Industry News
Specialty Retail
Top stories summarized by our editors
9/24/2020

Two locations across the country from each other -- near Seattle and outside Washington, D.C. -- could be among the latest sites for Amazon Fresh brick-and-mortar grocery stores. Amazon hasn't confirmed anything, but reports say a former Safeway site in Bellevue, Wash., is being revamped in signature Amazon architecture; while in Gaithersburg, Md., it appears the retailer will "soon" be taking over a 31,000-square-foot location that formerly housed an Office Depot.

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Safeway
9/24/2020

Walmart's multibillion-dollar investment in TikTok could give the retailer direct access to customers who use the app to watch and create videos, a move some industry experts say could ultimately "redefine retail," Michael Corkery writes. He notes that Walmart, which in recent weeks has rolled out the Walmart+ subscription service, shuffled its management structure and launched three separate drone delivery pilot programs, could also leverage TikTok to "embed advertisements in the user-generated videos with links to the Walmart website."

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Walmart, Michael Corkery, TikTok
9/24/2020

Two decades of growth have vaulted J.M. Smucker from a well-known jam and jelly maker into a $7 billion CPG company with a portfolio that includes coffee, pet products and snacks. Now, the Ohio-based
firm is rolling out a rebrand with a new logo and revamped brand identity system, which President and CEO Mark Smucker says will boost its "category expertise with customers and suppliers and create greater awareness of the value we bring to our partners."

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Progressive Grocer
9/24/2020

Giant Eagle will deploy Radius Networks' FlyBuy Pickup technology to improve the quality and speed of its contactless curbside pickup service. The machine-learning technology will be embedded in the Giant Eagle mobile app, helping to predict curbside customers' arrival and allowing employees to prioritize orders and reduce wait times, among other benefits.

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Radius Networks
9/24/2020

The nonprofit Coalition for App Fairness has united a number of companies, including Spotify, Epic Games, Basecamp and Blix, in a battle against Apple over its App Store fees and related issues. The group hopes to bring in more members and is pushing for legal changes that would "create a level playing field for app businesses and give people freedom of choice on their devices."

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CNBC, The Verge
9/24/2020

Although the ongoing pandemic has put Halloween celebrations into question, it hasn't stopped Americans from loading up on Halloween candy. A new report from IRI and the National Confectioners Association shows sales up 13% year over year for the month ending Sept. 6, with chocolate recording a sales jump of 25%, spurred in part by early Halloween displays put up at many grocers.

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The Associated Press
9/24/2020

Whether it's serving vegetables grown at home or finding just-right ingredients at the local grocer, eating together with family has benefits that go beyond healthy diets. The FMI Foundation's National Family Meals Month showcases the advantages of gathering around the table no matter what's being served because, as Hy-Vee dietitian Melissa Vondrak says, "[t]here's just something about that, that can't be replaced."

9/24/2020

Among the key goals of the FMI Foundation's National Family Meals Month is to showcase the healthy habits and other benefits that manifest when families sit down and eat together at least three times a week, an objective backed by research. "The studies have shown that we eat better when we eat together, we have better communication and better relationships as a family unit," said Albertsons dietitian Molly Tevis.

9/24/2020

To make sustainable products easier for shoppers to find, Amazon is rolling out a new "Climate Pledge Friendly" label for 25,000 grocery, household, fashion, beauty and personal electronics items that meet designated sustainability standards. Amazon is also introducing "Compact by Design" to identify products using packaging designs that allow for more efficient shipping.

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Progressive Grocer
9/24/2020

Autocam Precision Components Group and other manufacturers have shared best practices for operating safely during the pandemic, such as daily temperature checks, social distancing and encouraging the use of sick days. Since the pandemic began, "employees and employers understand the risks associated with people coming in with a fever, a cold, or a cough," says training leader Steve Heethuis.

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Rapid Growth