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News Briefs

07/29/2022

Southeastern Grocers Offers Healthy Meal Options to Kids in Need

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SEG Meals_teaser

Now through Labor Day, Southeastern Grocers and its SEG Gives Foundation are offering customers and associates 17 and a specially prepared “Student Summer Lunch Pack” for $2. The meals are available at any Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket or Winn-Dixie deli department.

The meal program is part of Southeastern Grocers’ and its foundation’s new “Break from Hunger” initiative that aims to provide healthy, accessible meal options to children in need. 

The boxes include a ham or turkey sandwich, chips, a fresh fruit item and a bottle of water, and the foundation will also donate $1 from each box purchased to Feeding America.

“The challenges that our communities have faced during these past few years have magnified the struggle of many families to feed their children during the summer months,” said Raymond Rhee, chief people officer at Southeastern Grocers. “Through our Break from Hunger program and continued partnership with Feeding America, we aim to provide children with the nutritious food they need for a healthy life. We want to do everything we can to get food on the tables of our neighbors who need a helping hand – now more than ever.”

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. The company is No. 39 on The PG 100,Progressive Grocer's2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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07/28/2022

Boxed’s Software and Services Business Gets an Upgrade

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Boxed Poised for Growth Across Asia

E-commerce company Boxed has relaunched its end-to-end software and services business unit, renaming it Spresso. The updated platform uses advanced analytics and machine learning to provide solutions for companies, including retailers, looking to better leverage their customers’ data.

The Spresso platform includes several e-commerce services that cover storefront, marketplace, B2B, ad platform and fulfillment. Retailers can choose from several SaaS modules that allow them to improve conversion rates through pricing optimization, identify high-risk customers at the most optimal time in their lifecycle, find the highest-value customers at the beginning of their engagement and recommend relevant items at the best point in the user experience to increase basket sizes. In addition, the platform enables users to optimize packaging and shipping functions to reduce waste and save costs.

"Boxed invested early in data science and machine learning. We have built, tested, iterated, and innovated solutions that have been transformative for Boxed's business. With Spresso, we have taken the best of our solutions and packaged them so that any business, regardless of data capability and size, can see meaningful impacts to their bottom line,” explained Jared Yaman, Boxed’s COO and head of the Spresso business unit.

In addition to enhancing its software and services platform, Boxed announced that it is teaming up with a new animal health supplier, Jeffers Pet. “The Jeffers partnership shows that our technology extends beyond just grocery. I am incredibly excited about these enhancements to Spresso’s total addressable market and the prospect of sharing our capabilities with more world-class retailers," said Boxed CEO Chieh Huang, who noted that the company has also expanded beyond English-speaking deployment via a new partnership with a retail group in Vietnam.

07/28/2022

Coca-Cola Appoints New President

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Coca-Cola President

The Coca-Cola Co. has promoted John Murphy to president and CFO. Murphy, who most recently served as EVP and CFO, will assume his new duties on Oct. 1.

He succeeds Brian Smith, who is retiring from the president position this fall but staying on as a senior executive through February 2023. Smith joined Coca-Cola in 1997 and moved up to leading c-suite roles, including the president and COO position in 2019.

As CFO since 2019, Murphy oversees several financial functions, including merger and acquisitions, investor relations, global strategy, tax, treasury, audit, accounting and controls, reporting and analysis, real estate and risk management. His new responsibilities as president include oversight of global ventures, platform services online-to-offline digital transformation and customer and commercial leadership. 

Murphy is a Coca-Cola veteran, starting with the company in 1988 as an international internal auditor. Over the years, he ascended to positions with increasing responsibility in areas of finance, planning and operations and worked abroad in Japan and Indonesia. Before becoming CFO three years ago, he was president of the company’s former Asia Pacific group.

James Quincey, Coca-Cola’s chairman and CEO, commented on the leadership changes. “Brian has made innumerable contributions to the Coca-Cola system during his 25 years with the company. I thank him for his service and, on behalf of the company, wish him all the best,” he remarked.

“John has been a vital business partner and leader at the company,” Quincey added. “As president and CFO, John’s new role will be instrumental in driving critical, enterprise-wide imperatives across the Coca-Cola system.”

