July 30, 2021
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Food Marketplace Beat
Wegmans opening first Manhattan store in former Kmart
(Jewel Samad/Getty Images)
Wegmans outlined plans to open its first Manhattan location in an 82,000-square-foot former Kmart store it has leased for the next 30 years. The grocer opened its first New York City store in Brooklyn two years ago, and the new location is scheduled to open in the second half of 2023.
Full Story: CNBC (7/29) 
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Study: H-E-B, Kroger, Food Lion tops in customer loyalty
(H-E-B)
H.E. Butt Grocery, Food Lion and Kroger rank the highest for loyalty, respectively, according to Bond Brand Loyalty's 2021 report. The survey looked at loyalty programs, brand influence and rewards and redemption.
Full Story: Progressive Grocer (7/29) 
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Albertsons is preparing for the possibility of bringing back COVID-19 restrictions because of rising cases brought on by the Delta variant of the coronavirus. CEO Vivek Sankaran said the grocer is actively discussing possible new restrictions and will be prepared to enact them if needed.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (7/29) 
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Sandy Douglas, former CEO of Staples, will take over as CEO and join the board of directors at UNFI effective Aug. 9. Douglas takes over for Steve Spinner, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
Full Story: Progressive Grocer (7/29) 
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Connecting the digital + physical worlds in retail
While the recent surge in digital interactions will remain, consumers now crave in-person interaction – which makes connecting the two more important than ever for retailers. This on-demand webinar explores the implications of the Covid-19 digital surge for retailers and how reimagining retail digital transformation can augment human interactions. Watch now
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Trend-Spotter
Consumers are looking for hybrid meal options and time-saving solutions, according to the Food Industry Association's 2021 Power of Foodservice at Retail report. "This analysis underscores the power in convenience-driven retail foodservice observed by the grocery shopper," said FMI's Rick Stein.
Full Story: Winsight Grocery Business (7/29) 
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Shoppers still value online shopping as they begin to return to brick-and-mortar stores and want to continue having both options, according to an 84.51° report. Barbara Conners, vice president of commercial insights at 84.51°, said hybrid shoppers are here to stay and retailers need to stop thinking of shopping in-store and online as different things.
Full Story: Food Business News (free registration) (7/29) 
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New eBook: Advanced Analytics in R&D
As digital transformation accelerates, one big opportunity for food & beverage manufacturers is applying advanced analytics to R&D. This eBook is your guide.
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Tech Solutions
Grocers and other retailers are using technology including artificial intelligence to quickly crunch data and manage price optimization during the current period of inflation. Sporting goods retailer Academy Sports and Outdoors uses AI software from Revionics, which uses a data-driven approach that helps retailers balance pricing across categories and products.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (7/28) 
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SmartBrief Originals
Most Clicked: Take a look at this week's hottest food and beverage industry stories with SmartBrief's Top 10 list.
Unilever's plans to spin off its Tazo and T2 tea brands, Instacart's entry into grocery microfulfillment and Walmart's 100% tuition assistance for employees caught SmartBrief readers' attention this week. Campbell's Soup's redesigned labels and its sale of 100 nonfungible tokens to support Feeding America led this week's Top 10 list.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Food & Travel (7/30) 
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Future of Work
Target set a goal of growing the percentage of Black members of its workforce by 20% by 2023, as part of a bigger diversity and inclusion effort begun last year after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. At the retailer's first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Forum, executives spoke frankly about the challenges in attracting both people of color and women, especially in areas like technology.
Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (7/28) 
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FMI Spotlight
Make your voice heard on debit card fees!
The US Federal Reserve Board is currently seeking comments on its proposal to clarify the routing provisions in the Durbin Amendment to ensure retailers have access to choices in the marketplace for debit card payments, regardless of where the transaction occurs (card, online or other access device). FMI strongly encourages member companies to submit comments to the Federal Reserve urging them to enforce the routing competition provisions and reduce the regulated rate as required by law. Make your voice heard before the Aug. 11 submission deadline through the FMI Advocacy Center.
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Witnessing the rise in retailer contributions to health and well-being
From FMI's Krystal Register: This year's Retailer Contributions to Health and Well-being report tells the story behind the dramatic increase in food retail health and well-being initiatives over the past two years. In parallel, I can tell my own story as I witnessed firsthand the dramatic growth in programs and enhanced focus on health and well-being, employee wellness, multi-channel outreach, pharmacy services and community engagement. With the release of this report, I cannot help but reflect on how true the key findings are as I flash back to the beginning of the pandemic when I was immersed in the food retail world as a registered dietitian working in a supermarket, working to help customers and employees make the connection between food and health to feel better and live stronger. Read more.
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David A. Sinclair,
biologist, professor of genetics
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