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News Briefs

  • 8/24/2022

    Walmart+ Introduces Walmart Rewards

    Walmart Ibotta Teaser

    Walmart+ has introduced a new member perk that aims to deliver compounding value: Walmart Rewards, created as a new and easy way for Walmart+ members to earn additional savings toward future Walmart purchases.

    Here’s how it currently works, as described by Chris Cracchiolo, SVP and general manager, Walmart+ in a blog post

    • When members search for products on or the Walmart app, they’ll see an option to add rewards to hundreds of bestselling items, on top of Walmart’s everyday low prices.
    • Members can bank the digital rewards in the Walmart wallet in the app and online and use them to save on future purchases in stores and online. The item-specific rewards, powered by the Ibotta Performance Network, are available exclusively for Walmart+ members.

    “We’re focusing first on providing rewards on items purchased by our members, and over time, we’ll continue to expand the program to deliver new ways to earn rewards,” noted Cracchiolo.

    There's no need to download a separate app or even enroll in the free Walmart Rewards. Members just sign into their Walmart+ account online or in the Walmart app, clip eligible rewards, buy the items and amass rewards. Whether they shop in-store or online, members can use digital offers to earn Walmart Rewards, redeeming the balance at checkout. Additionally, Walmart Rewards isn’t static, “opening the door to endless earning possibilities for members in the future,” according to Cracchiolo.

    Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 8/25/2022

    FreshDirect Exiting Philadelphia, D.C. Areas

    FreshDirect HQ Teaser

    Online grocer FreshDirect has revealed that it will leave the Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., areas to focus on markets closer to its Bronx, N.Y., headquarters. The news came via blog post on the company’s website, along with a list of ZIP codes that the e-tailer will no longer service. 

    For 20 years, FreshDirect has been integral to the fabric of food culture in New York City,” the company said in a statement provided to Progressive Grocer. As a homegrown, trusted New York City brand, we are strengthening our commitment to providing service to the greater New York City Tri-State area, which is our biggest opportunity for future growth and expansion. This strategy positions FreshDirect for continued long-term success and further solidifies the company as an industry leader. We are excited to unlock new ZIP codes throughout the Tri-State service footprint and offer the freshest, highest-quality food to even more customers, with the unrivaled ease, convenience and speed FreshDirect is known for.

    In the post, FreshDirect, which recently marked its 20th anniversary, wrote that the last day that customers will be able to place delivery orders in the Philadelphia or Washington, D.C., areas is Friday, Sept. 2, with some neighborhoods seeing service end on Monday, Aug. 29, and that final deliveries will be made on Saturday, Sept. 3. 

    The company also provided account information for customers in the affected areas.

    According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, FreshDirect came to the City of Brotherly Love and surrounding areas back in 2012. It entered the D.C. region in 2017.

    FreshDirect currently delivers directly to customers across seven states, including the New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C,. metropolitan areas. In January 2021, the company was acquired by Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, whose other U.S brands include Stop & Shop, Peapod, Giant, Food Lion and Hannaford. Ahold Delhaize USA operates more than 2,000 stores in 23 states and is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 8/25/2022

    Piggly Wiggly Gets Enthusiastic Reception in South Carolina

    Piggly Wiggly Purchases BI-LO Stores from Southeastern Grocers

    A food desert in Spartanburg, S.C., is getting some relief with the opening of a new Piggly Wiggly. The south side location at 550 S. Church Street welcomed shoppers this week and garnered positive attention in the community.

    According to local news reports, the area has been without a grocery store since a Save A Lot closed in 2019. Residents worked with the city of Spartanburg and with the retailer to make it happen. "We started immediately in search of another grocery store. It had been a long haul, however, we are grateful to the Piggly Wiggly owners for investing in this community," Ruth Littlejohn, a city councilwoman told a Spartanburg television news station.

    The new store carries a wide variety of groceries and household essentials and there are plans to add a kitchen and a pharmacy.

    There are more than 530 Piggly Wiggly independently owned and operated stores serving communities in 17 states. The banner is an affiliate of Keene, N.H.-based C&S Wholesale Grocers. Founded in 1918 as a supplier to independent grocery stores, C&S now services customers of all sizes, supplying more than 7,500 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases and institutions with 100,000-plus products, in addition to operating corporate stores. The company is No. 17 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 8/24/2022

    Smart & Final Launches Annual Campaign Supporting Pediatric Disease Research

    City of Hope teaser

    Smart & Final is kicking off its annual fundraiser benefiting City of Hope’s Kids 4 Hope program. From now through Sept. 6, shoppers at the grocer’s locations in California, Arizona and Nevada can donate to the cause.

