News Briefs


Cubi Market Connects Local Producers and Shoppers in Central Ohio


Cubi Market is seeking to unlock growth in central Ohio. The independent retailer, which allows customers to order items from local merchants online and pick up their orders in a temperature-controlled, easily-accessed locker, has opened a new location in the town of Granville.

“Our goal is to provide food producers to sell their items directly through Cubi Market,” explained Culinary Director Paul Mixa. “Columbus is a great market and working with the Granville market was a great first location to start.”

Several farmers, producers and artisans, such as Cherokee Valley Bison Ranch, Covered Bridge Creamery and Bird's Haven Farms, are providing goods for fulfillment. “Central Ohio is rich with farms and artisan products, and they all work closely with one another to reach those local customers. The merchants are supplying customers directly through order fulfillment at our refrigerated station, and we provide the technology for them to do so,” Mixa said.

In this venture, Cubi is also teaming up with the Granville Farmers Market as a way to extend the availability of farmers’ market fare in another venue and throughout the year. In addition to providing a new opportunity for vendors, Cubi’s team is also onsite at the town’s outdoor farmer’s market sharing the news about its operation.

Cubi is focusing on Ohio following a test program in West Michigan. While those operations recently ceased, Mixa said that the company may return to that region in the future.


Amazon Fresh Brings Another Low-Priced Grocery Store to Virginia

Amazon Fresh Events

Supporting its accelerated retail growth, Amazon has opened a smaller- footprint Fresh banner grocery store in Arlington, Va. Located at 1550 Crystal Drive, the approximately 16,000-square-foot Amazon Fresh store offers Just Walk Out Shopping, which adds convenience to customers’ shopping experience by giving them the option to skip the checkout line.

Despite its small size, the new Amazon Fresh still touts a wide assortment of national brands and regional favorites like Duke’s Mayo, Ellenos Yogurt and Boston Chowda, and Amazon-exclusive brands like Aplenty, Cursive and Fresh. A range of prepared foods made fresh in store every day includes made-to-order pizzas, rotisserie chickens and hot sandwiches.

Amazon Fresh is also touting itseveryday low-priced items during a time of record-high inflation. Deals include 15-cent bananas, 89-cent freshly baked bread, $1.99 freshly baked pizza slices and $4.97 rotisserie chickens. 

Customers shopping with Just Walk Out technology can use a credit or debit card, Amazon One, or the In-Store QR code in the Amazon app to shop.

The Arlington store will support its new community by creating hundreds of jobs with a starting wage of $15.50 per hour, in addition to donating surplus food to local food banks. 

Arlington Amazon Fresh follows other northern Virginia store openings last month. A 45,000-square-foot location at 7807 Sudley Road in Manassas opened June 9, while a 38,000-square-foot Amazon Fresh at 9409 Lorton Market Street in Lorton debuted later in the month.

Amazon Fresh also introduced a store in the Chicago suburbs in June. The 40,000-square-foot space is located at 7201 West 24th Street in west suburban North Riverside. 

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.


Shipt Teams With Big Lots on Same-Day Delivery

Shipt Big Lots Logos Teaser

Same-day shopping and delivery company Shipt has joined forces with leading home discount retailer Big Lots to offer customers a new way to shop for bargains on home goods, groceries, home decor and more from 1,000 stores across the U.S. The addition of Big Lots is part of Shipt’s strategic growth as a multi-vertical marketplace. The company currently offers same-day delivery for everyday essentials from 160 retailers. 

“We often say we bring the store to your door, and we’re taking that even further with the addition of Big Lots’ robust assortment of home goods, groceries, apparel, beauty products, everyday essentials and even small furniture to Shipt’s marketplace," said Rina Hurst, Shipt’s chief business officer. "This partnership builds upon our efforts to make Shipt a one-stop shop for all the shopping needs of our customers.”

The partnership between Shipt and Big Lots shows how stores can leverage various solutions across their fulfillment strategies. Shipt’s same-day services will support the delivery of all mid- and small-sized goods, including toys, paper products, and small furniture like chairs and desks, while supplementing the mass retailer’s existing curbside, buy-online-pickup-in-store and same-day operations for bigger items like large indoor and patio furniture. 

“This partnership expands our ability to provide exceptional deals on top brands, surprising finds and best-in-class service to a new community of customers via same-day delivery,” said Bruce Thorn, Big Lots’ president and CEO.

As of July 7, customers can place orders from more than 1,000 Big Lots stores nationwide, powered by Shipt’s community of 300,000 personal Shipt Shoppers.

Based in Birmingham, Ala., and operating an office in San Francisco, Shipt is an independently operated, wholly owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Target Corp., which operates nearly 2,000 stores and is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top retailers of food and consumables in North America. Columbus, Ohio-based Big Lots, with 1,438 stores in 47 states, is No. 52 on PG’s list.


