Fast-growingHarps Food Stores has revealed a deal to purchase independent grocer The Markets. With this acquisition, Harps reportedly will gain six store locations in central Louisiana and one in southwestern Mississippi.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Harps said that the deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
“We are excited to enter into these new markets for Harps in Louisiana and Mississippi,” said Kim Eskew, chairman and CEO of Springdale, Ark.-based Harps. “The Market stores have served these communities with excellence for many years, and we are thrilled to add them to the Harps family.”
“We are excited for the new possibilities for growth and success that Harps can bring to our stores,”noted Barry Loy, president of the 50-plus-year-old The Markets. “We wish Harps and the Markets team members many years of success.”
Harps is the largest employee-owned company based in Arkansas and the 30th largest in the United States. The company operates more than 130 stores in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.
Southeastern Grocers Tallies $500K in Hurricane Aid
As communities across its footprint continue with cleanup and begin to rebuild after Hurricane Ian, Southeastern Grocers has donated $500,000 to the American Red Cross for relief efforts and disaster preparedness.
About half of the donation came from Southeastern Grocers shoppers and associates, who showed their generosity during a recent register campaign at Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie stores. Shoppers could donate $1 or $5 or round up their bill to the nearest dollar. Before the 2022 hurricane season even got underway, the retailer gave $250,000 to the Red Cross through its SEG Gives Foundation, earmarked for storm readiness.
“After experiencing Hurricane Ian’s devastating force over our Florida communities, we’ve witnessed firsthand how the American Red Cross provides a lifeline to neighbors in need on the long road to recovery. We are humbled by our customers and associates who generously donated at our registers throughout the five coastal states we serve, and their support allows us to continue to stand with the Red Cross to support their crucial storm recovery and relief programs to strengthen and rebuild our communities when they are most vulnerable,” said Raymond Rhee, Southeastern Grocers' chief people officer.
In addition to supporting storm response and recovery in a financial way, the grocer provided resources in the wake of Hurricane Ian. It estimates that more than 2,000 Southwest Florida families were assisted by donations of bottled water, ice, nonperishable foods and cleaning supplies, along with medications and health care items from the grocer’s mobile pharmacies.
Several food retailers, including Florida-based Publix, Midwest-headquartered Hy-Vee and national companies like Amazon and Walmart, provided assistance as Floridians and residents and businesses in other Southeastern states dealt with the aftermath of the extreme weather event.
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. Its banners include Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores. The company is No. 39 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.
NGA Exec Conference, Public Policy Summit Kicks Off
The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, opened its 2022 NGA Executive Conference and Public Policy Summit, taking place Oct. 24-26 at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C., with more than 200 grocery executives from retailer, wholesaler and supplier companies in attendance. Nearly 20 educational sessions with industry experts and analysts are planned.
The event began with a panel on the state of independent grocery, featuring Leon Bergmann, CEO of Earth City, Mo.-based Save A Lot; Garrett Piklapp, president of Boone, Iowa-based Fareway Stores Inc.; and Daniel Nazario, regional VP, wholesale accounts at Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg Co., moderated by Anne-Marie Roerink, principal at 210 San Antonio-based 210 Analytics. The session discussed the current health of independent community grocers, and the impact of the post-pandemic economy, inflation, the supply chain and consumer habits on merchants.
“The summit brings together retail and wholesale leaders in the independent supermarket industry and their trading partners for important insights, conversations and engagement, to position their companies for strategic growth” noted Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “Our industry continues to experience disruption, with more to come next year. The important insights and conversations that will take place during the summit will position our members to embrace the challenges and opportunities and set their companies up for continued success.”
The event will also include NGA’s 40th anniversary celebration, with a special evening planned to mark the milestone.
Save A Lot, with more than 850 stores in 32 states, is No. 60 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while family-owned Fareway, which employs more than 12,000 associates in its 130-plus stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota, is No. 77 on PG’s list.
A maker of paper grocery bags and sacks is upping its efforts to help grocers signal their sustainable store practices to shoppers. The Duro brand’s line of Dubl Life bagging products recently received certification from the New York-based Biodegradable Products Institute, one of the first products of its kind to do so.
Going forward, Duro’s bags also will feature special How2Compost and How2Recycle labels that let consumers know how to dispose of the packages after use. Those labels are independently verified as well, through the Charlottesville, Va.-based Sustainable Packaging Coalition. Products with the label must meet rigorous standards and must be tested by the Biodegradable Products Institute.
Duro offers a variety of Dubl Life bags and sacks that include the new designation, including self-opening bags, handle sacks and liquor bags. The products are made from 100% recycled materials, with a minimum of 60% post-consumer recycled paper, and are already FSC Chain of Command-certified, as managed by the Bonn, Germany-based Forest Stewardship Council, which has its U.S. headquarters in Minneapolis.
"At Novolex, our goal is to minimize the environmental footprint of packaging and maximize our production of sustainable products," said Adrianne Tipton, Ph.D., chief technology officer at Hartsville, S.C,-based Novolex, maker of the Duro brand. "Earning these important certifications again demonstrates our support of the circular economy, and reaffirms our corporate commitment to sustainability."
Kroger, University of Kentucky Team on Grocery Pickup
The Kroger Co. is using its namesake stadium at the University of Kentucky in Lexington to offer a convenient grocery pickup option to students and staff members at the school. The southwest corner of the Kroger Field Orange Lot has now been designated as a pickup location for online grocery orders placed with the food retailer.
Users can create an account on Kroger’s website, add a payment method and choose their preferred pickup location. The new Kroger Field location is listed as “Hometown Pickup – Kroger Field.”
Pickup days and times for the University of Kentucky’s Orange Lot, which have been set to closely coincide with employee work schedules, are as follows:
Walmart is updating its selection of sleepwear and intimates with the new private label Joyspun brand. According to the retailer, the line will offer fresh silhouettes, buttery-soft fabrics and modern style sans the high price tag.
Joyspun will replace Secret Treasures, Walmart’s previous private intimates brand, and promises to offer elevated quality, construction, fit and style at sharp price points. There will be more than 300 styles of sleepwear, bras, panties, socks, hosiery and maternity items, priced between $7.98 and $34.98.
“The intimates category is undergoing a significant transformation, shifting to an era of inclusivity, body positivity, and styles that prioritize comfort and confidence,” wrote Denise Incandela, EVP of apparel and private brands for Walmart U.S., in a company blog post.
Continued Incandela: “We’re proud of the work we’ve done to rebuild and refresh our market-leading sleepwear and intimates brand in a meaningful way to make it more relevant to a broad range of customers. We feel like it’s a big unlock for an extraordinarily large business within our fashion portfolio, and we’re excited about the five-star feedback we’re starting to receive from customers who have discovered it.”
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.