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Amazon expands Whole Foods Market delivery through Prime

BY Marianne Wilson

Amazon has expanded Whole Foods Market grocery deliveries through Prime Now to another major metro market.

The online giant on Tuesday said it has launched free two-hour delivery from Whole Foods through Prime Now in Los Angeles. Prime members across greater Los Angeles and Orange County — along the coast from Santa Monica to San Clemente, Pasadena to the North and Yorba Linda to the East — are now eligible for the service. Prime members receive two-hour delivery for free and ultra-fast delivery within one hour for $7.99 on orders of $35 or more.

“We’ve been delighted with the customer response to free two-hour delivery through Prime Now, and we’re excited to bring the service to our Los Angeles area customers,” Christina Minardi, Whole Foods Market executive VP of operations, said.

The service first launched in February 2018 and is now available in seven cities with plans for continued expansion across the U.S. throughout the rest of the year.

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Kroger steps up fight against opioid epidemic

BY Michael Johnsen

Kroger Pharmacy is taking several steps as part of a comprehensive commitment to help communities combat the nationwide opioid epidemic, the Cincinnati grocer announced Monday. The efforts follow Surgeon General Jerome Adams issuing a general advisory on naloxone and opioid overdose encouraging the use of the overdose-reversal drug that has become a mainstay behind pharmacy counters nationwide.

“We applaud the Surgeon General’s advisory on naloxone and opioid overdose, knowing the epidemic continues to devastate communities across our country. A person loses their life from an opioid overdose every 12.5 minutes,” Colleen Lindholz, Kroger’s president of pharmacy and the Little Clinic, said. “We know that pharmacists are the most accessible health professionals to the public and play a vital role in providing access to the life-saving drug naloxone.”

As part of its efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, Kroger currently stocks naloxone, an opioid overdose-reversing drug, in its 2,300 pharmacies across 35 states and the District of Columbia with more than 1,900 of those locations dispensing naloxone without a prescription.

The company also announced plans to host drug take-back events at store locations across the country on April 28, in partnership with Cardinal Health and coinciding with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Kroger also is partnering with EVERFI and Cardinal Health’s Generation Rx to support drug prevention programs for high school students in certain markets.

“Every day in our stores and pharmacies, in large ways and small, Kroger is committed to being a part of the solution and helping people live healthier lives,” Lindholz said.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States struggle with an opioid-use disorder and rates of opioid overdose deaths are rapidly increasing.

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Giant Food increases store presence across home state

BY Michael Johnsen

Giant Food Stores is making a big push in its home state. The Ahold Delhaize USA banner will be opening six new stores from the ground up in Pennsylvania, alongside the opening of five new fuel stations and remodeling two stores as part of a $70 million capital investment over the next two years, the Carlisle, Pa.-based grocer announced Tuesday.

As part of its growth strategy, Giant Food plans to enter the East Stroudsburg, Pa. and Walnutport, Pa. communities for the first time.

“We are positioning the company for long-term growth, and we are excited to grow our presence within East Stroudsburg and Walnutport to better serve the families in those communities,” Nicholas Bertram, Giant Food president, said. “This year Giant is celebrating our founding in Pennsylvania 95 years ago, so we’re especially proud to make these new investments in our home state.”

The East Stroudsburg store and the Walnutport store are both anticipated to open in 2019 and both will include new fuel stations, the company said.

The other four new stores include one in Feasterville-Trevose, Pa. that’s slated to open in the summer of 2018; one in State College, Pa. with an anticipated opening date in late 2018/early 2019; one in Warrington, Pa. that will open early 2019; and one in Broomhall, Pa., that will open late 2019. Each of these four stores will replace a nearby location.

When the Shrewsbury, Pa. and West Chester, Pa. remodels are completed later this year, customers will be able to take advantage of key benefits, which include a broader variety and assortment that is relevant to customers in each store, such as more local products, a deeper assortment of natural and organic selections and healthier snack options.

This investment announcement follows the February completion of a new Peapod wareroom opened in partnership with Giant in North Coventry, Pa. The wareroom opening was in response to fast-growing delivery and pickup demand, and it will enable Peapod and Giant to serve up to 25% more shoppers in the greater Philadelphia area, the company said, adding that Peapod has experienced double-digit growth in the Philadelphia region for the last three consecutive years.

Additionally, the company said these efforts are in addition to the ongoing investments in Beer & Wine Eateries that Giant began in 2011 and now number 59 in Pennsylvania.

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