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News Briefs

03/25/2022

Meijer Sets Opening Date for New Northeast Ohio Supercenters

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Meijer Exterior Image Teaser

Meijer will open two new supercenters in northeast Ohio on April 28, in the cities of Brunswick and Canton.

“It’s extremely exciting to continue expanding our presence in northeast Ohio,” said Tom Wilson, Meijer regional VP. “Over the last two years, our store teams have helped families meet unprecedented challenges by providing fresh grocery options and supporting their pharmacy needs. Now we’re gearing up to bring our one-stop shopping experience to new communities in Brunswick and Canton.”

According to Wilson, the locations will offer grocery, fresh produce, bakery, meat, and deli, along with a floral area and garden center. Other departments will include pharmacy, pets, electronics, toys, sports and apparel. Further, Meijer Express gas stations adjacent to both stores will open on March 31.

Since opening its first Ohio store in the Columbus area in 1981, Meijer has invested heavily in the state, most recently building seven supercenters in the greater Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown areas. In December 2021, the retailer broke ground on a new grocery market as part of the Fairfax Market mixed-use project in partnership with the city of Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic, Fairfax Renaissance Development Corp. and Fairmount Properties. Meijer also operates a distribution center and dairy-processing Facility in Tipp City, employing more than 12,000 associates statewide.

Job openings for the new Meijer supercenters include full- and part-time hourly positions across a wide array of skill sets. Interested candidates can apply online.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer operates 258 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 18 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food retailers in North America

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03/25/2022

Software Company Adds Split Cart, Curbside Functionality

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Speed and Efficiency With Curbside Pickup

Third-party software provider Delivery Solutions has introduced split cart and curbside kit technology that will allow grocers to offer more flexibility and an elevated experience for their e-commerce customers.

The newly introduced split cart functionality, which is available to Delivery Solutions platform enterprises, lets retailers make both distribution center and store inventory available to customers in a single cart experience. The curbside kit, meanwhile, gives accurate, live-proximity shopper location and time of arrival updates while negating the need for customers to check-in via call or text.

“In the last two years, the consumer experience has shifted dramatically, and it is our responsibility as leaders in delivery technology to evolve and shift with customer expectations,” said Arshaad Mirza, co-founder of Delivery Solutions. “We want to provide the best experience possible for both our retailers in store operations and their customers, and we are excited to introduce our split cart and curbside kit technologies as a continuing innovation and an integral new component of the Delivery Solutions experience.”

The Texas-based company provides an extensive last-mile ecosystem and solutions for same-day delivery, curbside, in-store pickup, shipping, lockers, autonomous, drones and enhanced post-purchase notifications.

03/24/2022

Balls Food Stores Makes Managerial Changes

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Price Chopper Teaser

David Ball, the chairman, CEO and president of Balls Food Stores, has revealed the promotions of five employees as the independent grocer plans to mark 100 years in business. The employees are Scott Bayne, Gregg Frost, Mike Sullivan, Bob Pearson and Pat Rogers.

Bayne is a food industry veteran with more than 44 years of experience and has been with Balls for eight years, most recently as VP of sales and marketing. Now he has been promoted to COO.

Frost has been with Balls for more than 45 years in a number of company roles, including VP of human resources and VP of Hen House Markets. With this promotion, he can now add chief teammate officer to the list of roles that he has held within the company.

Sullivan, part of Balls Food Stores for more than 30 years, is now VP of Price Chopper operations.

Pearson, who has been with the company for 29 years and managed multiple stores, is now VP of Hen House, Sunfresh and Payless operations.

Rogers, who has been with the company for 18-plus years and was previously Hen House markets delicatessen specialist, has been promoted to Balls Food delicatessen director.

Kansas City, Kan.-based Ball’s Food Stores operates 26 supermarkets under the Hen House Market, Price Chopper, Sun Fresh and Payless Discount Foods banners in Kansas City and surrounding markets. Balls Food Stores has served Kansas City and its surrounding areas for nearly a century. The independent grocer will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023. In 2021 and 2022, Balls Food Stores was chosen as one of Progressive Grocer’s Outstanding Independents

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03/24/2022

Shoppers Express Support for Sanctions, Relief Efforts in Ukraine

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Shoppers Express Support for Sanctions, Relief Efforts in Ukraine

It may be almost 6,000 miles away, but Ukraine is on the minds of U.S. shoppers. While they continue to navigate early-2020’s crises of the pandemic, supply and labor shortages and inflation, American shoppers are expressing support for measures to assist the Ukrainian people.

