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08/01/2022

Walmart Makes It Easier to Buy Refurbished Products

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Walmart Restored_teaser

Through its new program dubbed Walmart Restored, the retailer is helping shoppers buy refurbished products online with confidence. The designation will let shoppers know that they are buying from top-rated sellers and suppliers, and that all products have been professionally inspected, tested and cleaned.

Products available run the gamut from laptops to kitchen appliances from brands such as Samsung, Apple and KitchenAid. Under the program, customers who are not satisfied with their purchase can return it for free within 90 days of purchase. 

“The Walmart Restored program is helping build trust with our customers by offering fantastic value for shoppers,” wrote Michael Mosser, general manager of Walmart Marketplace, in a company blog post. “Online now and in select stores later this fall, the program also gives customers a choice and an opportunity to extend the life of a product.”

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 Bentonville, Ark.-based 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.

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08/01/2022

Bolthouse Farms Acquires Evolution Fresh From Starbucks

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Bolthouse Farms Lineup Teaser

Bolthouse Farms has completed its acquisition of Evolution Fresh from Starbucks, a deal that includes the brand, business and employees of Evolution Fresh. By uniting the two brands, Bolthouse seeks to accelerate the company’s leadership within the premium juice and refrigerated beverage categories in retail. Terms of the transaction, which Starbucks and Bolthouse revealed on May 24, weren’t disclosed.

The acquisition will enable Bolthouse to expand its beverage offering from nutrient-dense, plant-powered juices and smoothies to include the full lineup of Evolution Fresh’s mainly organic, cold-pressed premium juices. U.S. locations of Seattle-based Starbucks will continue to sell Evolution Fresh products.

According to IRI, Bolthouse is the No. 1 super-premium refrigerated beverage brand and one of the largest carrot suppliers to North American retailers.

“We are thrilled to welcome our colleagues from Evolution Fresh to the Bolthouse Farms family and look forward to working with them to drive the juice and refrigerated beverage categories forward,” said Bill Levisay, president, consumer brands at Bakersfield, Calif.-based Bolthouse. “As a combined company, we will share our resources, vertically integrated supply chain, deep knowledge of fresh produce, and passion for ingenuity and innovation. Evolution Fresh produces deliciously fresh, cold-pressed juices that consumers are looking for. Our job now is to support their expertise and bring additional resources to the table to expand the brand’s reach.” 

Added Bolthouse Farms CEO Jeff Dunn: “Bolthouse has been on a rapid growth trajectory in the last few years, and this acquisition is an important step on the company’s growth journey, with more expected to come. This acquisition expands our portfolio in a way that meets the health and nutrition needs of more consumers than ever before.”

Bolthouse is a portfolio company of Butterfly, a Los Angeles-based private-equity firm specializing in the food sector, with a particular focus on high-growth, on-trend categories. Butterfly’s brand portfolio also includes Chosen Foods, MaryRuth Organics, Orgain, and Pete and Gerry’s Organics. 

07/29/2022

2 New Grocery Outlets Open

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Grocery Outlet philly

A grocer that bills itself as an extreme value retailer is growing at a time when more consumers are seeking deals. Grocery Outlet, which is releasing second quarter results on Aug. 9, recently expanded its footprint with the addition of two locations on opposite sides of the U.S.

This week, shoppers were able to check out a new Grocery Outlet Bargain Market in North Philadelphia. Located at 2077 Ridge Avenue in the Sharswood neighborhood that has long been considered a food desert, the grocer offers branded products at lower prices often sourced from manufacturers with excess inventory and seasonal closeouts. The store is part of a significant improvement project in the area and was supported by the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA), Mosaic Development Partners and SHIFT Capital.

“We are overjoyed to be an oasis for the Sharswood community and convenient access to healthy and affordable groceries,” said Donta Rose, a Grocery Outlet independent operator.  

PHA’s President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah said that the store is a welcome and much-needed addition. “We are extraordinarily pleased that Grocery Outlet and Mr. Rose recognized the opportunity to become part of the transformation of the emerging Blumberg-Sharswood community,” he said. “Today, we welcome Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, which will not only make fresh, healthy food available, it will become a catalyst for attracting businesses to this community.”

Also this week, Grocery Outlet operators Ana Gil and Jorge Lopez opened a location at 25 E. Hillcrest Drive in Thousand, Oaks. Calif. According to Grocery Outlet’s social media pages, Gil and Lopez grew up in the area, are active in their home communities and have joined the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce. To mark the occasion, the operators offered gift card giveaways to the first 100 shoppers.

Based in Emeryville, Calif., Grocery Outlet has more than 400 stores in California, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Nevada and New Jersey. The company is No. 70 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables ret

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07/29/2022

Southeastern Grocers Offers Healthy Meal Options to Kids in Need

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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.

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"]