Woolworths’ 118% rise in online food sales drive overall growth of segment

SOUTH AFRICA – South African retail giant Woolworths, has reported that its group sales for the 52 weeks ended 27 June 2021, increased by 9.7% compared to a year earlier, and by 5.9% in constant currency terms. According to the upmarket retailer, trading conditions in the second half of the financial year are not directly comparable to the prior year, given the extensive impact of the pandemic. South Africa’s recovery during this phase of the Covid-19 pandemic has been set back by the onset of the third wave of infections…

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South African retailers soar above riot disruptions, commence rebuilding, restocking

SOUTH AFRICA – South African retailers are working round the clock to replenish shelves with groceries, food and other essential supplies in hundreds of stores which were looted in one of the country’s worst unrest in years. Supermarket owners have indicated that they are racing to keep stores unaffected by the violence stocked, as some shoppers were stripping shelves with panic buying, though blocked roads and disruptions to supply chains were hampering their efforts. In the affected areas i.e., KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, retailers are gearing up to rebuild the affected…

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Woolworths opens first standalone liquor store in South Africa offering an assortment of drinks

SOUTH AFRICA – Grocery retailer Woolworths has opened its first standalone liquor store dubbed WCellar, to better serve the liquor lovers in South Africa. The dedicated store adjoining the Food Market of its Nicolway store in Bryanston, Johannesburg, offers a broader selection of crafted wines, co-created with leading wineries, as well as additional lines to cater for different tastes, such as an edited assortment of beers, craft beers, ciders and spirits. Its design, according to reports by Bizcommunity, is intended to create a warm and safe ambiance as it will…

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Woolworths South Africa invests US$45.7m in food price reduction fostering affordability

SOUTH AFRICA – South African retail giant Woolworths is seeking to invest R1bn (US$60.9m) in its prices over the next two to three years to ensure its products are accessible to more consumers, committing 75% of the investment to lowering food prices. The move has been triggered by the supermarket chain eyeing a bigger share of South Africa’s lucrative fresh food and grocery market and seeking to offset the pandemic impact on consumer’s income. “Over the last few years, we have been on a journey to invest in the prices…

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Food search and discovery startup Spoon Guru closes Series A round with funding from Woolworths

UK – Spoon Guru, a UK-based startup using artificial intelligence (AI) powered intelligent food search and discovery, has today announced that it has closed a Series A funding round with an investment from W23, the venture capital arm of leading Australian retail group Woolworths. The multi-million-dollar investment will be used to expand Spoon Guru’s footprint with retailers across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. The company will also use the funds to fuel product innovation in-store and online. “Our investment in Spoon Guru fits perfectly into our portfolio of…

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Bubs Australia signs new supply agreement for its infant formula

AUSTRALIA – Bubs Australia has entered a new supply agreement with Woolworths, Australia’s leading supermarket chain, that is expected to materially add to double retail exposure for its infant formula portfolio. Bubs first entered into a supply agreement with Woolworths in February 2018, which involved stocking Bubs Goat Milk Infant Formula products in 120 stores. Under the new updated agreement, Woolworths will offer the entire range of eight infant formula products across a targeted selection of its 700 strong national store network. The new agreement will see Woolworths increase all…

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Hilton Foods Australia inaugurates US$190m meat processing facility

AUSTRALIA – Meat packing business, Hilton Foods Australia has opened a new AUS 280 million (US$190.3 million) meat processing and distribution facility in Heathwood, Queensland. The state-of-the-art processing plant will utilise the latest robotic systems to package meat and vegan products for more than 450 Woolworths supermarket stores in Australia. The investment is underpinned by Hilton’s long-term national supply partnership with Woolworths. Woolworths said the technology at the plant is “set to drive a step change in consistency and quality of fresh red meat” at its stores, as well as…

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South African retailer Woolworths exits Ghana in second retreat from West Africa

GHANA – Woolworths, a South African based retailer has closed down its operation in Ghana as it moves closer to consolidating its share across other African markets. Woolworths, which retails organic foods and designer clothing, closed its two stores in Accra, Ghana’s capital and held closing down sales with 75% off the price of all items. This marks the second time in six years the retailer has exited a market elsewhere on the continent, after its pulled out of Nigeria in November 2013. The retailer said that it is “experiencing…

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Pick n Pay to engage competition regulator over report on market dominance

SOUTH AFRICA – South African retail chain, Pick n Pay, has said that it will continue to engage South African competition regulators to address its concerns about the retailer’s market dominance in shopping malls. This follows the Competition Commission’s announcement that it wants Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Spar and Shoprite to stop enforcing exclusivity clauses in their lease agreements in shopping malls to allow for more competition. Speaking at the company’s Annual General Meeting, Pick n Pay chairman Gareth Ackerman said that some of the Commission’s findings would damage the…

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Woolworth recalls frozen rice as precaution amidst listeria outbreak in Europe

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa-based multinational retail company, Woolworths Holdings Limited has recalled a frozen savory rice mix as part of a worldwide product recall issued by the Hungarian Food Safety Agency (HFSA) following listeria outbreak in Europe, according to Reuters. The recall comes after one of Woolworths suppliers was identified as the likely source of a Listeria outbreak in Europe. Woolworths, which operates a premium food retail offering, stand-alone food stores and “Food Stops” said its product was sourced from Belgium and contained frozen sweetcorn from the Greenyard Factory.…

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