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Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets generate $25 million in charitable giving

BY Michael Johnsen

CARLISLE, Pa. — Ahold’s Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets on Wednesday announced that charitable donations made in 2013 from customers, associates and vendor partners totaled $25.1 million. Donations supporting hunger relief, improving the lives of children, and building healthier communities were made through a combination of cash and product, the supermarket operator reported. 

“From each store associate up through to our corporate office and distribution centers, Giant/Martin’s is focused on being a better neighbor in the local communities that we serve through community giving and helping customers achieve healthier lifestyles,” stated Larry Stover, SVP store operations. “For the second year in a row we have achieved the $25 million in giving milestone. Thank you to our customers, our associates and our vendor partners who have joined with us over the past year in support of hunger relief, children’s causes and building healthy communities.”

As part of Giant/Martin’s commitment to the fight against hunger, in 2013, nearly 100 regional food banks and local pantries across four states received more than $10 million in product, customer, vendor and corporate donations. Food donation programs provided more than $9 million in meat and bakery items, equating to hundreds of thousands of pounds of food to assist struggling families. Significant among these food donation programs was “Meat the Needs,” where the company freezes meat that would otherwise go unsold and donates it to regional food banks. Since the launch of “Meat the Needs”, more than one million pounds of frozen meat has been donated to regional food bank Philabundance alone.

In celebration of the company’s 90th anniversary in 2013, Giant/Martin’s donated a total of $81,000 to nine regional food bank partners towards ongoing hunger relief efforts. Customers contributed approximately $1 million during two Bag Hunger in-store campaigns.

Also for its 90th anniversary, Giant/Martin’s launched 90 days of giving where stores conducted at least one random act of kindness throughout the summer and into early fall. These acts included everything from hosting an event to distribute free school supplies to children, providing bottled water donations to local firemen and women, raising more than $3,000 to rebuild a local park destroyed by arson to donating supplies to a homeless shelter. 

In 2013, Giant/Martin’s committed more than $11 million in contributions to local community groups and various nonprofit organizations throughout its market area. The grocers’ annual “Support Our Troops” in-store campaign, which benefits regional USOs and the Wounded Warrior Project, raised $518,000. Associate and corporate contributions to more than 40 local United Way agencies also totaled more than $1 million in 2013.

And over the past 18 years, Giant/Martin’s has donated more than $34 million to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in local communities it serves, including $3.3 million in 2013. “Funds generated through Giant/Martin’s annual campaigns provide life-saving care and needed treatments for nine of our member children’s hospitals,” commented John Lauck, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals president and CEO. “The dollars raised are so vital to our hospitals’ operations and the care they provide to local sick and injured kids.”

Through Giant/Martin’s A+ School Rewards program, more than 2,500 public and private schools received $3 million to help fund scholarship programs, technology initiatives, sports equipment and other educational needs. Since launching the program in 2005, more than $16 million has been donated to thousands of local schools.

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Walmart testing small format convenience store

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart this week opened its first small format convenience store branded as Walmart To Go in its hometown of Bentonville.

The concept offers a familiar blend of convenience store products, prepared foods and gasoline and is not to be confused with Walmart’s other small format concept known as Walmart Express. The Express format measures about 15,000-sq.-ft. and also appeals to convenience minded shoppers with gas, a pharmacy and fresh food offerings. The Walmart To Go store bears the same name as a home delivery grocery service the company launched three years ago in San Francisco and expanded to Denver last year.

The Walmart To Go store is located at the heavily trafficked intersection of South Walton Boulevard and S.W. 14th Street less than a half mile south of Walmart’s headquarters. The heavily trafficked intersection is well suited to a convenience store format with easy ingress and egress. However, as retail tests go Walmart won’t get a true read on the viability of the concept until it is exposed to competition in a market where the shopper base is not distorted by those work work for or sell products to Walmart. The proximity to the retailer’s headquarter ensures that a large percentage of those visiting the store will have some type of Walmart affiliation. Also of noted is the fact that the most meaningful competition for Walmart To Go will come from other Walmart formats. A Walmart supercenter with a gas station is located adjacent to Walmart’s headquarters and a 45,000-sq.-ft. Neighborhood Market store, which is also designed to satisfy shoppers’ convenience needs, opened last year and is less than a mile from the new Walmart To Go.

 

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Bi-Lo Holdings to rebrand 17 Sweetbay stores under its Winn-Dixie banner

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Bi-Lo Holdings, parent company of Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, on Wednesday announced that on March 29 it will begin to rebrand 17 Sweetbay stores throughout much of the Tampa-St. Pete, Largo and Bradenton areas.

“Upon reopening as a Winn-Dixie, we believe customers will be pleasantly surprised to see that we have been working hard to provide the fresh, quality products they want at prices they can afford,” stated Joey Medina, Winn-Dixie’s regional VP. “Plus, we will offer a suite of in-store savings programs, like the fuelperks! Reward Program, which lets customers earn incredible savings at participating Shell stations every time they shop with their Winn-Dixie Customer Reward Card.”

Other savings programs include a $4 and $10 generic prescription savings program, plus discounts on many name-brand medications.

“While the name on the storefronts is changing, the people running them don’t have to," Medina said. "We’ve invited Sweetbay associates to join the Winn-Dixie family and look forward to exchanging what it means to be local as we work together to run even greater stores.”

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