News Briefs

  • 7/25/2022

    Pharmacy Workers Vote to OK Strikes at Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons & Pavilions

    Supermarket Pharmacy Teaser

    Seven United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union locals, which together represent more than 600 pharmacists and pharmacy workers at Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions stores across Southern California, have revealed that members voted overwhelmingly to authorize union leadership to call for strikes on the basis of unfair labor practices.

    “Southern California’s essential pharmacists have made their voices heard with this vote,” the seven locals said in a statement. “They have made the difficult decision to stand together on the picket line should it become necessary in protest of the unlawful and unfair treatment they’ve received from Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions. This vote gives union leaders the authorization to call for a strike and lays the groundwork to allow more than 600 pharmacists across California to stand up to protect their rights and ensure they have the ability to effectively serve their patients and communities.”

    Negotiations resumed July 22 with UFCW and Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions. No dates have been set yet for a strike. 

    The locals filed unfair labor practice charges against Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging violations of federal labor law and intimidation of workers engaged in union activity, among other charges.

    UFCW locals 8GS13532477011671428 and 1442 make up the largest union grocery contract in the nation, including 600-plus pharmacists and pharmacy workers who serve  communities at Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions pharmacies spanning from Central California to the Mexican border.

    With almost 2,800 retail food stores under various banner names, including Ralphs, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates more than 2,200 retail stores with 1,700-plus pharmacies under 24 well-known banners, among them Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions. Albertsons is No. 9 on The PG 100.

  • 7/26/2022

    Loblaw Q2 Profit Increases to $387M

    Loblaw Q2 Profit Increases to $387M

    Loblaw Cos. Ltd. has posted an increase in its second-quarter profit and revenues as drug store sales boosted the company's margins and discount grocery store sales grew.

    Canada's largest grocery and pharmacy chain says its net income available to common shareholders was $387 million or $1.16 per diluted share, a 3.2% increase from $375 million or $1.09 per share a year ago (all monetary values in this brief are in Canadian dollars).

    Adjusted profits for the three months ended June 18 was $566 million or $1.69 per diluted share, up from $464 million or $1.35 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2021.

    Revenues were $12.85 billion, an increase of $356 million or 2.9% compared with $12.49 billion in the prior year quarter.

    Food same-store sales increased 0.9% and pharmacy same-store sales increased 5.6%.

    Galen G. Weston, Loblaw chairman and president, said customers recognized the value, quality and convenience of the company's diverse store formats, store brands such as No Name and the PC Optimum loyalty program.

    "In the quarter we also continued to pursue our strategic growth agenda, with the completion of our acquisition of Lifemark Health Group, bolstering our healthcare services offering and furthering our purpose to help Canadians Live Life Well."

    [Read more: "Loblaw Transforms Itself Again"]

    Loblaw Cos. Ltd. operates more than 2,400 corporate, franchised and associate-owned stores across Canada – including more than 1,050 grocery stores that span the value spectrum from discount to specialty – with 190,000-plus full- and part-time employees, making it one of the country’s largest private-sector employers. The Brampton, Ontario-based company is No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

    [For more Canadian grocery news, check out Progressive Grocer's sister publication: Canadian Grocery]

  • 7/25/2022

    Tops Builds Out Construction Team

    Tops New Construction Managers

    Tops Friendly Markets has promoted two team members to serve as the company’s new construction managers. The New York-based grocer elevated Craig Degroat (pictured on bottom) from his most recent position of maintenance specialist and also moved up Jaime Paterson (pictured on top), who has worked for the grocer as a maintenance technician, maintenance specialist and project manager.

    Both Degroat and Paterson began their careers at The Penn Traffic Co. Degroat is a 10-year Tops employee and Paterson is a 12-year team member.

    In other personnel news, Tops recently tapped Shannon Nicholson for a store manager role at its Wellsboro, Penn., location, a promotion from her assistant store manager job. Also in July, the grocer announced that Angelena Goot is officially a new store manager at the Frewsburg, N.Y., Tops Friendly Market following her stint as interim store manager.

    Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets LLC operates 150 supermarkets, including five franchise stores, and employs more than 14,000 associates in New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont. The banner’s parent company, Northeast Grocery Inc., is No. 44 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. 

  • 7/26/2022

    Three Guys From Brooklyn, Instacart Team to Beat Food Insecurity

    3 Guys From Brooklyn Teaser

    Independent grocer Three Guys from Brooklyn, located in the New York City borough’s Bay Ridge community, is now the star of a new digital ad campaign spotlighting its efforts to fight food insecurity through an EBT SNAP partnership with Instacart. The newly launched campaign, filmed at Three Guys From Brooklyn’s flagship location on 65th and Fort Hamilton, highlights this key partnership and the grocer’s mission to make fresh produce affordable for low-income community members.

