News Briefs

  • 2/11/2024

    Minted and Doordash Kick off Partnership With Valentine’s Day Collection


    Design marketplace Minted has partnered with commerce platform DoorDash to offer nationwide on-demand delivery of Minted greeting cards. The collaboration will begin with a Valentine’s Day collection, to be followed shortly by a broader assortment of cards for everyday occasions.

    This Valentine’s Day, shoppers can purchase greeting cards that feature the work of independent artists along with other gifts through DashMart, a new type of grocery and convenience store on DoorDash, and The Flower & Gift Boutique.

    Minted’s partnership with DoorDash caters to younger generations who have adopted online food delivery. In a LendingTree survey, 82% of consumers said they used on-demand delivery over the past year, and Millennials spent the most compared to other generations. Minted appeals to much younger consumers than the traditional greeting cards industry. A majority of Minted customers are between 19 and 38 years old, while the majority of greeting cards purchasers, industry-wide, are between 35 and 60 years old, according to the Greeting Cards Association. According to an Advantage Solutions survey, while the majority of Americans plan to purchase a Valentine’s Day card, 25% of men plan to put it off until one to two days beforehand. 

    “Millennials and Gen Z consumers seek the right balance in the products they buy: where convenience meets quality,” said Minted co-founder and CEO Melissa Kim. “At the same time, younger consumers increasingly value authenticity and purchases that align with their values. By partnering with DoorDash, Minted makes it possible for consumers to purchase artisanal products that express their individuality — and support the livelihoods of independent artists — with the immediacy and convenience of on-demand delivery.”

  • 2/4/2024

    Elevate Software Completes Acquisition of Mi9 Retail


    Elevate Software (Elevate) has closed the acquisition of Mi9 Retail (Mi9). Mi9 is a  provider of software solutions spanning merchandising, store operations, customer engagement, e-commerce, and business analytics for the retail industry.

    “Through the process of getting to know the Mi9 staff and the relationships they have with their clients, I have constantly been amazed at the closeness. I am deeply optimistic about the potential of Mi9 to further impact their clients’ businesses with great products, great service, and continued great relationships.” said Mike Byrne, CEO of Elevate. “The Mi9 team has built something truly impressive within the retail space, and I look forward to working closely with them. EVP and GM, Eugene Voronov will remain with the team in his current capacity providing leadership to Mi9 employees and continued commitment to Mi9 clients.”

    Neil Moses, CEO of Mi9 said, “Elevate’s focus on retail makes them a perfect partner for the Mi9 business. Their commitment to building and maintaining long-term customer relationships is a great outcome for our retail clients and will allow these retailers to remain focused.”

  • 1/29/2024

    Michaels Awarded New Educational School Supplies Cooperative Contract


    Michaels has been awarded the new Educational School Supplies cooperative contract through OMNIA Partners, one of the nation’s largest purchasing organizations for public and private sector procurement, by Region 4. 

    The publicly solicited cooperative contract enables public schools, organizations, or other eligible agencies registered with OMNIA Partners to shop more than 300,000 items through the MichaelsPro Education website and receive cost benefits including low minimums and free standard shipping on orders over $49.

    “Central to our mission at MichaelsPro Education is making it easier and more affordable for schools to purchase everything they need to infuse creativity into their curriculum and cultivate vibrant learning spaces,” said Bryan Waugaman, director of education and B2B sales at Michaels. “Through our agreement with OMNIA Partners, we’re enabling districts and teachers to spend less time thinking about the supply procurement process and more time fostering their students’ creativity and growth.”

    The MichaelsPro Education division offers items spanning multiple categories as well as bulk items available online with low minimums.

    OMNIA Partners works to connect the public sector to collective buying power. The Michaels cooperative contract provides arts and crafts supplies to public sector agencies. By using cooperative contracts, the cost of goods and services are ultimately reduced by aggregating the purchasing power of public agencies nationwide.

    “OMNIA Partners is excited to expand and grow our partnership with MichaelsPro Education, and their wide variety of creative supplies, as a key supplier in our comprehensive portfolio of industry-leading supplier partners, empowering our members to save time and money every day,” said Doug Looney, SVP of OMNIA Partners Public Sector Sales.

    To learn more and shop the MichaelsPro Education division, visit

  • 1/28/2024

    Shoprite Launches New Retail Tech for Curbside Grocery Pickup and Delivery

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    Wakefern Food Corp. supermarket banner ShopRite has launched Phononic’s 2nd Generation ACS (Active Cooling Solutions) Freezer and Refrigerator Totes at a ShopRite location in New York. Phononic’s Freezer and Refrigerator totes are used to pick, store, and stage online orders and save space in-store. 

    Phononic’s HFC-free actively-cooled totes also operate without traditional refrigerants, using technology that is more sustainable and cost effective.

    Curbside and delivery grocery orders are more popular than ever, and grocers continue to innovate to meet consumer demand. Advancements in e-commerce and sustainable cooling technology, such as the new tri-temp tote picking, storage and staging system from Phononic, are one example. Supported with 24-7 information sharing capabilities, grocers are equipped with tote utilization, cold chain compliance, and energy consumption data to maximize usage and efficiency.

    “The recent launch of the Phononic 2nd Generation ACS totes allowed us to create an Order. Pickup. Deliver. department in a store with a smaller building footprint. Local customers can now pick up their online orders at the store or have them delivered,” said Steve Savas, president, Shop-Rite Supermarkets, Inc. (SRS), which operates ShopRite stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Hudson Valley in New York. “We are always looking for opportunities to be at the forefront of innovation in digital commerce, and we are excited to be the first grocer in the nation with this technology.”

