News Briefs

  • 5/2/2023

    Aldi National Expansion To Result in 120 New Stores in 2023


    Grocery retailer Aldi is growing at a fast pace, looking to expand nationally by adding 120 new stores this year. This will total 2,400 stores across the U.S. by the end of the year.

    This continues progress from last year, when Aldi opened and remodeled 139 stores, adding 9.4 million new customers. With this year’s additions so far (as of April), Aldi has added 5.3 million new customers.

    The company is expanding into new markets, adding stores in Baton Rouge and New Orleans this year. Part of Aldi’s growth strategy is designing a larger omnichannel experience that makes grocery shopping more convenient, whether it’s through in-store or curbside pickup or delivery. 

    Aldi is also enhancing new and existing stores by implementing sustainable features such as rooftop solar panels. The company is also eliminating plastic bags and installing environmentally-friendly refrigerators. 

    The company said it has secured more EPA GreenChill store certifications in 2020 and 2021 than all U.S. grocery retailers combined. 

    “While inflation is undoubtedly driving unprecedented demand for affordable groceries, we know that once customers experience the Aldi difference, they keep shopping with us, even when the economy improves,” said Jason Hart, CEO, Aldi U.S., in a statement “Our growth is led by our customers, and they continue to want more Aldi locations coast-to-coast.” 

  • 4/30/2023

    Walmart Invests in Store Fulfillment, Elevates Omnichannel Experience


    Walmart is investing in fulfillment via its IT arm Walmart Commerce in order to provide improved retail experiences for its customers and store employees. 

    The company is partnering with Infosys to implement Store Assist, a cloud-based, API-first platform that integrates into the retailer's existing commerce or OMS platform. 

    By levering the technology, Walmart can optimize its in-store fulfillment, increasing picking accuracy, speed, and efficiency. 

    [Walmart Earns Top Spot in Top 100 Retailers Ranking]

    Additionally, the investment allows the company to improve associate productivity by expediting order queueing, multi-order batch picking, and prioritized pick paths. 

    Sunil Kumar, VP and general manager of Walmart Commerce Technologies, said the technology partner serves as a trusted system integration team” for its customers."

    "To navigate an increasingly complex supply chain and serve the modern intelligent shopper the way they want, retailers are looking for innovative ways to deliver seamless omnichannel experiences with convenient fulfillment options,” said Karmesh Vaswani, EVP and global head, consumer, retail and logistics, Infosys.

  • 4/25/2023

    Sam’s Club Expands Retail Media Network


    Sam’s Club has outlined a series of planned partnerships designed to optimize buying and advertising campaigns across its retail media network. 

    The warehouse club retailer will now provide its Sam’s Club Member Access Platform (MAP) retail media network access to the MAP Partners Club, which includes three technology companies — CommerceIQ, Pacvue, and Skai — and two managed service partners — Flywheel and Stackline. 

    Participating advertisers will have access to a full spectrum of media network resources, including advanced campaign analytics, real-time, intelligently retargeted display advertising, bidding and budget optimization, as well as sponsored product ads and promotional technologies. 

    The platform will provide access to Sam’s Club partners through a self-service interface. Approved participants will be given color-coded badges, making it easier for advertisers to connect with relevant partners. 

    MAP retargeting automatically links ads to membership data, delivering tangible results, including incremental ROAS (return on ad spend), all 3rd party verified by IRI. Advertisers on the network are then able to track insights such as iROAS with the MAP’s reporting feature.

    “One of the pillars of our mission here at MAP is to make it “Easy to Buy” for our advertisers. We know that our advertisers often work with multiple partners for media planning and execution across multiple networks and ad tech providers,” said Austin Leonard, head of sales at Sam’s Club MAP, adding that the new partnerships will enable advertisers to consolidate their campaigns into one place, allowing for greater visibility into tracking performance and sales.

  • 4/25/2023

    Best Buy Bolsters Customer Security Via Machine Learning-Powered IT Investment

    Best Buy

    Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy is leveraging the latest threat detection solution, looking to strengthen its customer security by investing in a machine learning-powered technology. 

