The continuing rise of COVID-19 cases across the country has many shoppers starting to stockpile again, and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon says that while grocers are generally prepared, "[i]t will be choppy for months to come as we all deal with the volatility and as things change." Several recent surveys back up McMillon's comments, showing that US shoppers fear another pandemic lockdown and potential product shortages that could result from it.
A new Publix distribution center being built in Greensboro, N.C., will now include a dry grocery warehouse, adding 1.2 million square feet to the project's initial 940,000 square feet of refrigerated space. The grocer broke ground on the distribution site in February and plans call for it to be finished in 2022 to help support expansion in the Carolinas and Virginia.
Dollar General says it will hold a one-day-only, pre-holiday sale on Nov. 13, with discounted specials on grocery items, gifts, holiday decorations and toys at its nearly 17,000 locations, and some products also for sale online. The retailer said assortments may vary from store to store and that sale items will be available "while supplies last."
An automated shopping cart sterilization system will soon debut at around 200 Hy-Vee stores, helping to reduce the number of employees needed to ensure the carts are properly sanitized. The new system is made by IZZA Manufacturing, which says it will clean one or two carts every second using a disinfectant spray that can kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses.
Apple has ramped up efforts to design its own search engine as the Justice Department begins investigating the relationship between Google and Apple. Apple now shows its own results when users type queries into the search window on devices running iOS 14.
Bed Bath & Beyond's profit-boosting plan includes investing up to $1.5 billion in capital projects over the next three years and rolling out about 10 new private-label brands starting in March. The retailer will remodel 450 stores, upgrade its e-commerce operations, improve its supply chain and scale back its coupon program.
A growing number of companies are feeding consumers' growing appetite for sustainable seafood and many are securing third-party certification from groups like the Marine Stewardship Council. A campaign launched this year by the James Beard Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation urged restaurant patrons and grocery shoppers to push for more sustainable seafood.
Peapod's departure from the Chicago area this year left a grocery delivery void that two local brothers are looking to fill with their new company, Fresh Midwest. Patrick and Mike Fitzgerald, both Peapod veterans, say the venture will initially deliver prepared meals and local produce to customers from the city's Lincoln Park neighborhood north to Kenosha, Wis.
The pandemic has accelerated the growth of plant-based foods in ways that could not have been imagined a few years ago, setting the stage for future opportunities with products that appear to have plenty of staying power, according to Justin Neal, vice president of sales at plant-based meal maker Amy's. "There's a lot more potential for growth and the need for variety and choice in stores so that we can continue to meet the consumer need," Neal writes.
After a successful pilot program in Maine, regional grocer Roche Bros. is expanding its partnership with Forager in an effort to boost popular local source options, bypass established distribution centers and create an "alternative supply chain." All three of the company's banners will now have access to Forager's mobile and online platforms, which link grocers with local farmers, fishers and ranchers.
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