Skip to main content

THE FRIDAY 5: Ahold Delhaize Shares New Strategy; Kroger’s Receipt Checks

Weis' 1st ground-up construction project since pandemic and Big Lots gaining in grocery also garnered clicks this week
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer

Welcome to The Friday 5, Progressive Grocer’s weekly roundup of the top news and trends in the food retail industry. Each Friday, we’ll take a look at the stories that are most important to our readers and also keep tabs on the trends that are poised to impact grocers.

Advertisement - article continues below
Weis Markets Sign Main Image
Weis Markets has broken ground on its first new store since 2020.

1. Weis Markets Back in the Saddle

The growth of Pennsylvania-based Weis Markets was a hot ticket news item this week. The grocer held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the construction of a new store in Ijamsville, Md. This marks Weis Markets’ first new construction project since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.

The store, the company’s 50th location in Maryland and seventh in the state’s Frederick County, will showcase the latest in innovative store design, in addition to a six-pump Weis Gas N’ Go fuel center. Store features will include large fresh departments, a pharmacy and a grocery department offering a wide range of products.

2. How Ahold Delhaize's New Strategy Impacts U.S. Ops

Progressive Grocer was on site last week during Ahold Delhaize’s 2024 Strategy Day, held May 23 at the retail conglomerate’s Zaandam, Netherlands headquarters. During the event, the company launched its Growing Together strategy, which outlines its key growth and investment plans and ambitions toward 2028.

“We have taken a multi-stakeholder approach to developing this new strategy, ensuring we balance the needs of our customers, the people we work with and broader societal dimensions,” said Frans Muller, president and CEO of Ahold Delhaize. “'Growing Together' ensures we will stay at the forefront of innovation in healthy foods, omnichannel experiences and supply chain transformation, serving customer needs through a well-invested and future-focused foundation.”

Also popular among readers was the interview PG Managing Editor Bridget Goldschmidt conducted with Ahold Delhaize USA CEO JJ Fleeman during her visit to the company’s headquarters. Fleeman discussed how the company’s new strategy would affect American operations, especially given the news that the revitalization of Stop & Shop will include the closure of an as-yet-undetermined number of underperforming stores “to create a healthy store base for the long term and grow the brand.”

In the second part of the interview, Fleeman shared even more about operations in the United States, including diversity, sustainability and social media capabilities. 

Kroger HQ Main Image
Multiple news items about Ohio-based Kroger captured readers' attention this week.

3. Kroger’s Receipt Checks

Two news items from The Kroger Co. piqued reader interest this week, including the grocer’s move to implement receipt checks at 12 of its stores in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, as an added security measure to stanch theft.

“At Kroger we are committed to providing access to fresh food and essentials. Safety is one of our core values, and it guides everything we do," Kroger spokesperson Mark Bruce told Progressive Grocer. "In response to increased incidents of theft, we recently deployed added safety measures, including receipt checks, at six Columbus-area stores. Although early in implementation, we have received positive feedback from associates and customers.” 

In other Kroger news, a suspect has been charged in a May 23 shooting at the company’s store located at 6310 East State Boulevard, in Fort Wayne, Ind. According to local news reports, Richard Klaff Jr. posted a video of himself live on a social media platform in which he displayed a gun and shared his intention to shoot people at that location.

The chilling case underscores the security challenges faced by today’s retailers.

4. Big Lots Talks Grocery

In a Q&A with PG, Seth Marks, SVP of extreme value sourcing and co-chief merchant, at Columbus, Ohio-based Big Lots, Inc., talked about how the company is lowering prices at a crucial time for consumers and garnering new fans in the process.

“Price matters more than ever right now, and we fine-tuned our pricing on hundreds of SKUs and millions of selling units,” Marks shared. “We took a deep dive, looking at every UPC we had and adjusting prices to be below the market where we could. We feel really good at where we are in the landscape – we have the highest penetration we’ve seen in years and some of the lowest prices. We have more Extreme Bargains behind it, too.”  

5. Walmart Ends Partnership With Capital One

Walmart marked the end of its contentious relationship with Capital One last week. The partnership between Walmart and McLean, Va.-based Capital One began in 2019, but the retailer sued the banking company in 2023, alleging that Capital One took too long to send replacement cards and process payments. In March of this year, a federal judge ruled that Walmart could end the partnership early.

Capital One will retain the credit card accounts, which represent about $8.5 billion in loans. Meanwhile, Walmart has yet to name a consumer credit card successor to Capital One. 

Advertisement - article continues below
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds