Industry News
Specialty Retail
Top stories summarized by our editors
7/2/2020

Apple's recent series of patent applications titled "Providing Verified Claims of User Identity" reveals the company is working on technology in which a device can be used to store, verify and transmit a user's personal identification, which in theory could make physical IDs such as passports and driver licenses obsolete. The system would work by verifying the user through biometric sensors on devices, such as an Apple Watch, and then securely transmitting the ID.

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AppleInsider
7/2/2020

Lenovo has launched its Virtual Care service to help doctors manage chronically ill patients through home kits that include biometric devices to measure blood pressure and glucose levels and a Lenovo tablet programmed with "Rosie," a smart assistant that guides patients through their customized health plans. The monitoring service is intended to allow patients and doctors to communicate quickly and more efficiently, ultimately decreasing the number of in-person visits.

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Engadget
7/2/2020

In 2013, Walmart pledged to hire 250,000 veterans by this year through its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment initiative. As of July 1, Walmart and Sam's Club have brought 265,000 veterans on board through the program, and the company said more than 44,000 of those hired had been promoted to higher-paying jobs.

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Progressive Grocer
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Walmart, Sam's Club
7/2/2020

Eight Earth Fare stores are set to reopen in Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina as new owners attempt to revive part of the natural grocery chain after its bankruptcy filing in February. Hulsing Enterprises President and CEO Dennis Hulsing, whose company invested in Earth Fare, teamed with Earth Fare founder Randy Talley to reopen the Ashevillle, N.C., store on June 22, with other openings planned within the next several months.

7/2/2020

After hiring 750 employees since March to bolster its online operations, Stop & Shop announced it will now add three new "warerooms" and more than 50 new pickup locations by the end of 2020. The grocer also plans to expand its ongoing partnership with Instacart to make same-day delivery available at 321 of its more than 400 stores.

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Stop & Shop
7/2/2020

Businesses should ensure that customers can communicate on multiple channels, writes Aysha Shereen, and should also send targeted communications. She also offers eight more tips for effective communication to improve the customer experience.

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Business 2 Community
7/2/2020

Tucson Electric Power announced a plan last week that will aim for 70% of its power to come from renewable sources by 2035, driven in large part by customer demand for green power. "We know our customers count on us to make smart energy decisions, providing more sustainable service that remains reliable and affordable," says Joseph Barrios, a spokesman for the Arizona utility.

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Utility Dive
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Tucson Electric Power
7/2/2020

Two of Albertsons' private label seafood brands will carry the Responsible Choice logo that signals the products are sustainably sourced, reaching a milestone under the grocer's Responsible Seafood Policy. Albertsons said its Waterfront Bistro and Open Nature lines will display the designation, hitting its goal more than two years ahead of the initial timeline.

7/2/2020

The disruption caused by the pandemic has pushed food prices higher, with the latest USDA figures showing grocery prices could rise by 3.5% before year's end. Industry experts say this is likely to drive more shoppers to search for value at their local grocers, instead of searching for comfort products as they did during the pandemic's first phases.

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Progressive Grocer
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USDA
7/2/2020

FMI's Emerge program, which helps smaller brands reach their distribution and growth goals, will be transitioned into Emerge Network LLC and be run by Julie Pryor, the former FMI Emerge director. To date, the program has helped more than 70 companies with education, mentoring and networking, and FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said, "[w]ith small manufacturers facing new challenges and opportunities, supply chains making needed modifications and new promotional trade-spending and ecommerce efforts developing, help was and is required to navigate the new go-to market terrain."

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Progressive Grocer