Walmart is making more of its workforce full time and said 66% of its US store hourly jobs will be full time, up from 53% five years ago, by Jan. 31. The move is in response to improved worker retention as well as the lower need for staffing at odd hours due to higher at-home deliveries.
Kroger and UK-based Ocado have opened the first of up to 20 fully automated fulfillment centers, which use artificial intelligence, robots with totes and a proprietary control system to pick and pack deliveries. "This could not come at a better time and is really helping us accelerate the growth and capture all of that growing demand from our customers," said Kroger's Yael Cosset.
With a goal of opening 1,050 stores this year, Dollar General announced it will hire 20,000 workers during spring, including store clerks, warehouse workers and truck drivers. Dollar General plans to double its store count of more than 17,000 stores.
Food Lion has received the 2021 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award from the EPA and Department of Energy, the only US company to earn the recognition for 20 consecutive years. The N.C.-based grocer uses LED lighting in half of its 900 stores, and two its stores are GreenChill-certified for reduced refrigerant emissions.
British Columbia-based alternative meat company Very Good Food is moving into US territory via grocery distributor Green Spoon. Very Good Food's products, such as jackfruit steaks and adzuki bean pepperoni sticks, are available in 150 stores in Canada but previously were only available online in the US.
Shoprite will sell its operations in Nigeria to property group Persianas as part of the supermarket operator's decision to divest its business in markets outside of South Africa, sources said. Shoprite, which operates upwards of 2,300 stores across the African continent, is reportedly awaiting regulatory approval for the deal.
Twitter is launching a machine learning study to understand how its algorithms may be unintentionally affecting gender, racial and political issues. The company says it will use those findings to change or remove aspects of its algorithms.
Factory production rose 2.7% last month after declining by 3.7% in February, while overall industrial production also reversed a February decline, according to the Federal Reserve. Manufacturing capacity utilization for the month was 73.8%, up 1.9 points.
Companies that grant privileged access to suppliers, contractors and partners risk unauthorized disclosures, leaking confidential information and danger to physical assets, writes Peter Fretty. "Manufacturers need a mindset of zero trust unless it's consistently proven that they should be trusted," says David Pignolet, CEO of SecZetta.
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