Walgreens digital disruption innovation summit
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Digital Disruption Innovation Summit offers Walgreens online strategy suggestions

BY Seth Mendelson

More than 150 manufacturers joined more than five dozen Walgreens executives and buyers at the Digital Disruption Innovation Summit in Schaumburg, Ill. to discuss opportunities to help the drug store chain continue to build its online digital business.

The executives met at the one-day conference, presented by Drug Store News and Mack Elevation, to learn more about what is happening in the digital arena and to develop approaches together to help build sales in that space, while still maintaining a strong brick-and-mortar approach.

“This is not a moment to panic, but it is a moment to be prepared,” said Joe Hartsig, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer for Walgreens as he discussed the company’s digital strategies. “We are doing a lot of work in this arena and we are running fast. But we are also humbled because we know we can do so much more.”

DSN publisher Eric Savitch added: “It is an honor for DSN to be involved, along with Dan Mack and Mack Elevation, to bring these suppliers together with key Walgreens officials. We are proud to be the conduit that helps all these players learn more about each other and what they can do to help build digital sales today and in the future.”

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ECRM to facilitate Wakefern’s store-brand supplier search

BY David Salazar

Wakefern Food is reaching out to private-label suppliers with ECRM’s help with an upcoming event. The Keasbey, N.J.-based retailer-owned cooperative will be meeting with potential suppliers its Store Brand Sourcing Program, which will be held at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edision, N.J, on May 17.

ECRM will be facilitating the 20-minute meetings between potential vendors and buyers from Wakefern, whose members independently own and operate such banners as ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, the Fresh Grocer and Dearborn Market. ECRM also will be handling all inbound product submissions for the event, the companies said.

Through the event, Wakefern said it is seeking suppliers for store-brand products in its grocery, frozen, dairy, meat, produce, beverages, food service, bakery, seafood, deli, non-foods and health and beauty care sections.

“Wakefern is looking forward to working with ECRM to find exciting new suppliers and products for our stores,” Wakefern vice president of grocer Parag Shah said. “We continue to grow our existing private label portfolio with innovative and award-winning new brands such as Wholesome Pantry, and believe this summit will bring us exciting new opportunities.”

Interested private-label suppliers and manufacturers can submit their product information using RangeMe through April 13. ECRM will select and email details of meetings to companies, which will be subject to a $500 participation fee.

“We are excited to be working with Wakefern in their quest to enhance their own brand assortment and find the appropriate supplier capabilities to grow sales and enhance value for their shoppers,” ECRM senior vice president Wayne Bennett said.

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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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