News Briefs


SpartanNash Kicks Off Annual Special Olympics Campaign

SpartanNash SO

SpartanNash has long counted on customers to be good sports when it comes to supporting the Special Olympics. The Michigan-based food solutions company is kicking off its annual in-store fundraising campaign to support Special Olympics athletes, including 16 of its own employees.

From now through Feb. 19, shoppers at SpartanNash-owned stores and fuel centers can donate by rounding up their purchase or giving an additional $1, $5 or $10 at checkout. Online donations are accepted through the company’s Fast Lane program.

This marks the 39th year that the SpartanNash organization has teamed up with Special Olympics. To date, the SpartanNash Foundation has donated nearly $9.9 million to the cause.

Participating banners include Family Fare, D&W Fresh Market, VG’s Grocery, Supermercado Nuestra Familia, Forest Hill Foods and Ada Fresh Market. Donations at those stores will go directly to Special Olympics affiliate organizations in the states of Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“We consider SpartanNash part of the Special Olympics family,” said Tim Hileman, president and CEO of Special Olympics Michigan. “Not only are they actively involved in making sure our athletes are able to attend State Summer Games, they are on the sidelines cheering them on as they compete. It’s advocates like SpartanNash who are empowering our athletes, providing them the support and resources to spread a message of inclusion statewide.”

SpartanNash’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent and chain retailers, its corporate-owned retail stores, and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges, as well as fresh produce distribution and fresh food processing. No. 41 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company serves customer locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. SpartanNash also operates 147 supermarkets and employs 17,500-plus associates. 


Save A Lot Aims to Update, Expand Core Merch Systems

Save A Lot New Look Store Teaser

Supermarket chain Save A Lot has selected SymphonyAI Retail CPG for data-driven supply chain solutions that aim to provide more accurate end-to-end insights and enable grocers to better meet shopper needs while reducing stockouts and substitutions. Among the solutions that Save A Lot is implementing are Master Data Management (MDM), Core Merchandising, Insights, Vendor Portal and Retail Operations.

“At Save A Lot, we have undertaken a strategic transformation from grocery retailer to licensed wholesaler,” said Jennifer Hopper, the company’s CIO. “With SymphonyAI Retail CPG technology, we get best-in-class solutions and can evolve to full end-to-end supply chain optimization that best supports our owner/operator Retail Partner network while giving us enhanced business agility, efficiency and scalability.”

[Read more: "Save A Lot Completes Refinancing Deal"]

SymphonyAI Retail CPG supply chain management and optimization solutions give retailers real-time inventory visibility, including data synchronization to centralize ownership and data flows for business agility in an omnichannel environment, along with unified order management and complete store and channel insights, all with the aim of increasing shopper satisfaction, reducing waste and measurably decreasing out-of-stocks through higher organizational intelligence and improved decisions.

“We are pleased to partner with an innovative grocery wholesaler like Save A Lot to speed and streamline supply chain and store operations, enhancing both shopper experience and business performance,” said Raj Marimuthu, general manager of supply chain management at Dallas-based SymphonyAI Retail. “We lead the industry in MDM and merchandising capabilities with a seamless path to full end-to-end AI-based insights, including demand forecasting AI — all with a compelling ROI value proposition.

With more than 850 stores in 32 states. Earth City, Mo.-based Save A Lot is No. 60 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


H-E-B Transforming Waxahachie Location Into plus! Store

H-E-B Waxahachie Teaser

H-E-B has plans to renovate and expand its H-E-B store in Waxahachie, Texas, starting in early 2023. The renovations will add more than 22,000 square feet, resulting in a 127,000-square-foot store. With the additional space and broader assortment of products, the location will become an H-E-B plus! store, offering more than just groceries.

After renovations are complete, the store will feature new and upgraded departments, a two-lane Pharmacy Drive Thru, an expanded curbside area with more dedicated parking, and nearly 50 additional parking spaces for in-store shoppers.

[Read more: “H-E-B Reveals Details on Long-Awaited Store in DFW Metroplex”]

New amenities will include:

A True Texas BBQ restaurant with outdoor seating
• A sushi kiosk featuring selections made in-store daily and Sushiya Grill offerings
• Cooking Connections, offering cooking demonstrations
A Blooms Market floral department, offering online ordering and delivery service
• Home by H-E-B, featuring home accessories, furniture and more
• Charcoal & Grilling, featuring outdoor cooking essentials
An Apparel section

Upgrades to existing areas include larger bakery, meat and seafood departments. The expanded craft beer and wine section will have a sampling station. Additional checkout lanes will feature self-checkout options.

The Waxahachie H-E-B will also get new signage and an upgraded façade and entryway. The fuel station will get an updated look as well.

The store will remain open during the renovations, which are expected to be complete in 2024.

