Grace Puma, former PepsiCo EVP and COO, has been appointed to the Target Corp. board of directors, effective immediately. Puma is set to serve on the retailer’s Audit & Risk and Infrastructure & Finance Committees.
Puma retired from PepsiCo after 12 years with the company, and most recently led its global operations, global procurement, employee health and safety, global security and holistic cost management. Before that, she served as SVP and global chief procurement officer at United Airlines, and also held various leadership roles at Kraft Foods.
“Grace brings a deep understanding of the complexities of the global operating environment, the consumer landscape and the guests we serve. Her knowledge of supply chain, procurement and operations will provide valuable insights that complement current board strengths, and her leadership acumen and perspective will further position Target for growth and success in the evolving marketplace,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target. “I’m pleased to welcome Grace to Target and am confident in the expertise she will bring to our board.”
Puma also currently serves on the board of directors of global women’s healthcare company Organon & Co., and previously served as a board member for Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and Marietta Corp. She was ranked on the Most Powerful Latina list by Fortune magazine in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and was named to the inaugural Most Powerful Latinas Hall of Fame by the Association of Latino Professionals in 2021.
JRW Realty, a commercial real estate brokerage focusing on net-leased properties on behalf of institutional clients, has facilitated the purchase of a $24.75 million net-leased ShopRite in Uniondale, N.Y.
According to Bush, the Uniondale ShopRite store meets the criteria for properties that JRW clients are aggressively purchasing to create and expand investment portfolios.
“We were thrilled to assist our client with the acquisition of such a high-quality asset in the prominent Long Island market of New York City,” he said. “The 61,916-square-foot property is adjacent to a Walmart Supercenter, further accentuating its attractiveness as a shopping destination and its value as a real estate holding. ShopRite is a great new addition to our client’s roster of creditworthy tenants operating in necessity retail.”
Bush added that JRW’s institutional buyers are actively engaged in buying net-leased real estate tenanted by grocery stores like ShopRite, among them Kroger, Stop & Shop, Food Lion, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, Price Chopper, Publix, Aldi, and Whole Foods Market. The firm’s clients focus on properties with double or triple net leases backed by creditworthy tenants that provide grocery, health care, pharmacy, auto, discount retail and other necessity-based services.
Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food Corp. comprises more than 40 members that independently own and operate 360-plus supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners. Together with its member companies, Wakefern employs nearly 80,000 people. The company is No. 25 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 listing of North America’s top food and consumables retailers in North America.
Weis Markets Opts for Invafresh to Streamline Fresh Food Ops
Weis Markets Inc. is working with fresh grocery platform Invafresh to streamline fresh food operations across the Mid-Atlantic grocery chain. The partnership encompasses demand forecasting, in-store production planning, food traceability, recipe management and cut test management across all Weis Market fresh departments.
“Our Invafresh collaboration will help us automate processes, such as ordering, production and inventory management, so that we are meeting customers’ expectations with the freshest foods while also more accurately predicting demand,” noted Bob Gleeson, Weis Markets’ SVP merchandising and marketing. “We expect this platform to reduce food waste and improve efficiencies.”
Invafresh will help upgrade the grocer’s entire fresh food operations lifecycle, from purchase to prepared food production planning, giving the company visibility into and quality control over stores to maximize freshness and deliver a consistent consumer experience. The Invafresh Fresh Retail Platform uses AI and machine learning to simplify fresh food operations and reduce waste, making in-store operations more efficient.
“We are now focused on helping Weis to optimize their fresh store operations, from deli to bakery, produce to meat, and everything in between, to ensure the freshest and highest-quality products are available at the right levels when the consumer wants it," said Tim Spencer, president and CEO of Toronto-based Invafresh. "Our fresh-native platform helps grocery retailers deliver on their customer promise of quality and consistency while keeping margins in check and achieving their food sustainability goals in fresh.”
Invafresh’s Fresh Retail Platform has also been recently chosen by Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Federated Co-operatives Ltd., a wholesaling, manufacturing, marketing and administrative cooperative owned by more than 160 independent local co-op associations, and St. Cloud, Minn.-based Coborn’s, which operates 59 grocery stores under the Coborn’s Case Wine Foods, Marketplace Foods and Hornbacher’s banners.
