News Briefs

03/14/2022

Walmart Kicks off Sourcing Event With Early Access Period for Marketplace Sellers

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walmart

Walmart opened the application period for its 9th annual Open Call event, but gave Marketplace sellers first crack at submitting their U.S. made, grown or assembled products.

For the first time in the program’s nine-year history, Walmart offered an exclusive early access period for Marketplace sellers to apply for Open Call, resulting in more than 2,000 companies registering more than 6,000 items they hope to present to merchants. If selected, participants will be able to choose from virtual or in-person pitch meetings with a Walmart or Sam’s Club merchant during the June 28-29 event.

Open Call is Walmart’s largest sourcing event that aims to bring shelf-ready products to shoppers across the country, both in-store and online. Walmart Open Call 2022 is powered by RangeMe and ECRM Connect. This year, Walmart is offering mentoring sessions to all applicants registering for the event to provide tools to become successful selling on Walmart’s virtual and physical shelves. Applications for the two-day hybrid event will be accepted through April 8. Businesses wishing to apply for this year’s Open Call event can apply here.

“We know how much supporting American products and American jobs truly does matter to our suppliers, entrepreneurs, sellers and local communities,” says Laura Phillips, Walmart senior vice president for Global Sourcing & U.S. Manufacturing. “With all the new tools and resources available this year, we’re hoping we can foster growth for many more businesses and Walmart Marketplace sellers that already work with us, along with those that are just getting started.”

Applicants who receive a one-on-one product pitch meeting invitation will be given 30 minutes to showcase to Walmart and/or Sam’s Club merchants why their product and business should join the Walmart family. Entrepreneurs can secure deals ranging from supplying products to a handful of local stores to supplying hundreds of Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs as well as Walmart.com. In addition to the product pitch meetings, Open Call includes breakout sessions featuring Walmart and Sam’s Club leaders and special guests to provide suppliers and sellers with valuable insights and to offer additional resources available.

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03/09/2022

BJ’s to Open Innovation Lab Store

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BJ’s is opening four new warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States, the first phase of its 2022 development plans, and one location will serve as an innovation lab for the retailer.

The four new clubs will be located in Warwick, RI, Lady Lake, FL, Canton, MI, and Greenburgh, NY.

“We continue to accelerate our expansion and we’re excited to open these new locations,” said Bill Werner, executive vice president, strategy and development, BJ’s Wholesale Club. “We’re always looking for ways to bring the value and convenience of a BJ’s membership to more shoppers, and extending our reach is a major way of achieving that.”

The Warwick, RI, club, dubbed BJ’s Market, will serve as an innovation lab. BJ’s Market will allow for testing out new assortments, displays, product demonstrations and convenience initiatives.

The new clubs in Florida, Michigan and New York will feature an extensive selection of fresh foods, a full-service deli and household essentials, plus an assortment of fashion for the family, seasonal items, toys, hot tech and local products.

Each new BJ’s Wholesale Club is expected to create approximately 150 jobs for their respective communities, and BJ’s Market will create around 50 jobs for the respective community. The company will be hiring for all locations and those interested can visit BJs.com/careers.

03/08/2022

EnsembleIQ Names Joe Territo EVP of Content & Communications

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Joe Territo headshot

RIS parent company EnsembleIQ has named Joe Territo executive vice president of content and communications. In his new role, Territo is responsible for communications strategy and execution, including public relations and marketing. He will continue leading collaboration among EnsembleIQ brands and shared services teams to develop new and innovative products and content optimization practices, resulting in audience engagement growth helping customers to connect with business professionals.

Territo joined EnsembleIQ in 2019 as senior vice president of content to develop and execute a cohesive content strategy driving valuable digital behaviors. His work has increased audience engagement with EnsembleIQ offerings, and the offerings of its customers. He also served as brand director of EnsembleIQ’s Path to Purchase IQ before being promoted in 2021 to executive vice president of content. In that role, Territo most recently partnered with multiple EnsembleIQ brands to lead development of a series of innovative hybrid video and podcast experiences delivering actionable business insights.

Jennifer Litterick, chief executive officer of EnsembleIQ, said Joe has made a powerful impact on mobilizing teams across the organization to drive engagement and increase the value of its products. 

