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  • 10/31/2022

    Loblaw Phasing Out Single-Use Plastic Shopping Bags in Manitoba

    Loblaw HQ Teaser

    As of Nov. 1, Loblaw Cos. Ltd. will no longer provide single-use plastic shopping bags at its stores in the province of Manitoba, where the retailer operates No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, Extra Foods and Wholesale Club locations.

    Customers can bring their own bags to stores, but there will also be several reusable alternatives available at checkout, among them the familiar black PC reusable bag or PC reusable totes.

    According to Loblaw, its efforts to remove single-use plastic bags from its stores have already resulted in 13 billion fewer bags going to landfill.

    The phaseout of single-use plastic bags in Manitoba is the latest in a long line of actions related to Loblaw’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts. The company has also committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 for Scope 1 and 2, and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 for Scope 3; reduce plastic waste by making all of its private brand and in-store packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025; and send zero food waste to landfill by 2030. 

    Other retailers removing single-use plastic bags from all of their stores include Wegmans, which completed the process in September, and Aldi

    Loblaw Cos. Ltd. operates nearly 2,500 stores and national e-commerce options in Canada, with more than 190,000 full- and part-time employees. 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. Batavia, Ill.-based Aldi U.S. with 2,200 stores across 38 states and 45,000-plus associates, is No. 24 on PG’s list, while Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans, with 100-plus stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts, is No. 34.

  • 11/1/2022

    Which Grocery Chains Are Open on Thanksgiving?

    Thanksgiving teaser

    Against a backdrop of a squeezed labor market, a broader return to in-person celebrations and high prices, grocers are tweaking their brick-and-mortar hours to both maximize sales and optimize their workforces for Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

    Several food retailers announced that they will be closed Nov. 24 in observation of Thanksgiving Day, including prolific operators like Walmart, Costco and Target and chains such as Publix, Trader Joe’s and Southeastern Grocers’ banners including Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarkets and Fresco y Más.

    BJ’s Wholesale Club is one of those retailers whose warehouses will be shuttered on Thanksgiving. “Our team members demonstrate hard work and dedication day in and day out, to both our members and communities. So as the holiday season approaches, it’s important for them to be able to spend well-deserved time off with family and loved ones,” remarked Jeff Desroches, EVP and COO for BJ's Wholesale Club. “2022 marks the 16th consecutive year we are keeping our doors closed on Thanksgiving Day, but we are looking forward to welcoming our members back into the club so they can continue shopping our unmatched holiday deals.”

    Other retailers are open part of the day to meet shoppers’ last-minute, “I forgot!” needs. The Texas-based H-E-B, for example, will keep its doors open from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. and offer curbside pickup from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Other stores operating with mostly limited hours on the food-centric holiday include The Fresh Market, Meijer, Whole Foods, Wegmans and several Kroger-owned banners.

  • 10/31/2022

    The Save Mart Cos. Adds Chief Digital Officer to C-Suite

    Pattison Save Mart teaser

    The Save Mart Cos. has hired Tamara Pattison to serve in the newly created role of SVP, chief digital officer. Pattison has been tapped to further enhance the grocer’s opportunities for emerging digital technologies and e-commerce strategies.

    Prior to joining Save Mart, Pattison worked for DemandTec, Yahoo!, Albertsons Cos., Beverages & More, and other companies. She most recently worked for AAA Northern California as the director of A3Ventures, the innovation lab and capital investment arm of the organization.

    “Ongoing digital transformation to serve our shoppers and fulfill their needs with innovative and affordable solutions continues to be at the forefront of our strategic objectives,” said Shane Sampson, executive chairman of the board for Save Mart. “With over 20 years of extensive industry experience building and leading diverse teams to develop innovative programs, Tamara is an accomplished leader and I am thrilled to have her leading our digital and e-commerce experience.”

    Based in Modesto, Calif., The Save Mart Cos. operates more than 200 retail stores under the banners of Save Mart, Lucky California and FoodMaxx. In addition to its retail operation, the company also operates SMART Refrigerated Transport and is a partner in Super Store Industries, which owns and operates a distribution center in Lathrop, Calif., and the Sunnyside Farms dairy-processing plant in Turlock, Calif. Save Mart is No. 55 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 10/31/2022

    Lidl Talks Turkey About Affordable Thanksgiving Essentials

    Lidl Thanksgiving list

    Appealing to consumers shellshocked by high food prices, Lidl US is touting its Thanksgiving meal essentials that can feed groups of 10 or less than $30.

