Amazon's Fresh grocery delivery service has captured a large segment of the market, but new challenges are being mounted as grocers see growing demand for quick and easy online shopping and delivery alternatives. Most recently, Uber announced it would start a grocery delivery service, and Walmart is reportedly ready to debut a subscription program aimed at competing with Amazon Prime.
Following a strong Father's Day weekend performance, fresh perimeter sales fell back a bit for the week that ended June 28, notching a year-over-year gain of 8.2%, data from 210 Analytics and IRI showed. The decline was anticipated, but experts say sales figures from the July Fourth weekend are expected to "be big."
SEG Gives Foundation, the charitable arm of Southeastern Grocers, has created a new grant program aimed at helping local nonprofits address racial issues that affect food security and health care. Through Sept. 8, groups in the grocer's seven-state market can apply for grants between $5,000 and $25,000, with the awards being announced in December.
Food industry-specific legislation is likely to focus on government funding, as well as recovery and relief from pandemic-related issues, says Jennifer Hatcher, FMI's chief policy officer. "As Congress discusses potential longer-term solutions to police reform, lawmakers are expected to compile an additional economic relief package to mitigate the fallout of the ongoing health crisis, which will focus on both recovery and relief solutions," she says.
WhatsApp has added a QR feature that allows customers to scan codes and send direct messages to businesses, rather than having to manually add businesses to contact lists. The messaging platform has also made it possible for businesses to share catalogs of products and services via links.
Customer satisfaction with property and casualty insurers rose nine points, according to a J.D. Power study conducted last month, driven in part by investments into digital technology. "Even before the pandemic, P&C insurers were investing heavily in digital to capture the growing legions of customers and prospects who are experiencing their brands largely via web and mobile," says Tom Super from J.D. Power in a statement.
According to a J.D. Power survey, financial advisor firms should focus on technology to improve the customer experience. "They have to both bring in more cutting edge tools that use [artificial intelligence] and big data to help make advisors more productive, but also ensure the core technologies like financial planning are robust and that all of it is integrated into a platform that's easy to use and reliable," says J.D. Power's Mike Foy.
Utilities across the country could benefit from moving to a subscription model of payment, such as the model used for Netflix. "New energy service subscription concepts can stabilize the bill, increase clean resources, and lower electricity costs for all customers," says Lon Huber, vice president for rate design and strategic solutions at Duke Energy.
Designetics, a maker of windshield coating systems, has designed protective barriers for art galleries, hospitals and other clients -- just one example of how manufacturers have retained or regained jobs lost at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Stateline estimates the manufacturing sector added 700,000 jobs in the past two months.
Stanley Black & Decker's Stanley Healthcare unit has been using remote ways of customer service to help health care facilities and other organizations during the pandemic, says President Troy Dayon. Contact tracing and contact-free door solutions are two areas of focus for the Stanley division, he says.