Retail round-up: Lidl plots Irish recruitment, Walmart poised to snap up rival and supermarkets told to contribute in fighting obesity.

Which? calls on supermarkets to promote healthier eating options

British supermarkets have been told to promote “healthy” food products in a move to help fight obesity among consumers. Consumer group Which? found that more than half of their recent promotions were for junk food, sweets and fizzy drinks rather than healthy options.

According to data from price comparison website mySupermarket on special offers from Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose between April and June, researchers found that of the 77,165 promotions, 53% involved less healthy foods – those high in fat, saturates, sugar or salt – compared with healthier products (47%).

The most promoted “less healthy” products were frozen chips and potatoes (78%), pizzas (70%) and soft drinks (70%), while the least promoted were within meat, dried fruit, fish and seafood categories (all 32%).

Which? is urging retailers to include more healthier options in their price promotions and remove less healthy foods from their checkouts. It is also calling on the Government to publish its childhood obesity strategy as soon as possible and hold retailers to account for the promotion of less healthy foods if they fail to improve.

Alex Neill, director of campaigns and policy at Which?, said: “Everybody has to play their part in the fight against obesity and people want supermarkets to offer more promotions on healthier foods and yet our research found the opposite."

Lidl plans to recruit extra 600 staff over next two years in Ireland

Lidl is set to embark on its €110m (£92.1m) capital investment with the addition of 600 new employees in Ireland over the next two years.

The recruitment will be divided between additional staff for its head office functions and fresh positions for store staff and managers, The Irish Times reported.

Within the 600, the German discounter will imminently appoint about 50 new staff for its retail management degree programme, which it runs in conjunction with Dublin Business School.

Lidl Ireland human resources director Maeve McCleane said the 600 new positions are for permanent staff, and will not be agency roles.

Walmart eyes in talks to buy rival online retailer

Walmart is locked in discussions to acquire its online rival, which could be valued at as much as $3bn (£2.26bn), according to the Wall Street Journal.

It comes as part of a multibillion-dollar revamp of its ecommerce division aimed at increasing online sales growth, the newspaper reported.

With this buyout, the US retailer could have access to’s innovative pricing software, its cluster of warehouses and customer data.