News Briefs


Mitsuwa Marketplace Coming to Los Angeles Neighborhood

Mitsuwa Marketplace Teaser

Mitsuwa Marketplace, the largest Japanese grocery store chain in the United States, will open a location in Northridge, Calif., its first in that Los Angeles community. Kennedy Wilson Brokerage, a division of Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Kennedy-Wilson Properties Ltd., represented the landlord, securing a 10-year lease on a 9,600-square-foot space at 8940 Tampa Avenue that was previously occupied by a Pier 1 Imports store. 

Torrance, Calif.-based Mitsuwa Corp. was one of several companies interested in this central location, which will make the busy neighborhood shopping center a grocery-anchored destination. The specialty banner, which expanded throughout the pandemic, is poised to drive consistent traffic to the center.

“Mitsuwa will bring a unique market and culinary experience to the North San Fernando Valley that’s been missing,” said Kennedy Wilson Senior Associate Kyle Fishburn, who handled the transaction. “It’s exciting to introduce the brand to Northridge, and I’m excited to see the impact it has on an already busy commercial corridor.” 

The Northridge Mitsuwa Marketplace is expected to open in the fall of 2022. Operating in five states  California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas  its 11 current locations are open 365 days a year and offer food courts, fast-food stalls, bakeries, matcha shops, prepared sushi and sashimi, and a wide assortment of Japanese groceries.


Publix Creates Legacy Scholarship for Carol Jenkins Barnett

Publix Carol Jenkins Barnett

Carol Jenkins Barnett, the philanthropist, educational advocate and daughter of Publix founder George W. Jenkins who passed away last year, is being remembered with an award in her name. Publix announced that a new Carol Jenkins Barnett and Publix Community Service Scholarship will be given to company associates who demonstrate Barnett’s passion for serving others.

Beginning in fall 2023, the scholarships will be bestowed annually to two associates who are starting their freshman year at college. The awards are worth $5,000 each.

“Whether it was advocating to improve education, especially for young children, or serving the less fortunate, Carol made a lasting impact on so many,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “As a company, this scholarship is a way to remember Carol’s life and legacy of service.”

A longtime chair and president of Publix Super Markets Charities, Barnett was active in several other causes, including United Way, Florida Partnerships for School Readiness and Family Fundamentals, among others. Her name also lives on at the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children and at the Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland, Fla., that was made possible by her generosity.  

More information about the scholarship, including application details, will be released early next year. 

Employee-owned and -operated, Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix has more than 1,200 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The grocer is No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America


Albertsons to Open New Store in Northern Texas

Albertsons texas teaser

If the sky is big in Texas, so is the grocery landscape. One new addition is an Albertsons location set to open by the end of the year in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex.

According to officials in Irving, Texas, the latest Albertsons grocery store will be housed in a shopping center at 2200 West Shady Grove Road in the south part of that city. After a Fiesta Mart closed at the 50,000-square-foot site a couple of years ago, local residents lobbied community leaders to bring in another banner to improve access to groceries and household supplies.

Based on a report on the City of Irving website, at least $250,000 will be spent to upgrade the interior and exterior of the location. The project marks Albertsons’ return to Irving after 15 years; the chain currently operates 32 stores in the greater DFW market.

That market is getting hot for food retailers. H-E-B is in the process of building new stores in nearby Frisco, Plano and McKinney that will open later this year and into 2023, and Whole Foods is adding a location at a new mixed-use development in McKinney.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates more than 2,200 retail stores with 1,700-plus pharmacies, 400 associated fuel centers, 22 distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. It has stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under more than 20 banners. Albertsons is No. 8 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. With approximately 400 stores in Texas and Mexico, San Antonio-based H-E-B is No. 13 on The PG 100. Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and is No. 26 on The PG 100.


Publix Adds Mark Irby to Board of Directors

Publix, Mark Irby teaser

Mark Irby was elected to the Publix Super Markets board of directors during the grocer’s annual stockholders’ meeting on April 12. Irby began working in the sign shop at Publix in 1973 and retired earlier this year after most recently serving as VP of marketing.

“We congratulate Mark on his election to the board,” said Ed Crenshaw, board chairman. “His extensive experience in helping build and promote our Publix brand will bring a valuable perspective.”

Employee-owned and -operated, Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix has more than 1,200 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The grocer is No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America


Associated Grocers of New England Adds Solar Rooftop to Distribution Center

AGNE rooftop solar teaser

In a move that will create the largest rooftop solar installation in the state of New Hampshire, Associated Grocers of New England (AGNE)has partnered with ReVision Energy to outfit its Pembroke distribution center with solar energy that will help power its operations.

The 50,000-square-foot distribution center employs a 1MW SolarEdge DC-optimized array that should offset approximately 20% of its annual energy consumption, which will lend itself to a return on investment of less than nine years and will reduce carbon emissions by approximately 1,100 tons per year.

The solar project is part of a wider sustainability initiative being undertaken by the co-op and steered forward by the Associated Grocers Green Awareness Committee. The company hopes to expand its use of solar energy in the future.

“Once we started looking at solar, we quickly saw it was a no-brainer,” said Tommy Coyle, marketing media specialist for AGNE. “We spoke to six installers but found ReVision Energy to be the most straight-forward company to deal with. Added to that, the SolarEdge system it proposed offered the fastest ROI. That was an important factor in getting the AGNE board to sign off on the project.”

AGNE is the largest retailer-owned wholesale grocery distribution center in New England, serving over 650 independent retail stores across the region, as well as upstate New York.


C&S Wholesale Partners With NielsenIQ on Digital Product Content

Former Stop & Shop President Joins C&S Wholesale

C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. has chosen NielsenIQ Brandbank as its sole provider of digital product content to power planogram solutions, mid-aisle product ordering and digital and print production, among other use cases.

Through NielsenIQ Brandbank’s product imagery and trusted product attribution, C&S will have the ability to support its customers with product identification, interaction and ordering. Contracted NielsenIQ Brandbank suppliers can also have their approved digital product content syndicated to C&S Wholesale and its retail partners at no additional cost.

“C&S Wholesale Grocers are an industry leader and an innovator in the CPG industry, and we are proud that NielsenIQ Brandbank’s trusted product content will be a foundation of their digital strategy,” said Roy Woodhouse, North America commercial lead at NielsenIQ Brandbank. “Building their retailer portal into a shop window for their product assortment will only support wider distribution and, ultimately, shopper engagement, for more products; this is really exciting.”

Founded in 1918 as a supplier to independent grocery stores, Keene, N.H.-based C&S Wholesale Grocers now services customers of all sizes, supplying more than 7,500 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases and institutions with 100,000-plus products. The company is No. 16 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top retailers of food and consumables in North America.