The largest privately held employer in Texas, San Antonio-based H-E-B has more than 430 stores and 154,000 employees in Texas and Mexico. The grocer’s store formats include H-E-B, Central Market, Joe V’s Smart Shop and Mi TiendaH-E-B also owns Favor Delivery, a delivery service that serves cities across Texas. The company is No. 16 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America


Wild Fork Debuts 1st Retail Store in Wisconsin

Wild Fork

While snowbirds in Wisconsin typically head south for winter, one retail chain has headed north this month. The South Florida-based Wild Fork Meat and Seafood Market, part of protein conglomerate JBS USA, celebrated the grand opening of its latest store in Glendale, Wisc., on Feb. 2.

Located at 635 W. Silver Spring Drive just north of Milwaukee in a retail development that also includes a Trader Joe’s, this Wild Fork outpost carries a wide variety of frozen meats and side dishes. The products are grouped by protein type and cut, and span value cuts of ground meat to high-end Wagyu Tomahawk steaks. A separate case marked “Easy” offers several selections for heat-and-eat quick meals.

[Read more: "Allegiance Premieres Latest Green Way Markets Store"]

Wild Fork touts its vertical integration as a differentiator, a structure that that allows it to control steps throughout the farm-to-fork chain to ensure quality and variety. During a recent visit to the store by Progressive Grocer, signage at the Glendale location also highlighted the company’s dedication to sustainability, detailing its commitment to animal welfare, its 100% CFC-free freezers and portioned packaging that reduces waste.

This month, the new Glendale store is offering several specials, including Valentine’s Day bundles and options for 2023 Super Bowl entertaining.

Wild Fork has been on the march since launching its first brick-and-mortar store in 2018. The company now runs storefronts in South Florida, Central Florida, Texas, Northern Illinois, Southern California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and now, Wisconsin. The company also operates a comprehensive e-commerce site.


Kroger Expands Farmers Market Concept

Kroger Farmers Market teaser

The Kroger Co. is growing its partnership with Market Wagon to bring its digital farmers market concept to more customers. Kroger Farmers Market, which was developed as an e-commerce marketplace for local farmers and businesses, is now available to shoppers in the Columbus, Ohio, and Knoxville, Tenn., markets.

Kroger Farmers Market offers a wide range of fresh products from across its market areas, with the delivery service in Columbus offering a unique assortment of more than 1,400 products from more than 75 vendors, including local farmers, bakeries and food artisans.

[Read more: "Kroger Earns Recognition for Early-Career Hiring"]

"Kroger’s e-commerce business is flourishing and we are always seeking new ways to bring value to our customers’ lives," said Kroger Columbus Division President Dana Zurcher. "The digital farmers market experience eliminates barriers for those eager to support local businesses by making it easy to order fresh goods online and have them delivered straight from farm to doorstep. We are excited about the expansion of the collaboration to Columbus where it will be available to 2.4 million people in 14 counties.”

“The local food movement wins every time we connect a farmer with a new customer,” added Nick Carter, Market Wagon’s co-founder and CEO. “That’s why I’m so excited that Kroger, America’s grocer, and Market Wagon can partner and create a stronger market for local food producers in Central Ohio.”

The program began in June 2022 with a pilot in Atlanta that built on Kroger’s seamless ecosystem.

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.


Harris Teeter to Host Supplier Diversity Summit

Harris Teeter Selling Hunter Farms Dairy Business Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association Inc.

Harris Teeter is inviting diverse product suppliers to apply to join a virtual Supplier Diversity Summit scheduled for March 28-30. The regional grocer aims to identify and boost sourcing from suppliers that are at least 51% owned, operated and managed by people who are disadvantaged, disabled, LGBTQ+, military veterans, minorities and/or women.

“Our goal is for Harris Teeter – our people and our products – to reflect the diversity of the communities we serve,” noted Harris Teeter Director of Corporate Affairs Danna Robinson. “Through the identification and support of minority-owned businesses, Harris Teeter will cultivate new vendor relationships to empower diverse suppliers and enhance economic growth.”

[Read more: "SocialShelf to Debut at Select Harris Teeter Stores"]

Eligible businesses with retail-ready products in the perishable, nonperishable, nonfood, health and beauty care, and general merchandise categories can apply by Friday, Feb. 10 for consideration. 

Harris Teeter is teaming with online product sourcing platform RangeMe, an ECRM company, to manage all product submissions. Upon receiving the applications, Harris Teeter will review and select the vendors to meet with virtually through the ECRM Connect meeting platform. Suppliers not chosen for the event will still be accessible via RangeMe and may be reviewed by Harris Teeter again in the future. 

Vendors that don’t qualify for the summit can submit information for consideration through the retailer’s Supplier Community page.

Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co., employs approximately 35,000 associates and operates stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, Florida and the District of Columbia. 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.