    The grocer highlighted budget-friendly prices for several holiday dinner staples, including a frozen turkey that sells for 49 cents a pound via Lidl’s free loyalty program. The suggested Thanksgiving bundle also includes a 16-oz. package of fresh peas, 12-oz. bag of fresh cranberries, whole celery stalk, 16-oz. bag of baby carrots, 3-lb. bag of sweet potatoes, pint of heavy whipping cream, three 8-oz. packages of turkey stuffing mix, 12-count package of Hawaiian dinner rolls, pumpkin pie mix and two pie crusts.

    [Read more: "Lidl to Open 1st Store in Brooklyn"]

    Lidl curated the special Thanksgiving basket based on items chosen by the American Farm Bureau Foundation’s (AFB) annual Thanksgiving dinner cost survey. Last year’s AFB data pointed to a $53 average grocery bill for traditional Thanksgiving items.

    "Even as grocery prices rise nationally, shoppers can rely on Lidl for the best deal to feed their family this holiday season," said Stefan Schwarz, chief product officer for Lidl US. "We are proud to offer shoppers at Lidl a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings for less than $30. We hope our low prices give families some financial relief as they come together this holiday season."

    Neckarsulm, Germany-based Lidl operates around 11,550 stores and is active in 32 countries, employing more than 341,000 employees globally. With U.S. headquarters in Arlington, Va., the grocer operates about 170 stores in nine East Coast states. Lidl US is No. 89 on the PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 10/31/2022

    Food Lion Adds Grocery Pickup to More Stores

    Food Lion To Go teaser

    Food Lion To Go is growing in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. The grocer’s pickup service will expand to an additional 27 locations throughout the three states, with customers’ first pickup on the house. 

    With the addition of the 27 stores, Food Lion To Go is now available at 630 locations in the grocer’s 10-state footprint. Customers over the age of 21 can also purchase beer and wine where allowed by law.

    “With some of the busiest months ahead for our customers, we are excited to expand this convenient service to more stores in the Food Lion footprint so our customers can spend more time on what matters most to them,” said Evan Harding, director of digital and e-commerce at Food Lion. “With the Food Lion to Go service, we provide our neighbors the option to shop through the channel they prefer, in-store or online, still ensuring they have access to the freshest groceries at affordable prices.”

    Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, and employs more than 82,000 associates. Its parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 10/31/2022

    Grupo Bimbo Acquires St. Pierre

    St Pierre Brioche Loaf

    Grupo Bimbo’s third quarter report revealed some strong financial results combined with inflationary pressures – and notable acquisition news.  

    For the three months ending Sept. 30, the Mexico City-based global baking company reported record net sales, up 20% from the third quarter of 2021, and a 10% leap in adjusted EBITDA in its North American operations. That said, high commodity prices, supply chain challenges and labor costs led to a margin contraction of 120 basis points in North America.

    In addition to providing details of its financial performance, Grupo Bimbo disclosed in its quarterly report that it has acquired bakery company St Pierre. Known for its premium brioche products across the St. Pierre, Baker Street and Paul Hollywood brands, the Manchester, England-based St. Pierre Groupe continues to introduce new products, including a soon-to-launch line of bake-at-home bread. Earlier this year, St. Pierre announced plans to bolster its distribution capacity in the U.S.

    No further details about the acquisition have been provided yet by Grupo Bimbo or St. Pierre.

    In related news, St. Pierre partner Lipari Foods has been acquired by an investment group led by PE firm Littlejohn & Co., LLC. The specialty food distributor, headquartered in Warren, Mich., provides specialty foods to more than 7,500 independent grocers. In addition to offerings from St. Pierre, Lipari offers more than 25,000 products across bakery, deli, foodservice, specialty grocery, dairy, frozen seafood and meat, international food and confection categories.

    “Littlejohn’s proven ability of building and scaling distribution businesses will be valuable as we seek to expand our capabilities while continuing to deliver high-quality products and service for our longstanding customers,” said Lipari CEO Thom Lipari. “We look forward to leveraging the firm’s resources to accelerate our growth trajectory and execute on Lipari’s significant organic and acquisition growth initiatives.”

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