News Briefs


New Weis Markets Location Coming to Delaware


Days after Weis Markets reported plans for significant investments in ground-up and revamped stores, a new location was announced in Delaware. The developers of the Village of Bayberry master planned community in Middletown, Del., shared that a Weis Markets store will anchor the area’s town center.

Slated to open in 2025, the 64,000-square-foot supermarket will carry a variety of grocery essentials, fresh foods, prepared offerings and more. The retailer is also expected to operate a fuel station on that site.

“Weis Markets is eager to serve The Village of Bayberry and the surrounding communities in the years ahead. When open, our new Bayberry Town Center store will offer a strong combination of quality, service, convenience and value,” said Dennis Curtin, director of public relations for Weis Markets.

The groundbreaking for the new mixed-use center will take place later this year. "It’s a significant milestone for us here at Bayberry to welcome Weis Markets and kickstart additional leasing activity at the future Bayberry Town Center, the final phase in our multi-year development of The Village of Bayberry master planned community,” declared Jay Sonecha, president of Blenheim Group that is developing Bayberry. "Located in one of Delaware's fastest-growing residential areas, Bayberry Town Center will give local residents a new first-class grocery option, while also providing convenient access to quality goods and services and enjoyable dining and entertainment with family and friends.

Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets operates 197 stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia. The company is No. 61 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named it as a 2023 top regional.


Drive-Thru Grocer JackBe Opens 2nd Location

JackBe Danforth Edmond OK Teaser

Curbside drive-thru grocer JackBe has opened its second location, the second of three locations scheduled to open this year. Located at 2121 West Danforth in Edmond, Okla., the more than 42,000-square-foot site encompasses a 22,000-square-foot store and the new corporate headquarters, which includes such amenities as a test kitchen.  

“We are thrilled to be opening our second location and to expand our mission to introduce a new way to shop, providing high-quality products with fast grocery service, which equates to the ultimate convenience for our customers,” said JackBe CEO Alex Ruhter. “Every industry is subject to disruption, and grocery is no different. After researching the market, we knew that the traditional business model of in-store shopping didn’t fit with convenience-minded, tech-savvy shoppers. What we offer, an app-driven, curbside drive-up grocery model, is resonating.” 

JackBe opened what it said was the country’s first curbside drive-thru grocery in January 2023 at 18001 North May Avenue in Edmond. According to the company, more than 50% of the people who tried JackBe returned to order more groceries. JackBe guarantees no substitutions 100% of the time, and there are no membership fees and no minimum order required. With the ability to serve up to 200 orders per hour, the new location will offer the most frequently purchased products from all of the categories customers need to restock their homes.

A third location is slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2023 in Mustang, Okla. Both Edmond stores are open seven days a week, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. In March, the grocer revealed that it had raised $11.5 million in capital to fast-track the development and expansion of its business.


Save A Lot Debuts New Value-Focused Marketing Campaign

Shop the Dot

Save A Lot is pinpointing deals for its customers in a new, direct way. The discount retailer announced it is launching a new “Shop the Dot” program designed to steer shoppers to deeper savings.

Rolling out this week, the marketing campaign includes in-store, print and digital signage and ads that highlight regular price drops and other deals. The savings will be spotlighted in weekly circulars at and in communications through the retailer's direct email program.

[Read more: "Save A Lot Releases 1st ESG Report"]

Shoppers can look for the “Lot Dot,” a visual cue based on the retailer’s logo. The dot identifies savings on key items that will be discounted from 30 to 90 days. The campaign also includes new digital ads on streaming TV and social media platforms.

“So many customers today are shopping with a limited budget. We wanted to find a fun, engaging way to help them see how they can stretch each dollar even further,” explained Mark Kotcher, SVP of field sales and marketing. “The Lot Dot is full of Save A Lot personality. Most importantly, it highlights how we’re working hard to keep great deals coming, especially as high inflation continues to challenge families.”

Save A Lot has 842 stores in 32 states. The St. Ann, Mo.-based company is No. 60 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America


Walmart International Names VP Sourcing - Fresh

Walmart International Laura Himes Teaser

Walmart Inc. has appointed Laura Himes, previously its senior director for produce merchandising, to the position of VP sourcing – fresh for the company’s Walmart International division.