“His oversight is now expanding to lead communications efforts that will enhance awareness of EnsembleIQ’s business intelligence offerings across all the industries and segments we serve throughout the entire path to purchase,” she said. 

Prior to EnsembleIQ, Territo served as chief content officer of business information services provider Penton, playing a leading role in the company’s digital transformation prior to it being acquired by Informa for $1.6 billion. 

Territo’s previous experiences include serving as VP of content at the Newhouse family’s Advance Local, and executive producer with Time Inc. new Media, where he managed design and production of digital content with Time, Money, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, and People.

Territo started his career as a news reporter for Advance’s Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey, and shifted his responsibility to help lead the launch of the company’s first local news website, NJ.com. 

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03/07/2022

On-Demand Grocery Delivery Apps Go Zero Waste

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mobile app

Too Good To Go, the mobile app powering a marketplace for surplus food, has partnered with several of the largest instant-delivery grocers in the U.S., including JOKR, Gorillas, REEF Technology's Lightspeed Market and Food Rocket.

The Too Good To Go app, available for iOS in the Apple store or Google Play for Android, connects consumers with surplus from grocery stores, restaurants, bakeries and cafes at the end of each business day to ensure delicious, unsold food doesn't go to waste. Over 7,000 food businesses across 12 major U.S. cities are already utilizing the platform.

As COVID-19 continues to influence consumer grocery shopping behaviors, the notable shift from in-store to online purchasing has driven a boom of instant-delivery services. This recent on-demand grocery surge provides great convenience and safety to shoppers, and operators are striving to keep performance smooth while prioritizing sustainability. By partnering with Too Good To Go both in-store and online, grocers have been able to reduce the 30% of food thrown away in U.S. grocery stores every year (RTS).

"Our partnership with Too Good to Go has been immensely beneficial to the communities we operate in and further extends our commitment to put sustainability at the forefront of our business," said Tyler Trerotola, U.S. Co-Founder at JOKR. "With food waste in the U.S. estimated between 30-40% of the total food supply, we have an opportunity to drive industry sustainability and to help turn Too Good to Go's dream of a planet with no food waste into a reality."

App users lucky enough to reserve a Surprise Bag direct from instant-delivery grocers – the contents of which will vary day to day – can expect to pick up a delicious mix of surplus baked goods, meat and dairy products, fresh produce, and packaged and prepared foods, all for ⅓ of the retail price.

Available in 17 international markets including Paris, London, Copenhagen, Madrid and Amsterdam, Too Good To Go has quickly become the go-to for conscious consumers and businesses around the world, resulting in more than 50 million app downloads and over 110 million meals saved to date. Additionally, the app has built strong momentum in 12 major U.S. cities, with 1.5 million Americans already having saved over 1.3 million meals in a little over one year.

03/07/2022

Rimi Baltic To Strengthen Space Processes and Delivery

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As a technology innovator, Rimi Baltic is committed to creating customer-focused space planning and evaluation processes on both the macro and micro level, leveraging data-driven decisions based on store-specific needs across all three Baltic countries. To this end,  Rimi Baltic will be using Symphony RetailAI’s SaaS-based micro and macro space optimization solutions.  

Rimi Baltic (part of the Swedish ICA group) is one of the largest grocery retailers in the Baltic States with nearly 300 stores. It operates four chains – Rimi Hyper, Rimi Super, Rimi Mini and Rimi Express – that are favorites among shoppers. In 2020, Rimi Baltic also introduced an e-commerce operation in all three Baltic Countries. The company employs more than 12,000 people across the Baltics with revenues of around $2 billion.

Space is the heart of the retail process,” said Kaspars Karaševskis, Assortment and Merchandising Optimization Manager, Rimi Baltic. “For the team here at Rimi Baltic, the space-optimization journey will be much more than new software. We are looking at increasing retail space efficiency. By leveraging Symphony RetailAI’s AI combined with the art of space management, what will finally be presented is the perfect offer, creating more customer-centric shopping experiences.”

“Optimal micro and macro space management ensures that retailers enhance collaboration across all stores and bring their space management process into alignment with the overall business strategy,” said Chris Koziol, CEO, Symphony RetailAI. “Retail innovators like Rimi Baltic enhance their market leadership through embracing these kinds of market-leading capabilities. By giving Rimi Baltic enhanced execution and responsiveness, we can help the retailer deliver an enriched shopper experience.”