Part 1: Our top stories of 2021

2021 marked yet another eventful year for the grocery industry, from the ongoing supply chain crisis, price inflation and the rise of checkout-free supermarkets.

Throughout the year, Grocery Gazette has tracked key developments and stories across the sector.

Whether it be industry challenges or triumphs, we have reported it.

Here is part one of our top 10 most read stories of the year, so far:

10) ‘Betrayal’ warnings as ex-Debenhams owner buys PG Tips

Private equity firm CVC, criticised for its role in Debenhams’ collapse, has bought the nation’s most popular tea brand for £3.8 billion.

Trade union Unite warned of “another case of corporate betrayal”.

Unite has over 300 workers at the PG Tips site in Trafford Park, Manchester, and is seeking a “cast-iron guarantee” that it will stay open

9) Asda transforms Derby and Wigan stores into retail ‘destinations’

Back in September, Asda created innovative new retail destinations at its Derby and Wigan sites, in partnership with some of the UK’s leading brands.

The new ‘destination’ supercentres offer a large selection of fashion and fitness partners with dedicated zones.

The stores will each feature 13 brands, including New Look, Misguided, Maximuscle, Rawr Beauty, My Protein and Lee Wrangler

8) Ocado Retail becomes ‘first supermarket with net zero HQ

Ocado Retail, a joint venture between Ocado and Marks & Spencer, has said it is the first supermarket in the world with a net zero head office.

In November, Ocado Retail paid for 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide to be removed from the atmosphere in a deal with Climeworks, a carbon capture company based in Zürich

7) Aldi in shambles as viral toy flop draws customer fury

In October, Aldi was accused of “terrible customer service” by shoppers outraged at its shortage of popular TikTok famous toys “Squishmallows”

The squishy products were expected to be on sale online on from 10 October, followed by an in-store launch on 14 October .

However, the release was delayed without an announcement and shoppers were left empty-handed

6) Asda confirms convenience store rollout

Asda confirmed plans to expand its convenience stores into petrol stations, with 28 launching this year and 200 more next year.

The Asda On the Move sites will be opened on sites owned by brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who bought the supermarket from US retailer Walmart via their EG Group a year ago for £6.8 billion.

Each site will stock 2,500 products and will partner with Greggs and Subway

Stay tuned for Part 2. 

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