News Briefs

  • 2/29/2024

    Wendy's Names New CIO

    The Wendy's Company has named Matt Spessard as its new chief information officer (CIO). 

    Spessard will succeed Kevin Vasconi who has served as CIO since October 2020. He will report to president and CEO Kirk Tanner and serve on the Wendy's Senior Leadership Team. 

    Spessard has served as senior vice president, global chief technology officer for The Wendy's Company since August 2022. In this role, he was accountable for establishing the Wendy's System global technology vision and leading technological innovation and development to drive continued growth, competitive brand advantage and topline revenue for the company and franchisees. 

    As CIO, Spessard will assume responsibility for all aspects of Wendy's global technology efforts, including Restaurant Technology, Data Management and Analytics, Enterprise Technology, Software Architecture and Engineering, and Information Security.

    "Driving the growth of the digital business and harnessing technology in restaurants to improve the customer and crew experience are important pieces of our plan to accelerate sales and profitable growth across the global system," said president and CEO Kirk Tanner. "Matt's extensive experience in overseeing global technology initiatives at Wendy's positions him as the ideal leader to build growth on our already successful foundation."

    "The brand's future growth is strongly linked with technology, and I'm excited about the possibilities it brings," said Spessard. "As we move forward, technology has the potential to unlock the next chapter of growth and I'm deeply committed to Wendy's success in this dynamic landscape."

    Spessard joined Wendy's in May 2020 as VP, Restaurant Technology and assumed the expanded role of VP, Digital and Restaurant Technology in September 2020. 

    Prior to that, he spent six years with Inspire Brands. He served in several roles of increasing accountability, including vice president of technology at SONIC. He also previously held various operations and technology leadership roles at YUM! Brands, Church's Chicken and Braum's Ice Cream & Dairy Stores.

  • 2/25/2024

    Metcalfe’s Market Expands Adoption of Self-Checkout

    self checkout

    Independent grocer Metcalfe's Market expanded its self-service infrastructure in 2023 by adding eight additional self-checkout lanes across three locations featuring Toshiba’s Self Checkout System 7. 

    Metcalfe's journey with self-checkout began in 2016. The fourth-generation, family-owned, and operated neighborhood market, has two locations in Madison, WI, another in Wauwatosa, WI, and Metcalfe’s On The Go at the Dane County Regional Airport. The partnership with Toshiba expanded in 2023 by integrating more Toshiba Self Checkout System 7 solutions across all locations through partnerships with North Country Business Products (NCBP) and LOC Software. 

    The upgrade streamlines daily accounting processes and reduces queue lines. Using backend data with LOC Software, Toshiba’s self-checkout system allows staff to stay abreast of day-to-day challenges; the upgrade enables seamless integration between the Toshiba point-of-sale (POS) and Toshiba self-checkout systems. Metcalfe’s long-time use of LOC Software ties all integrations together for the retailer. Through LOC Software’s backend solution, Metcalfe’s can use all aspects of the software to handle seamless direct-store delivery, receiving, inventory control, and reporting capabilities.

    "The evolving landscape of grocery retail technology requires adaptability at its core,” said Tim Metcalfe, president of Metcalfe’s Market. “As the pace of change accelerates, consumers increasingly expect versatile technology options across all shopping channels -- be it traditional point-of-sale, self-checkouts, online platforms, with or without rewards programs. It is imperative to partner with industry leaders like Toshiba, NCBP, and LOC Software, who stand at the forefront of technological innovation. Their ability to tailor solutions that seamlessly integrate with our customers' preferences is crucial in our technology journey.”

  • 2/22/2024

    Heritage Grocers Group Rolls Out New Loyalty Program


    Hispanic food retailer Heritage Grocers Group has launched a new loyalty program.

    Cardenas Rewards will provide value and added benefits to loyal customers of Cardenas Markets, an HGG banner company.

    “We are thrilled to offer our new and innovative loyalty program to our dedicated customers and are thankful for their participation,” said Adam Salgado, CMO of HGG. “This program is another great way for us to engage with our local community and show appreciation to our dedicated customers for choosing to shop with us. Similarly, this loyalty program will allow us to tap into data and trends to further customize our offerings to accommodate our customers’ evolving shopping needs. As HGG continues to launch exciting new initiatives such as Cardenas Rewards, we hope to welcome even more customers to the HGG family.”

    The Cardenas Rewards mobile app is now available for download from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Customers can also sign up for the new loyalty program by visiting

    Once a customer has enrolled, to access their offers they can tap ‘Clip and Save’ to add their favorites to “My Card” or the “Cart” icon. Then, upon checkout, enter their phone number, or present the barcode on “My Card” or the “Cart” icon to redeem their offers.   

    Cardenas Rewards participating customers:

    • Will receive 1 point for every $1 spent 

    • Earn and redeem points on all purchases

    • Save on Cardenas’ digital deal of the week

    • Access exclusive weekly offers

    • Clip digital coupons

    • Take advantage of seasonal offers and promotional discounts

  • 2/12/2024

    SpartanNash to Expand Autonomous Inventory Robot Tally

    pr from retailer wesbite

    After a successful pilot, SpartanNash plans to implement Simbe's autonomous inventory robot Tally in 60 additional company-operated stores across the Midwest. 

    "We first piloted Tally in 15 stores, and the success of that launch motivated us to expand Tally across more locations to help associates save time in inventory tracking and spend more time on the floor serving our store guests," said SpartanNash EVP, corporate retail Tom Swanson. "The real-time data intelligence Tally provides helps ensure our store guests' favorite items always stay fresh, are adequately stocked and priced competitively, helping us deliver the ingredients for a better life."

    Simbe's Store Intelligence platform informs product stocking, ordering, merchandising, and e-commerce fulfillment with real-time inventory insights across every store area. This data precision empowers associates to ensure items are available for store guests with accurate location and price, while freeing up their time for customer-facing work. As part of SpartanNash's commitment to customer-focused innovation, this Tally expansion follows the company's investment in other food technology solutions Upshop Magic™ and Flashfood. 

    "We're always impressed with how SpartanNash embraces innovative technologies," said Brad Bogolea, CEO of Simbe. "In retail's fast-paced environment, every data point matters. The expansion of our solution is a testament to their relentless focus on strengthening operations, supporting Associates, and delivering an optimal shopping experience. Working with the SpartanNash team is incredibly rewarding, and we can't wait to see the partnership grow from here."    

  • 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.”

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