British bakery and fast food chain Greggs returned to a first half profit after a strong recovery in sales in the wake of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, and said it expected annual profit to be slightly ahead of its previous expectations. Greggs, best known for its sausage rolls, steak bakes, vegan snacks and sweet treats, said on Tuesday it made an underlying pretax profit of £55.5 million ($77.1 million) in the six months to 3 July versus a pretax loss of £64.5 million in the same period last year. Total sales were £546.2 million, up from £300.6 million. While Greggs' shops were allowed to stay open during COVID-19 lockdowns, the crisis disrupted its business model, which relies on a high volume of customer visits. Like-for-like sales compared to the same period in 2019, before the pandemic impacted trading, were down 9.2%.
Italian supermarket chain Basko has launched a new virtual shopping assistant service that fully personalises and automates the online shopping experience. Based on a Google Cloud algorithm, EuGenio prepares a weekly shopping basket based on the customer's purchase history and delivers it. A customer loyalty card is a prerequisite to avail of this service. Consumers have the option to confirm or modify the product selection, and products are added to the list based on the frequency and quantity of their purchase. In 2018, Coop Italia introduced ShoppY, a virtual assistant that helps consumers with their grocery shopping. EuGenio was designed by retail group Sogegross, which owns the Basko banner, together with marketing company Jakala and technology partner Google after two years in the development stage.
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Xbox has collaborated with Krispy Kreme on a limited edition doughnut - The Nexus Level. The Nexus Level Xbox donuts will be available from select stores nationwide, for a limited time only between 2 - 22 August. The Nexus Level Krispy Kreme doughnut will be filled with a rich brownie batter, dipped in green icing and completed with a dusting that unveils the iconic Xbox logo design. “Gaming and doughnuts have been two great ways for connecting people and bringing joy during the last year, it felt natural to bring the flavour and joy of games together in an edible form," said Rachel Chapman, marketing manager at Krispy Kreme. "Our doughnuts are made fresh each day, all hand-decorated and checked, making each and every one delicious," she added.