News Briefs

  • 3/30/2022

    Natural Grocers Returns as Sponsor for Rattler Racing

    Natural Grocers Returns as Sponsor for Rattler Racing

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc. is returning as a sponsor for Rattler Racing 2022 events.

    Colorado-based Rattler Racing started in 2015 with a simple grass-roots midweek mountain bike-racing series. Since then, it’s seen exponential growth in participation and added new sanctioned events to its lineup, including cyclocross, junior-focused races, a stage race, and a new gravel race for 2022. With each season, its focus remains on putting together quality, family-friendly events while maintaining that grass-roots feel.

    Participants in this year’s Rattler Racing season kickoff can look forward to getting a free Natural Grocers reusable goody bag and Natural Grocers Brand Chocolate bar. Nutritional Health Coaches from the grocer will also be on-site to talk nutrition with athletes and to hand out bottled water, coupons and Natural Grocers samples.

    In addition, the healthy grocer has a bike-racing team that will once again compete and volunteer at this years events – the first race being "The Bear" on April 2 at Bear Creek Lake Park, Colo.

    The Natural Grocers Cycling Team consists of almost 100 members, encompassing all disciplines of cycling. The team invites cyclists to join them for local club rides throughout Colorado, Arizona and Kansas City.

    With more than 160 stores in 20 states, Lakewood, Colo.-based Natural Grocers is No. 95 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 3/29/2022

    Gimme Adds New Features to VMS Platform

    Gimme Adds New Features to VMS Platform

    Living up to its name, Gimme is providing more solutions for grocery delivery operators as they face their own surging demands. The tech company is adding features on its vendor management system (VMS) platform to improve warehouse inventory management.

    The enhancements come at a time when many retailers and warehouses are grappling with continuing supply chain issues. Updates include different tools to improve warehouse fundamentals and three new features related to warehouse rationing, product visualization and order calculations.

    For warehouse rationing, the platform can now determine if an item will run out before the next delivery and then provide options to intelligently redistribute remaining inventory. Gimme also designed a new AutoPar feature that helps users visualize the ideal number of products differently by intelligently calculating warehouse product data based upon user-defined duration of days. The third new feature uses intuitive, days-based AutoPar calculations, along with real-time on-hand inventory and the estimated delivery date of the next order, to automatically calculate the number of each product to order.

    "Being shorted products at the warehouse level are the headwinds that frustrate our customers and put revenue at risk. Markets have now become the biggest drivers of revenue. This update not only provides our customers with critical data, it also actively suggests the right answers to confidently handle product shortages,” explained Cory Hewett, Gimme’s co-founder and CEO.

    In addition to making improvements for inventory management, Gimme is working on an AI-powered schedule suggestion tool to alleviate labor-related issues.  

    Gimme’s VMS platform is described as “device agnostic” and can be used with smartphones, tablets and Windows PC systems. The platform uses live field data to provide greater accuracy and control over product inventory in multiple warehouses and ensures stable operation when offline.

  • 3/29/2022

    Eataly Ends Operations in Russia After Ukraine Invasion

    Eataly Russia Teaser

    Internationally known Italian retailer and restaurant Eataly has decided to end its franchise agreement in Moscow because of the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

    The Eataly store that has been operating in Moscow was the only one in Russia. According to the retailer, the decision to dissolve operations in Moscow is a way to show solidarity with Ukraine and to condemn the war. 

    “As we continue to monitor the situation and support the people of Ukraine, Eataly will be working across all our locations in North America and EMEA, and network of suppliers to provide critical supplies, donations of food and other fundraising initiatives,” said Nicola Ferinetti, CEO of Alba, Italy-based Eataly.

    Inspired by an idea sketched on a piece of paper and following five years of research and hard work, the first Eataly opened its doors in Torino, Italy, in 2007. Since it was first established, the franchise has opened 39 stores around the world, including Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, Korea, Japan, Brazil, Arabia, Germany and Turkey. 

    In related news, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused instant-needs platform Buyk to go dark after it lost access to Russian capital in the wake of crippling sanctions, while many food retailers in the United States and elsewhere have launched relief efforts in support of Ukrainians.

