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News Briefs

05/19/2022

Weis Reveals Price Cuts on Many Best-Selling Frozen Products

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Weis Markets 1st Grocer to Earn Sustainable Food Retail Certification Ratio Institute

Weis Markets Inc. is making a multimillion-dollar investment to lower prices on hundreds of its best-selling frozen products as an expansion of the grocer’s Low, Low Price (LLP) program. The lower pricing includes brand-name and Weis Quality products.

The LLP program began in 2019 and encompasses more than 7,000 grocery products and nearly 80 produce items.

“We will offer customers in the markets we serve the lowest everyday prices on hundreds of our best-selling frozen items,” said Bob Gleeson, Weis’ SVP of merchandising and marketing. “Given recent increases in consumer costs, saving money is extremely important to our customers, and we are confident these reductions will generate significant savings for them. Since 2019, our LLP program has helped customers save approximately $10 million dollars. They’ll now save millions more in our frozen department.”

The LLP frozen program reduces prices by 13%-33% on select items, among them Birdseye Steamfresh frozen vegetables (12-16 ounces); Klondike Ice Cream bars, sandwiches and cones (14-17 ounces); Digiorno frozen pizzas; and Marie Callender’s dinners

Founded in 1912, Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis is a Mid-Atlantic food retailer operating 196 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York West Virginia and Virginia. The company is No. 61 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named it as one of the Top 10 Regional Operators to Watch in 2022. 

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05/19/2022

Foxtrot Opens Latest Location Near Wrigley Field in Chicago

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Foxtrot teaser interior

Foxtrot is making its way around Chicago, opening a new store in the Wrigleyville neighborhood at 3649 N Clark Street. Close to the home field of the Chicago Cubs, this well-trafficked spot features Foxtrot’s usual assortment of pantry staples, locally-produced items and prepared foods that can be eaten onsite or taken to go.

This location’s in-store café includes an updated menu with a variety of new summer dishes. Shoppers can enjoy foods and beverages, including beer and wine or drinks from the Foxtrot coffee bar, on the street-side patio.

As with other Foxtrot locations, delivery within a 30-minute window is available to local shoppers who use the Foxtrot app. Pickup is offered as well, in as little as five minutes.

To mark the opening, Foxtrot is giving away tickets to a Chicago Cubs baseball game and doling out items like Chicago-themed magnets. The Cubs mascot will stop by during a family day on Sunday, May 22.

This is the 14th Foxtrot  in Chicago, following the recent unveiling of a store in the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue. Another opening is planned for June inside the iconic Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), and the business is working on expansions in Texas and Washington, D.C. 

Based in Chicago, the e-commerce platform and retailer was founded in 2014 by Mike LaVitola and Taylor Bloom.

05/19/2022

Dollar General Bolsters Diversity and Inclusion Team

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Dollar General Seeks More Workers Ahead of Labor Day

In an effort to further its organizational commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), Dollar General has hired three executives to join its leadership team. 

Renee Gadsden is the new director of diversity and inclusion for supply chain, leading the company’s work to develop and execute DEI strategies for supply chain partners. Antoine Hinton now acts as director of supplier diversity, responsible for developing and implementing a strategic supplier diversity and inclusion program that will help build robust supplier networks.

“Renee and Antoine are passionate diversity and inclusion champions, and we are excited for them to lead various DEI efforts,” said Dr. Johné Battle, Dollar General's VP of diversity and inclusion. “We are proud to continue growing and developing our diversity and inclusion efforts, and we look forward to expanding our supply chain and vendor partner diversity while continuing to bring the selection and value our customers have come to expect.”

Additionally, Mark Person was promoted to director of diversity and inclusion for retail. Person originally joined Dollar General in 2016 as a district manager, and serves as a member of the company’s African American Employee Resource Group and participates in Develop 2 Lead program, which aims to develop talent throughout the organization.

“I have been impressed by the impact Mark has on his team, his customers and his efforts to give back to the community,” said John Garratt, Dollar General’s CFO. “Great companies start with great people, and to have great talent you must have diverse talent. We are excited to have Mark step into this new role and help us continue diversifying our teams.”

Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based Dollar General is No. 15 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, and was also PG's 2021 Retailer of the Year.

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05/18/2022

Retail Memberships Are Going Mainstream, Report Finds

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Amazon Leads Online SNAP Benefits to 36 States

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. households hold at least one retail membership, according to a new report from data and tech company Numerator. The report also found that 80% of households subscribe to one program, 13.8% subscribe to two programs, 3.7% subscribe to three and 2.5% subscribe to four or more.

Numerator’s new Retail Membership Tracker analyzes retail subscription models and specifically compares Amazon Prime, Walmart+ and Target’s Shipt Everyday. Walmart+ has permeated 8.1% of households since its 2020 launch, while 53.6% of U.S. households subscribe to Amazon Prime. Shipt Everyday is still only available in limited markets and holds a 1.3% share of households.

Subscribers of multiple programs are more likely to be affluent, ethnically diverse and values-driven, the report found, as well as Black or Hispanic/Latino, from larger households and impulse buyers.

As for specific metrics, 78% of Prime members do not subscribe to other membership programs, while 28% of people exclusively subscribe to Shipt Everyday and 24% to Walmart+. Amazon Prime has the highest renewal intent rate of 80% and 74% of its subscribers report high satisfaction levels.

Numerator found that consumers prioritize shipping speed, with Shipt members most likely to cite same-day delivery as a key membership benefit. Shipt Everyday also outperforms its baseline metrics by two times and has captured 10.1% of their subscribers’ share versus 4.3% of their total shoppers’ share.

“Changes in consumer behavior are accelerating,” said Eric Belcher, CEO of Chicago-based Numerator. “Forward-looking retailers are anticipating and tracking those changes.”

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. Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart U.S. and Minneapolis-based Target Corp. are Nos. 1 and 6, respectively.

05/17/2022

RILA Advances Exec to EVP of Government Affairs

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Austen Jensen

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) promoted Austen Jensen to EVP of government affairs.

Jensen has worked for the association since 2016. He leads a government affairs team, manages RILA’s payments portfolio and handles financial services issues that fall under the jurisdiction of Securities and Exchange Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Reserve and other key regulators. As sustainability has become a greater priority for retailers, his role has expanded to include environmental issues.

Among other endeavors, he worked with the FTC and Federal Reserve to ensure the enforcement of legislation passed under the Dodd-Frank Act protecting the merchant community. In addition, he also pressured the federal government to drop tariffs on China that have reportedly cost consumers more than $350 billion since 2018.

Prior to joining RILA, Jensen worked on Capitol Hill for more than a decade, serving as chief of staff and deputy chief of staff for various members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Austen is an exceptional advocate for leading retailers,” said Michael Hanson, senior EVP of public affairs for the Washington, D.C.-based RILA. “His keen insights, political acumen, dedication, and knowledge of the retail industry drive results for RILA’s members and the retail industry at large. Equally important, he is a caring and motivating leader and guided the RILA government affairs team through extraordinary circumstances during the pandemic. It’s a privilege to work with him, and I’m thrilled to recognize his contributions and value with this promotion.”     

05/17/2022

US Foods Readies New Chef’Store in South Carolina

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US Foods Chef Store

US Foods is opening a new Chef'Store in Spartanburg, S.C. Welcoming customers this fall, the 33,000-square-foot store will include products for foodservice operators, community groups and “at-home chefs” looking for supplies and ingredients.

Among other offerings, the latest Chef’Store carries fresh meat, produce, dairy, deli items and frozen seafood. Center store items such as baking-ingredients and beverages are available, too.

This is the fourth warehouse-format Chef’Store in South Carolina and the 83rd in the country. After acquiring Smart Foodservice Warehouse stores in 2020, US Foods rebranded them as Chef’Stores in February 2021. Already this year, US Foods has opened Chef-Store locations in Visalia, Calif., and Lynchburg, Va.

“We are excited to join the ‘Hub City’,” said John Mathews, VP of sales and marketing for the Rosemont, Ill.-based US Foods. “Spartanburg is a thriving city with a vibrant restaurant and culinary scene, and we look forward to serving the community with competitively priced, restaurant-quality products.”