Wegmans Food Markets has begun hiring and training full-time employees for its Astor Place supermarket in Manhattan, which marks its second location in New York City. The store will open at 770 Broadway in the latter half of 2023, and employ more than 500 people, including 200 full-time associates.
Full-time positions include entry-level management, customer service, overnight grocery, culinary roles and more. The grocer will begin hiring for part-time associates early next year.
Features of the Astor Place store will include a Wegmans Food Hall with fresh sushi, pizza, made-to-order salads and sandwiches, and more. Hot and cold self-serve stations and traditional departments like produce, meat and seafood, along with grocery, dairy, and frozen food aisles, will also be available to shoppers.
“When Wegmans opened in Brooklyn several years ago, their commitment to local hiring and their engagement with the surrounding community was inspiring. With hiring now starting for the Manhattan store, we have no doubt that their new neighbors will similarly find Wegmans to be a great community partner,” said Darold Burgess, president of the Ingersoll Houses Residents Association, and Isabella Lee, former president of the Walt Whitman Tenants Association.
DoorDash has teamed with mission-driven advisor firm Next Street to issue a call for applications for the California cohort of the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods. The accelerator is an educational program created to advance CPG businesses owned by entrepreneurs who are women, transgender, immigrants or people of color.
Through the program, DoorDash aims to provide local entrepreneurs with critical resources, education and funding to bring their products to market for distribution through DashMart, a DoorDash-owned and -operated grocery and convenience store. Beginning in October, the accelerator consists of a live, self-guided six-week educational program created in partnership with New York- and Chicago-based Next Street, with each participant receiving a $5,000 grant to support their business needs, plus access to marketing and sales support from DoorDash, and the opportunity to sell their products via DashMart.
“Through the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods, we are committed to empowering local business owners with the educational resources and financial capital to become wholesale-ready and bring their products into communities and homes across the country,” noted Tasia Hawkins, social impact program lead at San Francisco-based DoorDash.
Applications will be accepted from Aug. 8 through Aug. 26. Eligible entrepreneurs must live in and be actively operating their CPG business in California, have been in business for at least two years, have 30 or fewer employees, and have generated under $1 million in revenue in fiscal year 2021. They don’t need to have an existing partnership with DoorDash to apply, and existing partnerships with DoorDash aren’t considered in the application process.
Addressing changes and opportunities across the omnichannel environment, Toshiba is opening a new tech hub in north Texas. Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions announced that it is expanding its footprint in the hotbed area of Frisco, Texas, to fuel innovations and “reimagine the store of the future.”
According to company information, Toshiba’s innovation and incubation hub is strategically located for rapid connections to its other development centers in Raleigh/Durham, N.C.; Guadalajara, Mexico; Singapore; Taipei, Tokyo; and cities across Europe. The site will be powered by new investments in cloud development, computer vision and retail IoT. Toshiba also plans to collaborate with more tech partners on innovations and expand its internal team to work on mergers and acquisitions.
Earlier this year, the company introduced the latest version of its Elera commerce platform designed to accelerate retailers’ digital transformation and support the connected store experience. The company also developed a hybrid kiosk for faster, easier grocery shopping experiences.
"While many tech companies are cutting back, we are investing significantly and expanding to meet new demand created by our commerce platform recognized for accelerating digital transformation to deliver an exceptional retail experience,” said President and CEO Rance Poehler.
Added Mike Yeung, EVP and chief technology officer: "Part of our strategy includes engaging emerging startups in the region to expand our ecosystem. Our investments in IoT, data analytics and computer vision enable retailers to provide a consistent, compelling experience for consumers, whether they shop in-store, at curbside, on their mobile device, or at home."
Sprouts Farmers Market to Open New Location Inside Retirement Community
A new Sprouts Farmers Market is going up at one of the country’s most well-known retirement communities. The Villages in Sumter County, Fla., a master-planned 55-plus neighborhood with an estimated population close to 85,000, announced the addition of the fresh, natural and organic grocery store at the corner of Buena Vista Boulevard and County Road 466.
The Sprouts store is expected to open in early 2022. In its announcement, The Villages noted that the retailer will welcome customers “at the height of snowbird season.”
It’s been a busy construction year for Sprouts throughout Florida. The Arizona-based retailer is finishing up another location at 1800 NE Pine Island in Cape Coral, Fla., for a planned Oct. 7 grand opening. Ahead of that, the retailer is hosting a virtual management hiring event on Aug. 12 and an in-person hiring event on Aug. 23 at the Crowne Plaza in Fort Myers.
Earlier this summer, Sprouts welcomed shoppers to a new store in Apopka, Fla. That 28,000-square-foot store is located at 2283 E. Semoran Boulevard in the greater Orlando area.
Payment tech company Forage is upping its capabilities to expand online SNAP access to consumers around the country. The company announced that it secured $22 million in Series A funding to ramp up its product development and internal hiring, enabling it to offer more digital government assistance for grocery purchases.
Investors in this latest round include fintech specialist firm Nyca, PayPal Ventures, EO Ventures and the founder of Instacart, Apoorva Mehta.
“This capital will help accelerate Forage’s mission to democratize access to government benefits. We’re proud of the technology we’ve built and are excited to expand the acceptance of SNAP EBT payments online for low-income Americans,” remarked Ofek Lavian, Forage’s co-founder and CEO.
Forage will use the fresh capital to broaden its in-house team of EBT and payments experts who work closely with retailers to guide them throughout the USDA approval process. As the company pursues new growth and opportunities, it has improved its services in other ways, such as the recent addition of the first Shopify app that offers digital EBT payment processing to Shopify’s partner merchants.
"Forage is tackling a critical problem for consumers and merchants as more groceries are bought online,” said Tom Brown, a partner at Nyca Partners. “Nyca is excited to back the incredible team on their mission of making it as easy for eligible merchants to accept EBT as any other form of payment.”
Amazon and iRobot have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire consumer robot companyiRobot.
“We know that saving time matters, and chores take precious time that can be better spent doing something that customers love,” said Dave Limp, SVP of Amazon Devices. “Over many years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent how people clean with products that are incredibly practical and inventive — from cleaning when and where customers want while avoiding common obstacles in the home, to automatically emptying the collection bin. Customers love iRobot products — and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent in ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.”
“Since we started iRobot, our team has been on a mission to create innovative, practical products that make customers’ lives easier, leading to inventions like the Roomba and iRobot OS,” said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of Bedford, Mass.-based iRobot, who will remain CEO after the completion of the transaction. “Amazon shares our passion for building thoughtful innovations that empower people to do more at home, and I cannot think of a better place for our team to continue our mission. I’m hugely excited to be a part of Amazon and to see what we can build together for customers in the years ahead.”
Amazon will acquire iRobot for $61 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.7 billion, including iRobot’s net debt. Completion is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by iRobot’s shareholders and regulatory approvals.
Revenue for iRobot's second quarter of 2022 was $255.4 million, compared with last year's $365.6 million. Revenue for the first half of 2022 was $547.3 million versus $668.9 million in the first half of 2021.