According to a survey by public relations firm 5WPR, three in four consumers here are in favor of sanctions imposed against Russia, even coming at a time of already-high inflation. The survey found that 70% of shoppers are willing to “further complicate” their shopping by boycotting products that are produced in or imported from Russia.

Respondents also indicated a willingness to align with companies that share their values, as 71% said that a brand’s decision to cut ties with Russia enhanced their perception of that brand. Actions are important to them, with almost half of polled shoppers reporting that donating to relief efforts in Ukraine is the most meaningful step that brands can undertake right now.

"As many consumers are finding their money is not going as far at the pump and the grocery store, their decision to prioritize personal values over price speaks volumes," said Dara Busch, co-CEO of 5WPR. "Our survey found 77% of consumers surveyed are more inclined right now to support Ukrainian brands and businesses with their purchases. Consumers are looking to make a difference where they can, and are looking at brands to provide that opportunity."

The survey was conducted among more than 2,000 consumers over the age of 18 between March 7 and March 22.

03/24/2022

Investors Target Grocery-Anchored Shopping Centers in Key Growth Areas

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Investors Target Grocery-Anchored Shopping Centers in Key Growth Areas

ShopOne Centers REIT Inc., a U.S. grocery-anchored shopping center investment, management and operating platform, along with global private-markets investment manager Pantheon and a global institutional investor, have formed a joint venture to acquire institutional-quality shopping centers based in key growth markets across the United States.

The partnership will target necessity-based, value-oriented grocery-anchored centers, primarily located in high-population areas. ShopOne has contributed an existing portfolio consistent with the partnership’s target investment criteria, with the partners each investing additional capital to create investment capacity totaling more than $1 billion. ShopOne will oversee the management and leasing efforts of all properties within the partnership’s portfolio.

“We are very excited to form this partnership with two highly experienced institutional partners that possess deep relationships within the investment community,” said John Roche, CEO of New York-based ShopOne. “Like us, they are bullish on the near- and long-term fundamentals of grocery-anchored shopping centers and the attractive risk-adjusted returns these assets can generate. By combining forces, we have the capital and platform to strategically add scale in the markets we target and unlock value for the communities we serve.”

David Elliott, managing director of New York-based Pantheon’s real estate group, added: “Grocery-anchored shopping centers have proven their resilience throughout the pandemic, playing a vital role in their local neighborhoods and communities. We’re delighted to work closely with the entire ShopOne team to execute a strategy focused on investing in and improving necessity-based centers in growth markets throughout the U.S.”

The joint venture will also consider necessity-based and value-oriented grocery-anchored neighborhood and community shopping centers in select college towns or established tourist destinations that the partners believe will benefit from ShopOne’s operating platform.

03/24/2022

SpartanNash Military Contract Extended For 3 Years

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SpartanNash Driving Supply Chain and Sustainability Improvements

SpartanNash will continue providing its private label goods to U.S. Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) facilities worldwide through at least Dec. 2025, thanks to a contract extension with the military commissary organization.

The food solutions company’s military division has had a contract with DeCA since 2016, and provides products spanning grocery categories, including dairy, poultry, seafood, pet, baby, home goods and health and beauty care. SpartanNash will also continue delivering DeCA private brands to all commissaries via the SpartanNash Military distribution network and SpartanNash’s West Coast partner Coastal Pacific Food Distributors.

“We are proud and grateful that DeCA has entrusted SpartanNash with a three-year contract extension as we work to strengthen our partnership in service of America’s military heroes and their families,” said SpartanNash Chief Customer Officer David Sisk. “SpartanNash’s mission is to deliver the ingredients for a better life, and our global supply chain network enables us to bring that taste of home to those who are serving our country away from theirs.”

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. 39 on The PG 100,Progressive Grocer’s 2021 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, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Djibouti. SpartanNash also operates 146 supermarkets and employs 19,000 associates.