News Briefs


Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Launch Video Retail Training Program With Ammunition Manufacturer TV Ammo


Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stores, in coordination with Texas-based ammunition manufacturer TV Ammo, Inc.,  have launched a retail training program to educate thousands of managers and store team members at more than 150 Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s locations nationwide.

The mandatory training program, named “True Velocity University,” utilizes four in-depth video “chapters” to familiarize Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s store outfitters not only with the differentiating attributes of True Velocity’s advanced composite-cased ammunition but also to inform them about the company’s corporate culture, brand strategy and disruptive manufacturing technology. Upon completion of the training program, each participating outfitter will be tested on their knowledge of True Velocity and its ammunition.

“We realize that the thousands of individual Bass Pro and Cabela’s outfitters are critical to the success of our partnership with Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s,” said True Velocity Chairman and Co-CEO Kevin Boscamp. “We want to make sure we are equipping them with the knowledge they need to explain why we believe True Velocity is the most advanced ammunition available on the market.”

“True Velocity’s culture of relentless innovation is a tailor-made fit with our company’s commitment of service and value to our loyal and passionate customers,” said Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops and noted conservationist. “We place value in the expert voice of our outfitters to help sportsmen and women find the very best quality gear at our stores. Through this training program, we are partnering with True Velocity to offer our customers the very best experience both in-store and out at the range.”

The deployment of “True Velocity University” is part of a broader strategic partnership between True Velocity and Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. Announced in November 2022, the partnership brings True Velocity’s line of composite-cased ammunition to more than 125 Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and Cabela’s retail locations across the United States and will leverage co-branded marketing efforts to promote an online subscription service enabling customers to order ammunition directly to their doorstep at a discount to retail prices.


Creative Agency BrandLab of EnsembleIQ Wins 5 AVA Digital Awards


BrandLab, the marketing and creative agency operated by RIS’ parent company EnsembleIQ, has earned five 2023 AVA Digital Awards. The international competition awards excellence in digital marketing and web-based design, recognizing creative professionals responsible for the planning, concept, direction, design, and production of digital communications. 

The highlights:

“EnsembleIQ BrandLab collaborates with clients to create custom marketing and creative solutions in retail, healthcare, and hospitality that deliver awareness, engagement, and connections powering business growth,” said Darren Ursino, VP of marketing and brand engagement at EnsembleIQ. “Winning these awards is a testament to our incredible team and the outstanding work we deliver to our clients. We are delighted to be recognized by the AVA Digital Awards for these digital solutions.”


REI’s Accelerator Program Enters Second Year


REI’s accelerator program is entering its second year and is currently accepting applications.

The Navigate accelerator program supports founders of color with existing businesses in the outdoor industry as they scale their efforts. Currently, the outdoor industry represents a $459.8-billion-dollar-sector, yet only an estimated 1% of brands in the industry are owned or led by people of color, according to REI. To help close this gap, the outdoor retailer created Path Ahead Ventures – a $30 million investment to empower founders of color to start and scale their businesses in the outdoor industry.

In the second year of the program, Navigate will offer founders a customized learning experience tailored to their company’s specific needs, as well as funding, mentorship, and one-on-one strategic guidance with subject matter experts. Founders will also have opportunities to meet with and learn from experienced partners both inside and outside the industry, while building their networks and connecting with founders of companies at similar stages. 

Applications for Navigate are open now until March 12. Interested founders can learn more and apply at  



Alo Yoga Leverages VR and Streaming for Immersive Digital Shopping Experience

Alo Yoga

Activewear retailer Alo Yoga is elevating the shopping experience, tapping into immersive technologies like virtual reality and streaming to capture consumer interest. 

The company has launched a new platform through which customers can access VR, digital styling capabilities, beauty and wellness tutorials, workout classes, and an improved checkout experience. Alo Yoga partnered with experiential e-commerce provider Obsess to launch the virtual store, accessible via desktop, mobile, or the Meta Quest 2 VR headset.

Within the experience, shoppers can interact with different types of content, build their own custom outfits, and choose from several workout videos through the Alo Moves fitness platform (previously only available to paid subscribers). 

Danny Harris, co-founder and co-CEO of Alo Yoga, said that interactive shopping experiences that incorporate VR are the future of e-commerce. “They are an exciting new way for a visionary brand like ours to reach and engage our community while transporting them directly into our world,” he added.

Angelic Vendette, VP and global head of marketing at Alo, stated the experience will help the brand reach and engage the Alo community wherever they are “in a 3D environment that feels unbelievably similar to shopping in one of our stores in real life.”

Anand Dass, director, metaverse content applications at Meta, said the technology is “transporting the digital storefront into virtual reality, and we are looking forward to learning how this could change the way consumers shop.”

Retailers have their eyes on immersive experiences, looking to differentiate their services from the competition. See how other retailers are approaching innovating shopping:


Save A Lot To Modernize Merchandising Systems


Save A Lot has struck a deal to obtain real-time inventory visibility, including data synchronization to centralize ownership and data flows for business agility, as well as unified order management and complete store and channel insights.

The supermarket chain, which is transitioning to be a licensed wholesaler, selected SymphonyAI Retail CPGto provide the end-to-end insights that it hopes will enable it to minimize stockouts and substitutions. The SymphonyAI Retail CPG solutions being implemented by Save A Lot include Master Data Management (MDM), Core Merchandising, Insights, Vendor Portal and Retail Operations.

“At Save A Lot, we have undertaken a strategic transformation from grocery retailer to licensed wholesaler,” said Jennifer Hopper, chief information officer, Save A Lot. “With SymphonyAI Retail CPG technology, we get best-in-class solutions and can evolve to full end-to-end supply chain optimization that best supports our owner/operator Retail Partner network while giving us enhanced business agility, efficiency, and scalability.”

“We are pleased to partner with an innovative grocery wholesaler like Save A Lot to speed and streamline supply chain and store operations, enhancing both shopper experience and business performance,” said Raj Marimuthu, general manager of supply chain management, SymphonyAI Retail. “We lead the industry in MDM and merchandising capabilities with a seamless path to full end-to-end AI-based insights, including demand forecasting AI — all with a compelling ROI value proposition.”


Giant Eagle Modernizes Product Management System to Improve Customer Experience

giant eagle storefront

Grocery retailer and distributor Giant Eagle is drilling down on their product management modernization efforts, investing in new strategic category management technology across 216 supermarkets and 274 GetGo convenience stores. 

Giant Eagle has tapped Plantensive, a MorganFranklin company, to spearhead the effort. Under the terms of the new partnership, the supply chain and retail planning solutions provider will roll out their category management technology to Giant Eagle and GetGo stores in western Pennsylvania, north central Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland, and Indiana.

The integration aims to transition Giant Eagle’s product management processes over to the Blue Yonder Category Management suite, removing siloes from data sources and providing greater insight into customer preferences. The solution also allows users to spatially analyze macro and micro space and keep track of product allocation in stores and on shelves. 

“Plantensive joined Giant Eagle as an experienced Blue Yonder category management partner which was critical for us in this implementation,” said Giant Eagle VP of merchandising planning, operations & analytics Scott McNeely. “We are looking forward to our improved guest experience and increased collaboration with the updated solution as our teams continue partnering to accelerate our category management initiatives.”