News Briefs


Amazon Tech Debuts at Kansas City Sports & Entertainment Venue

816 Market T-Mobile Center Amazon Tech Teaser

Amazon Just Walk Out and Amazon One technology have rolled out in 816 Market, located at Section 105 on the main concourse of T-Mobile Center, a sports and live entertainment venue in Kansas City, Mo. The store enables customers to select snacks and beverages without waiting in line to checkout, and shoppers can enter the store and pay with a scan of their palm. Customers aged 21 or older may buy alcohol after showing valid ID to a store attendant for age verification.

“816 Market is the first frictionless store location in both a Missouri and Kansas sports and live entertainment venue to employ Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One,” noted Jay Cooper, general manager of T-Mobile Center. “Collaborating with Amazon and [Chicago-based restaurant and hospitality company] Levy to debut a faster concession experience through innovation is an incredible opportunity.” 

“T-Mobile Center has a rich history of hosting some of the most popular events in the U.S., like NCAA basketball tournaments, world-renowned musicians and top-performing artists,” said Dilip Kumar, VP, AWS Applications. “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with T-Mobile Center and Levy to enable an effortless shopping experience using Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One for guests so they can grab what they need and get back to their seats as fast as possible.”

An award-winning venue operated by Los Angeles-based ASM Global, T-Mobile Center has welcomed more than 12 million guests since opening in 2007. 

Last month, the Amazon technologies debuted at Bridgestone Arena – a first for a Nashville, Tenn., sports and entertainment venue – with another store powered by both frictionless shopping solutions slated to open at the same arena early next year. 

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on The PG 100,  Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Caribbean Conglomerate Buys U.S. Indie Grocery Chain

IGA Sign Teaser

Massy Holdings, a Trinidad and Tobago-based conglomerate with diversified interests and businesses throughout the Caribbean, has acquired U.S. grocery store chain Rowe’s IGA Supermarket for $47 million. The acquisition was completed on Dec. 12 by Massy’s wholly owned subsidiary, Massy Stores (USA) LLC.

[Read more: "IGA Reveals USA Retailers of The Year"]

According to a notice posted on Massy’s website, “Massy Stores USA entered into a membership interest purchase agreement with the sole owner of Rowe’s IGA, Robert A Rowe, to purchase 100% of the equity interest of each of the seven limited-liability companies within the Rowe’s IGA Group.” 

The notice added: “The acquisition of Rowe’s IGA, an independent supermarket chain with seven stores in Jacksonville, Fla., is aligned with the Massy Integrated Retail Portfolio’s strategy to expand its retail footprint in the U.S. market. Rowe’s IGA was established in 2005 and is a well-recognized brand within the Jacksonville area.” 


More Than Half of U.S. Consumers Plan to Be With Others for Holidays

Festive Family Gathering Teaser

After two years of pandemic-driven lockdowns, consumers are eager to get back to holiday entertaining. A recent survey conducted by The NPD Group has found that 52% of consumers are less concerned about COVID-19 this year versus a year ago, up 20 points from 2021, and 55% said that they intend to host or visit family and or friends during the holidays, an eight-point increase from last year.

“After two years of dealing with pandemic concerns, consumers are anxious and excited to entertain and attend parties this holiday season,” noted Joe Dreochowski, home and home improvement industry advisor at NPD, a global market information company that merged with Chicago-based IRI last July. “As a result, they are increasingly looking to socialize, shop and gather with friends and family, which will naturally spur more retail growth opportunities during the holidays.”  

In the housewares category, the entertaining-related subcategories that usually experience a sales bump during the holiday season include barware tools and sets; bottle openers; coasters; corkscrews; ice buckets; pie/cake/brownie servers; tea tools; non-electric wine aerators; and wine tool sets. Alcohol-related beverageware shapes, such as wine glasses, highball glasses/tumblers, old-fashioned glasses, goblets, pilsner/pub, and martini glasses, are also in demand for holiday entertaining, and cheese/charcuterie boards, chip-and-dip servers, tiered serveware, and platter trays all unsurprisingly see sales increases ahead of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“Traditionally, holiday parties are held the two weekends before Christmas,” added Derochowski. “This year, with Christmas falling on a Sunday and Hanukkah beginning on Dec. 18 and ending on Dec. 26, could mean more extended celebrations. Holiday guests may stay further into the next week, which means more opportunities for baking together, entertaining or preparing extra food to have leftovers.”


