News Briefs

  • 6/21/2023

    AWG Appoints New EVP of Division Operations

    Derek Jones

    Derek Jones has joined Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG) as EVP, division operations. The 30-year industry veteran will oversee divisions, corporate distribution, sales, support and services at the Kansas City, Kan.-based company.

    Prior to joining AWG, Jones was CEO at Super Store Industries. He has also held executive roles at US Foods CHEF’Store, SpartanNash, Unisource Worldwide, Inc. and Office Depot. Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas and completed executive education in leadership best practices a Harvard Business School.

    [Read more: "AWG Honors Retail Members"]

    “We are blessed to have an accomplished leader such as Derek who will take on this critical leadership role at AWG,” said David Smith, president and CEO. “He complements our high-performing culture, and we believe his reputation for remarkable execution and results as a retailer and supplier have prepared him to be a critical member of the future executive team that will further elevate our performance of AWG’s mission of providing our member retailers with all the tools, products, and services they need to compete favorably in all markets served, all at the lowest possible cost.”   

    Jones, who officially steps into the role on July 10, will report to President-Elect Dan Funk. As previously announced, Funk will succeed Smith upon his retirement at the end of 2023.

    AWG is the nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler to independently-owned grocers, serving 1,100 member companies and more than 3,400 locations across 31 states. The company also operates subsidiary companies that provide real estate and supermarket development services, health and beauty care, general merchandise, pharmaceutical products, specialty foods and natural and organic products. The company is No. 39 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 6/21/2023

    Target Opens 1st Last-Mile Delivery Extension Supply Chain Facility

    Last-Mile Delivery Target Teaser

    Target has opened its first Target Last Mile Delivery (TLMD) extension supply chain facility. As an extension of an existing sortation center in Atlanta, the facility, located near a Target store in Smyrna, Ga., increases the reach of the company’s next-day delivery capability to more than 500,000 additional customers in the greater Atlanta area, increasing the number of people it can serve via TLMD by more than 30% to 3 million-plus shoppers in the market.

    Orders that fall outside the sortation center’s delivery area are moved to the TLMD extension facility, where drivers working with Shipt pick them up for delivery. The facility currently processes as many as 1,500 packages per day, with plans to increase that number in the next few months. 

    [Read more: "Target Circle Week Ready to Run From July 9-15"]

    “TLMD extensions represent the latest milestone in our journey to deliver a best-in-class experience for our guests — however they choose to shop with us,” explained John Mulligan, Target’s EVP and COO. “These facilities are a continuation of our innovative efforts to serve millions of guests and reach millions more while maximizing speed, efficiency and care across our real estate portfolio.”

    In accordance with Target’s test-and-learn approach, the company will review expansion plans for these types of facilities as it works to expand its reach.

    This past February, Target said it was investing  $100 million to expand next-day delivery capabilities to customers across major U.S. markets. 

    Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 2,000 locations. Birmingham, Ala.-based Shipt is an independently operated, wholly owned subsidiary of Target.

  • 6/21/2023

    H Mart Expanding to Utah

    H Mart Teaser

    The largest U.S. Asian supermarket chain, H Mart, has plans to open its first store in Utah. Located just outside Salt Lake City, the new store will occupy the site of the old K-Mart at 1442 West and 9000 South in West Jordan.

    Asians have become Utah’s fastest-growing minority population by percentage during the past decade, up 50%, as reported by The Salt Lake Tribune.

    [Read more: “H Mart Expands Presence in New Jersey”]

    According to ABC4.com, an opening date for the West Jordan location has not been yet revealed, though a representative for the supermarket chain said that the chain is hoping to have the store open by the end of the year.

    Rapidly growing H Mart reportedly also has plans to open new stores in Sacramento, Calif.; Dallas; and Las Vegas. In addition, the company said in May that a location in Brookline, Mass., is “coming soon.”

    Founded in 1982 in the New York City borough of Queens, H Mart offers a full line of Asian foods as well as a broad range of Western groceries to complement its full-scale offering, which includes many items found in a traditional supermarket. The popular Asian grocer is also known for its innovative food halls.

