As online demand continues to grow, Walmart is turning to its brick-and-mortar stores to help ease the strain on its fulfillment centers. The retailer, which has 2,800 sites offering delivery services, is now routing some online orders to be filled at and delivered from those stores in an effort to avoid delays.
Building on its partnership with Ocado, Kroger will deploy technology and software to enhance its in-store pickup order fulfillment capabilities, and the grocer also plans to build a new 200,000-square-foot customer fulfillment center. The location of the new center hasn't been announced yet, but it will join two other sites being built by Kroger and Ocado in Ohio and Florida, both of which are set to open in 2021.
Albertsons is rolling out a contactless body temperature check and a digital health screening questionnaire to all of its stores as another way to stop the spread of COVID-19 among employees and vendors. The technology helps those conducting health screenings avoid potential exposure and provides "an effective, scalable solution" for added safety, said Chief Operating Officer Susan Morris.
Retail sales of fresh produce grew 7.5% in October from the same month last year, according to a report from the Produce Marketing Association, 210 Analytics and IRI. Sales stayed strong amid the rise in COVID-19 cases as consumers stuck close to home, and several categories including berries, lemons, tomatoes and potatoes gained market share.
Dole Fresh Vegetables has issued a 15-state recall on two products on concerns about potential E. coli contamination, according to the FDA. The voluntary recall covers the three-pack of Dole Romaine Heart and Wild Harvest Romaine Hearts, with harvest dates between Oct. 23 and Oct. 26.
FreshDirect CEO David McInerney says he believes customers should see only benefits from the online grocer's sale to Ahold Delhaize and the private equity firm Centerbridge Partners. The Dutch grocer, which also owns the online grocer Peapod, secured a majority stake in FreshDirect, which McInerney said is "on top of our game right now ... strong double digit-growth, we were naturally attractive, given where the world is in terms of adoption of online food."
As the grocery industry's response to the pandemic continues to evolve, the United Fresh Fall 2020 Fresh Insights for Foodservice quarterly report is spotlighting how foodservice and retail operators are adapting to challenges and leveraging opportunities in the produce category. The latest study explores recent directions in fresh produce and looks ahead to trends likely to affect the industry into spring 2021.
With the pandemic muting many holiday celebrations, Walmart is launching an event that will use up to 1,000 Intel drones to stage an airborne 3D light show set to seasonal music. The retailer says its Holiday Drone Light Show will be held live at eight sites between Dec. 4 and 20 and is also available as a livestream event on Dec. 5 on the company's Facebook, TikTok and Instagram channels.
The final rule on prescription drug rebates from the Trump administration could boost insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs for patients, and doesn't address the key issue of pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration fees, FMI and other advocacy groups said in a statement. "Without pharmacy DIR fee reform, the impact of implementing a system to pass rebates onto patients at the pharmacy counter may prove disastrous for patients and pharmacies," the statement says.
Talia Boone turned her love of flower arranging into a pandemic-era startup, launching Postal Petals after the flower vendors she depended on shut down and revealed a market opportunity. The startup partnered with the farms that grow the flowers to launch online sales of bulk flowers for other at-home arrangers.
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