* China's Luckin Coffee Inc. is set to open 10,000 stores across the Asian country by 2021, with plans to expand its non-coffee sector, China Daily reported, citing CEO Qian Zhiya's address at its global coffee industry forum. The Starbucks Corp. rival will add 8,000 new stores in the country in the next two years, a move in line with its strategy to boost its profitability and expansion, the executive said.
* Walmart Inc.'s Canadian arm unveiled a new store format called Urban Supercentre, featuring new fast lane checkouts and an app that allows customers to scan their own products as they shop. Walmart Canada Corp. launched the first new concept store at its Toronto-Stockyards location, with plans to launch another one in Thornhill, Ontario, in 2020.
FOOD RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
* Amazon.com Inc. has denied a report claiming that the company is preparing to let go of "thousands" of smaller sellers from its online marketplace as it aims to slash costs and focus wholesale purchasing on bigger suppliers. Bloomberg News, which cited three people familiar with the plan, said Amazon's plan is in line with its campaign to eliminate counterfeit products from its site. However, a spokesperson from the e-commerce giant told S&P Global Market Intelligence in a statement that Bloomberg's story and sources are incorrect. "We review our selling partner relationships on an individual basis as part of our normal course of business and any speculation of a large-scale reduction of vendors is incorrect," the spokesperson said.
* Amazon's Japan division will begin selling and delivering groceries from Life Corp. supermarkets in select parts of Tokyo by the end of this year, the Nikkei Asian Review reported without disclosing its source. Life, which operates about 270 stores across Japan, will allow customers to order groceries online via the Prime Now delivery service. Amazon Japan reportedly plans to roll out the service to more locations in the future.
* Constellation Brands Inc. launched To Kalon Vineyard Co., a new division that will produce wines from the company's To Kalon vineyard. Winemaker Andy Erickson will lead the new company, in partnership with the fine wine business of the New York-based distiller, according to the release.
* Agribusiness company Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. created a new business division called Ag Services & Oilseeds, which combines its origination and oilseeds businesses into a single entity. The new unit will take effect July 1.
* Nestlé SA's coffee unit Nestlé Nespresso SA partnered with the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to pilot a program that will help renew coffee production in the Colombian municipality of El Rosario. The program will work with 100 farmers to implement sustainable farming practices, and Nespresso will buy the coffee beans that these farmers harvest.
* U.S.-based Latin food manufacturer Goya Foods Inc. is considering options, including a possible sale, CNBC reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The family-run business, which could fetch about $3 billion in a sale, reportedly has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs. Goya CEO Robert Unanue told CNBC, "The future of Goya is to continue to build our family legacy and to grow the brand worldwide. For these reasons and many more, Goya is not for sale." The executive reportedly added that the company undergoes periodical evaluations "for estate planning and other purposes in the normal course of business."
* Packaged meat producer JBS USA, a unit of JBS SA, said it will inject $95 million in an expansion project at its Grand Island, Neb., beef production facility. The 107,000-square-foot expansion and facility enhancements include improved animal handling facilities and a temperature-controlled harvest floor. The project, which has already begun, is expected to be completed in early 2021.
* U.K. packaged food company Premier Foods said Keith Hamill is retiring as chairman of the company at the annual general meeting scheduled for July 17. The company also announced the appointment of Richard Hodgson as senior independent director, effective immediately. Premier Foods is also looking for a new CEO after Gavin Darby stepped down in January.
TOBACCO & SMOKING PRODUCTS
* Canadian hemp-infused products-maker Phivida Holdings Inc. said it completed the C$22.5 million acquisition of e-commerce technology firm Wikala.com Inc. Phivida outlined its plans to expand the market for its Oki and Vida+ branded products across North America via Wikala.com's online platform.
* Ionic Brands Corp., a Washington-based manufacturer of luxury cannabis vaporizers and cartridges, is acquiring British pipe-maker Astleys of London KH Ltd. for $7.8 million in cash and stock, the companies announced. The final value of the share component of the deal will be based on the closing price of Ionic's shares just before the closing date of the deal, which was not disclosed. Under the agreement, Ionic will buy Astleys' international intellectual property and retain the company's brand management team.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng lost 0.44% to 27,114.88, while the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.29% to 20,942.53.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.51% to 7,221.79, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.47% to 1,027.79.
On the macro front
The GDP report, the international trade in goods report, the jobless claims report, the corporate profits report, the advance retail inventories report, the advance wholesale inventories report, the pending home sales index, the EIA natural gas report, the EIA petroleum status report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.
Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.
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