Himes joined Walmart in 2013 to head up produce merchandising and sustainability efforts in regard to packaging, pollinators, vertical farming, blockchain implementation and ethical treatment of farm workers. She has more than three decades of experience in the produce industry in all areas, from farm to fork.

[Read more: "Walmart’s New Manager Academy Offers Leadership, Culture Training"]

“It is a huge honor to be appointed VP sourcing – fresh and to extend my work in implementing Walmart’s sourcing strategies around resilience, trust and value,” said Himes. “Walmart is on a journey to become a regenerative company, and where and how we source matters to our business, our customers and our communities. I’m thrilled to lead this work.”

Before her time at Walmart, Himes worked at Dole/SunnyRidge Farms as farm operations manager/R&D. She was also Driscoll’s managing director of Portugal operations and held various roles at Chiquita, where she began her career.

Himes is also chair of the board and a member of the executive committee for the Washington, D.C.-based International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA), and she chairs the organization’s diversity and inclusion committee.

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. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. 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.


Consumer Brands Association Names EVP of Industry Engagement

Genna Gent Teaser

The Consumer Brands Association (CBA) has appointed Genna Gent as its EVP of industry engagement. In this position, she will engineer products, sales and business growth and oversee the areas of membership, industry solutions and meetings and events.

Gent joins the Arlington, Va.-based CBA (formerly the Grocery Manufacturers Association) from the Chicago-headquartered McDonald’s Corp. At the quick-service restaurant giant, she led the public policy and government affairs function, where she successfully impacted important legislation and shaped the company’s COVID-related government relations strategy, among other accomplishments. She also headed up government affairs for the American Beverage Association and served as deputy chief of staff for former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granhom.

[Read more: "Consumer Brands Association Names New COO"]

“This is such an important hire at such an important time for the association and I could not be more pleased to be welcoming Genna to the team,” said David Chavern, CBA’s president and CEO. “Genna brings exceptional experience as a strategic leader spanning government, association and corporate sectors. Serving in this critical role, I’m confident Genna will continue to strengthen Consumer Brands’ position as the leading voice for the consumer products industry and expand the value proposition of the association.”

Gent said she is grateful for the opportunity to work with brands and consumers in this new capacity.  “I look forward to working with the talented team to continue to build on the incredible progress to expand membership and serve our members through first-class engagement and networking opportunities and advocacy work,” she remarked.


Stew Leonard’s Founder Dead at 93

Stew Leonard Sr. Headshot Teaser

Stew Leonard Sr., founder of the Stew Leonard’s grocery store chain has died at the age of 93, according to a notice on the Stew Leonard’s website. A resident of Westport, Conn., Leonard passed away on April 26 at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital following a brief illness.

Born in Norwalk, Conn., in 1929, Leonard started out working for his family’s dairy business, but by the late 1960s, he had decided to open a retail dairy store where kids could watch milk being bottled while parents shopped in a farmer’s market atmosphere. In December 1969, the first Stew Leonard’s location made its debut, a 17,000 square-foot-store carrying just eight items. 

[Read more: "Stew Leonard’s Names Jake Tavello COO"]

Today, Stew Leonard’s is a $600 million family-owned and -operated business with seven stores and more than 2,500 employees. The company is currently run by Stew’s son, Stew Leonard Jr., with help from his siblings. Five of Leonard’s grandchildren have also joined the business, including COO Jake Tavello. One of Leonard’s favorite pastimes throughout his life was to stand at a Stew Leonard’s store entrance to greet customers, often by name. He was also a noted philanthropist.

In 1993, Leonard was sentenced to 52 months in federal prison for tax evasion, an experience he later addressed in his 2009 memoir.

According to the family, the memorial service and burial will be private, with a celebration of life to take place at a later date. Donations in Leonard’s memory may be made to the Stew Leonard III Water Safety Foundation, an organization founded after the drowning death of his grandson in 1989, which helps to fund swimming lessons for children. Cards to the family can be sent to 100 Westport Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851.

In addition to his wife of 70 years, Marianne Guthman Leonard, and their four children, Leonard’s survivors include 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.