News Briefs

  • 8/2/2022

    Kroger Delivery Expands

    grocery tech

    The Kroger Co. is expanding Kroger Delivery into the Greater Louisville area. 

    The grocer has opened a new spoke location in Louisville, Kentucky. The 50,000 square-foot facility will collaborate with the Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in Monroe, Ohio, and will serve as a last-mile cross-dock location that expands Kroger Delivery's ability to serve more customers in the Greater Louisville area.

    "Kroger Delivery is part of our rapidly expanding seamless ecosystem that provides customers with fresh and quality products – anytime and anywhere," said Bill Bennett, Kroger vice president and head of e-commerce. "We are thrilled to expand Kroger's offerings to more Louisville customers with a truly differentiated customer experience. Local Kentucky residents can use or the Kroger app to check the weekly circular, select personalized digital coupons, search products by dietary preference and ultimately place their order. Customers will enjoy receiving their orders directly from our refrigerated trucks and delivered by trained Kroger uniformed associates, giving customers an unparalleled first-class delivery experience."

    The spoke facility will employ up to 161 full-time associates. Also, as part of Kroger's commitment to end hunger and eliminate waste through its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social environmental impact plan, the site will use recyclable bags and is working to partner with local food banks.

    Local shoppers also have access to the newly launched Boost by Kroger annual membership program. For either $59 or $99 per year, Boost provides customers with benefits like unlimited free delivery on orders of $35 or more and two Fuel Points for every $1 spent on groceries and general merchandise purchases through Delivery, Pickup and in-stores. Kroger estimates the membership can save customers more than $1,000 per year on fuel and grocery delivery.

    "Louisville has long been a driver of innovation in the logistics and in the food and beverage industries, and as such, Louisville is uniquely poised to fuel the workforce and innovation demands necessary to drive these industries into the future," said Mayor Greg Fischer. "I am excited to join our partners at Kroger to celebrate this new dynamic facility that will drive high-quality customer service."

    Kroger Delivery Explained
    The expansion in Louisville represents an extension of a partnership between Kroger and Ocado. In 2018, the companies announced a collaboration to establish a delivery network that combines artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, and automation.

    The delivery network relies on highly automated fulfillment centers. At the hub sites, more than 1,000 bots move around giant 3D grids, orchestrated by proprietary control systems. The grid, known as The Hive, contains totes with products and ready-to-deliver customer orders. As customers' orders near delivery times, bots retrieve products from The Hive and present them at pick stations for items to be sorted for delivery, a process governed by algorithms that ensures items are intelligently packed. For example, fragile items are placed on top, bags are evenly weighted, and each order is optimized to fit into the lowest number of bags, reducing plastic use. Bags are also recyclable, reflecting Kroger's commitment to its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment to rid its communities of hunger and waste.

    Kroger's end-to-end cold solutions keep groceries fresh once loaded into customized refrigerated delivery van, which can store up to 20 orders. Powerful machine learning algorithms optimize delivery routes, considering factors such as road conditions and optimal fuel efficiency. Vans may travel up to 90 miles with orders from the hub and spoke facilities to make deliveries. Associates at the spoke facility will deliver orders within their service area, adding ZIP codes as demand grows.

    Kroger currently operates customer fulfillment centers in Monroe, OH, Groveland, FL, Forest Park, GA (Atlanta), Pleasant Prairie, WI, Dallas, TX and Romulus, MI (Detroit), with additional customer fulfillment centers slated for California, Frederick, MD, Phoenix, AZ, Cleveland, OH, Charlotte, NC, Aurora, CO (Denver), as well as South Florida and the Northeast.

  • 7/31/2022

    Walmart Makes Refurbished Shopping Simpler


    Walmart is making it easier for shoppers to purchase refurbished items.

    Its new program, dubbed Walmart Restored, seeks to help customers discover refurbished products on its website. Online now and in select stores later this fall, the program also gives customers a choice and an opportunity to extend the life of a product.

    Walmart already works with sellers and suppliers on who refurbish products and prepare them for a new home at a fraction of typical costs. But now those items will be easier to find and shop with the Walmart Restored program designation. Consumers can visit the Walmart Restored section of or see items pop up in search.

    Refurbished items feature brands like Apple, Samsung, KitchenAid and more. When customers buy a product in the Walmart Restored program – whether it’s a laptop or a kitchen appliance – they can be confident they are buying from top-rated performance managed sellers and suppliers, the retailer said. All products listed on the site have been professionally inspected, tested and cleaned, and if for any reason a customer isn’t satisfied, Walmart offers 90-day free returns.

  • 7/31/2022

    DICK’S Sporting Goods Enters the Metaverse


    DICK’S Sporting Goods has entered the Metaverse just in time for back-to-school season. 

    School of Sport,” an interactive experience on the Roblox platform that infuses sport and style and gives users a chance to compete in a variety of challenges, quests and obstacle courses.

    Consisting of six virtual spaces, “School of Sport” takes place at DICK’S Sporting Goods High and mimics the characteristics of a real-world high school, bringing the most compelling aspects of back-to-school onto Roblox.

