The National Grocers Association (NGA) has presented Karen and Kim Eskew, of Springdale, Ark.-based Harps Food Stores, with the Thomas F. Wenning Pinnacle PAC Award. The honor, bestowed during NGA’s Executive Conference & Public Policy Summit, recognizes the Eskews’ years of service to the independent grocery industry in government advocacy.
“Karen and Kim are longtime supporters of NGA’s Grocers PAC, an essential component to our efforts in fighting for policies that help independent grocery stores compete against their larger competitors,” said Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “From hosting congressional store tours to attending congressional meetings in Washington, their service to our industry has been invaluable. NGA is only as strong as our members, and Karen and Kim are the backbone of NGA’s government advocacy.”
The Pinnacle PAC Award was established in 2014 in honor of Tom Wenning, retired NGA EVP and general counsel, for his years of service to the association and the independent grocery industry.
“Karen and Kim are strong advocates for independent grocers in Arkansas and across the United States, working tirelessly to advocate for policies that create a level playing field for community grocers,” noted Christopher Jones, NGA SVP of government relations and counsel. “They have both made countless trips to Washington, D.C., for events like Day in Washington, where they have met with members of Congress to advocate for policies that benefit independent grocers. I’m grateful for their leadership in the Grocers PAC and NGA.”
During its event, NGA has also given awards to Michael Ridenour, former head of industry relations and sale operations at Chicago-basedKraft Heinz Co., and Zulema Wiscovitch, co-CEO of Port Washington, N.Y.-basedAssociated Supermarket Group (ASG).
Southeastern Grocers Launches E-Comm Services at Winn-Dixie, Harveys
To improve omnichannel shopping at its Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket banners, parent company Southeastern Grocers, Inc. is officially rolling out a new e-commerce service. Customers at those banners can now shop online for delivery in as little as two hours and enjoy the same deals as they would in store for a minimal $9 delivery fee.
Southeastern Grocers worked with various technology partners to offer the enhanced e-comm service to shoppers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. One of those partners is DoorDash, which will fulfill delivery orders through its white label fulfillment program, DoorDash Drive.
“We are excited to introduce our new online shopping and grocery delivery service to our Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket customers. At Southeastern Grocers, we prioritize our people – associates and customers alike – and aim to offer products and services that better their lives and stretch their wallets. This innovative online shopping feature is an extension of shopping our local stores, offering the same promotions and savings they will find in store,” said Andrew Nadin, Southeastern Grocers' chief customer and digital officer.
To mark the debut of the new delivery service to Winn-Dixie and Harveys stores, the company is offering free delivery for a limited time to shoppers who buy $35 or more in grocers. Southeastern Grocers also confirmed that it is expanding delivery to Fresco y Más customers and introducing curbside pickup in Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket and Fresco y Más stores in early 2023.
Walmart Health has revealed plans to bring more accessible, convenient, and affordable health care to Florida with 16 new health centers, which are slated to open by fall 2023. The centers will be located in Hudson, Jacksonville (three), Kissimmee, Lutz, New Port Richey, Ocoee, Orlando (three), Pinellas Park, Plant City, St. Petersburg, Winter Garden and Zephyrhills.
“As the population in Florida continues to grow at more than double the rate of the rest of the United States, so does the need to increase access to quality health care,” noted Dr. David Carmouche, SVP, omnichannel care offerings at Walmart. “With these 16 new Walmart Health centers across the state, even more Floridians will have easy access to a wide range of high-quality health services at convenient hours and easy-to-understand prices.”
The new state-of-the-art facilities, located alongside Walmart Supercenters, will provide a range of health care services seven days a week in one convenient location. These services, which may vary by location, include primary care, labs, X-ray and EKG, behavioral health, dental, hearing, select specialty services and community health.
Walmart Health’s first six locations in Florida opened this year. The new sites will bring the total footprint to 22 centers across the Sunshine State. Walmart has 387 retail units and employs 120,954 associates in Florida.