Publix Brings Bedside Medication Delivery to Florida Hospital

Publix Cape Coral Teaser Teaser

Publix Pharmacy is partnering with Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Fla., to bring patients access to bedside delivery of prescription medications prior to being discharged. The service is free of charge, and patients can make payments upon delivery and obtain future refills from any Publix Pharmacy location.

“At Publix Pharmacy, caring for our customers and communities means continuing to look for ways to provide services and convenience for our patients when they need it most,” said Publix VP of Pharmacy Dain Rusk. “We are excited to extend bedside delivery of prescription medications to patients of Manatee Memorial Hospital and hope to help with their road to recovery after discharge.”

[Read more: "Publix Ups the Ante in Kentucky"]

“Our goal in our collaboration with Publix Pharmacy is to provide our patients with the medications they need to keep them healthy before they leave the building,” said Manatee Memorial Hospital Director of Pharmacy James Wengerd. “Patients will leave our hospital knowing what medications to take and how much they cost.”

Employee-owned and -operated Publix has close to 1,300 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix is No. 12 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Meijer, Uber Expand On-Demand Grocery Delivery in Midwest

Meijer Uber Eats Teaser

Meijer Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. have teamed up to offer on-demand scheduled grocery delivery to customers across the Midwest, solidifying Uber Eats’ national expansion of service for consumers in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. 

Beginning this week and continuing through the winter, shoppers are able to shop for holiday favorites at almost 250 Meijer locations via Uber and Uber Eats, with orders delivered on-demand directly to their doors. Meijer locations will be featured stores on the Uber Eats app this season and also included in Uber’s Holiday Shop, a one-tap destination for festive essentials. 

Uber One members can receive $0 delivery fees and 5% off Meijer orders of $35 or, and all consumers can get $10 off their first $40-plus Meijer order from Uber Eats with the code MEIJER10 through Dec. 31

“Meijer is known for freshness — fresh food, fresh thinking and a focus on innovation makes them a natural partner for Uber,” said Christian Freese, head of grocery and new verticals across the United States and Canada for San Francisco-based Uber. “We’re thrilled to be bringing their fresh selection to Uber and Uber Eats across much of the country, and to be working together to deliver must-have groceries to America’s doorsteps, just in time for the holidays.”

Uber’s other grocery partners include Albertsons Cos., SpartanNash and Grocery Outlet. The company delivers grocery, convenience, alcohol and retail products in 30-plus countries.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer, with more than 400 supercenters, neighborhood markets and Express locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin, is No. 20 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Albertsons, SpartanNash and Grocery Outlet are Nos. 9, 41 and 70, respectively, on PG’s list.


Filippo Berio USA Names New CEO

Dusan Kaljevic

International olive oil company Salov Group has appointed a new CEO to lead its Filippo Berio USA subsidiary. Dusan Kaljevic has been promoted to the position from his most recent role as deputy CEO.

Kaljevic succeeds retiring CEO Marco de Ceglie, who is credited with growing the Lyndhurst, N.J.-based division’s presence as a supplier of extra virgin olive oil, pestos and other specialty products. De Ceglie is capping a 40-year career in the CPG industry, where he was a leader in strategic operations, sales, marketing and finance.

[Read more: "St Pierre Groupe Appoints Managing Director"]

Kalijevic and de Ceglie worked closely together to ensure a smooth transition. The new CEO will also rely on his extensive CPG industry background. He joined Salov Group in 2012 and helped expand distribution of products, including Filippo Berrio's growing roster of offerings, into more than 20 countries.

“We are confident that Dusan Kaljevic will leverage his commercial and operational expertise and corporate leadership skills to further Filippo Berio's mission and goals,” remarked Fabio Maccari, Salov Group’s global CEO. “We are eternally grateful to Marco de Ceglie for his devotion to Filippo Berio USA. His tenacity to grow the brand, dedication to consumers and desire to cultivate partnerships leaves a lasting impression.”

“Dusan has been a trusted partner, long supporting the expansion and adoption of Filippo Berio products in the U.S. and beyond,” said De Ceglie. “He is fully aligned with the brand’s commitment to innovation and excellence, and I am certain that he will lead Filippo Berio USA and its partners, employees and customers into a successful and fruitful future.”

For his part, Kaljevic said he is ready to hit the ground running. In 2023, our initial points of focus will be to continue reducing environmental impact through sustainable innovation, increase the development of diverse local talent and further expand the business’ geographic footprint,” he declared.

Filippo Berio is a legacy olive oil provider, founded 155 years ago in Italy. The brand is now available in 75 countries.