News Briefs


Target Aims Deals, Digital Services to Last-Minute Shoppers

Target Drive Up order

As the holiday rush is in full force, so are Target Corp.’s efforts to attract last-minute shoppers. The retailer is touting its convenient same-day fulfillment services and discounts in the runup to Christmas and other winter occasions.  

Time-crunched holiday buyers can place free order pickup or drive-up orders before 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and retrieve their items within a couple of hours. The Christmas Eve window for same-day delivery with Shipt extends through 4 p.m. on Dec. 24; those deliveries are free, but a $35 order minimum is required.

Target is offering several deals to shoppers hurriedly checking off items on their gift lifts and preparing for celebrations. From now through Dec. 17, shoppers can score up to 30% off clothing and accessory products, shoes and family sleepwear and 40% off kitchen appliances including Ninja and KitchenAid. Seasonal décor and trees are also on sale, by as much as 30%. Eleventh-hour shoppers who visit Target in-store or online from Dec. 18-24 can gain even more savings, such as up to 60% off video games for PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and Xbox, up 50% off several toy brands, up to 50% off small kitchen appliances like Keurig and PowerXL, up to 50% off connected home and security products from Amazon, Ring, Google and even steeper discounts on seasonal apparel and décor. Savings on gift cards include 15% off Game Pass gift cards and 5% off pre-paid gift cards with the use of a Target RedCard.

The deals come at a time when shoppers are balancing holiday spending with a desire to rein in costs. In November, Target downgraded its holiday quarter outlook after noting a “significant change in shopping patterns.”

Most Target locations will close at 8 p.m. local time on Dec. 24 and reopen at their regular time on Dec. 26.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 2,000 locations.


Curbside Drive-Thru Grocer JackBe Opens Latest Funding Round

Curbside Pickup Teaser

Curbside drive-thru grocer JackBe, which plans to launch its first store in January 2023, has started a Wefunder campaign to allow anyone interested in the concept to invest in the startup. JackBe focuses on creating stores that operate only to serve customers picking up groceries.

“To the time-challenged shopper needing a simpler way to grocery shop, JackBe is your curbside drive-thru grocer who fills your order and delivers it to your vehicle when you want, with no substitutions,” aid Alex Ruhter, who founded the Oklahoma City, Okla.-based company three years ago with three others. “We have created the grocery store experience that we wished existed but didn’t … until now.” 

[Read more: "Digital-Native Retail to Double Revenue Share by 2030: Report"]

Added Ruhter: “We are incredibly excited to not only open our first store, but to share with others the opportunity to be in on the ground floor of what we believe to be the future of grocery shopping. We have taken this company from concept to build out, and we could not have done it without the belief and encouragement of others, and for that, we are forever humbled.”

According to the company, it has privately raised more than $7 million has been to date, and the Wefunder campaign is currently at $330,000-plus and growing.

Poised to disrupt the fast-growing $811 billion grocery market, JackBe bills itself as the first drive-thru grocer with on-demand ordering and pickup in minutes. Users can just download a simple-to-use app to begin shopping, and all orders are handpicked. Grocery orders will be ready for pickup at the most convenient time for the customer. The first three concept stores, which will offer convenient items and quality fresh produce, are slated to open next year.


Zalat Pizza Opening 2nd Location in a Kroger Marketplace

Zalat Pizza Teaser

Pizza restaurant chain Zalat Pizza is set to open the second location under a multi-unit development agreement covering select stores in The Kroger Co.’s Houston division. With a grand opening scheduled for Friday, Dec. 16 at Kroger’s Conroe Marketplace, in Conroe, Texas, the new restaurant will offer takeout and third-party delivery, in-store pizza by the slice, retail take-and-bake pizzas, and limited indoor and patio seating. The first location opened at Kroger’s Cypress Towne Lake Marketplace this past October. 

“Kroger is incredibly pleased to expand our partnership with Zalat Pizza through the introduction of a second in-store restaurant, following the continued success of the first location at our Towne Lake Marketplace,” said Liz Colvin, VP, merchandising for Kroger’s Houston division. “We’re certain our Conroe Marketplace customers will be equally hungry for all Zalat Pizza offers.”    

“Kroger is the largest grocery retailer in the world, with more than 2,700 locations among its many iconic brands,” noted Khanh Nguyen, founder and CEO of Dallas-based Zalat Pizza. “We are especially excited that Kroger is interested in us because of our best-of-class quality and dedication to our craft. Our model has always been about maintaining the highest levels of execution at large scale, and we’re excited that Kroger shares our vision.”

