News Briefs


2022 Top Women in Grocery: RIS Sister Publication Progressive Grocer Highlights Influential Leadership

Trophy on table with lights

RIS’ sister publication Progressive Grocer recently revealed its list for the 16th annual Top Women in Grocery recognition program. This year, the company's judging panel sifted through 1,158 submissions and selected 401 honorees.

The program includes several tiers of recognitions, including Grocery Trailblazer, Rising Stars, Senior-Level Executives, Store Managers, and CPG Trailblazer.

Here’s a quick breakdown of this year’s winners.

2022 Top Women in Grocery Trailblazer

Progressive Grocer selected Mary Ellen Adcock, the SVP of operations for The Kroger Co., as its Grocery Trailblazer. She is responsible for all supermarket stores and divisions, leading the company’s consumer experience strategy — the grocer has 11 million shoppers per day. 

Additionally, Adcock oversees operations for 480,000 associates across nearly 2,800 stores. She focuses on asset protection, process change, productivity improvement initiatives, and enterprise food safety.

Read a Q&A Between Progressive Grocer and Adcock Here

Progressive Grocer also highlighted several leaders within its Senior-Level Executives list, including Ahold Delhaize USA, Food Lion, The Giant Co., Albertsons Cos., Avocados From Mexico, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Campbell Soup Co., The Coca-Cola Co., Dollar General Corp., Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee Inc., The Kroger Co., Meijer, Publix, Sam’s Club, and more. 

Get more details about these winners and find the full list here


Steve Madden Picks Up Tech Partnership to Elevate BOPIS, Pre-Orders, and More

Steve Madden storefront

Steve Madden’s retailing strategies are about to get a makeover. The fashion retailer is investing in an omnichannel order management solution to elevate offerings such as buy online pick-up in store (BOPIS), ship from store, and pre-orders. 

The company — which includes brands like Steve Madden, Steven by Steve Madden, Madden Girl, MADDEN, Freebird by Steven and more — has tapped HotWax Commerce on the tech front. Steve Madden will be leveraging the company’s platform to facilitate omnichannel solutions to ultimately increase conversion rates and profitability. 

[Read more: AI and Automation Unlock Supply Chain Progress]

“We are thrilled to be working with the Steve Madden team on their omnichannel journey,” said Anil Patel, CEO at HotWax Commerce. “We believe that our modern technology fits perfectly with the brand’s forward-thinking vision and approach to customer experience.”


Catch Co. Unveils Its First Experiential Retail Store, Karl’s Fishing & Outdoors


Karl's Fishing & Outdoors has opened its first brick-and-mortar store located at 1621 River Run, Fort Worth, TX.

The direct-to-consumer digital platform, created for both novice and seasoned anglers, is marking a new chapter by opening an immersive and memorable retail experience that allows visitors to enjoy the outdoors in a new way.

Founded in 2012, the retailer’s owner Catch Co. is best known for its innovative commerce brands Mystery Tackle Box, the original monthly subscription box of lures and tackle, and Karl's Bait & Tackle, a membership-based ecommerce platform.

Karl's Fishing & Outdoors is a 2,500-square-foot storefront that combines retail with engaging, hands-on experiences. The interactive store features products for fishing and outdoor buffs. Ideally located on the Clear Fork of the Trinity River, the store will host fishing lessons and meetups, including philanthropic events and entertainment.

The store design features interactive, tech-enabled experiences that demonstrate how products are used to catch fish, such as interactive displays that let shoppers touch and feel baits and see how they act underwater. Shoppers can choose from a variety of brands like Mystery Tackle Box, The Googan Squad, BioSpawn, 10,000 Fish, HUK, Shimano, Daiwa, Lew's and others. Products include rods, reels, tackle, kits, tools, fly fishing gear, kayaks, apparel and outdoor lifestyle items.

"The Karl's Fishing & Outdoors flagship store promises to deliver an experience that hasn't been seen in the outdoor category," said Teeg Stouffer, director of retail experience, Catch Co. "The clean, simple design and tech-enhanced features make it an intimidation-free shopping experience – even for those who are new to fishing and outdoor activities – or the perfect place to find a gift for the outdoorsperson in your life."

The storefront will host a variety of grand opening events, starting with a ribbon cutting hosted by Karl Von Dibble, "chief fishing officer" and the brand's larger-than-life personality. Influencers and fishing celebrities will also make appearances, and the brand's eye-catching Bassmobile, a 40-foot bass on wheels, will be on site to add to the fun Thursday through Sunday.

Karl's plans to roll out stores in other locations throughout the U.S., with its second location at Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN. slated for later this year.

"When we started Catch Co. 10 years ago, our goal was to help people discover quality products that would help them get outside and enjoy nature," said Ross Gordon, founder and CEO of Catch Co. "Opening our first Karl's Fishing & Outdoors store takes our mission to the next level by creating a shared space for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to connect, learn about new products and ultimately embrace their passion for the outdoors."