    The company is working with Amazon Web Services, expanding its existing partnership to utilize three new capabilities under AWS’ GuardDuty offering:

    • New container runtime protection: A fully managed, lightweight security agent profiles and monitors on-host operating system–level behavior such as file access, process execution, and network connections. Through this offering, Best Buy can more easily identify an attack and contain potential security threats before the threat escalates to a widespread data breach. 
    • Extended coverage for data stored in Amazon Aurora: Best Buy can identify potential threats to data stored in Aurora databases without compromising performance, productivity, or availability. 
    • Support for serverless applications in AWS Lambda: Best Buy can continuously monitor serverless workloads, analyzing network communications to detect potentially malicious communications and other risky behavior like cryptocurrency mining.

    The technology taps into machine learning to identify highly suspicious data access and potential compromise, leveraging threat intelligence to easily find and stop malware and malicious container, database, and serverless access.

    “Security is always top of mind for us, especially as we expanded our use of Amazon Aurora for our migrated and cloud native applications,” said Vaibhav Sonawane, enterprise risk and compliance cloud security engineer at Best Buy, in a statement. “With GuardDuty RDS Protection, our security posture around legitimate and non-legitimate login attempts remains strong thanks to its machine learning and intelligent threat detection capabilities. We are excited to see Amazon GuardDuty expand into new categories in AWS environments like databases because of its seamless integration, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use.”

  • 4/18/2023

    CVS Health Completes Florida Rollout of Time Delay Safes


    CVS Health has completed the installation of time delay safe technology in all 838 CVS Pharmacy locations throughout Florida, including those in Target stores.

    The safes help prevent pharmacy robberies and the potential for associated diversion of controlled substance medications — including opioid medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone — by electronically delaying the time it takes for pharmacy employees to open the safe.

    The company's rollout of time delay safe technology is in support of partnerships with local and state law enforcement and the retail community to fight back against escalating organized retail crime. 

    [See also: CVS Health Fights Crime With Time Delay Tech]

    "Supporting law enforcement efforts in their battle against organized retail crime remains a key focus for our company," said CVS region director Ricardo Lopez during a news conference. "Criminal activities that organized retail crime rings fund are a clear danger to our communities, so it is important that retailers, law enforcement and political leaders work together to solve this problem."

    "I am very proud of our private sector partner for thinking and implementing innovative ways to fight organized retail crime. Local, state, and federal law enforcement partners continuously collaborate with our retail industry to minimize the economic impact to all of our residents. We strive to encourage all of the members in the retail industry to join the fight against organized retail crime," said director Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez, Miami-Dade Police Department.  

    "We are proud to support CVS Health in its endeavor to make our retail pharmacies a safe place to shop and work. Time delay safes will not only work to combat the opioid epidemic and prevent criminal activity, but it will also save lives. Thank you for helping to safeguard your CVS Pharmacy stores to strengthen safety at retail pharmacies in Florida," said Scott Shalley, CEO of Florida Retail Federation. 

    CVS Health first implemented time delay safe technology in 2015 in CVS Pharmacy locations across Indianapolis, a city experiencing a high volume of pharmacy robberies at the time. The company saw a 70% decline in pharmacy robberies in that area. Since then, there has been a 50% decline in robberies at CVS Pharmacy locations with the safes.  

  • 4/11/2023

    7-Eleven, Speedway, and Stripes Aim to Fill 50,000 Roles on National Hiring Day

    hiring event 7-eleven

    On April 25, 2023, the convenience store retailers will host a mass hiring event across more than 13,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada. The family of companies hopes to collectively recruit over 50,000 new employees ahead of the busy summer season. 

    Interested applicants can apply in-store on the day itself between 10 am - 4 pm local time, or apply online by visiting the retailers’ career pages. 

    “Every year, National Hiring Day marks an exciting time for our brands. Expanding store teams with the addition of 50,000 new roles will help our brands gear up for the busy summer season and our favorite day of the year, Slurpee Day,” said Treasa Bowers, senior VP of human Resources at 7-Eleven. “We're proud to offer our newest employees at corporate-owned locations a variety of career benefits including flexible work schedules and competitive pay, and we're looking forward to growing our 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes family.”

    It’s crunch time for many retailers staring down a busy summer season and ongoing labor shortages. The hourly in-store retail employee turnover rate in 2022 was 76%, according to Korn Ferry, and companies continue to strategize in order to retain and attract hard-to-find staff. Common tactics include raising hourly wages; offering increased schedule and pay flexibility; career development and learning opportunities; and equipping and empowering employees with intuitive new technologies to make their jobs less repetitive. 

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