The quality and prices of fresh foods at Costco Wholesale will make the category a sales driver for the retailer, Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said Thursday. Produce is on track to become a $6 billion business for Costco, which is a similar value to the retailer's protein business, Galanti said.
SpartanNash has teamed with Amazon to distribute dry and chilled groceries for the online retail giant's Amazon Prime Now service and has recently added distribution for the Amazon Fresh program. "[W]e believe that it has significant growth potential. This relationship is a great example of our commitment to pursuing solutions for difficult logistic issues, and we continue to look at opportunities to grow sales with other non-traditional customers," SpartanNash's Chief Financial Officer Dave Staples said.
Whole Foods Market will expand its new loyalty reward program to the Dallas market this summer before rolling out the program to its stores across the country. The move is part of the retailer's efforts to expand personalization, and it follows a recent test of incorporating digital coupons into the Whole Foods mobile app.
Amazon may own a fifth of online grocery sales in the US, but Wal-Mart still has an advantage its online rival doesn't. Americans spent about $70 billion in funds from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- also known as food stamps -- last year, and virtually all of the buying happened in brick-and-mortar grocery stores. That could change in the future as proponents push for the program to work with online retailers.
Champagne sales increased briskly in 2015 to their highest level since the Great Recession -- a good reflection of demand for luxury products in general, said Constantin Gurdgiev, professor of finance at Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, Calif. It's an indicator that the middle class is regaining its appetite to indulge in high-end products, he said. Asian markets, such as Taiwan and South Korea, are also buying more Champagne than ever, though mainland China is more heavily focused on wine.
High-tech counterfeiting of wine is rampant with $100 million of fake product in circulation, causing retailers to lose $300 million to $400 million per year, a NetNames study finds. "Counterfeit wine not only poses a huge threat to consumers health', it also significantly impacts a brand's image," Stuart Fuller of NetNames warns. Producers need a dedicated manager who is responsible for brand protection, Fuller suggests.
Maryland-based Mars Super Markets will close its remaining eight stores at the end of July, according to a company memo. The move follows the sale of five stores to Weis Markets, which was announced Wednesday. Mars has operated as a family-owned food retailer in the Baltimore market for more than 70 years.
Kroger will spend $290 million to open new stores and roll out a program for online shoppers in its Columbus, Ohio, division. The retailer's "ClickList" system will let customers place orders online and pick them up at the store.
Delhaize America banner Hannaford is teaming with Robinson Fresh to test a "Misfits" ugly-produce program at 14 stores in the Albany, N.Y., market. Robinson already works with Associated Food Stores on that retailer's ugly-produce program.
Whole Foods Market's first 365 banner saw steady checkout lines and got positive feedback from shoppers on prices in its first day of operation Wednesday. "A lot of consumers who have avoided Whole Foods seem willing to give 365 a try, and the overwhelming factor they're talking about is the prices," a store employee said.
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