Deckers Brands Adds Chief Supply Chain Officer Role


UGG, HOKA, and Teva parent Deckers Brands announced the promotion of Angela Ogbechie to the newly created role of chief supply chain officer, effective June 24, 2022.

Ogbechie has served in various operational roles at Deckers since 2008, most recently as SVP, global operations & supply chain strategy. In her new role, Ogbechie will oversee all activities related to the global supply chain operations and logistics organization. She will become a member of the executive leadership team, reporting directly to Dave Powers, CEO and president of Deckers Brands.

Ogbechie's promotion follows David Lafitte's decision to step down from his role as chief operating officer to accept another opportunity, effective June 24, 2022. The supply chain functions currently reporting to Lafitte will now report to the chief supply chain officer, with other functions transitioning to the appropriate leaders on Deckers' executive team.

"Angela is perfectly suited for this new role, bringing the right mix of expertise and creativity from her 14 years working across all aspects of Deckers' global supply chain operations," said Powers. "Our logistics network was instrumental to our record-breaking success in fiscal 2022, and we expect it will continue to play a meaningful role in our overall operations moving forward. I'd like to thank David for his many years of service to Deckers, particularly his leadership in developing a world-class supply chain organization over his past seven years as COO. I am confident that Angela will pick up where he is leaving off and bring further innovation to our supply chain as we continue to drive growth for the business. I am excited for what is ahead and wish David the best in the next chapter of his career."

"I am honored to take on this new role, particularly at such an important time in the evolution of our supply chain and logistics network," said Ogbechie. "While David leaves large shoes to fill, I look forward to working alongside the talented and dedicated Deckers team to support our continued growth."

Lafitte said, "I'm proud of the Deckers team for everything we have accomplished. It has been my privilege to lead an amazing team and create value for stakeholders amidst several unprecedented global events, while continuing to make a positive impact on the communities we serve. With Deckers in its strongest position to date, I am confident I will be following Deckers' future success for years to come."


Batteries Plus Rebrands, Looks to Overhaul Its Consumer Experience

Batteries Plus storefront

Batteries Plus is looking to meet consumers’ changing wants and needs, rebranding and elevating the experience across multiple touch points to do so. 

Called Project VOLT, the brand overhaul analyzed results from comprehensive merchandising testing which highlighted areas of opportunity to transform online and in-store experiences, said the company.

The modernized store look includes clearer signage with visual infographics, digital displays from Samsung, and a dedicated customer experience area for business consumers. Franchisees can also add customer-seating areas, renewed vehicle graphics, wood grain slat walls, bright LED paneling, brand new uniforms, and more.

All new locations will feature updated exterior signage, and select existing locations will be updated as well. As of press time, about 600 stores (90%) have undergone the refresh. 

The company also made changes to its website, tapping Optimizely to improve the user experience, particularly on mobile.

According to the company, the change is having a measurable impact. Rebranded stores are outperforming non-rebranded stores by 4% on average in categories such as automotive, marine, and sealed lead acid. 

"The new branding and look of our stores better convey the company's focus on helping individuals, communities, and organizations power their lives through unrivaled products, services and a positive customer experience," said Scott Williams, CEO of Batteries Plus. "We began evolving our stores nationwide last year and now have nearly 600 stores re-envisioned with many more on the way."


Total Wine & More Powering Up Omnichannel Retail Planning

AI in the supply chain

Total Wine & More is looking to transform its omnichannel retail planning. As part of the company’s accelerated digital transformation, Total Wine is elevating everything from demand forecasting, replenishment and allocation planning, merchandise financial planning, inventory, and supplier collaboration. 

The company has tapped AI software company o9 Solutions to dig deeper into data, using external factors like weather patterns and local events to make informed decisions across the enterprise. With this technology, Total Wine will be able to run scenarios in real-time and quickly adapt and shift depending on existing market conditions. 

[Related: New Balance Extends Pandemic Pilot to Steer Supply Chain and Labor Roller Coaster]

Tom Kooser, chief technology officer, Total Wine & More, said today’s environment is increasingly complex and rapidly changing. “We must transition to a digital operating model that allows us to make quick, data-supported decisions,” he said, adding that the technology the company is leaning on will allow them to improve forecast accuracy, alignment, and accountability across the company. 

“Retailers everywhere are looking to leverage AI-powered technology to capture deeper insights, anticipate customer needs, and proactively deliver across every channel,” said Igor Rikalo, president and COO, o9 Solutions. “We look forward to helping Total Wine & More accelerate its digital transformation journey by providing it with an AI-powered planning and decision-making platform that facilitates collaboration between commercial, operational, and finance teams, as well as allows users to conduct real-time scenario planning that drives faster, more data-driven decisions that are connected across the enterprise.”