  • 3/29/2022

    Natural Grocers Readies Latest Colorado Store

    Natural Grocers

    Natural Grocers is putting the final touches on grand opening plans for its latest store in Cañon City, Colo. Slated to welcome shoppers on April 13, the 10,000-square-foot store near Main Street and North 16th Street in the downtown area is the organic and natural retailer’s 32nd location in its home state.

    Designed with eco-friendly features like non-toxic building materials and 100% LED lighting, the market will carry 100% USDA-certified organic produce, sustainably-raised meats, free-range eggs and pasture-raised dairy. Organic and natural grocery items include an array of non-GMO prepackaged bulk goods, dietary supplements, body care items, household essentials and a curated collection of craft beer, hard cider and hard kombucha.

    As with other Natural Grocers stores, this one will provide free nutrition education programs. Shoppers can book personalized sessions with the company’s nutritional health coaches, in person or via phone or video.

    To commemorate the new location, Natural Grocers is offering activities and deals, including mystery gift cards worth between $5 and $500 for the first 150 shoppers, a prize wheel, sweepstakes and savings on a variety of products from April 13-May 12. Customers are encouraged to sign up for the retailer’s free loyalty program to earn additional discounts and reward benefits.

    The new location aims to be a good neighbor, partnering with the Care and Share food bank to distribute nutritious food across the Colorado footprint.

    With 162 stores in 20 states, Lakewood, Colo.-based Natural Grocers is No. 95 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 3/29/2022

    Hawaii’s Only Locally Owned Grocer Turns to AI

    Foodland storefront

    Hawaiian grocer Foodland Super Market, Ltd. and enterprise AI company Symphony RetailAI have entered into a multi-year license agreement to deploy solutions for supply chain, category planning and revenue growth.

    Founded in 1948 and based in Honolulu, Foodland remains Hawaii’s only locally-owned grocer.  The company operates 31 stores across the islands under the Foodland, Foodland Farms and Sack ‘N Save banners and is owned by parent company Sullivan Family of Companies.

    Serving residents and visitors alike, Foodland is seeking to automate and improve its retail practices using AI-powered solutions. Among other programs and platforms, Foodland will use Symphony RetailAI’s master data management, kitchen management, promotions evaluation and planning and direct store delivery tools. The retailer also plans to introduce the firm’s integrated category planning system that spans tasks ranging from planogram automation to shelf planning. 

    “We are committed to continually innovating and improving to ensure we provide outstanding experiences for our customers while also delivering strong financial results,” said Jenai Sullivan Wall, chairman and CEO of Foodland, noting that the company assessed vendors over the past few years to choose a partner to impellent tech-based change.

    Chris Koziol, Symphony RetailAI's CEO, said that the company will work to create a foundation of data-driven, AI-based solutions. “We’re excited to team with Foodland to deliver innovative enterprise capabilities that will increase efficiencies and deliver measurable business and financial impact,” he remarked.

  • 3/29/2022

    Meijer on Course for Full-Scale Annual LPGA Tournament

    Meijer on Course for Full-Scale Annual LPGA Tournament

    Meijer is teeing up the return of its golf tournament with an announcement of the dates and a call for volunteers. The retailer is hosting and sponsoring the Meijer LPGA Classic from June 16-19 at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Mich.

    The annual tournament, with a field of 144 top women golfers who compete over four days, raises funds for local food pantries through Meijer’s partnership with the Simply Give organization. Last year’s event raised $1.1 million and the cumulative events have generated more than $8.5 million for the program.

    After a 2020 postponement and a scaled-back event in 2021, company leaders say this year’s tournament will attract a throng of golfers and fans, necessitating a solid base of helpers. Meijer is seeking at least 1,000 volunteers to fill roles on 20 different committees and as part of several general volunteer positions.

    "We're looking forward to bringing the tournament back in a big way, and that's only possible thanks to the help of so many incredible volunteers," said Rick Keyes, Meijer’s president and CEO. "Volunteers will get the chance to be a part of the action and make an impact on our tournament's mission of feeding hungry families. After two challenging years, we're excited for this event to celebrate our community and our commitment to Simply Give."   

    To Keyes’ point about getting in on the action, volunteers who pay a $30 fee will receive two official tournament golf shirts, one official tournament hat or visor, four weekly grounds passes for friends or family, and meals and beverages during scheduled shifts. 

    Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer operates 257 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 18 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food retailers in North America

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