News Briefs

  • 3/22/2022

    Giant Eagle Launches Digital Tool to Ramp Up Food Safety

    Giant Eagle Commits to Bee-Friendly Policy

    Giant Eagle has extended its partnership with SmartSense by Digi – part of internet of things provider Digi International – in an effort to beef up its commitment to food quality and safety. Through the use of SmartSense digital temperature monitoring devices, the grocer will be able to remotely and continuously monitor its food products.

    The SmartSense technology is installed in walk-ins, chillers and refrigerators and utilizes wireless sensors, food probes, digital checklists and remote monitoring software and analytics tools to ensure food remains fresh. All of the data is available through a monitoring dashboard and mobile app.

    The grocer already works with SmartSense as a provider of digital task management for many of its grocery and convenience locations.

    “We have been continually impressed with SmartSense’s innovative and intelligent solutions, which have allowed us to strengthen our unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest levels of food safety for the communities we serve,” said Vic Vercammen, Giant Eagle’s VP of risk and chief compliance officer. “Specifically, capturing detailed data insights and prescriptive analytics via SmartSense’s advanced technologies will enhance our team members’ ability to monitor product freshness in real time.”

    With almost $10 billion in annual sales, Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle operates more than 470 stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana. Giant Eagle was recently included in Progressive Grocer’s Top 10 Regional Operators to Watch. The company is also No. 37 on The PG 100, PG’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 3/23/2022

    Balls Food Stores Makes Managerial Changes

    Price Chopper Teaser

    David Ball, the chairman, CEO and president of Balls Food Stores, has revealed the promotions of five employees as the independent grocer plans to mark 100 years in business. The employees are Scott Bayne, Gregg Frost, Mike Sullivan, Bob Pearson and Pat Rogers.

    Bayne is a food industry veteran with more than 44 years of experience and has been with Balls for eight years, most recently as VP of sales and marketing. Now he has been promoted to COO.

    Frost has been with Balls for more than 45 years in a number of company roles, including VP of human resources and VP of Hen House Markets. With this promotion, he can now add chief teammate officer to the list of roles that he has held within the company.

    Sullivan, part of Balls Food Stores for more than 30 years, is now VP of Price Chopper operations.

    Pearson, who has been with the company for 29 years and managed multiple stores, is now VP of Hen House, Sunfresh and Payless operations.

    Rogers, who has been with the company for 18-plus years and was previously Hen House markets delicatessen specialist, has been promoted to Balls Food delicatessen director.

    Kansas City, Kan.-based Ball’s Food Stores operates 26 supermarkets under the Hen House Market, Price Chopper, Sun Fresh and Payless Discount Foods banners in Kansas City and surrounding markets. Balls Food Stores has served Kansas City and its surrounding areas for nearly a century. The independent grocer will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023. In 2021 and 2022, Balls Food Stores was chosen as one of Progressive Grocer’s Outstanding Independents

  • 3/23/2022

    Shoppers Express Support for Sanctions, Relief Efforts in Ukraine

    Shoppers Express Support for Sanctions, Relief Efforts in Ukraine

    It may be almost 6,000 miles away, but Ukraine is on the minds of U.S. shoppers. While they continue to navigate early-2020’s crises of the pandemic, supply and labor shortages and inflation, American shoppers are expressing support for measures to assist the Ukrainian people.

    According to a survey by public relations firm 5WPR, three in four consumers here are in favor of sanctions imposed against Russia, even coming at a time of already-high inflation. The survey found that 70% of shoppers are willing to “further complicate” their shopping by boycotting products that are produced in or imported from Russia.

    Respondents also indicated a willingness to align with companies that share their values, as 71% said that a brand’s decision to cut ties with Russia enhanced their perception of that brand. Actions are important to them, with almost half of polled shoppers reporting that donating to relief efforts in Ukraine is the most meaningful step that brands can undertake right now.

    "As many consumers are finding their money is not going as far at the pump and the grocery store, their decision to prioritize personal values over price speaks volumes," said Dara Busch, co-CEO of 5WPR. "Our survey found 77% of consumers surveyed are more inclined right now to support Ukrainian brands and businesses with their purchases. Consumers are looking to make a difference where they can, and are looking at brands to provide that opportunity."

