White-label e-commerce platform eGrowcery is helping retailers own their digital future with its latest option. BOLT (Build, Operate, Lease, Transfer) offers retailers the opportunity to purchase their entire e-commerce ecosystem in the future as they operate and grow their technology in the short term.
“We have heard from numerous retailers that they are making significant investments in their e-commerce technology over the next several years,” noted Patrick Hughes, CEO of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based eGrowcery. “While many retailers still prefer traditional SaaS [Software-as-a-Service] pricing models, others are interested in building or buying their own platform. We have listened to the market and created a faster path for those retailers seeking to save time and money buying versus building their technology in-house.”
“We work with retailers of all sizes and varying strategies,” said Mark Doiron, an industry consultant at Boston-based Supply Chain Ventures and onetime chief merchant with several major supermarket operators. “There is clear interest with many retailers to explore the possibility of owning their own e-commerce platform. Not all will be able to leverage this opportunity, but there is a growing trend of retailers wanting to fully control this growing part of the business.”
In the eGrowery BOLT model, a retailer enters into a classic SaaS agreement that enables personalization and scalability for a retailer for some mutually-agreed-to period. At the end of this mutually defined period, the retailer has the option of migrating its e-commerce platform over to its own servers, from which it can then control product development and other initiatives going forward.
The Kroger Co. is getting a new leader of retail operations strategy. The grocer reported the promotion of Jordan Poff to VP of retail and e-commerce operations from his most recent role as senior director of e-commerce operations and experience.
Poff – who won a GenNext Award from Progressive Grocer in 2018 – will spearhead retail operations strategies for the grocer at a time of expansion, change and a planned merger. He will also work to improve store experiences through a culture of consistency, service excellence and innovation.
He started at Kroger in 2005 as a courtesy clerk at Kroger’s Cincinnati/Dayton division, near the company headquarters. During his 15-year tenure in that division, Poff continually took on new responsibilities and moved up the ranks. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, he helped launch Kroger’s first grocery pickup center.
Poff earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Northern Kentucky University and is a black belt in Lean Six Sigma.
Brookshire Grocery Co. has chosen NCR point-of-sale (POS) offerings as the foundation of its in-store technology, starting with NCR Emerald, a cloud-native POS solution. The NCR Commerce Platform (NCP) provides robust integrated capabilities across the grocer’s physical infrastructure, unifying technology to operate the store and merging existing and future retail applications quickly and efficiently.
“BGC places a priority on customer service, and we’re looking for ways to leverage technology to improve the experience for our customers,” noted Shawn Sedate, CIO of Brookshire Grocery. “Now that we’re live in our first store, we plan to start rolling out NCR’s solutions to our 206 locations. By simplifying and standardizing our store infrastructure, we’ll have more time to focus on customer needs and create offers that keep shoppers coming back.”
“BGC has always had the right approach to upgrading and deploying next-generation applications with speed. It simply needed the right technology to support these efforts,” said David Wilkinson, president of NCR Commerce. “From POS to self-checkout, or loyalty to payments, changes that took long periods of time to build, test and roll out across large store estates can now be achieved much quicker with the NCP.”
Hy-Vee Healthy You, a new health-and-wellness subscription service designed by Hy-Vee dietitians to help people adopt healthier lifestyles via personalized nutrition counseling, preventive health screenings and other services, is now available across the retailer’s eight-state region to consumers age 18 and older.
• Two 30-minute appointments per month with a Hy-Vee dietitian to discuss strategies to achieve subscribers’ health-and-wellness goals.
• Unlimited access to 40-plus Short & Sweat fitness videos.
• On-demand Freezer Meal Workshops.
• Wellness classes on trending nutrition topics, as well as product recommendations and recipes.
• Nutrition programs such as Healthy Habits Menus, Balancing Your Blood Sugar and Weight Management.
• Free registrations for wellness challenges.
• A Hy-Vee dietitian private chat portal.
• Two free health screenings annually at participating locations.
As well as this new service and its team of registered dietitians, Hy-Vee offers more than 190 in-store HealthMarket departments featuring organic and specialty items like gluten-free, dairy-free and plant-based products to support specific lifestyles, and an e-commerce site, WholeLotta Good, providing dietitian-approved food, vitamins, supplements, fitness equipment and household products shipped directly to customers.
Employee-owned Hy-Vee operates more than 285 retail stores across eight Midwestern states, with sales of more than $13 billion annually. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company has a team of more than 80,000 employees and is No. 30 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named Hy-Vee as a 2023 Top Regional.
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.
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.