Gopuff, BurgerFi Expand Pilot Nationwide

BurgerFi Gopuff Delivery Teaser

Quick-commerce platform Gopuff and premium fast-casual concept BurgerFi plan to expand the delivery of BurgerFi items via Gopuff to customers nationwide, following a successful pilot program in Tallahassee, Fla. In the next few months, Gopuff will begin delivering fresh-made BurgerFi burgers and fries to customers in more than a dozen cities, among them Miami, New York, Nashville and Gopuff’s hometown of Philadelphia. 

“The synergy between BurgerFi and Gopuff remains unrivaled, and the continuation of this partnership is a natural next step in raising the bar for our guests who value convenience and delivery,” said Ophir Sternberg, executive chairman of North Palm Beach, Fla.-based BurgerFi, which operates 116 BurgerFi restaurants domestically and internationally. 

Following a 90-day pilot in which BurgerFi’s “Fi on the Fly” food truck was parked outside of a Gopuff location in Tallahassee, the new agreement will fully transition operations, food prep and distribution to Gopuff’s local teams and facilities. BurgerFi products will soon be available for delivery from 30-plus Gopuff Fresh Food Halls across the U.S., including in locations where no other BurgerFi restaurant exists, instantly expanding BurgerFi’s national presence by leveraging Gopuff’s local logistics network, teams and infrastructure. 

“Having seen how much Gopuff customers in Tallahassee loved accessing BurgerFi for delivery, we look forward to expanding our partnership to bring their delicious, fresh and quality food to more customers in minutes,” said Amelia Riba, VP Kitchens at Gopuff. “With our nationwide infrastructure, trained teams, and control over inventory and cooking prep, we have the ability to truly partner with restaurants like BurgerFi to curate menus and help them reach more customers instantly – without putting added stress on their restaurants for delivery. As we continue to build out the Fresh Food Hall offering, we are thrilled to be able to deliver BurgerFi food alongside thousands of everyday items we bring to our customers daily.”

BurgerFI products available to order via Gopuff will include: A-Grade burgers in Ultimate Bacon Burger and BurgerFi Cheeseburger varieties (both available in Junior sizes) and seasoned fries.


H Mart Builds Upon Operating Areas

H Mart

H Mart is on the move, with two new locations on opposite sides of the country. The Asian grocer is saying "Aloha" to customers in Hawaii at its latest store at 850 Kamehameha Pearl City, set for a July 22 grand opening. Later this month, another H Mart will welcome shoppers at 101 Falls Blvd. in Quincy, Mass.

While those two marketplaces are quite different, the H Marts will provide a similar shopping experience with an array of fresh produce, meat, seafood, Asian groceries and housewares. There is one other H Mart in Hawaii and two other H Marts in Massachusetts.

H Marts are also known for their in-store food hall, dubbed the Market Eatery. Here, customers can order dishes from specialty vendors, such as Korean fried chicken, dumplings and shrimp tempura, among other offerings. Shoppers can also imbibe adult beverages at the bar or satisfy their sweet tooth with pastries or flavored ice.

To celebrate the grand openings in Pearl City and Quincy, H Mart is giving away Thermos mugs and face masks to customers who sign up for a rewards card. In addition, shoppers who buy more than $30, $60 or $90 are eligible for one, two, and three gifts, respectively.

Both new stores are working on staffing up their operations, seeking new employees across all departments.

According to the company website, other stores are in the works for Irvine, Calif., and Roosevelt, N.Y.

Operated by the Hanahreum, Corp., H Mart opened its first store in Queens, N.Y. in 1982, and now has more than 90 stores across the U.S. in Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.


Great Lakes Foods Selects eGrowcery to Help Retailers Go Digital

eGrowcery Logo Teaser

Great Lakes Foods, a wholesaler of food and nonfood products to independent supermarkets and convenience stores in Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois, has selected eGrowcery, developer of a retail food industry e-commerce platform, to provide online sales and fulfillment solutions to its retail partners. The first operators are expected to deploy the system later this year.

“We needed to provide our retail partners with e-commerce technology that makes it as easy for them to engage with their shoppers online as it is in the store. The eGrowcery solution provides them with everything required to start and operate an exciting website that will help retain existing shoppers and attract new ones,” said Tom Jushka, president of Menominee, Mich.-based Great Lakes Foods.

Great Lakes Foods chose eGrowcery because of the simple integration of the solution with current point-of-sale (POS) technology and its ability to work with all store sizes and delivery services, which is especially important for retailers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

“Our solution will help Great Lakes’ retailers compete more effectively with the other stores in their markets at a very reasonable cost. We’re committed to giving retailers all the tools they need, including marketing support and training, to make each deployment a great success," said Patrick Hughes, CEO of Birmingham, Mich.-based eGrowcery.

eGrowcery, which operates both in the United States and abroad, is working with a growing number of retailers and wholesalers to help them establish a store-branded e-commerce experience in which they control the shopper data. Its end-to-end, omnichannel solution integrates with back-office/POS while enabling retailers to personalize their own shopper experience.