[Read more: "Why Coca-Cola's Sprite Bottles Are Going Clear"]

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07/28/2022

Tops Offers Instacart Services at 9 More New York State Locations

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Instacart Teaser

In keeping with its mission of providing contactless options for customers, Tops Markets LLC has expanded Instacart services to nine more locations in New York state: 201 N. Main Street, Northville; 127 Main Street, Stanford; 14227 New York State Route 9N, Ausable Forks; 6308 State Road Route 9, Chestertown; 21501 New York State Route 22, Hoosick Falls; 504½ Franklin Street, Watkins Glen; 309 West Morris Street, Bath; 261 Utica Boulevard, Boonville; and 658 West Main Street, Arcade.

San Francisco-based Instacart’s home grocery delivery services were already available at 131 Tops locations throughout the northeast grocer’s footprint.

“We’re excited to bring even more convenience to the shoppers across our various markets,” said Jillian Sirica, manager, digital marketing for Tops. “This expansion marks our 13th and largest expansion since Tops launched Instacart services in 2017.”

Tops first rolled out Instacart’s same-day grocery delivery at stores in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, N.Y., as well as in Erie, Pa., in November 2017. In 2018 alone, the company expanded the same-day service to 44 additional stores. Tops customers using Instacart will not only find most of the grocer’s in-store deals online, but will also have access to their favorite brands, all while earning gas points that they can redeem at Tops fuel stations.

Also this week, Tops said that it was expanding its Shop + Scan app to four additional New York stores, bringing the total of its Empire State stores offering the service to 28.

Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets LLCoperates 150 supermarkets, including five franchise stores, and employs more than 14,000 associates in New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont. The banner’s parent company, Northeast Grocery Inc., is No. 44 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of thetop food and consumables retailers in North America. 

07/28/2022

UFCW Pharmacy Workers Turn Down Employer Offers

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Retail Pharmacist Teaser

The members of seven United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) locals collectively representing more than 700 pharmacists and pharmacy workers at Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions locations across Southern California have voted to reject a contract offered by the supermarket chains.

“Southern California’s essential pharmacists have taken the time to thoughtfully review the contract offered by Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions and have collectively voted to reject it,” the locals noted in a statement. “The absolute priority of our unions is always to advocate for the needs of the majority of our members, and, ultimately, this contract did not meet those needs. While we are working with a federal mediator to return to the bargaining table with these employers and secure the contract our members deserve, we are ready to take all necessary action to make sure our members’ voices are heard.”

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the local’s members had voted overwhelmingly to authorize union leadership to call for strikes on the basis of unfair labor practices. Negotiations had resumed July 22 between UFCW and Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions. No dates have been set yet for a strike. 

UFCW locals 8GS13532477011671428 and 1442 make up the largest union grocery contract in the nation, spanning from central California to the Mexican border.

With almost 2,800 retail food stores under various banner names, including Ralphs, 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. Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates more than 2,200 retail stores with 1,700-plus pharmacies under 24 well-known banners, among them Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions. Albertsons is No. 9 on The PG 100.

07/28/2022

Drone Delivery Area Expands in North Carolina, Texas

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Drone delivery to home

More delivery drones are taking to the skies. Autonomous delivery service Flytrex is expanding its delivery radius from one to two nautical miles across its operating stations in North Carolina and Texas.

The Federal Aviation Administration approved the longer flying distance for Flytrex's drones, which can now reach 100,000 eligible customers in the cities of Fayetteville, Redford and Holly Springs in North Carolina and Granbury in Texas, near the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

To get goods via ultrafast drones, consumers can use the Flytrex app to order items from local stores and restaurants, which are then lowered by wire into their backyards. The deliveries of merchandise up to 6.6 pounds are made in cooperation with partner Causey Aviation Unmanned.

Walmart began working with the Israeli startup Flyxtrex to pilot test deliveries in the Fayetteville market in 2020 and expanded its partnership with the drone service last year. Walmart also has teamed up with drone services in other areas, including DroneUp, in an effort to stay competitive in the ultrafast delivery space.

“Drone delivery at scale is finally taking off, and this approval from the FAA positions us squarely at the forefront of that movement,” said Yariv Bash, co-founder and CEO of Flytrex. “This approval allows us to reach roughly 100,000 customers with our ultrafast delivery, and we look forward to continuing this exciting flightpath to one day bring three-minute delivery to the tens of millions of backyards across the U.S.”