News Briefs

  • 3/10/2023

    Amazon Partners With Marymount U on Checkout-Free Store

    Marymount University Amazon Just Walk Out C-Store Teaser

    Marymount University has become the first higher-education institution in the United States to open an on-campus convenience store powered by Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology.

    Located in the lobby of Gerard Phelan Hall on Marymount’s main campus, in Arlington, Va., the store, known as Saints 24, enables customers to use a credit card at the entrance and grab what they need as the technology automatically detects what’s taken from (or returned to) store shelves. When customers have completed their shopping, they can leave the store without checking out, and their credit card will be charged for the items they took.

    [Read more: "Amazon Further Refines Brick-and-Mortar Strategy With Amazon Go Closures"]

    “Becoming the first university in the U.S. to collaborate with Amazon in incorporating its Just Walk Out technology at an on-campus convenience shop demonstrates how Marymount is leading the way in fostering an innovative and exciting student experience that appeals to the tech-savvy college students of today,” noted Dr. Irma Becerra, president of Marymount, which plans to hold a grand-opening ceremony for Saints 24 on April 20.

    “Marymount is committed to providing students with new and exciting on-campus experiences that cater to their needs, and we’re proud to collaborate on their first checkout-free store,” said Dilip Kumar, VP of AWS Applications. “Now, students and guests can grab food, beverages and other essentials in a way that is easy and convenient for them.”

    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.

  • 3/10/2023

    H-E-B Brings Home Management Services In-Store

    H-E-B Starts Construction on Central Texas Store

    Home management platform Thumbtack is rolling out branded displays at more than 300 H-E-B stores across Texas to help shoppers connect with pet services ranging from dog walking to grooming. Customers can scan a QR code to find and access local pet service providers while completing their shopping.

    This is the home services company’s first foray into physical retail. Thumbtack is also offering its Thumbtack On-Demand feature in select H-E-B stores, allowing consumers to easily find and connect with local tradespeople, lawn care and cleaning services at a 10% discount.

    [Read more: "H-E-B, Food Lion Lauded for Regional Performance"]

    “Thumbtack’s job is to make caring for everything in and around the home a seamless experience for the homeowner,” said David Steckel, senior director of strategic partnerships at San Francisco-based Thumbtack. “Expanding into physical retail brings us one step closer to that by allowing us to be a partner for consumers whether they’re shopping in-store for their pets or getting their backyards ready for hosting.”

    The largest privately held employer in Texas, San Antonio-based H-E-B has more than 430 stores and 154,000 employees in Texas and Mexico. The grocer’s store formats include H-E-B, Central Market, Joe V’s Smart Shop and Mi Tienda. H-E-B also owns Favor Delivery, a service available in cities across Texas. The company is No. 16 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 3/10/2023

    Natural Grocers Aims to Help Shoppers ‘Beat Time Change Blues’

    Natural Grocers Beat the Time Change Blues Teaser

    Natural Grocers wants to help shoppers adjust to daylight saving time with its fifth annual Beat the Time Change Blues event, taking place March 11-14. During the event, customers can take advantage of savings, free samples and sweepstakes at all participating Natural Grocers stores.

    In addition to a free sample-size packet of Natural Grocers Brand Organic Coffee for the first 200 customers at each store on March 11, customers can enter in-store to win free coffee for one year to help keep them awake, with one grand-prize winner getting a weekend getaway for two to Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz. – located in a state where daylight saving time isn’t observed. Shoppers will also receive up to 55% off Natural Grocers’ prices.

    [Read more: "Natural Grocers Recaps Commitment to Regenerative Agriculture"]

    Further, Natural Grocers is encouraging consumers to sign a petition ending daylight saving time, which the retailer noted is linked by studies to “increased risks of heart attacks, injuries and accidents associated with the disruption of sleep and the efforts it takes to synchronize the body’s internal clock.”

    Founded in 1955, family-operated Natural Grocers operates more than 160 stores in 21 states. The Lakewood, Colo.-based natural and organic grocer is No. 95 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 3/10/2023

    H-E-B, Food Lion Lauded for Regional Performance

    HEB Food Lion

    Location analytics and foot traffic data firm recently evaluated retail businesses across different categories to identify strong and growing regional operations. Coming out on top for the grocery sector: Texas-based H-E-B and North Carolina-headquartered Food Lion.

