For the second time in the past year, Walmart is making significant investments in higher wages and career progression for its pharmacy technicians, with the aim of creating additional avenues of growth and opportunity for them.
According to a blog post by Kevin Host, SVP, Walmart Health & Wellness, pharmacy, and Sean Jackson, SVP, Sam’s Club GMM, health and wellness/consumables, the retailer is doing the following:
• Giving raises to current associates: As of this week, the company raised wages for its more than 36,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacy technicians, who will now earn an average hourly wage of more than $20 an hour. Pharmacy techs’ last pay increase was in August 2021.
• Offering more frequent raises: Pharmacy technicians will get more frequent, automatic pay raises as Walmart rolls out a progressive wage model designed to differentiate it from the competition. Pharmacy techs will receive raises every six months in their first two years with the company.
“We believe we are among the first large retailers to incorporate this kind of model – an approach that’s commonly seen in health care systems,” Host and Jackson wrote in the blog post. “This will help associates increase their pay more quickly as they build their careers and continue working at Walmart.”
Additionally, through its Live Better U and related programs, the company covers the costs of becoming certified to be a pharmacy technician, from career diplomas, on-the-job training and test prep, to paying the certification exam fee. Walmart certified technicians can make $3 more per hour than their non-certified peers.
Southeastern Grocers is doubling down on donations to the military ahead of Independence Day with a Military Monday matching commitment. Each Monday from June 20 to July 4, the SEG Gives Foundation will match weekend in-store donations made to the Folds of Honor community donation program, up to $100,000, or $300,000 total.
The mission of Folds of Honoris to provide educational scholarships to the children and spouses of fallen and disabled U.S. service members. The organization helps fund private education tuition and tutoring for children in grades K-12, as well as higher education tuition assistance for spouses and dependents.
“At Southeastern Grocers, we are dedicated to supporting the communities we serve, especially those who serve us,” said Raymond Rhee, chief people officer at Southeastern Grocers. "By doubling down on all in-store Folds of Honor donations with a matching commitment, we are paying it forward to the legacies of the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice with their service to our country.”
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the United States, with grocery stores, liquor stores and in-store pharmacies serving communities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Its banners include Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores. The company is No. 39 on The PG 100,Progressive Grocer's2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.
Online grocer Misfits Market has launched a customer loyalty program, Misfits Perks, which enables customers to earn points, discounts and gifts on every purchase. Customers enrolled in Misfits Market’s weekly grocery plan are eligible to earn two points for every dollar that they spend on groceries, while those who shop a la carte will earn one point for every dollar spent on groceries. There’s no limit to the number of perks that customers can earn.
As the retailer noted in a blog post describing the new program: “When you become a Misfits Market customer, you’re automatically enrolled in Misfits Perks for free. Already shopping with us? You’re automatically in, too — and you’re eligible to earn points on all future orders.”
When customers log into their Misfits Market account, they will see which perks they’re eligible for on an upcoming order, based on their points balance. Customers can select from among discounts on an order, a Mini Gift (an everyday item such as a snack or produce item), a Mega Gift (a premium item), or even several gifts at once.
When perks are redeemed, they automatically apply to the next order. Customers can redeem points while also using other discounts from promo codes and referrals, enabling shoppers to save even more on grocery orders.
Now available in all of the lower 48 states, Delanco, N.J.-based Misfits Market already sells groceries at up to 40% off traditional grocery store prices. In April, the retailer introduced its first private label line, Odds & Ends, consisting of such pantry staples as coffee, nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate-covered mini pretzels.
Constellation Brands Appoints New Head of Investor Relations
Constellation Brands has promoted Joseph Suarez to lead the investor relations function. Moving up from his most recent role as VP of investor relations, he will oversee the beverage alcohol company’s IR strategy development and execution as part of the finance and corporate communications teams.
Suarez succeeds the retiring Patty Yahn-Urlaub, who held that position for the past 15 years. She will work closely with Suarez over the next few weeks for a seamless transition.
“We look forward to the continued success of our investor relations function under Joseph’s leadership," said Mike McGrew, EVP and chief communications, CSR and diversity officer. "Joseph brings a well-rounded set of leadership experiences in commercial operations, governance, finance, and investor relations to this role. His strategic orientation and understanding of capital markets will serve both our company and investors well in the years to come.”
Before joining Constellation late last year, Suarez was managing director of strategy at Teneo, a global CEO advisory firm. His background also includes a range of commercial, governance, finance, and investor relations responsibilities at global resources companies BHP and Rio Tinto.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead Constellation’s investor relations function and continue building on our company’s industry-leading momentum,” remarked Suarez. “Our business has tremendous runway for continued success ahead and our investor relations function has a strong foundation thanks to Patty’s leadership over the years. Our team looks forward to continuing to raise the bar in the years ahead.”
In April, Constellation Brands reported a strong fiscal year 2022 performance buoyed by strong beer business. Net sales rose 8% during fourth quarter ending February 2022.
Independent grocer Yoke's Fresh Market is not only expanding its retail operation, but extending its footprint into another state. The Spokane, Wash.-based Yoke’s announced plans to acquire a pair of grocery stores in Missoula, Mont.
Two Missoula Fresh Market Stores will become banners of Yoke’s Foods, Inc. The stores are located at 3801 S. Reserve St. and 800 W. Broadway street in Missoula, the second largest city in Montana.
According to information released by Yoke’s, the stores will be transitioned to its Fresh Markets model and offer a wide range of natural, organic and specialty food products. The locations will also include bakery and fresh seafood counter.
"At Yoke’s, our mission is to expand our services to this new market. Yoke's is excited to expand our family,” said John Bole, CEO of Yoke's Fresh Markets.
The deal is expected to close in late summer or early fall. Founded in 1946, Yoke’s operates 17 stores in Washington and Idaho, most of them in Spokane. Missoula Fresh Market was founded in 2015 by the founders of Orange Street Food Farm, who purchased two former Safeway locations in town.
Southeastern Grocers Helps Grocery TV Expand Digital Advertising
Digital advertising network Grocery TV is adding 2,600 point-of-sale displays to its network through a new partnership with Southeastern Grocers (SEG).
“We are always looking for innovative opportunities to reach our customers throughout the Southeast,” said Adam Kirk, SVP of marketing operations for Southeastern Grocers. “We are committed to providing our customers quality shopping experiences, and our partnership with Grocery TV allows us another opportunity to provide value to our partners and customers throughout our stores.”
The partnership marks another milestone for Grocery TV as it continues to realize its vision of making it easier for brands to reach their audiences through in-store retail media.
“SEG has a reputation for being open to new solutions that enhance the shopping experience for their customers,” said Marlow Nickell, co-founder and CEO of Austin, Texas-based Grocery TV. “We’re excited to have them join our network and expand Grocery TV’s footprint in the Southeast.”
Grocery TV currently has more than 16,000 displays, 4,000 of which were attained via a recent partnership with Northeast wholesaler Wakefern Food Corp. Grocery TV expects to add 6,000 more displays by the end of 2022.
Integrated with major DSPs such as the Trade Desk and Yahoo DSP, brands leverage Grocery TV’s advertising channel to reach their audience with verified impressions in a brand-safe, high-traffic environment.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the United States, with grocery stores, liquor stores and in-store pharmacies serving communities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Its banners include Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket, and Winn-Dixie grocery stores. The company is No. 39 on The PG 100,Progressive Grocer’s2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern is No. 25 on The PG 100.