    “It is important for us to continue evolving the way we engage with consumers. We are excited to make our entrance into the Metaverse with ‘School of Sport,’ creating a space to share sport and style while also connecting with our younger athletes,” said Ed Plummer, chief marketing officer at DICK’S Sporting Goods.

    [See also: Back to School: Tips, Trends, and Predictions]

    DICK’S Sporting Goods is launching the brand’s larger Sport Your Style back-to-school campaign, which is focused on versatility and encourages teens to own their individual style. While this theme is woven throughout the “School of Sport” experience, it is most prominent in the Roblox experience’s first environment, The Locker Room, where the transition from sport to style commonly occurs in real-world school.

    Users enter the experience through The Locker Room where they will receive information on how to navigate DICK’S Sporting Goods High. Each player will have a personalized locker containing The Store where they can use style points, the in-experience currency, to purchase shoes, apparel and accessories to outfit their avatars.  

    As users freely explore DICK’S Sporting Goods High, they can socialize with other users and collect stickers, badges and style points by competing in quests, and challenges throughout the experience environments: The Field, The Hallways, The Gymnasium and The Outdoor Cafeteria. There is an additional hidden environment within the experience that visitors must discover on their own.

    In addition to using style points to unlock access to the latest back-to-school gear, community members can also view their rankings on the leaderboard and personalize their virtual school supplies (notebook, waterbottle, etc.) with stickers they’ve collected throughout the school.

  • 7/26/2022

    Amazon Piloting Seller Wallet to Give Small Business Brands More Control Over Funds

    Amazon Seller logo on mobile device

    Amazon’s sellers could soon have a more controlled way to convert funds. The company will be piloting a new tool called Amazon Seller Wallet, providing brands with an easier way to hold, view, and transfer Amazon store proceeds directly to their bank account. 

    Amazon Seller Wallet gives selling partners more control over how much and when to convert their funds.

    Still in its early stages, the solution looks to simplify the global Amazon selling experience with a Seller Central platform for small businesses that sell on Amazon. There’s currently no cost or minimum amount, or maintenance fee, associated with the platform. Though volume-based currency conversion and international transfer fees will still apply. 

    [Read more: Buy With Prime: Free, Expedited Delivery Expands Beyond]

    Amazon Seller Wallet is currently available to a select number of small businesses that sell on The company plans to expand the offering to other sellers once it collects feedback and refines the tool over time. In the future, the tool may also have additional capabilities like third-party payments and foreign exchange rate tools. 

    Selling partner Maxwell Sigurdson-Scott, founder of MESS in Canada, has used Amazon Seller Wallet for the past few weeks. “Amazon Seller Wallet has allowed me to easily manage my payouts all within Seller Central. The tool is simple to use and has saved me time and money,” he said.

  • 7/26/2022

    David’s Bridal Takes to TikTok for Interactive Advertising

    David's Bridal storefront

    TikTok is elevating shoppable content to new heights, helping brands to better resonate with consumers and provide an easy way to access products. The latest brand to use this advertising avenue is David’s Bridal, who is using commerce-driven content to streamline the shopping experience. 

    Collaborating with digital advertising platform KERV Interactive and January Digital, the brand’s digital agency partner, David’s Bridal has automated and optimized its shoppable content strategy with performance thus far exceeding the 2x average benchmark for click-through rates, reaching more than 16MM. 

    This is the brand’s latest effort to reach consumers wherever they are through digital touch points. The company has also launched a mobile planning app as well as its Diamond Loyalty program

    "We are always exploring innovative solutions that not only make our customers' shopping experience with us a positive one but also meet them where they are shopping," said Kelly Cook, chief marketing and IT officer of David's Bridal. 

    "We know our customers are on TikTok and they love it. Our Dream Makers (our amazing employees!) also have a passion for TikTok. It's a natural place for us to expand if customers and employees enjoy the content,” Cook added. “We are thrilled to partner with KERV, TikTok, and January Digital to deliver shoppable, compelling content directly on the app and get her into her dream dress."

  • 7/19/2022

    Marks & Spencer Invests in Unified Commerce Tech to Build Robust Omnichannel Experiences

    M&S storefront

    UK high street retailer Marks & Spencer is strengthening its commitment to build robust omnichannel experiences. 

    The company has extended an existing agreement, tacking on another five years with Flooid for its point-of-sale and unified commerce platform. Originally contracted in 2007 to supply software to run point-of-sale and self-checkout across the enterprise, the tech provider will now help Marks & Spencer build out its unified commerce strategy.

    “We originally selected PCMS to replace our aging software in all our store formats. The world has changed a great deal since this time, and our solutions need to wholeheartedly support the growth of our omnichannel offering,” said Paul Airey, head of technology and digital at Marks & Spencer. “We need to be able to serve customers however they want to shop, so we’re delighted that Flooid will enable us to grow our omnichannel capabilities using its basket services.”

    “This enables us to launch new formats like consumer mobile and self-service kiosks quickly while allowing us to create and build our own experiences on top of the Flooid platform,” Airey added.

    Martyn Osborne, CEO EMEA for Flooid, said the company is excited to support the company’s changing business formats and ambition for change and growth over the next several years.

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