    Based in Lyndhurst, N.J., H Mart operates approximately 100 stores across 14 states. The company is No. 82 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

  • 6/21/2023

    Pop Up Grocer Comes to Nordstrom Stores in July

    PUG

    Pop Up Grocer is on a summer road trip. As consumers are out and about more and embark on vacations, the discovery destination specializing in curated assortments in temporary sites is co-locating with another retailer.

    [Read more: "Contemporary, Sustainable Dental Care Products Win Pop Up Grocer Contest"]

    The specialty retail business announced that Pop Up Grocer will welcome shoppers at Nordstrom department stores in eight U.S. cities: New York City; Seattle; Chicago; Costa Mesa, Calif.; Century City, Calif.; San Jose, Calif.; McLean, Va.; and Austin, Texas. All locations will be open by July 7, right around the time when Nordstrom holds its annual anniversary sale, and will purvey a variety of artisan-style snacks and drinks.

    Since Pop Up Grocer launched in 2019, the business has set up shop at nine short-term spots around the United States. In March, founder Emily Schildt opened the first 1,500-square-foot permanent store in New York City at 205 Bleecker Street in Manhattan.

  • 6/21/2023

    Strengthening Organic Systems Advisory Firm Launched

    SOS Logo Teaser

    Organic industry advisors and specialists Gwendolyn Wyard and Kim Dietz have launched Strengthening Organic Systems LLC (SOS), billed as the only advisory firm focused entirely on organic fraud prevention, supply chain investigations and compliance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) organic antifraud regulations.

    SOS aims to strengthen the resilience and overall integrity of global organic supply chains by advising businesses in developing effective organic fraud prevention plans and compliance practices. Its immediate area of concentration is to support the implementation of USDA's Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) Rule, introduced by the federal government earlier this year to close gaps in current regulations to build consistent certification practices to deter and detect organic fraud.

    [Read More: "Organic Food Sales in 2022 Broke Through $60B"]

    Wyard and Dietz have worked on numerous organic projects and task forces together since 2005, beginning with the formation of the Materials Working Group that assisted the National Organic Standards Board in the development of guidance on determining National List material classifications.

    Most recently Wyard was VP of regulatory and technical affairs for the Washington, D.C.-based Organic Trade Association (OTA), where she was the lead developer and author of the association’s Organic Fraud Prevention Guide, now the industry standard reference for excellence in achieving integrity across complex organic global supply chains. Dietz has directly overseen 13 organic-handling operations, including the management of the successful certification of the first certified-organic handling facility in the United States. She has also led numerous task forces, committees and coalitions, including a stint as president of the OTA board.

    Created to serve the organic food, nonfood and retail sectors, SOS has been named a Trusted Advisor for OTA’s Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions program. Trusted Advisors are experts in organic compliance and VACCP (Vulnerability Assessment Critical Control Points). 

  • 6/20/2023

    KeHE Completes DPI Specialty Foods Acquisition

    Kehe Acquisition Teaser

    KeHE Distributors LLC has completed its earlier revealed acquisition of DPI Specialty Foods, an Ontario, Calif.-based distributor in key geographic locations across the western United States. 

    “Combining KeHE and DPI’s long histories of success and pre-eminent category expertise will enable retailers to respond more quickly to customer demand, offer additional supplier opportunities and deliver enhanced consumer experiences,” said Deb Conklin, president and CEO of Naperville, Ill.-based KeHE. “Both of our organizations share an obsession for our partners, a deep commitment to our people, a focus on serving others, and financial and operational performance. This transaction represents an opportunity to capitalize on the strengths of both organizations and  become an even greater force for good.”

    The transaction aims to widen KeHE’s customer base and bolsters its existing warehouse infrastructure. The combined capabilities include more than 31,000 customers, 80,000-plus SKUs, 6,100 suppliers, and 7 million square feet of warehouse space across all temperature zones in 19 distribution centers. Additionally, DPI suppliers and retailers will gain access to KeHE’s business intelligence tools, including the KeHE Connect platform, which provides suppliers with sales-reporting, business analytics and data visualization services to help drive scalable success. KeHE and DPI will continue to operate as separate entities while they work to implement an integration plan. 

    BMO Capital Markets Corp. was the exclusive financial advisor to KeHE, while Winston & Strawn LLP was the company’s legal counsel.

    A Certified B Corporation and employee-owned company, KeHE distributes fresh, natural and organic, and specialty products to natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers, and other specialty products retailers throughout North America. 

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