    “It’s core to our mission to offer the best fresh produce to anyone who comes by the Three Guys From Brooklyn market,” noted Philip Penta, owner of Three Guys From Brooklyn. “Our partnership with Instacart has allowed us to stay true to this mission and better provide high-quality groceries to our local community by offering EBT SNAP options to Brooklyn residents.” 

    Three Guys From Brooklyn and Instacart first joined forces in July 2020 to offer delivery and pickup. This past February, the grocer and Instacart partnered on EBT SNAP after the USDA Food and Nutrition Service approved online partnerships. The program enables EBT SNAP participants to use their benefits to access fresh food and pantry staples online from Three Guys From Brooklyn via Instacart. 

    “At Instacart, we strongly believe that everyone should have access to nutritious food, and our partnership with Three Guys From Brooklyn is an embodiment of that mission,” observed Sarah Mastrorocco, VP of access to food and nutrition at San Francisco-based Instacart. “We are proud of our ongoing partnership with Three Guys From Brooklyn and are excited to showcase the incredible work the grocer has been doing to support the Brooklyn community.” 

    The digital ad campaign includes an interview with Penta and two local Instacart shoppers. Last year, Three Guys From Brooklyn collaborated with the National Grocers Association Foundation Technical Assistance Center on testimonial and informational videos about the store’s positive experience running a nutrition incentive program.

  • 7/25/2022

    Stater Bros. Connects to NCR Commerce Platform

    Stater Bros Teaser

    Stater Bros. Markets has connected to the NCR Commerce Platform (NCP) to help reduce infrastructure complexity and improve consumer experiences across all sales channels. The grocer implemented NCR Emerald, a cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution that leverages the NCP to unify all technology needed to run the store. Stater Bros. now has access to such new capabilities and services as POS solutions and NCR Emerald’s end-to-end connectivity.

    “To improve our shoppers’ experience and create new, compelling services, NCR delivered a simplified platform architecture and built-in redundancy for maximum uptime,” said Gil Salazar, SVP of information technology at Stater Bros. “NCR Emerald checked every box, and as our customers’ needs change, the technology will be able to evolve, which is critically important to our business.”

    NCR Emerald enabled Stater Bros. to roll out capabilities to its POS lanes with ease, speed and flexibility, and empowered the company to easily deploy more options for its consumers. The grocer was able to successfully deploy all-new software and lane hardware to all 171 of its stores in just 15 weeks.

    “NCR Emerald will simplify Stater Bros. store operations and open up connections to the NCP, enabling better data insights and an improved consumer shopping experience,” said David Wilkinson, president and general manager of Atlanta-based NCR Retail. “The NCP unifies technology needed to run the store and provides the backbone for new services that further spur innovation.” 

    San Bernardino, Calif.-based Stater Bros. operates its 171 supermarkets in seven Southern California counties and employs about 18,000 associates. The company is No. 59 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 7/25/2022

    Gorillas Teams With NielsenIQ to Access Consumer Data

    Gorillas teaser

    As the rapid delivery sector settles out in the wake of pandemic-era acceleration and then deceleration, a new collaboration seeks to leverage data to meet shoppers’ ever-shifting needs and preferences. On-demand grocery company Gorillas and information services firm NielsenIQ are teaming up to pool data and delivery for a better omnichannel experience.

    Through this partnership, NielsenIQ will provide data and analytics to the Germany-based Gorillas for its operations in Germany, the U.S., U.K. and Netherlands. The information includes consumer-sourced panel data and custom retail analytics.

    “We are thrilled that Gorillas has chosen NielsenIQ to supply them with the most comprehensive consumer data available,” said David Johnson, president, global retail at NielsenIQ. “This is very exciting to work in cooperation with Gorillas, a company that we have closely followed as a market leader in the grocery ordering and delivery industry. Innovation in grocery e-commerce and last-mile delivery is moving at lightning speed and our data cooperation will allow for better decisions at Gorillas and with manufacturers, something the industry is excited about.”

    Gorillas is turning to data-based decision-making at a time of change. Earlier this summer, the company announced that it is re-tooling its strategies and tactics, laying off some team members, scaling back expansion plans in the U.S. and closing warehouses in Europe. Gorillas current operates delivery service in the New York City metro area.

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