In an advertorial published on April 28 in the Des Moines Register, Hy-Vee has revealed that it intends to let go up to 500 professionals from its corporate offices.
The Midwest grocer cited such economic issues as supply chain challenges, ongoing inflation, and direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees in its pharmacies pushing it to make this dramatic move.
Hy-Vee will ask those laid off from their corporate positions to make a transition to work at its retail stores, even providing incentives and moving bonuses to entice office workers to relocate.
“With unemployment at record low in almost every state we do business, our No. 1 priority is helping our stores find the staffing we need,” said Hy-Vee Vice Chairman and President of Subsidiaries and Supply Chain Aaron Wiese.
This isn’t the only move that Hy-Vee is making to be as lean as possible. According to the advertorial, the grocer is is pausing several projects, including its new warehouse in Cummings, Iowa, due to high construction costs.
In retail, Hy-Vee debuted a new reimagined store format in September 2021 in Grimes, Iowa, touting such features as new dining experiences, expanded departments and digital shopping. It has since opened the same format in other locations in its operating region. Hy-Vee also recently said that it would be entering new market areas in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Lunds & Byerlysis outsourcing its deliveries. In an effort to expand its capabilities and reach, the Edina, Minn.-based grocer is replacing its in-house deliveries with service by third-party Shipt.
A division of Target Corp. – also based in Minnesota and a fellow retailer – Shipt will take over deliveries of Lunds & Byerlys groceries beginning May 10, with a full changeover expected by June 7. While delivery services are changing, shoppers can still place orders through Lunds & Byerlys website and app, as well as through third-party platforms Shipt and Instacart.
In an email to its customers, the grocer said that its former delivery drivers "will be provided the opportunity to work in other roles at Lunds & Byerlys or continue to be a driver by joining the Shipt team."
According to a report in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the move allows Lunds & Byerlys to reduce delivery times to as little as one hour and to fulfill products from 18 stores instead of the current six locations. In addition to the change in delivery, Lunds & Byerlys is also tweaking its customer service by adding new shelf-scanning technologies to its locations.
Meijer is expanding its apparel offerings, adding private label intimates and sleepwear. The new Tranquil & True line is designed to fit a greater cross-section of women and is part of the retailers’ overarching efforts to carry products that best reflect the diverse audience it serves.
Items within the line range from size S to 3X. Bras are available up to a 42-band size and DDD cup.
“Confidence is at the core of the new Meijer Tranquil & True brand,” said Annette Repasch, group VP of Softlines at Meijer. “We know that finding intimate apparel that fits well, is comfortable and reflects a woman’s inner style is not always easy so that’s why we designed Tranquil & True. We think that all women, whatever their size or shape, will find pieces they feel effortlessly great in.”
The addition aligns with Meijer’s approach to fashion inclusion. The retailer launched a "Confidence Beyond Measure" campaign in 2020 spotlighting models across size, shape, race and ability. In 2016, Meijer was the first major retailer to remove its plus-size department for women and stock clothing from size XS to 3X on the same rack for the same price.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer operates more than 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.
Latino-owned supermarket chain Vallarta Supermarkets celebrated the grand opening of its newest location, in Van Nuys, Calif., on April 27. The new store, Vallarta’s 53rd, is located at 16040 Sherman Way, not far from where the very first Vallarta location opened more than 30 years ago.
To mark the occasion, representatives from Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office and other officials joined Vallarta’s executive team for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The location offered a free bag of groceries to the first 300 customers, along with free samples, a photo booth, mariachi music, ballet folklorico dancers, and a performance by the Van Nuys High School marching band. Vallarta also donated a total of $5,000 to local schools.
Additionally, just a few miles away on the same day, Vallarta officially reopened its newly remodeled store at 9136 Sepulveda Boulevard, in North Hills, Calif., celebrating that event with giveaways, raffles and live entertainment.
Vallarta’s newest location will offer a wide variety of food products and services including La Cocina, its authentic in-store Mexican taqueria and kitchen; fresh sushi prepared in-house daily; a full-service Carniceria (meat department); a Panaderia (bakery); a Tortilleria producing freshly made tortillas and masa; a produce department; and a Cremeria (deli) where customers will be able to find a wide selection of fresh Latin-style cheeses, cremas, store-prepared chorizos, salsas, guacamole and pico de gallo; an in-store juice bar, La Isla, serving made-to-order fruit juices, including agua frescas, as well as ice creams; a full-service floral department; and an expanded liquor/wine selection.
Further, through the Vallarta Go delivery service, customers can shop from home and have their groceries and prepared foods delivered to their homes or made available for pickup.
Founded in 1985, Sylmar, Calif.-based Vallarta is a full-service independent grocery chain with 53 locations throughout California.
The Kroger Co. is springing into hiring mode, readying a nationwide hybrid recruitment event on April 30. This is the latest in such HR efforts, following a successful blitz last fall.
The retailer is seeking to fill more than 23,000 roles across several functions, including retail, e-commerce, manufacturing supply chain, merchandising, logistics, pharmacy, healthcare and corporate. Virtual interviews will be held between 1 and 5 p.m. EDT and in-person interviews will take place between 1 and 5 p.m. local time at store locations.
As part of its effort to attract and retain a robust workforce, Kroger is touting its wages and benefits. The company’s average hourly wage is now $17, valued at $22 with benefits rolled into the package. Benefits span health and wellness, continuing education support, innovative training programs, flexible scheduling and discounts on groceries, electronics, streaming services, among other perks.
Kroger continues to turn in strong performances as an organization. Same-store sales rose 4% during the fourth fiscal quarter ending in late January, and total company revenue topped $137.9 billion in fiscal 2021.
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. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.
Nearly 121,000 pounds of ground beef have been recalled by supplier Lakeside Refrigerated Services, a Swedesboro, N.J.-based division of Thomas Foods International USA. The recall was prompted by concerns that batches may have been tainted by the E. coli O103 pathogen; to date, there have been no reports of consumer illnesses or hospitalizations.
After a routine test of samples, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) discovered the contamination and subsequently announced a recall. With packages marked “EST. 45841,” the affected ground beef items were produced between Feb. 1 and April 8 and distributed to customers around the country. A full list of products is posted online.