    City of Hope is an independent biomedical research center focusing on the treatment of cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Last year, the Smart & Final campaign led to a $450,000 donation to the Kids 4 Hope program.

    “We are once again honored to partner with City of Hope to support their valuable, lifesaving research and treatments,” said Tinamarie Squieri, manager of the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation. “The Smart & Final Charitable Foundation takes great pride in our participation in the Kids 4 Hope campaign through the generous giving of Smart & Final’s associates and customers.”

    Throughout the year, the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation assists nonprofit organizations with a focus on hunger relief, health and wellness, team sports and youth development, education, and disaster relief. In 2021, the Charitable Foundation raised almost $2 million to support 1,500 causes with the help of Smart & Final customers and associates.

    Commerce, Calif.-based Smart & Final operates 254 locations, including larger-format stores under the Smart & Final Extra! banner that combine a warehouse-store format with traditional grocery offerings. The company was acquired in 2021 by Bodega Latina Corp., a subsidiary of Grupo Comercial Chedraui that is No. 40 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 8/24/2022

    Amazon Ads Bestows Advanced Partner Status on Tinuiti

    Tinuiti teaser

    Amazon, which recently created an Amazon Ads advanced partner status to highlight top collaborators, has added Tinuiti to that list. One of the largest independent performance marketing firms across digital advertising and streaming, Tinuiti has a longstanding relationship with Amazon Ads and employs several former Amazon professionals.

    Tinuiti reports that it achieved this designation because it demonstrated expertise in brand building and customer engagement on Amazon. “From becoming an initial member of Amazon Ads original partner directory in 2018 to beta testing the newest iteration of the Partner Network, Tinuiti has been a long-term and active participant in the thoughtful and collaborative process behind the program’s development,” explained Obele Brown-West, chief solution officer at Tinuiti. “We’re incredibly thankful for our ongoing relationship with Amazon Ads and for the opportunity to leverage cutting-edge innovation and the type of forward-thinking that truly affects change and moves the needle for our client brands.” 

    As a partner, Tinuiti was one of the first agencies to use advertising technology around the Amazon Ads infrastructure, deploying its proprietary MobiusX technology to drive online sales. Last year, the company acquired an agency specializing in Amazon, Ortega Group, to create full-service programs for Amazon and marketplaces. In addition to working with Amazon, the company manages digital media with Google and Meta, among other clients. 

    Amazon announced the new Amazon Ads global recognition program in April. The program has two status tiers, advanced and verified, based on information provided through its partner network.  

    Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on The PG 100,  Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 8/24/2022

    Coinme Offers 6 Additional Cryptocurrencies

    Cryptocurrency cash exchange Coinme has made available cash onramps to six additional cryptos – beyond Bitcoin – via Coinme-enabled Coinstar kiosks in the U.S. Chainlink, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Lumens and Polygon can now be purchased instantly using cash at more than 10,000 of the kiosks nationwide.

    “Different coins serve different purposes, and we’re excited to continue serving our customers with a menu of coins representing approximately 70% of the total crypto market cap,” said Neil Bergquist, CEO and co-founder of Seattle-based Coinme. “Our partnership with Coinstar has allowed us to scale to 10,000 additional physical locations, providing instant cash onramps to crypto, which can be purchased and securely stored in the coinme wallet or sent to nearly any wallet globally.” 

    [Read more: "Clarity on Crypto"]

    Coinme-enabled Coinstar kiosks, conveniently located at grocery stores across the country, offer instant, affordable, simple and trusted transactions.

    “Customers have asked us to make other coins available besides Bitcoin on Coinme-enabled Coinstar kiosks,” said Jim Gaherity, CEO of Bellevue, Wash.-based Coinstar, the global leader in self-service coin counting, with 24,000 kiosks in North America, Europe and Japan. “We want to make it easy for anyone, regardless of their familiarity with crypto, to get started with digital currencies with cash in their local grocery stores.”

    Coinme is marking its multicoin listings with the Token of the Week Sweepstakes, providing the weekly opportunity for customers to win up to $5,500 in the featured crypto of the week. 

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