News Briefs


Cardenas Markets’ Westward Expansion Continues

Cardenas Markets Enters L.A. Metro Area

Cardenas Markets is widening its presence with the acquisition of six Rio Ranch Market stores in Southern California. The company announced that the locations in the cities of Chino, Banning, Fontana, Perris, Riverside and San Bernadino will be gradually integrated into Cardenas Markets operations, with no immediate changes during a transition period.

Rio Ranch was founded in 1983 and is known for its meat, produce, prepared foods, bakery and homemade tortillas, among other items. The stores also boast in-house cremerias and floral departments.  

For its part, Cardenas Markets has been in growth mode. In a bid to secure more e-commerce business, the independent grocer teamed with Uber Eats earlier this year to offer on-demand and scheduled grocery delivery at all of its stores and partnered with Instacart to offer SNAP/EBT payments via the Instacart website and app. As it expands its leadership roster with recent hires, the Hispanic grocer is also bolstering efficiencies by leveraging technologies, including a solution by WorkJam to equip front-line associates with streamlined communications and interactive task management capabilities.

“Cardenas Markets is stronger than ever, and this acquisition further solidifies the company’s position as one of the leading Hispanic supermarket chains in the country,” remarked Doug Sanders, chairman and CEO of Cardenas Markets. “As we look ahead, we will continue to identify strategic opportunities to grow our business, while providing a fresh and authentic shopping trip for our customers.”

The deal with Rio Ranch Market is expected to close in mid-July.

Ontario, Calif.-based Cardenas operates a total of 52 stores under the Cardenas banner and seven stores under the Cardenas Ranch Markets banner, making it one of the largest Hispanic grocery chains in the country, with stores in California, Nevada and Arizona.


Big Y Invests in Its Associates With Pay Boost

Big Y's myPicks Rolls Out Same-Day Ordering and Pickup

Big Y Foods Inc. is investing millions of dollars in its associates through a pay raise scheme that is set to go into effect June 26. Starting pay rates for all clerks, customer service, fresh food and center store specialists, and assistant department managers will go up, and almost 7,600 members of its workforce will receive a pay increase.

Hourly store operations teams eligible for the raise work in Big Y Markets, as well as Table & Vine and Big Y Express Gas and Convenience Stores. After June 26, all retail Big Y employees will be paid above minimum wage in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. 

“We are proud to be investing in our hard-working store teams who have been on the front lines these past two years to support our customers and our community. We know that household budgets are being squeezed by inflation. We hope that by boosting their hourly rates, we will help them to weather these tough times as we recognize and appreciate their efforts and their loyalty” said Charles L. D’Amour, president and CEO. 

Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y operates 85 locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut, including 71 supermarkets, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors, and 13 Big Y Express gas and convenience locations, with almost 12,000 employees. The company is No. 75 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Aldi Kicks Off Annual Campaign Benefiting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Aldi Kicks Off Annual Campaign Benefiting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Seeking to help create sunnier days for children facing health hurdles, Aldi US is launching a summertime campaign supporting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). Beginning June 15, the retailer is offering reusable shopping bags designed by ALSF child artists and selling lemon-themed items such as lemonade drink mixes, ice pops and confections. Proceeds from sales of those items, along with donations by customers and associates, will go to this cause.

This is Aldi’s fourth annual fundraising effort benefiting ALSF, a nonprofit organization founded by pediatric cancer patient Alex Scott, who raised $1 million before passing away at the age of eight. This year, the discount retailer announced a fresh goal to donate $10 million to the foundation by 2027.

Thanks to your generosity and the contributions of our employees, we have raised more than $3 million for ALSF since 2019,” said Dave Rinaldo, co-president of Aldi US, in a letter to customers.

“All donations will honor Alex’s legacy by funding research for a cure or providing financial support to families who need to travel for treatment,” Rinaldo continued. “As a member of the ALSF advisory council, I’ve seen the empathy and energy with which ALSF works to make a positive difference in the lives of those affected by cancer. It’s an honor to work with ALSF and you to fight this disease. Together, let’s put the squeeze on childhood cancer."

Operating in 38 states, Batavia, Ill.-based Aldi U.S. is No. 24 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Boxed Added to Russell 2000 Index

Boxed Reports 1st Earnings as Public Company

Boxed, Inc., an e-commerce grocery platform that sells bulk consumables and licenses its e-commerce software to enterprise retailers, has revealed its stock will be added to the Russell 2000 Index, effective as of market open on June 27.

The Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the small-cap segment of the U.S. equity market. Membership in the Russell 2000 Index, which remains in place until the next reconstitution, is based on membership in the broad market Russell 3000 Index. Russell indexes are widely used by investment managers and institutional investors for index funds and as benchmarks for active investment strategies. Approximately $12 trillion in assets are benchmarked against Russell's U.S. indexes. Russell indexes are part of FTSE Russell, a global index provider.

Boxed merged with Seven Oaks Acquisition Corp. on Dec. 8, enabling the company to raise approximately $198 million in gross cash proceeds. 

Chieh Huang, co-founder and CEO of New York-based Boxed, commented, “The addition of Boxed to the Russell 2000 Index is indicative of further momentum following our successful business combination in December. We believe being a part of these highly regarded and widely used indexes will bring greater awareness to Boxed as we work to achieve our growth potential.”

Inflation-wary consumers turning to bulk products recently helped propel Boxed to a solid first quarter. Boxed boosted its net revenue by 14.1% compared to a year ago to reach $46.6 million. The platform’s retail net revenue rose 11.3% on a year-over-year basis and net revenue from its software and services arm surged 127.1% in that same period.

With no “big-box” store membership required, Boxed’s bulk pantry consumables delivery service is powered by the company’s own purpose-built storefront, marketplace, analytics, fulfillment, advertising and robotics technologies. Boxed also operates its Software & Services business, which offers customers in need of an enterprise-level e-commerce platform access to its end-to-end technology.


Foxtrot Appoints New President and CFO

Liz Williams teaser

Chicago-based Foxtrot, which bills itself as an upscale, modern convenience retailer offering both in-store discovery and rapid delivery, is positioning itself for further growth by bringing on a seasoned executive as president and CFO. Liz Williams takes on those new roles, in which she will oversee the operations, finance, strategy, real estate, human resources, supply chain and growth functions.

Williams comes to Foxtrot from her most recent position as CEO of Drybar in Irvine, Calif., where she championed an e-commerce re-platform and improved operations while reducing new unit costs. Before that, she spent nine years at Taco Bell, where she served as CFO and president of its international business. Her background also includes a stint as senior director of corporate strategy at Yum! Brands in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

According to company information, Williams will leverage her brand and foodservice experience as Foxtrot continues to enhance and evolve its culinary offerings, including the rollout of a new PM Café program and pizza program. She also will implement new inventory and delivery operations to help Foxtrot meet its customers’ needs and its own goals.

The Foxtrot exec will hit the ground running, as the retailer plans to open 50 stores over the next two years, including potential sites in New York, Miami, Nashville and Austin, Texas. Foxtrot currently operates 20 stores, including several locations in its hometown of Chicago in addition to spots in Washington, D.C. area and in Dallas. Earlier this year, the company secured $100 million in Series C funding to help facilitate its nationwide expansion.


KeHE Exclusive Brand to Undergo Refresh

Cadia KeHE Private Brand Teaser

Cadia, a private label brand from Naperville, Ill.-based KeHE Distributors LLC, will unveil a major rebranding at its 2022 Holiday Show on June 15-16. Created exclusively for KeHE independent retailers to help them compete against larger chain stores, Cadia offers food and household products that are thoughtfully selected for consumers seeking higher-than-expected quality at a lower-than-expected price. The brand offers more than 250 SKUs in 40 categories, including an organic line of bulk goods.

The theme of the rebrand – The Corner Store – was inspired by Cadia’s belief that neighborhood grocers are a vital source of goodness in local communities. The packaging redesign makes that commitment plain to consumers, bringing indies to the forefront of the brand message.

Cadia’s new look and feel aims to show the brand as empowering, resolute, grounded, cool, quirky, and neighborly, with a grass-roots vibe. The redesign will evoke the era of mom-and-pop stores, taking inspiration from the past and giving it a modern twist. The brand refresh also includes the creation of Cadia Everyday, a lower-priced line of non-organic products free from artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Cadia’s new packaging will be on display in booth 5096 at the KeHE 2022 Holiday Show at The McCormick Center in Chicago. The Holiday Show affords KeHE’s retailer partners the opportunity to learn about and experience 800-plus products. 

KeHE is the largest pure-play distributor of natural and organic, specialty, and fresh products to more than 30,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailer, and other specialty products retailers throughout North America. The company has more than 6,800 employee-owners and is a Certified B Corporation.