Issue 07-23-2018

Playing field leveled

WASHINGTON — Overturning a 1992 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that states and local governments can collect sales tax from online sellers that do not have a physical presence in the state. The decision was hailed by several retail industry groups for creating a more level playing field for brick-and-mortar retailers. The court’s ruling

Amazon disrupting Rx with PillPack purchase

SEATTLE — has made its long-awaited entry into the pharmacy industry with the acquisition of PillPack, an online pharmacy that delivers medications in presorted, easy-to-use dose packaging. Citing “a person familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg News estimates that Amazon will pay about $1 billion for the online pharmacy, which bills itself as “a pharmacy

Kroger works to elevate omnichannel offerings

CINCINNATI — Kroger Co. has taken another bold step toward creating a seamless online shopping experience by partnering with Nuro to provide grocery delivery with unmanned vehicles. The two companies will develop a pilot program to be tested in the fall in a market that will soon be announced. The program will be the first

Giant plans e-commerce push

CARLISLE, Pa. — Giant Food Stores expects to launch an e-commerce hub later this year in Lancaster, Pa., that will bolster the grocer’s delivery business while serving as a pickup destination for shoppers who purchase merchandise from the company’s website. The 38,000-square-foot facility will be the fifth such hub in Pennsylvania and will permit Giant

‘Target Run’ initiative augmented

MINNEAPOLIS — Last summer Target Corp. introduced its “Target Run” campaign, which highlighted the affordable everyday essentials Target customers can pick up in “one stop, all done” shopping. The effectiveness of that campaign has been incredibly strong, according to executive vice president and chief marketing officer Rick Gomez. Now, Target has expanded its fulfillment options,

Amazon moves up in ranking of largest U.S. retailers

WASHINGTON — The largest U.S. retailers have maintained their edge during the past year by launching new strategies, augmenting the in-store experience and reengineering both logistics and digital commerce capabilities, according to the annual Top 100 Retailers list released last month by the National Retail Federation and Kantar Consulting. The 10 largest retailers on the

Lidl’s impact on U.S. market eyed

NEW YORK — Lidl failed to maintain early gains in market share following its U.S. launch last year, according to a new report from Catalina. The report examined the competitive impact of Lidl’s first 30 U.S. stores, which began opening in June 2017 in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. An analysis of data from

Rite Aid ready to put merger to a vote

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. shareholders will vote on the company’s merger with Albertsons Cos. at a special meeting on August 9. If approved, the $24 billion transaction would take privately held Albertsons public and give its shareholders a majority stake in the combined company. The merged entity would be a top-five food

Job done, Boer steps down

Seven years ago, as the newly appointed chief executive officer of Royal Ahold, Dick Boer was focused on implementation of Reshaping Retail, a strategy designed to enable the company to better meet consumers’ changing needs with supermarkets and small-format and specialty stores, as well as an emerging array of omnichannel capabilities. Reshaping Retail proved an

Trade war top threat to retail employment

The retail industry is a major employer of Americans, with the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimating that the retail trade (including food services and drinking places) accounts for 28,984,100 jobs in the United States. That compares to 19,855,000 jobs in health care and social assistance, and 12,596,500 jobs in manufacturing. It is possible to imagine