KeHE Distributors LLC will unveil the expansion of its Aurora, Colo., distribution center on Aug. 31. Aiming to serve new independent customers, the expansion adds 124,000 additional square feet across all temperature zones, including 33% more freezer space, 66% more cooler space and 43% more dry space.
“KeHE is thrilled to announce this expansion, especially in such a key location,” said Chris Graas, KeHE’s VP of sales. “Our goal is to continue to provide exceptional and expanded service to the region. Since Colorado is a hub for product innovation and sustainability within the food and beverage industry, KeHE is committed to having a significant impact and presence in this community. By establishing an innovation destination and creating a place to experience KeHE Goodness, we are eager to expand our scope and business in Boulder to better serve our partners.”
As well as serving new independent customers, the expansion will drive economic growth while bringing new employment opportunities to the Aurora and Boulder, Colo., areas, including selector, forklift operator and receiver positions.
“Aurora is proud to have KeHE Distributors in our city and honored that they have chosen our city to expand their facility here,” affirmed Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman.
The largest, pure-play distributor of natural and organic, specialty, and fresh products to natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers, and other specialty products retailers throughout North America, Naperville, Ill.-based KeHE has more than 6,800 employee-owners and is a Certified B Corporation.
Filipino food grocery store chain Island Pacific has hired Herman S. Chiu to be the newest member of its executive team in the CFO role. Chiu brings more than 30 years of finance executive experience to the retailer.
After graduating from UCLA in 1989, Chiu began his career at accounting firm KPMG. Four years later, he took on the dual role of VP of finance and VP of technology at Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Harbor Distributing LLC, part of the largest beer distributorship conglomerate in the U.S. During his tenure, from 1993 to 2001, he streamlined and improved the efficiency of monthly financial reporting and was responsible for the vast network and information-reporting systems for all related organizations across the country.
In 2002, Chiu became CFO at Santa Monica Seafood, a multistate manufacturer of seafood products and a premier seafood distributor in the Southwest. In this role, he executed the company’s financial strategy, which led to the company's growth from $35 million to $500 million in revenue. Chiu also successfully centralized the banking function and leveraged technology to prevent fraud and improve the reconciliation process at the company.
After 17 years at Santa Monica Seafood, Chiu joined Buena Park, Calif.-based Tawa Supermarket Inc., operator of 99 Ranch Market, the largest Asian supermarket chain in the U.S., to assist the CEO, given Tawa's complex organization and business structure consisting of multiple business units with varied operational objectives. While at Tawa, Chiu was an integral part of the executive team, thanks to his extensive experience in finance, accounting, taxation, corporate governance and risk management.
“Island Pacific is thrilled to have Herman Chiu support our mission of promoting Filipino food and culture to the rest of the world,” the company said. “His more than three decades of executive leadership experience in various fields of finance and accounting is what Island Pacific needs to bring the company to the next level.”
City of Industry, Calif.-based Island Pacific operates 17 supermarkets serving communities in California and Las Vegas.
Grocery Outlet Raises $2.5M During Independence from Hunger Campaign
Extreme-value retailer Grocery Outlet Bargain Market has raised more than $2.5 million — the equivalent of approximately 1.25 million meals — during its 12th annual Independence from Hunger Food Drive campaign. From June 29 through July 31, more than 400 Grocery Outlet stores raised funds and collected monetary donations from customers, employees and independent operators to give back to local food agencies to help address critical food insecurities in their communities.
Grocery Outlet made a commitment more than a decade ago with the Independence from Hunger campaign to find solutions that ensure all families have access to high-quality meals. Since its launch in 2011, the campaign has collected more than $16 million in total donations nationwide.
Throughout the initiative, Grocery Outlet customers and employees were encouraged to contribute in the following ways:
• Purchasing pre-made food bags filled with an assortment of nonperishable items. • Give $5, Get $5 at the register – donating $5 or more in a single transaction and receiving a $5 coupon. • Contribution of a monetary donation through in-store and online platforms.