Amazon is seeking larger retail spaces for its Whole Foods Market locations in an effort to create more urban distribution centers and expand its delivery operations, according to sources. The company is also looking to convert parking spaces at existing locations into loading stalls for delivery contractors, sources said.
Kroger has established Sunshine Technologies, an offshoot designed to share the supermarket's technology with other retailers, company executive Annette Franke shared at this week's Shoptalk conference in Las Vegas. Among the innovations it will make available are a remote temperature-sensing system, an employee management system and an interactive shelf edge system.
Walmart considers its in-store pickup towers to be a success and is expanding the project to up to 650 stores by the end of the year, a Walmart executive said. Customers had positive feedback on the towers, which hold online orders until a customer comes to retrieve them.
Customer loyalty programs have gone digital but remain vital to bringing shoppers into stores, according to Cheryl Williams, chief information officer at Wakefern Foods. At Wakefern's co-op grocers, 97% of all purchases are made by a member of its loyalty programs.
Snapchat has unveiled three location tools to assist marketing efforts -- Location Categories, Radius Targeting and Foot Traffic Insights, which is in beta. Location Categories targets users based on the type of place they visit, Radius Targeting pushes promotions to users near a particular location, and Foot Traffic Insights provides more accurate information on customers who have visited a brand's store.
Conagra Brands is reporting gains in revenue and shelf space amid a modernization effort for legacy brands like Reddi-wip and Healthy Choice, said CEO Sean Connolly. The company is now turning its attention toward enhancing sales in its dry grocery category, which includes products like Chef Boyardee and Rotel, Connolly said.
General Mills will create a new pet division when it closes its acquisition of Blue Buffalo Pet Products, which is expected before the end of May, said General Mills CEO Jeffrey Harmening. Current Blue Buffalo CEO William W. Bishop Jr. will lead the pet unit, Harmening said.
PepsiCo commemorated World Water Day this week by expanding its conservation efforts at the Colorado River system as part of a partnership with The Nature Conservancy. The two firms have also joined forces for projects in Utah and Texas.
Kit Kats are a platform for flavor experimentation in Japan, where over 350 flavors have been sold. Kit Kats have benefited from Japan's gift-giving culture, as the name of the treat itself translates to "You will surely win."
Chocolate or candy will be featured in over 90% of Easter baskets, while 90% of parents plan to use the occasion to discuss the importance of balance when it comes to confectionery consumption, according to an NCA survey. "This Easter, we will continue our work to help consumers manage their sugar intake and ensure that they feel empowered to make informed choices," said NCA President and CEO John Downs.
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