News Briefs


H Mart Secures Another Location in Texas Capital

H Mart Teaser

Asian specialty grocer H Mart has plans to open a second location in Austin, Texas. According to the Austin Business Journal (ABJ), the retailer has leased an anchor space in a North Central Austin shopping center — not far from an H-E-B and 99 Ranch Market.

New Jersey-based H Mart leased more than 23,000 square feet at 5222 Burnet Road, near the intersection of North Loop Boulevard.

[Read more: “Multicultural Grocers Drive Sales by Catering to Increasingly Diverse America”]

Jason Jang of Total Realty Texas told the ABJ that the new location could open in spring of 2024, depending on permitting and other factors. H Mart currently operates an Austin store located at 11301 Lakeline Boulevard.

Its been a busy start to 2023 for the Asian supermarket chain. H Mart opened a store in Irvine, Calif., on Jan. 11. The grocer also expanded in its home state with a new store at the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb. 17. And, known for its emphasis on foodservice, H Mart celebrated the reopening of its food hall at the H Mart in Edison, N.J., store on Feb. 14.

Operated by the Hanahreum Corp., H Mart opened its first store in the New York City borough of Queens in 1982, and now has more than 90 stores across the United States in Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.


Cassida Pro Debuts New Cash Room Solution

cassida pro

Cash processing solutions company Cassida Pro has rolled out a new open-air cash recycler that automates cash handling procedures in a timelier, cost-effective way. The new system, the RevolAIR SR-B1, can count a cash and coin drawer in less than 45 seconds.

[Read more: "How Do Grocery Employees Rate their Large Employers?"]

According to Cassida Pro, the split recycler can be integrated into all banking and back-end software suites and through cellular or LAN API feeds and works well with high-volume multi-lane grocery setups. Among other capabilities, the system is designed to enable session-based counting, packaging and inventory recording of all on-site cash registers, tills and drawers, as well as all cash storage, such as safes and change drawers.

The RevolAIR SR-B1 is supported by the company’s cash room engineers who can assist from discovery to implementation.  The system is part of Cassida Pro’s portfolio of business-grade cash processing solutions.


Pop Up Grocer Settles Down in NYC

Pop Up Grocer Coming to Chicago

Pop Up Grocer is putting down roots. The discovery destination known for its curated assortments in temporary locales is opening its first permanent store in New York City on March 3. The flagship store will carry more than 400 products from at least 130 brands and includes the retailer’s first in-store café.

Located at 205 Bleecker Street in Manhattan, the 1,500-square-foot brick-and-mortar site will continue the company’s focus on new and unique brands. According to Pop Up Grocer, featured brands and products will rotate on a regular basis to create an ongoing sense of discovery for shoppers.

[Read more: "The Strategy Behind Pop Up Grocer"]

Also new for this banner is a foodservice program. The onsite café will serve a rotating selection of baked goods and coffees from entrepreneurial, artisan and local brands. Shoppers at the grand opening can try pastries from Librae Bakery, a woman-owned Bahraini bakery in New York City and coffee drinks from Chamberlin Coffee, founded by YouTube influencer Emma Chamberlin and known for its responsibly made and sustainably packaged products.

As it welcomes NYC shoppers to its perennial physical store, Pop Up Grocer continues to support emerging brands that have defined its approach to food retailing. The company contributes a portion of its total product sales to a special fund that seeks to identify and support brand founders.

Pop Up Grocer was founded by Emily Schildt, who serves as CEO. The business has opened nine short-term locations around the U.S. since Schildt launched the concept in 2019.


Schnucks Sets Opening Date for 2nd Eatwell Market Location

Schnucks’ Donation Helps Mobile Grocery Store to Serve St. Louis Food Deserts

Following the success of its first Eatwell Market by Schnucks location, Schnuck Markets plans to open the second of its concept stores in Chesterfield, Mo., on March 29. The store will emphasize natural and organic foods, community events, and made-to-order options including fresh pastas, pizzas, sandwiches and salads.