    ShopRite’s launch of the Phononic 2nd Generation ACS Freezer and Refrigerator Tote solution at a New York store location has unlocked tangible gains, including a 70% reduction in staging room requirements with no impact on order volume, due to its size and portability, and reduced congestion during peak hours.

    “As the industry’s only solid-state cooling solution for curbside, Phononic’s Actively-Cooled tote makes economic sense,” said Larry Yang, chief product officer at Phononic. “Not only is it easy to integrate the totes into ShopRite’s existing operations, but it's incredibly scalable — capable of growing easily alongside ShopRite’s booming curbside business, and agile enough to keep up with daily order fluctuations.”

  • 1/22/2024

    Lowe’s Invites Communities To Nominate Projects For Lowe’s Hometowns Grant Program


    Lowe’s is accepting project nominations for Lowe’s Hometowns. Now in its third year, the five-year, $100 million impact program revitalizes community spaces including food pantries, veteran support programs, first responder facilities, affordable housing services, and community gardens.

    Now through Feb. 19, people across the country are encouraged to go to to nominate a project to be part of Lowe’s Hometowns.

    This year, Lowe’s associates will complete nearly 1,800 projects to improve their communities,
    including 100 signature grant projects selected through nominations and 1,700 selected by
    Lowe’s associates. Each project is supported by knowledgeable Lowe’s red vest associates,
    who contribute tens of thousands of volunteer hours and leverage Lowe’s vast product
    assortment, services and network of Pros to bring the renovations to life.

    “We have a responsibility to the communities we serve to be part of the solution to their most
    critical issues. Giving back is core to who we are and made possible by our associates’ ability to
    get things done,” said Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s chairman and CEO. “Lowe’s Hometowns projects
    are helping to improve millions of lives across the country, and I’m excited to see the meaningful
    impact this program will make in 2024.”

    In 2023, Lowe’s partnered with music icon and Tuskegee, Alabama native Lionel Richie to turn
    an undeveloped plot of land into a vibrant community space across from historic Tuskegee
    University. “Hello Park” is expected to open this spring.

    “Seeing Hello Park come to life in a place that is very special to me is a dream come true. We
    all have ideas and inspiration to improve the places that are special to us,” Richie said. “The
    park will soon be a space for the community to enjoy nature and reflect on the history of the

    Lowe’s associates also helped turn an unused space into a community gathering hub for
    veterans transitioning out of homelessness at Americans for Independent Living in Waterloo,
    Iowa; renovated the Wedington volunteer fire station in Fayetteville, Arkansas; and built and
    landscaped a playground and play space specially crafted for deaf and hard of hearing children
    with Aid the Silent in San Antonio.

    “Deaf children with cochlear implants cannot play on plastic playgrounds because the static
    electricity wipes out the programming of their implant,” said Emma Faye Rudkin, founder and executive director of Aid the Silent. “Our families are beyond ecstatic about having a safe place
    for their deaf, hard of hearing and hearing children to play, do homework and hang out.”

    Since 2022, with the help of program implementation partner Points of Light, the Lowe’s
    Hometowns signature grant program has renovated 149 community centers, affordable housing
    facilities, shelters and food pantries; refurbished 15 first responder, veteran and military family
    facilities; and built and improved 54 community gardens, parks and playgrounds – among many
    other impactful projects. 

    “We’re proud to work alongside Lowe’s and be their trusted program partner to create an
    incredible investment that positively impacts communities. Time and time again, we’ve seen
    Lowe’s Hometowns projects inspire community members to come together to address needs in
    their own neighborhoods,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, Points of Light president and CEO. “This
    program creates a powerful and needed platform to build connections that serve to strengthen
    and benefit communities for years to come.”

  • 1/16/2024

    IKEA U.S. To Open 4 New-Format Stores in 2024

    a person standing in front of a building

    IKEA U.S. announced that four Plan & order point with Pick-up locations will open across the country in 2024. These new format stores across the U.S. will increase accessibility for customers and they can receive support from IKEA experts to plan and order home furnishing solutions such as kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms. 

    The new Plan & order points with Pick-up will be located in Austin, TX, the Atlanta Metropolitan area, and two locations in the greater Los Angeles market. In addition to new locations announced today, IKEA U.S. will open Plan & order points with Pick-up in Annapolis and Gaithersburg, MD; Katy, TX; and more.

    The Austin Plan & Order point with Pick-up will be the second IKEA location in the Austin area and is slated to open in the summer of 2024 in the Domain Shopping Center at 3306 Esperanza Crossing. With the addition of the IKEA Pick-up point, customers will be able to collect their purchases when and where it's convenient for them. 

    IKEA’s 2023 Annual Summary shares strides the company made in affordability, sustainable practices, automation, and equity and inclusion; and these strategic expansions showcase how IKEA remains committed to making the brand more accessible, convenient and affordable for the many.

    "As we look back at the past year, I'm proud of the progress we've made in reducing our environmental impact and keeping affordability and accessibility at the forefront for all our customers," said Javier Quiñones, CEO & Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA U.S. "Looking ahead, we are excited about our plans for new locations and services bringing the joy of IKEA to more hearts and homes. Creating a home you love is about to get even simpler for everyone!"

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