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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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Kroger honored with Energy Star Partner of the Year Award

BY Marianne Wilson

Kroger is on track for big savings in energy use.

The supermarket giant has received the 2018 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award for its prioritization of Energy Star best practices in its energy management strategy and for its continued commitment to energy reduction. Kroger’s long-term goal is to reduce cumulative energy consumption — in the form of electricity — in its stores by 40% by 2020, as the chain outlined in its sustainability report.

Kroger has earned more Energy Star building certifications than any other commercial entity by certifying 320 grocery stores in 2017, bringing the total number of stores certified to 793 since 2011. The company has saved 48.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity by installing more than 3.8 million LED lamps.

“Kroger uses the EPA’s Energy Star program to track and assess energy consumption across our retail locations,” said Keith Oliver, Kroger’s VP of facility engineering. Oliver. “We benchmark building energy performance, assess energy management goals over time, and identify strategic opportunities for savings.”

Beyond its retail operations, Kroger’s logistics team continues to track its “ton miles per gallon” (TMPG) and look to new technologies to increase delivery and operational efficiencies. Kroger has committed to adding Tesla Semi-electric trucks to its distribution fleet, which require lower energy cost per mile in comparison to conventional diesel tractors.

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Study: Companies looking to ramp up same-day delivery

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Retailers are rethinking — and speeding up — their logistics operations to create a faster purchasing journey for customers.

To satisfy online consumers that want a faster purchasing experience, 78% of logistics companies expect to provide same-day delivery by 2023. Meanwhile, 40% anticipate two-hour delivery windows by 2028, according to the “Future of Fulfillment Vision study,” from Zebra Technologies.

To better meet the growing expectations of the on-demand economy, 76% of retailers use store inventory to fill online orders, and 86% of companies plan to implement buy online/pick up in store in the next year. Retailers are also investing in retrofitting stores to double as online fulfillment centers, and shrinking selling space to accommodate e-commerce pickups and returns.

In addition, 87% of retailers expect to use crowdsourced delivery, or a network of drivers that can get orders to customers faster, by 2028.

Next-generation supply chains will reflect connected, business-intelligence and automated solutions that will add newfound speed, precision and cost-effectiveness to transportation and labor. The most disruptive technologies will be drones (39%), driverless/autonomous vehicles (38%), wearable and mobile technology (37%) and robotics (37%).

In other key findings:

  • Supply chains will also become less error-prone, as 49% of companies will add more radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, tagging solutions and inventory management platforms in the next few years. The technology heightens inventory accuracy and shopper satisfaction while reducing out of stocks, overstocks and replenishment errors.
  • While 72% of organizations currently utilize barcodes, 55 are still using inefficient, manual pen-and-paper based processes to enable omnichannel logistics. By 2021, handheld mobile computers with barcode scanners will be used by 94% of respondents for omnichannel logistics.
  • Accepting and managing returns also remains a challenge for 87% of respondents, especially as the increase in free and fast product delivery corresponds with an increase in returned merchandise. Seven in 10 surveyed executives agree that more retailers will turn stores into fulfillment centers that accommodate product returns.
  • More than 60% of retailers that currently do not offer free shipping, free returns or same-day delivery plan to do so, while 44% expect to outsource returns management to a third party.

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