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News Briefs

  • 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.

  • 11/2/2022

    Schnucks Shoppers in Missouri Are Getting Ready for Total Store Remodel

    Schnucks’ Donation Helps Mobile Grocery Store to Serve St. Louis Food Deserts

    Customers of the 67,000-square-foot Schnucks store in Crestwood, Mo., can soon expect a new grocery experience, as Schnuck Markets Inc. has started to work on a total store remodel.

    Located at 9540 Watson Road, the remodeled store will include a Fresh Pour drink area specializing in coffee and draft beer and wine, along with an expanded and relocated wine, beer and liquor area. On the fresh side of the store, customers will experience a renovated deli that will serve hot pizza and a new Cheese Shoppe, as well as a remodeled bakery and upgraded seafood department featuring fresh sushi. In addition to an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, the renovated produce department will offer self-service nut butters.

    The Crestwood renovation will also include Schnucks’ food hall concept featuring Salt + Smoke’s Oh Hey! Barbeque, Seoul Taco, and Schnucks Burgers + Bites. Each restaurant partner will operate a small service counter and share a common seating area. The concept was introduced last year in the Kirkwood, Mo., store remodel.

    In addition to a new decor package throughout the location, the store will offer a new LiveWell natural-living department. The remodel is expected to be completed in late spring or early summer 2023.

    “It’s because of our shoppers’ loyalty and patronage over the years that we are able to make this investment in our store and in our community,” said Schnucks Crestwood Manager Don Quante. 

    During and after the remodel, customers can continue to use Schnucks Delivers and Curbside Pickup through Instacart.

    St. Louis-based Schnucks employs 12,000 associates and operates 114 stores. It is No. 64 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 11/2/2022

    Grabango Powers Checkout-Free Shopping at Chevron

    Chevron Grabango Teaser

    Grabango and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. have brought checkout-free shopping to a Chevron ExtraMile store in San Ramon, Calif. The concept enables shoppers to bypass the lines and save time with a convenient in-store contactless checkout experience.

    Grabango’s computer-vision technology allows shoppers to select any non-age-restricted product in the store and then leave without waiting in line to check out. Payment is automatically completed through the Grabango app.

    “We’re grateful to be working with one of the greatest consumer brands in the world to bring checkout-free to more shoppers,” noted Grabango CEO and founder Will Glaser. “Grabango is honored to help Chevron usher in the future of physical retail shopping.” 

    “We’re always looking to improve the experiences of our valued ExtraMile shoppers,” said Bob Stolz, general manager of San Ramon-based Chevron Stations. “That’s why we’re excited to work with Grabango to pilot their one-second-checkout technology at our Bollinger Canyon station.” 

    Chevron is the most recent rollout in a series of major retailers working with Berkeley, Calif.-based Grabango. These include BP, Circle K and Mapco.

  • 11/2/2022

    Rouses to Open New Store in Mississippi

    Rouses Site Picayune MS Teaser

    Rouses Markets has revealed plans to open its first store in Picayune, Miss. According to CEO Donny Rouse, the company has agreed to buy the River Ridge Shopping Center, where it plans to build the new 40,000-square-foot location.

    The shopping center is at the corner of I-59 and Mississippi Highway 43 North, a high-traffic spot that also includes a CVS.

    “We are very proud that Rouses Markets saw the value in locating in Picayune,” said the town’s mayor, Jim Luke. “My administration and I have been working toward this for a long time.”

    “We are thrilled to be another step in moving Picayune forward,” added Donny Rouse, the third generation to run the business started by his grandfather Anthony J. Rouse Sr.

    Work on the 4.4-acre site is scheduled to start in the first half of next year, with an anticipated opening in 2024. The new Picayune location, set to be the company’s fourth store in Mississippi, will employ about 200 people.

    Rouses will also open new locations in North Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Houma, La., next year, bringing the family-owned and -operated company’s store total to 68.

    The official supermarket of the New Orleans Saints, Thibodaux, La.-based Rouses operates 64 stores in three states and has more than 7,000 associates. With its CVS Pharmacy subsidiary operating almost 10,000 locations nationwide, Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health is No. 7 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

  • 11/2/2022

    Houston Independent Goes Online With Grocerist

    Little Red Box Grocerist Teaser

    The new online store and digital marketing program for Houston independent food retailer Little Red Box Grocery are powered by Grocerist, which offers the first and only industry-specific solution built on Shopify, the world’s largest e-commerce platform. The solution provides a modern customer experience, weight-based selling, product substitution features, advanced pick/pack technology, flexible pickup/delivery scheduling and customer marketing services. 

    “Grocer investments in digital must translate into profit and additional business value, and this is where we come in, to ensure e-commerce becomes a driver of growth and profit,” noted Matt Smith, COO and co-founder of Toronto-based Grocerist. “We are excited to work with Little Red Box to bring their store online. Grocerist provides all of the technology that independent grocers like Little Red Box need to succeed online and, equally important, our marketing team designs and executes for the grocer the email, social, search and in-store campaigns that drive business growth.” 

    “We were eager to bring our store online and researched how to do this on our own,” said Samuel Newman, of Little Red Box. “When we realized the overwhelming amount of time, cost and expertise that required, we quickly pivoted to selecting Grocerist. They offer all of the grocery-specific features and functionality built on the Shopify platform so we can take advantage of the unique marketing integrations Shopify offers with Facebook, Google, email platforms and more. Now, with Grocerist’s marketing support, we can grow our customer base (both in-store and online), increase order size, increase purchase frequency and really emerge as an omnichannel grocer to better support our suppliers, customers and community.”

    Grocerist customizes Ottawa, Ontario-based Shopify and integrates proprietary and best-in-class third-party technology to meet the particular needs of independents. For online SNAP EBT, the company partners with USDA-approved third-party payments provider Forage, which is based in San Francisco. 

  • 11/2/2022

    Mission Produce Shares Sales, Marketing Changes

    Mission Produce

    Knowing that conditions must be right for growing, Mission Produce, Inc. is cultivating a broad leadership team for sales and marketing. The Oxnard, Calif.-based company that sources, produces and distributes fresh Hass avocadoes and mangos, announced the hiring and promotion of executives in that department.

    Cheryl Hoefs (pictured) has joined Mission Produce as SVP of sales and marketing, a role in which she will oversee business development, retail, foodservice, and wholesale programs in the U.S., as well as international export sales. She will leverage her nearly 30-year background, which includes senior-level sales positions at Sabra Dipping Co., The Kellogg Co., Acosta and PepsiCo, among other companies.

    [Read more: "Avocado Imports Smash Records"]

    In addition, Mission Produce announced the promotion of several leaders within the sales department. Brooke Becker, Patrick Cortes and Hector Soltero have been elevated to VP positions, while Roberto Rodriguez has been named director of international exports.

    “These leaders are poised to help drive continued growth across the company’s channels in the U.S. and globally while strengthening Mission’s current initiatives in people development and process improvement. I am confident in their ability to maintain Mission’s position as a category leader and achieve profitable results for the company,” remarked President and COO Tim Bulow.

    Bulow is also new to the organization, tapped as president and COO in August. Founder Steve Barnard remains in his role as CEO and a member of the board of directors.

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