News Briefs


Kroger Expands Delivery Capability in Sushi and Floral Categories

kroger teaser

Getting flowers or sushi delivered from The Kroger Co. just got a little easier. 

The company has partnered with DoorDash to expand its delivery capabilities, now providing more options in the floral and sushi categories. Following a successful pilot earlier this fall, Kroger is now offering delivery from more than 900 sushi locations and 1,600 floral locations across the U.S. 

The offering allows customers to order freshly-prepared sushi or custom flower arrangements and have them delivered directly to their doorstep — or they can gift these items to others using the DoorDash gifting feature.

The company is running special promotions on these items through December 24, and the selections will also be available through DoorDash’s membership program, DashPash, which allows for unlimited $0 delivery. 

[Read more: Could the Kroger and Albertsons Merger Create a Powerhouse, Inflation-Proof Brand?]

"By offering customer-favorite sushi options and premium floral bouquets through third-party marketplaces we are continuing to evolve and meet customers where and how they are shopping," said Stuart Aitken, senior vice president and chief merchant and marketing officer, Kroger.

"Whether you are craving fresh, affordable sushi for lunch or want to surprise someone special with a gorgeous fresh floral bouquet, you can now have the items delivered in under an hour,” added Aitken. “Providing fresh, affordable products to customers using familiar channels is another step in our commitment to provide anything, anytime, anywhere for every customer, every time."

Shanna Prevé, vice president, strategic partnerships and business development at DoorDash said that the trend toward convenience goes in just a single direction as customers' expectations rise, “and we're thrilled to continue to expand into the prepared foods and floral categories with Kroger to satiate a lunch craving or delight someone's day."


Meijer To Open New Concept Grocery Stores Next Year

meijer storefront

Meijer is opening two new Michigan-based Meijer Grocery Stores in January 2023. The new concept stores – located in Orion Township and Macomb Township – will aim to make the shopper experience as convenient and seamless as possible, the retailer says. 

The company says the stores will be 75,000-90,000 square feet each and stocked with everyday essentials, fresh produce, health and beauty, bakeries, pharmacies, pet products, and more. In addition to providing a one-stop-shop for guests’ weekly grocery needs, the retailer says other design elements will help facilitate an easier store experience – parking will be built around a single corner entrance to maximize the number of parking spots close to the door, for example.  

[Related: Ulta Bets on Store Remodels and Loyalty Efforts to Sustain Growth

The stores will also aim to use locally-produced items, where possible, remaining in alignment with Meijer's aim to support local businesses. In the bakeries, for example, associates will serve up cinnamon rolls, banana breads, brownies and cakes from the Ann Arbor-based deli, Zingerman's. 

“By opening Meijer Grocery stores, we're introducing a new way for our customers to shop that provides convenience, value and the great quality our customers have always come to expect from Meijer,” said Meijer president & CEO Rick Keyes. “Our customers' needs are always evolving, and we're committed to meeting them where they are. That's why we're excited to share this new Meijer experience with the Orion and Macomb Township communities.”


Rite Aid Standardizes Enterprise Business Processes

rite aid

Rite Aid is the latest retailer to adopt ValueBlue's BlueDolphin enterprise application collaboration platform. The enterprise SaaS tool helps organizations map out and execute business transformation. ValueBlue is working with Rite Aid to standardize business processes and increase connectivity between business units.

Rite Aid is using BlueDolphin to map business systems across business units to streamline operations and accelerate growth. Rite Aid aims to be able to generate a consolidated view of enterprise systems, making it easier to manage spending, optimize budgets, and identify and eliminate redundant resources. BlueDolphin will also assist in identifying areas to realize savings, security risks, and audit exposures.

BlueDolphin supports agile business transformation by creating a unified platform for collaborative knowledge sharing and storing, searching, and retrieving assets. It offers a central information repository where stakeholders can combine data, processes, applications, and infrastructure to enterprise architecture design and process management. 

