giant Walmart rolls out new stores integrating online and offline shopping

US — US retail giant Walmart has started rolling out new test stores that function as both physical shopping destinations and online fulfilment centers, a first-of-its-kind concept in the retail industry. The move comes during the COVID-19 pandemic whose impact continues to redefine shopping habits and behaviors, prompting retailers to explore omnichannel avenues for consumers’ convenience. Two hybrid outlets have already been set up by the retail giant and plans are underway to rool out more in the near future. To increase the speed of development, product and technology teams…

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Walmart sells its Europe outpost Asda to Issa billionaire brothers for US$7.97bn

EUROPE – Walmart has sold its last major outpost in Europe, Asda, to two billionaire brothers from Blackburn and the private equity firm TDR Capital in a deal that values the supermarket chain at £6.8 billion (US$7.97bn). Asda confirmed the sale of majority stake in Asda to Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who made their fortunes building the EG Group petrol station empire, and TDR. Walmart said that, under the new owners, Asda will invest £1 billion (US$2.5 billion) in the supermarket over the next three years. This means that the…

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Walmart, Cargill and McDonald partner to invest US$6m in grazing initiative by WWF

USA – The Walmart Foundation alongside Cargill and McDonald’s are teaming up on a cross-industry collaboration to fight climate change. The three corporations announced that they were investing US$6 million into a grazing initiative lead by the World Wildlife Fund. The program aims to make long-lasting improvements to the Northern Great Plains, focusing primarily on Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota.  The program is known as the Ranch Systems and Viability Planning network and will give ranchers training and tools to help advance grazing practices that improve the health of the…

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South African retailer Massmart gets US$230m backing from parent company Walmart

SOUTH AFRICA – South African retailer Massmart has received a R4 billion (US$230m) inter-company loan from its parent company Walmart, an American multinational retail corporation to help it offset liquidity constraints triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the backing, Massmart, which owns Makro, Game and Builders Warehouse retail outlets has indicated that the group now has sufficient resources to meet its obligations, reports IoL. “In addition to the facility support provided by local financial institutions, the group secured a R4bn inter-company loan from Walmart Inc to provide additional headroom in the…

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Walmart launches Express Delivery for doorstep deliveries in less than two hours

USA – Walmart has launched Express Delivery, a new service that delivers food, groceries and other items from its store to customers’ doors in less than two hours. With recent rise in online delivery as consumers continue to uphold movement restrictions, the American multinational retail corporation said that the new service will strengthen its response the Coronavirus pandemic. Express Delivery allows customers to order across more than 160,000 items from Walmart’s food, groceries, consumables and general merchandise assortment such as everyday essentials as well as electronics. Walmart has been piloting…

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Walmart’s Massmart to close non-performing stores in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA– South African retailer Massmart has decided to close all of its non-performing stores, as cash-strapped consumers battle with high unemployment, modest wage increases and higher average fuel and utility prices. Massmart, majority-owned by Walmart, said management will close trading at 23 Dion Wired Stores on March 19 and will decide whether to cease trading at 11 Masscash stores. Masscash stores consists of a Wholesale Division with cash and carry food and cosmetics’ businesses, and a Retail Division which consists of food outlets which target the lower LSM groups.…

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Walmart and Flipkart invest in Indian fresh produce supply chain startup Ninjacart

INDIA – Walmart and Flipkart have announced a joint strategic investment in supply chain start-up Ninjacart to strengthen their direct sourcing of fresh produce and enable Ninjacart to expand its customer base. T​he three partners aim to help ensure better access to high-quality fresh produce for more retailers and consumers across India while also creating economic opportunities for farmers. Partnering with Ninjacart will help Walmart and Flipkart strengthen direct sourcing of fresh produce for Walmart India’s Best Price Business-to-Business cash-and-carry stores and Flipkart’s online grocery business Supermart. The investment will…

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