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News Briefs

03/30/2022

Meijer on Course for Full-Scale Annual LPGA Tournament

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Meijer on Course for Full-Scale Annual LPGA Tournament

Meijer is teeing up the return of its golf tournament with an announcement of the dates and a call for volunteers. The retailer is hosting and sponsoring the Meijer LPGA Classic from June 16-19 at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The annual tournament, with a field of 144 top women golfers who compete over four days, raises funds for local food pantries through Meijer’s partnership with the Simply Give organization. Last year’s event raised $1.1 million and the cumulative events have generated more than $8.5 million for the program.

After a 2020 postponement and a scaled-back event in 2021, company leaders say this year’s tournament will attract a throng of golfers and fans, necessitating a solid base of helpers. Meijer is seeking at least 1,000 volunteers to fill roles on 20 different committees and as part of several general volunteer positions.

"We're looking forward to bringing the tournament back in a big way, and that's only possible thanks to the help of so many incredible volunteers," said Rick Keyes, Meijer’s president and CEO. "Volunteers will get the chance to be a part of the action and make an impact on our tournament's mission of feeding hungry families. After two challenging years, we're excited for this event to celebrate our community and our commitment to Simply Give."   

To Keyes’ point about getting in on the action, volunteers who pay a $30 fee will receive two official tournament golf shirts, one official tournament hat or visor, four weekly grounds passes for friends or family, and meals and beverages during scheduled shifts. 

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer operates 257 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 18 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food retailers in North America

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03/29/2022

Hy-Vee Summit to Help Advance Women- and Minority-Owned Businesses

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Hy-Vee to Close 2 Stores, Remodel 2

Hy-Vee, Inc. is showing its support for local women- and minority-owned businesses with its OpportUNITY Inclusive Business Summit, which will be held May 25 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The summit will include a small-business vendor expo, workshops and keynote presentations. Women- and minority-owned businesses are invited to apply for the opportunity to showcase their products or services at a pitch competition held during the event. Judges will select three winners, all of which will be awarded with up to $25,000.

Local products or services in the categories of food and beverage, product innovation and technology, health and beauty, sustainability, services and entertainment, will be accepted until April 17 at hy-veeopportunitysummit.com.

Employee-owned Hy-Vee has a team of more than 93,000 employees and operates 285-plus retail stores across eight states. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company is No. 34 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

03/29/2022

New WinCo Foods Welcomes Shoppers in Oregon

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WinCo

A new WinCo Foods has opened in Eugene, Ore. The latest location at 2815 Chad Drive welcomed its first customers this week with a grand opening celebration that included giveaways, a sweepstakes and specially-decorated baked goods with the company name and logo.  

Open 24 hours a day and staffed by an employee base of about 200 associates, this is the second WinCo in Eugene and is across the street from a Costco club store. The retailer renovated the 64,000-square-foot space, which used to house a Shopko store, over the past year.

The addition was not without controversy, however. Some local residents and business owners concerned about potential higher traffic in the area contested the plans, which proceeded after approval by the city and the state’s Land Use board of appeals.

This is the 136th employee-owned store operated by WinCo. The chain was founded as a no-frills grocery store called Waremart Foods by Ralph Ward and Bud Williams in 1967. In 1985, the company became a majority employee-owned and changed its name to WinCo Foods in 1999. WinCo is No. 44 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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03/29/2022

Criteo Program Aims to Help Marketers, Retailers Master Retail Media

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Criteo Program Aims to Help Marketers, Retailers Master Retail Media

Looking to help retailers, marketers and agencies get up to speed with the increasingly important retail media landscape, online advertising company Criteo has introduced a new program dubbed Retail Media University. According to Criteo, the first-of-its-kind program will help users better understand how retail media works and why it’s so important.

Through highly interactive and entertaining virtual courses, Retail Media University educates users on how to take their advertising campaigns to the next level with advanced retail media tactics,” the company said.

The first course in the program, titled Retail Media Platform Certification, offers retail media basics, multimedia training modules and hands-on experience with Criteo’s Retail Media Platform, which helps enable brands to reach shoppers with personalized ads at the digital point of sale. Course graduates will also receive a completion badge that can be displayed on their LinkedIn pages.

Those interested in the program can sign up on theRetail Media University training page.

03/28/2022

Cigarette Sales Extinguished at Some Walmart Stores

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Cig teaser

Walmart is halting cigarette sales at some of its stores. The Wall Street Journal reported that Walmart locations in California, Florida, Arkansas and New Mexico are no longer selling cigarettes, with some of those spaces converted to self-checkout areas or for merchandising impulse items like candy.

The decisions to curb sales of cigarettes are done on a store-by-store basis, according to information from Walmart. “We are always looking at ways to meet our customers’ needs while still operating an efficient business. As a result of our ongoing focus on the tobacco category, we have made the business decision to discontinue the sale of tobacco in select stores,” the retailer explained in a statement.

Nearly three years ago, Walmart pulled electronic cigarettes from the shelves at Walmart and Sam’s Club locations. “Given the growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty regarding e-cigarettes, we plan to discontinue the sale of electronic nicotine delivery products at all Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S. locations,” a company spokesman said at the time.

Other retailers are no longer selling cigarettes in their stores. In early 2020, Schnuck Markets, Inc. put an end to selling cigarettes as well as e-cigarettes, vaping products, cigars, chewing tobacco and snuff. Hannaford followed suit, phasing out such products in fall 2020. Targetwas the first big player to yank tobacco products back in 1996, and CVS banned such items in 2014.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates approximately 10,500 stores under 48 banners in 24 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

03/28/2022

Innit, Google Cloud Launch Personalized Nutrition Solution

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Innit, Google Cloud Launch Personalized Nutrition Solution

Food technology provider Innit is expanding its partnership with Google Cloud to help retailers and others deliver personalized nutrition services to consumers.

The health and wellness solution, which is now available to Google Cloud Marketplace users ranging from supermarkets and pharmacies to healthcare providers, aims to support healthy eating by helping consumers discover food products and meals that fit their particular lifestyles, diets and allergies. The technology is tailored to conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obesity.

"As consumers seek out more ways to better manage their health and wellness, organizations have a unique opportunity to support consumer needs with personalized care experiences," said Paul Tepfenhart, director of global grocery solutions at Google Cloud. "We're thrilled to have Innit's solution now available on Google Cloud Marketplace and help customers across the grocery, pharmaceutical, and healthcare space deliver actionable, personalized experiences to consumers whether that be in-store, online, or at home."

Innit is already providing grocers with personalized search solutions, and its new algorithms have been developed by a scientific and medical committee that includes experts from the United States and Europe.

According to Innit, “[m]eals and recipes tailored to specific health needs can be matched to user preferences, and shoppers can buy all required ingredients with a single click.”

"Consumers deserve technology that can help them improve their wellness, without trading off convenience or enjoyment," said Kevin Brown, Innit CEO and co-founder.