"ValueBlue specializes in assisting companies like Rite Aid with enterprise architecture maturity," said Jelle Visser, chief commercial officer of ValueBlue. "Business agility relies on enterprise adaptability. BlueDolphin provides a unified platform to map out enterprise strategies for greater business agility and to shorten time to market. Rite Aid also decided to adopt BlueDolphin because of ValueBlue's is committed to providing superior customer care."

Rite Aid also found BlueDolphin because of its seamless integration with third-party platforms such as ServiceNow, Adobe Workfront, Azure DevOps, and Flexera. The solution also offers technology forecasting insights with rich, dynamic visualization and reporting tools.



Allbirds Opens Large-Format Store in Boston

allbirds website

Sustainable footwear retailer Allbirds has launched a large-format store in Boston within the Prudential Center. With sustainability at the forefront, the store clearly displays the carbon footprint of each product. 

The new store — Allbirds’ largest yet — spans 3,700 square feet and uses natural materials, including custom wood try-on chairs and displays and a New England-sourced service desk. 

The store also features special-edition wooden pins inspired by The Fen’s turtle population as an homage to Boston. Additionally, customers can find tote bags featuring the area’s local bird, the yellow-crowned night heron. 

[Read more: Allbirds Says Stores Remain a Powerful Tool]

Between Dec. 2 and 4, customers can receive complimentary product customization from local artist Goody Great. New products include a plastic-free vegan plant leather sneaker and the store also features popular items such as the Wool Runner, Tree Flyer, and Fluff Collection. 

“Boston is really starting to feel like home for us at Allbirds, and we are so excited to be opening our fifth — and largest — store in the region,” said Tim Brown, Allbird’s co-founder and co-CEO in a statement. “Boston is a city that has always been at the cutting edge of cultural innovation, and we are delighted that locals have embraced our brand and mission.”


Target Rolls Out Drive Up Starbucks Option at Select Stores

starbucks target teaser

Target Drive Up shoppers will now be able to pick up a to-go Starbucks coffee alongside their groceries and household essentials.

Since early November, the retailer has added Starbucks with Drive Up options to 240 Target stores in California, Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and West Virginia. According to the store, this is a first-of-its-kind service rolled out at this scale, with Target working on developing the capabilities from late 2021 and testing the service with team members this summer.

Drive Up guests can place orders as usual in the Target app. After receiving notification their order is ready, shoppers should notify baristas they are on their way. Team members will then prepare their beverages ready for when guests arrive, park their car in the designated area and press the “I’m Here” button in the app to let team members know they can bring out the orders. 

[See Also: First Look: Starbucks' Immersive New York Reserve Store]

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of year for the retailer and the coffee chain. Starbucks and Target’s long standing partnership spans 20-years and 1700 stores. These new capabilities will build on Target’s plan to utilize the company’s nearly 2,000 stores as fulfillment hubs. Digital business has more than doubled over the last two years, with Order Pickup, Drive Up and Same-Day Delivery with Shipt accounting for more than half of these sales.

Target announced their plans to roll-out the curbside service earlier this year. Commenting at the time, Mark Schindele, Target’s chief stores officer, said the additions were driven by customer insights and feedback: “our guests continue to tell us they love the ease and convenience of Drive Up, and have been asking us to add even more of the Target experience to the service. Adding Starbucks ordering and easy returns, while expanding our backup item options, will give guests even more of what they love about shopping at Target, quickly and easily.”


Fractal Launches New Company:

Rocket launching

Artificial intelligence and advanced analytics provider Fractal has launched a new company dedicated to the retail and CPG industries. 

Known as, the new company seeks to provide an end-to-end AI platform, unifying demand planning, sales and distribution, inventory planning, and pricing and promotion. The tech strives to alleviate tight budgets in retail and consumer goods, and its test release has been shown to help businesses unlock nearly 10 percent top-line and bottom-line growth, according to the company. 

These users were also reportedly able to free 40 to 60 percent of their existing manual bandwidth so they could focus on more strategic initiatives, said Fractal. 

“The opportunity for AI to unlock efficiency and drive growth is massive,” said Pranay Agrawal, Fractal co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “At Fractal, we are constantly looking for ways to help consumer brands tap into new revenue and growth opportunities and is the next step on the journey.”

This article first appeared on the site of sister publication CGT.