First launched in 2019, Walmart Health currently has 32 locations in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Texas. Beginning in January 2023, select centers in Florida and Georgia will also offer comprehensive value-based care to certain Medicare Advantage patients, as part of a recent collaboration between Walmart and UnitedHealth Group.
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. Bentonville, Ark.-based 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.
Choice Market has opened a location at The University of Colorado (CU) Anschutz Medical Campus, in Aurora, Colo. The convenience operator’s inaugural Mini-Mart will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Mini-Mart concept, which leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and vision systems to a enable checkout-free experience, offers fresh meals, locally sourced groceries and everyday staples. The store also includes Choice’s Central, a Latin Fusion kitchen serving freshly made tacos, burritos and salads made on-site, available Monday through Friday. According to Choice, it’s the first autonomous store in the United States to open in a health care setting.
Choice’s shopping experience is powered by Choice Now, a frictionless shopping technology that allows customers to enter their payment information on the Choice app, select their items for purchase and leave. AI-powered ceiling cameras determine what customers have bought and automatically send an e-receipt to their phone. As well as allowing the customers to shop, the app provides access to the Choice Rewards Program.
“Our decision to open at CU Anschutz highlights Choice’s commitment to provide fresh and healthy food to those that need it most,” noted Mike Fogarty, founder and CEO of Denver-based Choice, which operates three other locations in the Mile High City. “The medical community and CU students work tirelessly to serve the greater Denver community. We couldn’t be more excited to provide these time-strapped first responders, students, patients and their families with high-quality groceries and fresh meals 24x7x365.”
The National Grocers Association (NGA) has presented its Spirit of America Award to Zulema Wiscovitch, co-CEO of Port Washington, N.Y.-based Associated Supermarket Group (ASG), which supplies and provides retail solutions to one of the largest groups of independently owned and operated supermarkets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. Wiscovitch received the award Oct. 25 at NGA’s Executive Conference & Public Policy Summit, in Washington, D.C.
Since 1982, the Spirit of America Award has been given to individuals who provide leadership in the areas of community service and government relations, and are committed to a free and independent food distribution system. Previous recipients include former presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford.
“Zulema truly walks the walk when it comes to advocacy engagement, using her position and political relationships to educate elected officials on important issues that directly impact independent grocers,” said Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “It’s because of her tireless efforts, willingness to be part of the process, and the engagement of her retailers that NGA has been able to advance our most important policy effort, reviving and enforcing the Robinson-Patman Act.”
Before joining ASG, Wiscovitch was executive director of the National Supermarket Association, a Flushing, N.Y.-based trade association representing East Coast independent supermarket owners. Prior to that position, she held various regional marketing and corporate relations roles at Anheuser-Busch Inc. Earlier, she was VP of Wiscovitch Associates Ltd., a family-owned public relations and public affairs
Sunsweet Growers, Inc. has promoted Brad Schuler to COO from his most recent position as VP of global marketing and sales. Founded in 1917, the Yuba City, Calif.-based cooperative markets prunes, specialty dried fruit products, fruit juices and bottled beverages to retailers around the world.
Schuler is closing on 25 years at Sunsweet. He joined the company in 1999 as director of sales and demonstrated a continual commitment to company growth, according to president and CEO Dane Lance. "The past few years have been the most challenging in Sunsweet's 105-year history," Lance noted. "During this period Brad demonstrated chief operating officer level leadership and coordination skills as he identified agile processes for business planning, coordination of production priorities, and risk mitigation. These efforts, along with our dedicated team members’ commitment to success, helped ensure Sunsweet products were readily available to meet the needs of our customers and consumers."
Schuler said he is ready to take the company through its next phase of growth. "Sunsweet maintains a brand leadership position around the world in key business categories of prune and prune juice products. Additional growth will be driven by innovation that expands into new categories and segments to enhance the Sunsweet experience our products provide to consumers. Sunsweet continues with a strong vision of our future,” he asserted. Among other endeavors, he cited the recent expansion of Sunsweet’s production capabilities in California and Pennsylvania and its new state-of-the-art facility in Santa Cruz, Chile.