News Briefs


Trader Joe's Names New Incoming CEO


Trader Joe’s longtime CEO, Dan Bane, is retiring at the end of the company’s fiscal year. The company has named Bryan Palbaum as Bane’s successor.

Palbaum will take over as chairman and CEO on July 2, 2023, with Jon Basalone stepping up to become vice CEO and president of Trader Joe's Company. Prior to this appointment, Palbaum spent 10 years as the company’s president and chief operations officer, while Basalone started out as a Trader Joe’s store associate 33 years ago and most recently served as president of stores. 

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Bane has been with the company for over 25 years and has spent the last 22 as chairman and CEO. During his tenure, Trader Joe’s has expanded to include 543 grocery stores in 42 states, plus Washington, D.C, with little signs of slowing down. Just this year, the number 8 preferred grocery retailer has been working to expand its footprint, announcing the opening of new stores in Sarasota, Florida, and Cypress, California. 

Commenting on the news, Palbaum said: "We are thankful for Dan's leadership over the past 22 years. Jon and I look forward to working with all Crew Members to continue to grow Trader Joe's.”


WH Smith North America Deploys AI In Inventory Planning

WH Smith

WH Smith North America is implementing an AI-backed cloud platform to manage inventory planning across its 300+ airport and casino stores.

The specialty retailer will leverage Oracle's retail cloud platform across its stores, which include Harley-Davidson, In Motion, LEGO, and TUMI. WH Smith says it intends to leverage the AI-driven cloud solutions to plot out more accurate inventory planning, optimizing assortment, styles, and size recommendations, as well as reducing stock-outs by making sure merchandise is in the right brand and store location at the right time. 

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The retail company enlisted the help of a consulting firm to help migrate from its legacy system to the new Oracle platform – a process that the company says took just 16 weeks. WH Smith North America has also been using the Oracle Retail Store POS platform since 2020 – currently using the SaaS-based Oracle Retail Artificial Intelligence Foundation Cloud Service – and Josh Bellendir, chief information officer of WHSNA said the two companies have “great track record of fast and successful implementations.” In 2020, the company also migrated its in-store technology Oracle’s Point-of-Service software.


Brookshire Grocery Company Invests in POS Infrastructure


Brookshire Grocery Company (BCG) is elevating its point of sale system, bolstering its IT infrastructure to leverage cloud-based technology. 

The company is working with tech provider NCR Corporation to unify its store, integrating several new capabilities that will better connect the grocer’s front end and back office. 

“BGC places a priority on customer service, and we’re looking for ways to leverage technology to improve the experience for our customers,” said Shawn Sedate, CIO of BGC, in a statement. “Now that we’re live in our first store, we plan to start rolling out NCR’s solutions to our 206 locations.”

Sedate added that by simplifying its store infrastructure, the company will have more time to focus on customer needs and keep shoppers coming back to its stores. 

“BGC has always had the right approach to upgrading and deploying next-generation applications with speed. It simply needed the right technology to support these efforts,” said David Wilkinson, president of NCR Commerce, in a statement. 


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.” 


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. 

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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.


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.