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News Briefs

07/14/2022

H-E-B Delves Into Décor

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Home by H-E-B department

H-E-B is putting the home in its home state with the launch of two new décor lines, Haven + Key and Texas Proud. The collections are part of the Texas retailer’s new Home by H-E-B department.

Shoppers can browse hundreds of items, including furnishings, accents, decorative items, textiles and other home goods that are now available in H-E-B locations in Brownsville, Burleson, Corpus Christi, New Braunfels and San Antonio. By the end of the year, home décor areas will be added to 25 stores in Texas, the retailer reports.

According to H-E-B, the spaces will vary in square footage depending on location, and assortments will be tailored to each market. So far, the biggest home décor department is at the recently-opened store in San Antonio, spanning more than 2,500 square feet and carrying more than 500 items.

Where available in store, the items can be purchased for curbside pickup. Home delivery is offered in select areas, and shoppers can review the collection online via the grocer’s website and mobile app.

H-E-B describes the Haven + Key line as featuring “modern, signature styles,” with pieces such as mirrors, candles and rugs. As its name suggests, the Texas Proud collection celebrates the state’s distinctive style and spirit, with offerings like leather goods, wood and antler art, cowhide benches and candles.

H-E-B is diversifying into these categories during the pandemic era in which people have been spending more time at home – and spending more on their homes. “At H-E-B, we’re always looking for ways to offer a unique, quality shopping experience, and Home by H-E-B is another way we’re able to better meet the needs of Texans,” explained Sabina Israelian-Garcia, the retailer’s group VP of general merchandise, drug store and beauty.

The largest privately held employer in Texas, San Antonio-based H-E-B has more than 420 stores and 145,000 employees in Texas and Mexico. The company is No. 16 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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07/14/2022

The Fresh Market Scraps Plans to Go Public

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The Fresh Market Launches National Hiring Event

One year after filing for an initial public offering (IPO), The Fresh Market’s parent company, Fresh Market Holdings Inc., has filed to withdraw its IPO plans, as reported by Reuters.  

The Fresh Market did not give a reason for withdrawing its filing, but the U.S. IPO market has hit a slump in recent months as recession fears and the fallout from the Ukraine crisis hammer equities, according to Reuters

Other food retailers making bold moves due to the current economic climate include Gopuff, which is preparing for a possibly "significant" economic downturn by making cuts to its workforce and fulfillment network, among other moves.

The Food Market's withdrawal comes months after Chilean retail group Cencosud agreed to acquire a majority stake (67%) in the grocer. The deal is valued at $676 million and marks Cencosud’s first foray into the U.S. market

Meanwhile, The Fresh Market kicked off celebrations for its 40th anniversary on July 1. The company is commemorating the milestone with an array of special deals and exclusive products for shoppers.

Greensboro, N.C.-based The Fresh Market operates 160 stores in 22 states. The company is No. 78 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

07/14/2022

1st Amazon Fresh Opens in New York

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JWO

The Amazon Fresh banner is growing in new and established metro markets. The latest physical stores are welcoming shoppers in Oceanside, N.Y., and Norridge, Ill., communities that are within a half hour drive to New York City and Chicago, respectively.

The Oceanside Amazon Fresh at 3620 Long Beach Road spans about 47,000 square feet and is the first store location in New York, according to Amazon. The new store in Norridge at 4211 N. Harlem Ave. occupies a 50,000-square-foot space and is the ninth store in the Chicagoland area.  

As with other Amazon Fresh locations, both brick-and-mortar spots offer frictionless Just Walk Out Shopping. Open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., the stores feature a wide assortment of national and local brands and fresh produce, meat and seafood, along with a broad selection of prepared foods.

In an inflationary period in which shoppers are watching prices keenly, the retailer is touting budget-friendly items available at its latest stores, including 15-cent bananas and rotisserie chickens that sell for less than $5. Amazon is also offering deals for the grand openings this month, including discounts on several fresh, frozen and center-store items, and announced that it accepts cash, credit/debit cards and SNAP/EBT payments. As part of its efforts to support the local community and address food insecurity, the stores will donate surplus foods to nearby food banks.

The stores are also ramping up in staff, as Amazon offers a starting wage of $16.45 an hour at the Oceanside location and $15 an hour at the Norridge site.

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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07/13/2022

Walmart Holds Grand Opening of Pennsylvania E-Commerce Fulfillment Center

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Walmart Fulfillment Center Shippensburg PA Teaser

On July 13, Walmart held the grand opening of its more than 1.8 million-square-foot e-commerce fulfillment center, located at 1410 United Drive in Shippensburg, Pa. The fulfillment center stores millions of items, available at Walmart.com, that are then picked, packed and shipped directly to customers. The cutting-edge facility also fulfills Marketplace items shipped by Walmart Fulfillment Services, the retailer’s end-to-end fulfillment service for third-party e-commerce sellers.