    According to’s assessment, H-E-B’s cult-like following is not a fluke, but based on sheer popularity, regional pride and reputation as an employer. As for foot traffic, the firm points out that H-E-B’s visits were up in 2022, with a 7% gain in foot traffic over pre-pandemic 2019. The retailer’s prolific presence, as it expands its footprint across the region, is likely to bump up that traffic even more. also gave a nod to Food Lion for becoming a go-to destination in its service area. Some of its strength in garnering traffic includes its extensive community involvement and commitment through the Food Lion Feeds food pantry program. Traffic is also up at this regional grocer, with 41.3% of grocery visits in North Carolina happening at Food Lion stores in 2022, versus 36.9% in 2019.

    Other regional players can take a cue from these grocers,’s analysts noted. They wrote: “Local pride can boost grocery visits. H-E-B and Food Lion have cultivated a devoted customer base by leaning into their regional characteristics and creating a community around their shopping experience.”

    San Antonio-based H-E-B's store formats in Texas and Mexico include H-E-B, Central Market, Joe V’s Smart Shop and Mi Tienda. The company is No. 16 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North AmericaSalisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. Its parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize is No. 10 on The PG 100.

  • 3/9/2023

    Harris Teeter Refreshes Brand Image

    Harris Teeter Refresh Teaser

    Harris Teeter has rolled out a refreshed logo, along with a new tagline and marketing campaign, “In food with love.” These elements spotlight the grocer’s longtime commitment to innovating and adapting to meet the evolving needs of its customers.

    “At Harris Teeter, we’ve always been in love with every aspect of the food business, from supporting our associates to giving back to our local communities to providing the best selection of premium items at a great value,” noted Matt Martin, the grocer’s VP of marketing. “Our modernized and refreshed logo, along with our new tagline and marketing campaign, are a succinct expression of who we are and what we aspire to be.”  

    [Read more: "Harris Teeter to Host Supplier Diversity Summit"] 

    The new logo and tagline were revealed in a social media and digital display ad campaign launched March 1 across the Harris Teeter footprint, and a TV ad campaign kicked off March 9. In the near future, customers will see the updated branding in stores and eventually on their local Harris Teeter storefront. 

    “Every day, Harris Teeter strives to enrich lives – one meal, one family, one associate and one community at a time,” said Tammy DeBoer, the company’s president. “‘In food with love’ expresses our connection with our 36,000-plus valued associates, the millions of customers we serve, and the vibrant communities in which we operate.” 

    A wholly owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co., No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter employs 36,000 associates across more than 250 stores and 60 fuel centers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, Florida, and the District of Columbia.

  • 3/9/2023

    Food Rocket Ceases U.S. Operations

    Food Rocket Logo Teaser

    Rapid grocery delivery startup Food Rocket has become the latest casualty in this sector, having ceased operations this month after exhausting its funding. According to the company, it ran out of capital while struggling to raise additional funding, and the recent downturn in the capital market made it difficult to get a bridge from its investor retail company Alimentation Couche-Tard, so the founding team decided to shutter its U.S. operations.  

    “We believe that the rapid delivery industry has disrupted the retail market and changed consumer behaviors,” noted Vitaly Alexandrov, CEO and founder of San Francisco-based Food Rocket. “Unfortunately, current economic conditions reshuffled the tech market and presented significant challenges in the venture capital market. The decision to cease operations was incredibly hard, and we put in 100% up until the very last day, trying to stay afloat for our customers and team members.”

    Food Rocket launched in its hometown of San Francisco in April 2021, and then expanded to Chicago in February 2022 and Charlotte, N.C., last November at two Circle K stores. Quick-delivery platforms that have also fallen by the wayside include Buyk, Fridge No More and Zero Grocery, while others have laid off workers and restructured their businesses in the face of a more hybrid approach to buying groceries, coupled with such marketplace headwinds as labor scarcities, high prices, omnichannel competition and an uncertain economy.

    Alimentation Couche-Tard is a global leader in convenience and fuel retail, with more than 7,000 U.S. locations and more than 14,300 worldwide. The Laval, Quebec-based company, home to Couche-Tard and Circle K banners and operating more than 14,100 stores, is No. 18 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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