Lidl plans to spend $125 million to establish a U.S. headquarters and distribution facility in North Carolina, state officials announced Wednesday. The German grocer, which received $5.38 million in tax incentives, is expected to create 200 jobs in the next three years as it expands into an 850,000-square-foot facility in the N.C. Commerce Park.
Des Moines, Iowa, might be the first market to test a standalone grocery store that is a cross between "an ATM and a very large vending machine," using a robotic system called Oasis24Seven, reports Ashlee Kieler of Consumerist. Grocery stores are increasing using technology to monitor shopping as well as tackle in-store theft.
Construction will begin later this year on the $500 million mixed-use development site in Boston's Fenway neighborhood, where Wegmans Food Markets plans to open its first urban location. The 75,000-square-foot store is slated to open in 2018, and a 122,000-square-foot store in Westwood, Mass., will open in October.
The specialty gourmet category generates more than $18 billion in annual revenue from 1,000 stores, including Mariano's and The Fresh Market, says research firm SPINS. Natural and specialty foods drive nearly 70% of dollar sales growth in the category, and the channel has recorded 10% overall growth.
Crossmark has launched a new business model aimed at creating faster sales growth and greater efficiency for its consumer goods and services clients, including a focus on changing consumer trends, digital innovation and "a combination of differentiated disciplines," said CEO Steve Schuckenbrock. The model features five major growth drivers, Schuckenbrock explains, including "seamless integration of sales and marketing capabilities; dedicated client teams; dedicated retailer and channel teams; disciplined planning; and tailored execution."
Sam's Club will welcome members and non-members on July 11 for free health screenings at locations that feature in-store pharmacies, in an effort to help customers take "proactive health steps" to reduce healthcare costs and live healthy lives, says SVP of Health and Wellness Jill Turner-Mitchael. The screening includes tests for blood pressure, total cholesterol, HDL, risk ratio, glucose and body mass index.
Mollie Stone's Markets has teamed up with Instacart to provide grocery delivery in San Francisco, offering home delivery of its local and exotic foods to customers in as little as one hour. The nine-store grocer plans to expand its partnership with Instacart in the region throughout the year.
China has reached an agreement with France that will recognize the Bordeaux appellation as a brand in the Chinese market, a move that marks a "historic advance" in efforts to combat counterfeit wines, the French agricultural ministry said. The ministry has been in talks with the Chinese government since 2011 about the issue, and another 100 geographical labels between the two nations are also part of current, extensive trade discussions.
New laws went into effect in Connecticut this week that extend hours for packaged liquor stores to 10 p.m., with the exception of Sunday, and retailers are now permitted to offer one beer, wine or liquor to sell at less than the minimum price requirements per month. Some store owners, however, say longer hours are more beneficial for the state's collection of taxes than for businesses.
Lidl is considering the launch of an online wine shop in the U.K., following a 38% increase in sales of its premium range last year. The retailer, however, is weighing the complexities of an online wine business with its mission to "keep things simple," said Lidl U.K. Head of Beer, Wine and Spirits Ben Hulme, who unveiled a new whiskey range at a Christmas showcase this week.