“We are excited about the addition of this state-of-the-art fulfillment center and the increased shipping speed it will provide for our customers, especially with the holiday season right around the corner,” said Karisa Sprague, SVP fulfillment network operations at Walmart U.S. “I’m proud of how our Shippensburg team has come together and is already playing an active role in the local community.” 

During the grand-opening ceremony, Walmart marked the occasion by presenting three $5,000 donations to local nonprofits.

The facility, which Walmart first revealed it was building this past March, is still actively hiring talent, with the aim of hiring up to 600 local full-time associates by the end of the year. Currently, the retailer operates 160 retail units and employs more than 58,000 associates in Pennsylvania. 

Fulfillment centers are a strategic part of Walmart’s supply chain network. Other new Walmart fulfillment centers include a 1 million-square-foot facility in Olive Branch, Miss. The retailer has also unveiled plans to build four next-generation fulfillment centers over the next three years

Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Sam’s Club ranks eighth.

07/13/2022

Boston Public Market Now Offers Ordering, Delivery Via Mercato

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Boston Public Market Teaser

Mercato, the online grocery platform built to serve independent grocery and specialty food stores, has revealed that Boston Public Market is now using its platform. People living within a 20-mile radius of  the market can use Mercato platform to shop from 12 market vendors and have items delivered to their homes the same day.

“In a time when supporting our community’s small businesses is more important than ever, Mercato is making it easy for Boston residents to connect with our incredible vendors from the comfort of their home and get their favorite local goods delivered right to their door,” noted Boston Public Market CEO Cheryl Cronin.

Boston Public Market is the latest in a growing list of well-known public markets featured on Mercato. Others include New York’s Grand Central Market, Chelsea Market, Moore Street Market, The Market Line, La Marqueta and Industry City; The Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles; Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market and 9th Street Italian Market; Pike Place Market in Seattle; Union Market in Washington, D,C.; North Market Downtown in Columbus, Ohio; and Ferry Building in San Francisco. In total, the public markets using Mercato house 300-plus specialty food stores.

“Mercato’s mission has always been to empower local merchants while allowing consumers to benefit through selection, quality, service and access,” noted Bobby Brannigan, founder and CEO of San Diego-based Mercato, whose platform connects shoppers to more than 1,500 grocers, specialty markets and food halls. “Public markets are a natural fit considering they are home to some of the most thoughtful grocers and specialty food purveyors serving America’s largest cities.”

With Mercato, consumers can shop from different vendors within a market and then have those items delivered in a single, consolidated order. Online orders are handpicked by the vendors themselves. Shoppers can choose to pay a single delivery fee per order or join Mercato Green, which allows for unlimited free deliveries starting at $96 annually. Markets can use Mercato’s proprietary Picker App to manage order fulfillment at either the market or individual vendor level. Real-time sales data, product insight and search data is provided for each individual vendor and the market hall as a whole.

07/13/2022

Kroger Rolls Out Expanded Loyalty Program

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Kroger teaser 2

Following last month’s announcement that it plans to give inflation-weary consumers a break with an expanded loyalty program, The Kroger Co. is officially launching the new Boost membership. Shoppers can now sign up for two different membership levels at $59 and $99 a year, respectively, to reap benefits including fuel discounts up to $1 a gallon, unlimited free grocery delivery on orders over $35 and deals on Kroger’s private brand products.

"As customers continue to evolve how they shop and eat, this expansion of our loyalty program offers more personalized value in groceries and fuel, alongside easier access to convenient shopping solutions, such as delivery," declared Yael Cosset, SVP and chief information officer for Kroger. "We are committed to consistently delivering a best-in-class seamless experience with zero compromise – the fresh and quality products our customers want, how they want it and when they want it. We recognize this is especially important as our customers are facing an inflationary environment and rising fuel prices."

Kroger tested the Boost loyalty program across four of its divisions over the past several months. The pilot attracted a sizable number of new members and spurred a “significant” increase in delivery sales compared to other divisions, the retailer reported.

"Boost contributes to our rapidly expanding seamless ecosystem, bringing value and convenience to many more families across America as we roll out new delivery fulfillment centers," added Bill Bennett, Kroger VP and head of e-commerce. 

Eligible customers can enroll in the program at www.Kroger.com/boost

Serving 60 million households annually nationwide through a digital shopping experience, and almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, 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.