    The survey was conducted among more than 2,000 consumers over the age of 18 between March 7 and March 22.

  • 3/23/2022

    Investors Target Grocery-Anchored Shopping Centers in Key Growth Areas

    Investors Target Grocery-Anchored Shopping Centers in Key Growth Areas

    ShopOne Centers REIT Inc., a U.S. grocery-anchored shopping center investment, management and operating platform, along with global private-markets investment manager Pantheon and a global institutional investor, have formed a joint venture to acquire institutional-quality shopping centers based in key growth markets across the United States.

    The partnership will target necessity-based, value-oriented grocery-anchored centers, primarily located in high-population areas. ShopOne has contributed an existing portfolio consistent with the partnership’s target investment criteria, with the partners each investing additional capital to create investment capacity totaling more than $1 billion. ShopOne will oversee the management and leasing efforts of all properties within the partnership’s portfolio.

    “We are very excited to form this partnership with two highly experienced institutional partners that possess deep relationships within the investment community,” said John Roche, CEO of New York-based ShopOne. “Like us, they are bullish on the near- and long-term fundamentals of grocery-anchored shopping centers and the attractive risk-adjusted returns these assets can generate. By combining forces, we have the capital and platform to strategically add scale in the markets we target and unlock value for the communities we serve.”

    David Elliott, managing director of New York-based Pantheon’s real estate group, added: “Grocery-anchored shopping centers have proven their resilience throughout the pandemic, playing a vital role in their local neighborhoods and communities. We’re delighted to work closely with the entire ShopOne team to execute a strategy focused on investing in and improving necessity-based centers in growth markets throughout the U.S.”

    The joint venture will also consider necessity-based and value-oriented grocery-anchored neighborhood and community shopping centers in select college towns or established tourist destinations that the partners believe will benefit from ShopOne’s operating platform.

  • 3/23/2022

    Instacart Implements Surcharge on Orders to Offset Cost of Fuel

    Instacart Implements Temporary Surcharge for Fuel Assistance

    In an effort to soften the blow of rising fuel prices, online grocery platform Instacart is adding a temporary surcharge to customer orders, all of which will be passed on directly to the company’s shoppers. The $0.40 charge will appear on receipts before customers accept the charges. 

    Instacart has also given its shoppers access to the GetUpside app in order to earn cashback on gas purchases, as well as other perks and resources. 

    “In a time of increased fuel costs across North America, we know that every cent counts, and we’re hopeful this temporary fuel assistance will help offset some of the near-term challenges that shoppers are facing,” said Tom Maguire, VP of operations and care at San Francisco-based Instacart. “While shoppers on our platform tend to spend more time shopping and less time driving, we know that there is still an acute need to address rising gas prices and make sure we’re supporting shoppers during this time."

  • 3/22/2022

    Tops Markets Celebrates Store Reopening With Donations to Local Nonprofits

    75+ Tops Stores to Get Solar Power Convergent New York State

    In celebration of the grand reopening of its Medina, N.Y., store located at 11200 Maple Ridge Rd., Tops Markets LLC is thanking its partners in the community for their support over the years. The Medina Tops store will make $500 donations to each of the following local groups:

    • American Legion (Butts-Clark Post #204)
    • Calvary Cupboard Food Pantry
    • Community Action of Orleans and Genesee
    • Hartland Volunteer Fire Co.
    • Medina Firefighters Benevolent Association
    • Orleans County YMCA
    • Village of Medina Police Union

    The multimillion-dollar renovation project enhanced nearly 50,000 square feet of the Medina store, offering an expanded assortment of products and an enlarged fresh perimeter with new updated décor. The Medina Tops store is the 22nd location recently updated with a new look and a renewed focus on fresh departments. 

    Tops recently reopened its largest store in Amherst, N.Y., after an extensive renovation. The 120,000-square-foot store also made $500 donations to several local groups, including food banks and food pantries, youth programs, and police and fire departments.

    Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets operates approximately 150 supermarkets, including franchise stores, and employs more than 14,000 associates in New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont. The company is No. 66 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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