“We look forward to introducing St. Louis-area customers to our Eatwell Market, which will bring them a ‘beyond the expected’ shopping experience,” said Schnucks Chairman and CEO Todd Schnuck. “This store will allow us to build on our mission to Nourish People’s Lives by offering shoppers a store where they can stay focused on health and wellness while also discovering new, local items.”

The Eatwell Market outpost will offer store-cut artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, an olive bar and an AI-powered “smart salad bar.” A made-to-order drink area will specialize in single-serve smoothies, coffee, tea, beer and wine.

The first Eatwell Market banner opened in Columbia, Mo., in 2020, and this second store will serve as Schnucks’ 115th location. The store will employ about 75 associates and will offer curbside pickup and delivery via Instacart.

St. Louis-based Schnucks employs 12,000 associates and is No. 64 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company as one of its Outstanding Independents for 2023


Swiftly, Webstop Form Mobile Partnership

Swiftly Image Teaser

Swiftly, a retail technology company that delivers omnichannel tools for enterprise retailers, has joined forces with Webstop, a provider of digital solutions for regional and independent grocers, to provide expanded mobile solutions to Webstop’s client base of more than 2,000 stores. Webstop will use Swiftly’s advanced mobile app platform to bring those clients improved features and functionality to capture their share of the $100 billion retail media market. 

Under the partnership, grocers can meet the expectations of today’s hybrid shoppers by using Webstop’s web-based digital platforms along with Swiftly’s mobile app technologies that deliver a seamless personalized shopping experience while increasing revenue and long-term loyalty both online and in-store.

[Read more: "Alliance Retail Group, Skupos Team With Swiftly to Help Indies Compete With Industry Giants"]

“As the threat of industry consolidation increases, regional retailers must take action now in order to secure their digital customer relationships and establish long-term loyalty and revenue,” said Henry Kim, co-founder and CEO of Seattle-based Swiftly. “Competition for engineering resources and budget remain ongoing challenges for independent grocers. The ability to offer our mobile solutions to Webstop’s customer base will enable retailers to compete with e-commerce giants while boosting shopper engagement and driving margin-rich revenue.” 

“We are excited to partner with Swiftly and help better equip regional grocers with the mobile app tools they need to successfully compete in today’s evolving retail market,” noted Shawn Tuckett, CEO of Palm Harbor, Fla.-based Webstop. “With Swiftly’s powerful mobile platform, our grocers can now leverage their nimbleness to gain a competitive edge while also increasing loyalty, sales and basket size.” 


Apeel Brings Its Produce Protection to Cucumbers

Apeel Topline teaser

Apeel Sciences is venturing into new territory as it works with Topline Farms to roll out Apeel-Protected Mini Cucumbers. The greenhouse-grown produce promises to be fresh and flavorful for up to three days longer than traditional mini cucumbers.

The two companies previously worked together to launch plastic-free English cucumbers, which save the equivalent of nearly three plastic straws per cucumber. Apeel’s edible, plant-based coating extends the shelf-life of fresh fruits and vegetables by keeping moisture in and oxygen out.

[Read more: "Asda Turns to Apeel to Help Reach Its Food Waste Reduction Goals"]

"We are thrilled to partner once again with Apeel Sciences to bring another innovative produce item to the market," said Dino DiLaudo, VP of sales at Ontario, Canada-based Topline Farms. "Their cutting-edge technology is making a real difference in extending the life of fresh produce, and we are proud to be at the forefront of this exciting innovation."

“Giving more time to fresh produce unlocks new opportunities for the entire industry, including new packaging and merchandising techniques that can enhance consumer experience and demand,” said Lou Perez, SVP of innovation at Goleta, Calif.-based Apeel Sciences. “We are already seeing this play out with plastic-free English cucumbers and are excited to see innovative leaders like Topline eager to introduce new technologies to create a more sustainable food system.”

In October, Apeel launched several innovative technology solutions that will allow stakeholders across the entire fresh produce supply chain to instantly determine the ripeness of avocados. The company’s mission is to create a more sustainable global food system, and its new tech aims to help reduce food waste across the supply chain.