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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Kroger Health, the health care division of Kroger, has obtained emergency use authorization from the FDA for a COVID-19 at-home testing kit, which it will initially offer to its front-line workers in 14 states. The tests, a partnership with Gravity Diagnostics, produce results within 72 hours and Kroger has set a goal of processing 60,000 tests a week by the end of this month.
French luxury conglomerate EPI, owner of Champagne brands Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck and Italian wine brand Biondi-Santi, has acquired a 60% controlling stake in Michael Mondavi-owned distributor Folio Fine Wine Partners in Napa, Calif. Under the terms of the deal, whose price was not disclosed and which excludes Michael Mondavi Family wines, Folio CEO Paolo Battegazzore will continue in the role with his current team, and EPI wine and Champagne division President Damien Lafaurie will become a member of the Folio board of directors.
The ripple effects of the pandemic will bring an estimated $4.22 billion in revenue losses to the California wine industry in 2020, a new report from Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute finds. The projected losses stem from sizable drops in direct, on-premises and tasting room sales, the report says.
Purchases of boxed wine by American consumers surged 36% during the 15-week period closing June 13 versus the same interval last year, surpassing overall retail wine sales' 29% increase during the same period, Nielsen research finds. Boxed wine brand leader Franzia saw sales jump 27% year-over-year for the 13 weeks ending June 13, per Nielsen.
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