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News Briefs

06/13/2022

SocialShelf to Debut at Select Harris Teeter Stores

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Harris Teeter Teaser

Fourteen Harris Teeter stores in the Charlotte, N.C., metro area will pilot A3 MediaCo LLC’s SocialShelf solution. The 90-day market test kicks off this month.

SocialShelf is an in-aisle and e-commerce consumer engagement tool that supplies shoppers with relevant information on smaller and midsize brands before they make their final buying decision. 

“Nothing is forced on the consumer or intrusive in any way,” explained Frank Gussoni, co-owner and CEO of Trooper, Pa.-based A3 MediaCo. “It’s on-demand and very social in nature. It’s not meant to be slick or salesy.”

The solution is an advertising resource that aims to build brand loyalty and allow smaller quality companies to compete with larger national brands while paying only for actual results. Retailers that use SocialShelf in their stores can gain greater insights on consumer shopping patterns as well as receiving additional consumer information. “The data provided to retailers using the service allows them to track customer flow, shopping behaviors and customer interests all on a daily or product basis” noted Gussoni.

SocialShelf was piloted in The Giant Co. stores in December 2021. The solution has also been executed in one of New Jersey’s largest chain alcohol locations, Bourbon Street Wine & Spirits. Currently, SocialShelf is in negotiations to introduce SocialShelf in the alcohol aisles of an as-yet-undisclosed “major retailer” in 150-plus stores across several states, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2022. 

Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co., employs about 35,000 associates at 250 stores and 60 fuel centers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, Florida and the District of Columbia. Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Carlisle, Pa.-based The Giant Co.'s parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, is No. 10 on The PG 100. 

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06/13/2022

Erewhon Partners With Grand Wailea Resort

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Grand Wailea Teaser

Upscale organic food market Erewhon has teamed up with luxurious Hawaiian resort Grand Wailea, located on the island of Maui, to bring exclusive resort benefits to enrollees in Erewhon’s newly expanded membership program and offer select Erewhon goods and offerings on the property. Grand Wailea is the first hotel partner in Erewhon’s membership program. 

“Much like Grand Wailea, Erewhon is more than just a place; it’s an elevated lifestyle destination and extraordinary community centered on world-class experiences and optimal well-being,” said JP Oliver, Grand Wailea’s managing director. “We strive to provide our guests the most thoughtfully curated, premiere wellness and nutrition options, and Erewhon’s offerings are second to none.”

The membership program provides such bespoke benefits as a point accrual program, and exclusive access to upscale brand offers and promotions. As a partner, Grand Wailea will offer a $100 resort credit per night booked, up to seven nights, as well as a complimentary one-category upgrade available for Erewhon members only. Later this year, Grand Wailea and Erewhon will release a limited-edition co-branded beverage inspired by the flavors of Maui for Erewhon Los Angeles locations.

Adding to the resort’s nutritious dining options, Grand Wailea will soon offer such Erewhon favorites as dried chili lime mango, spirulina popcorn and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies throughout the property. Further, gourmet takeaway outlet Café Kula and pop-up-style food truck Aloha Trick Pony will offer “Curated by Erewhon” menus with Toodaloo Trail Mix, French Squirrel protein bites and other popular items that can’t be purchased elsewhere in Hawaii. Grand Wailea and Erewhon will continue to build upon this partnership throughout 2022, with plans to roll out activations and promotions in Los Angeles and Hawaii later this year.

Erewhon is an independent family-owned market with seven locations across Los Angeles and three currently planned future locations in Beverly Hills, Culver City and Pasadena. 

06/10/2022

Natural Grocers Launches Trailer Giveaway Program

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Natural Grocers Launches Trailer Giveaway Program

As consumers embark on their personal health and wellness journeys, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc. is rolling out a new promotion to help them literally go on their way. The natural and organic retailer has teamed up with vitamin and mineral company Solaray in a giveaway contest with a customized Bean trailer as a prize.

The teardrop-shaped trailer, which can be easily paired with a small pickup truck or other type of vehicle, is a limited-time Solaray edition that’s valued at $22,300. Shoppers can enter to win by joining Natural Grocers’ free (N)power loyalty program and purchasing any two Solaray products in a single transaction between now and June 30. Loyalty members can also enter to win online.

In tandem with the giveaway, Solaray is offering a new line of High Potency Liposomal Multivitamins at Natural Grocers stores. The supplement uses advanced technology to form a “protective vehicle” around each nutrient for enhanced absorption and gentler digestion.

"All supplements Natural Grocers sells are made by Good Manufacturing Practices-certified manufacturers and approved by our quality assurance team to ensure they meet our unrivaled quality standards," said Heather Isely, EVP at Natural Grocers. "Solaray has been a trusted vendor with us since they were established in 1973. We value the relationship we have with this brand and can't wait to see which Natural Grocers {N}Power member wins this fabulous prize."

It's been a good year so far for Natural Grocers, which recently raised its outlook for the rest of fiscal 2022 and posted a 4.9% gain in net sales during the second quarter. Average comparable-store sales also rose 4.3% over the prior year.

Lakewood, Colo.-based Natural Grocers is No. 95 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the the top food and consumables retailers in North America

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06/09/2022

Cardenas Markets’ Westward Expansion Continues

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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.

06/09/2022

Big Y Invests in Its Associates With Pay Boost

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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.

06/09/2022

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

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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.