The second Kroger Marketplace location marks the 27th Zalat Pizza across the Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth areas. This location will be open Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Serving 60 million households annually nationwide through a digital shopping experience, and almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. The company’s Houston division has108 stores in southeast Texas and Louisiana, with more than 15,000 associates.


Food City Taps Sifter to Power Dietitian’s Pick Program

Sifter Teaser

In a bid to help shoppers eat more healthfully in the new year, Food City has joined forces with Chicago-based food and nutrition digital technology company Sifter SP Inc. to enhance the Dietitian’s Pick program offered by the Southeast regional grocer.

Sifter’s technology platform enables quick, easy product discovery and shopping, especially for Food City shoppers with special diet needs, ranging from diabetes and heart health to food allergies, food interactions with prescription medications, and lifestyle preferences such as Mediterranean-style and vegan. The platform offers mobile scanning functionality that lets the grocer’s customers scan a product on the shelves and immediately confirm – through a green checkmark for “yes” or a red X for “no” – whether the product meets their preferences.

“We recognize there is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating well,” noted Food City Corporate Dietitian Nicole Pazdziorko. “The beauty of Sifter’s technology is that it places the tool in the hands of the shopper, allowing them to customize their nutrition profile and effortlessly find items in every aisle of the store that suit their unique food preferences, dietary restrictions. and medical needs.”

“A growing number of the population is facing dietary restrictions,” added Food City President and CEO Steven C. Smith. “Food City is committed to continuing to grow our health-and-wellness program by offering services that value our consumers’ and associates’ unique nutrition needs and wellness goals, and empower them to make more informed choices for their families.”

In November, Sifter teamed with nonprofit FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) to help make grocery shopping easier and less time-consuming for the 85 million-plus Americans with food allergies and intolerances.

Food City’s parent company, Abingdon, Va.-based K-VA-T Food Stores, operates 149 stores throughout southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, east Tennessee, north Georgia and Alabama. K-VA-T is No. 68 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


dunnhumby Names 1st President for Americas

Matt O'Grady

Data science company dunnhumby has created and filled a new position of president for the Americas. Matt O’Grady will step into that role, reporting to CEO Dan Olley.

O’Grady will spearhead dunnhumby’s growth strategy across North and South America. He brings with him more than 20 years of experience in the media and advertising space, mostly recently as an executive consultant at media and data consulting firm 12th Street Measurement. He worked for 11 years at Nielsen, where he held a variety of leadership positions, including stints as global commercial president of international media and as CEO of Nielsen Catalina Solutions.

[On-demand webinar: "Winning in eCommerce: Insights from the dunnhumby eCommerce Retailer Preference Index"]

“We are extremely pleased and fortunate to have Matt join us to lead our Americas’ operations,” remarked Olley. “Matt brings a wealth of experience working closely with business leaders across the globe to execute innovative data-driven media strategies and technology solutions. Beyond that, he has the leadership skills in building teams of the highest caliber and with a commitment to putting the customer first, the core of dunnhumby’s philosophy and methodology”.

O’Grady expressed his enthusiasm for joining dunnhumby, which operates U.S. offices in Chicago.“I’m excited and honored to be starting the next chapter of my career with dunnhumby, a company that checks all the boxes for me, with its high-caliber management team, its innovative products, its vision for the future, and a parent company that believes in and supports dunnhumby’s mission,” he said.


St Pierre Groupe Appoints Managing Director

St Pierre Exec

Manchester, England-based St Pierre Groupe has appointed a new managing director following a successful buyout process that saw the business, which owns the St Pierre Bakery brand, join the Grupo Bimbo portfolio earlier this year.

David Wagstaff will take the reins as managing director, with immediate effect. For the past two years, he has led St Pierre’s U.S. operation as VP North America. In this role, Wagstaff has helped bring authentic French brioche and bakery products to the U.S. marketplace and establish the brioche category as a staple of the in-store bakery for U.S. retailers. He also has more than 30 years of experience in food and drink, holding commercial and management positions with global brands in America, Asia and the United Kingdom.

Appointed to lead the existing St Pierre Groupe management team, Wagstaff will continue to be supported by a leadership team comprising CFO Paolo Benedetto, CMO Jen Danby, Supply Chain Director Brett Rhodes, Quality & Compliance Director Muriel Vanoli, and Procurement Director Yann Neveu.

“I am pleased to say that the leadership team at St Pierre Groupe remains largely unchanged following the acquisition, allowing us to continue to build the brands and drive growth with the unique St Pierre spirit for which our company is known,” said Wagstaff.

St Pierre Groupe now employs more than 90 people across the United Kingdom, Europe and America.