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Walmart has sold its majority stake in Asda in a deal that values the UK supermarket chain at £6.8 billion. The purchasers are a consortium of brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa and private equity firm TDR Capital, which will take a majority stake in the chain. It means the grocer will return to majority UK ownership for the first time in two decades.
German discounter Aldi is to hire 4,000 new workers in the UK, after committing to investing £1.3 billion into upgrading stores and distribution centres by 2022. The move follows a 49% increase in pre-tax profits to £271.5 million in 2019, reports Retail Gazette. Sales were up by 8.3% to £12.3 billion thanks to a 6% rise in new shoppers to 17.6 million.
UK retailer Tesco has been recognised by the South African stone fruit sector for its strong performance and promotional support during the 2019-20 season. South African growers’ association Hortgro presents the Stone Fruit Retailer of the Year prize to a UK supermarket each year. According to a statement by Hortgro, Tesco saw a noticeable increase in sales this season, with the retailer selling over three million kilos of South African stone fruit across its stores, with nectarines faring particularly well.
UK retailer Asda has announced is to dispense with plastic bags for loose fruit and veg bags at nine of its UK stores. The trial began on 7th September and could save around 141 tons of plastic a year, the equivalent of over 3.5 million bags. To replace plastic bags, Asda is offering ‘Veggio’ bags, which cost 30p each. Similar projects have recently been launched at Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.
Sales of organic produce have surged in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, according to data published by Waitrose. During lockdown, the UK retailer registered a 13% rise in organic food sales, and a doubling in searches for its Organic Duchy range during the period. In recent months, sales of organic vegetables are up 23% from the same period in 2019, with 52 bags of organic carrots, 34 blueberry punnets and 39 bags of bananas sold every hour.