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Issue 05-24-2021

E-commerce fueling new delivery options

NEW YORK — As many retail executives have predicted, the massively accelerated consumer shift to e-commerce triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of reversing itself. On the contrary, the convenience of home delivery and curbside pickup is fueling shoppers’ desire for ever-faster fulfillment, and major retailers across trade classes are responding with enhanced

Walmart adds MeMD to boost health services

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal­mart is delving deeper into virtual health with the planned acquisition of MeMD, an 11-year-old company that says it provides around-the-clock telehealth services to 5 million members across the United States. Walmart said the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will allow its Walmart Health unit to extend its footprint nationwide.

Mexican retailer buys Smart & Final for $620 million

COMMERCE, Calif. — The investment group owners of Smart & Final Holdings Inc. have agreed to sell the grocery chain to Bodega Latina Corp. (BLC), a subsidiary of Mexico City-based Grupo Comercial Chedraui, which announced the deal last week. Smart & Final’s owners — funds managed by affiliates of private equity firm Apollo Global Management

First of Kroger’s CFCs ready to fulfill orders

CINCINNATI — Kroger Co. last month announced that the first of 20 customer fulfillment centers (CFCs) it is developing in partnership with British online grocer Ocado Group PLC was ready to fulfill orders from online shoppers. The gigantic warehouse, in Monroe, Ohio, north of Cincinnati, deploys robots, artificial intelligence and autonomous-navigation software to pick and

GIANT expanding in Philadelphia

CARLISLE, Pa. — The GIANT Co. said it plans to add four new stores in Philadelphia, accelerating its omnichannel growth in the city. “The GIANT Co. is committed to Philadelphia, and this expansion across our family of brands exemplifies our strategy in action,” said the company’s president, Nicholas Bertram. “True to its reputation of being

‘News’ confirms industry’s value

‘News’ confirms industry’s value

On a recent Monday in May, The New York Times ran a story in the paper’s Business section appropriately titled “Will the Future of Therapy Be at the Drugstore?” The article dealt primarily with CVS’ apparent decision to test the availability of mental health specialists within the retailer’s MinuteClinic nonemergency health care facilities in 13

Supply chain questions that aren’t going away

Supply chain questions that aren’t going away

The supply chain, hitherto taken for granted if not ignored completely, has assumed unaccustomed prominence during the COVID pandemic. Disruptions in the flow of some health care products and consumer staples (most notoriously personal protective equipment and toilet paper), extending from stores all the way back to the source of raw materials, were a fact

Returning to normal in Australia is hopefully within reach

SYDNEY, Australia — As the northern hemisphere dreams about reopening and restoring their pandemic-ravaged economies, an encouraging slow recovery is being played out at the other end of the world. Australia’s success (and New Zealand’s) in suppressing COVID-19, apart from the isolated flare-up and occasional lockdown, has produced a bounce back in business and household

Retailers expected to up their e-commerce game

Online grocery sales skyrocketed to an unanticipated 133% year-over-year growth in 2020, compared to 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly shifted consumer shopping behavior online due to safety concerns; however, a much bigger problem in the industry resurfaced. That is the lack of complete and accurate online product data. For years, the industry has recognized the