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Kroger brings curbside pickup to Houston market

BY Michael Johnsen

HOUSTON — The Kroger Houston division on Thursday invited area customers to try ClickList, an online grocery ordering service, at select stores in the area. As an introductory offer, Kroger will waive the $4.95 service charge for a customer's first three orders.

ClickList, which is exclusive to Kroger, allows customers to shop online and pick up their order curbside at one of 22 the participating store locations expected to operate the new service by the beginning of fall 2016.

Nationally, Kroger has been testing online shopping and collecting customers' feedback about the service since November 2014. The introduction of ClickList to the Houston market illustrates the evolution of customers embracing technology to enhance their shopping experiences.

"Feedback from our customers, and other regions, who tested ClickList was overwhelmingly positive and very useful in helping us make changes and improvements before we introduced the service locally," stated Bill Breetz, president of the Kroger Houston division. "We know today's customers are continuously looking for ways to increase their productivity yet simplify their lives. We are certain this online shopping service will offer young families, seniors, disabled customers and other shoppers an easier and more convenient way to grocery shop."

Over the next few months, Kroger plans to introduce ClickList to additional stores located in Beaumont, Cypress, Energy Corridor, Oak Forest, Northeast Houston, Katy, Kingwood, League City, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, Sugar Land, West University and Willis.

Kroger operates 111 stores, 106 pharmacies and 79 fuel centers in greater Houston, Southeast Texas, Bryan-College Station and Southwest Louisiana. 

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Fort McMurray Shoppers Drug Mart reopens following recent wildfires

BY Michael Johnsen

BRAMPTON, Ontario — With the return of residents to Fort McMurray Wednesday, Loblaw Companies announced that its fundraising effort has resulted in a donation of close to $5 million for those impacted by the recent wildfires.

"The outpouring of support from our customers and colleagues has been overwhelming, resulting in our largest-ever fundraising campaign," stated Bob Chant, SVP corporate affairs and communication, Loblaw Companies. "We recognize the residents of Fort McMurray have a long journey ahead of them and we hope that these funds can help in the rebuilding their community."

The donation is a combination of a number of efforts across the company's businesses in addition to the $300,000 financial commitment to the Canadian Red Cross, including:

  • $280,000 worth of essential food and health provisions for evacuation centres and first responders from Loblaw grocery;
  • More than $4.2 million in cash donations collected at Loblaw grocery stores and Shoppers Drug Mart stores;
  • 76 million Shoppers Optimum points donated
  • 47,000 Joe Fresh clothing items for displaced residents; and
  • $25,000 from Shoppers Drug Mart to be put towards health and beauty aids for evacuees.

Wednesday also marked an important milestone for the company in Fort McMurray as one grocery store, one gas bar and one drug store will reopen to serve residents. The Shoppers Drug Mart at River City Centre on Franklin Avenue and the Real Canadian Superstore and Gas Bar at 9 Haineault Street both opened yeserday.

Work continues on three Shoppers Drug Mart locations, the Extra Foods store and Gas Bar and two Real Canadian Liquor stores with hopes of reopening in the next few days.

"I want to thank our colleagues, associate-owners and their staff for their tremendous effort in getting these stores ready to serve residents," Chant said. "What would normally take six weeks took these teams just six days to achieve, truly demonstrating the commitment and compassion they have for their neighbours."

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Meijer opens superstore in Sturgis, Mich.

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Meijer on Thursday opened a new 192,000-square-foot supercenter in Sturgis, Mich.

"Opening this store has been a long time coming, and we're thrilled the day is finally here," CEO Hank Meijer said. "Sturgis has never had a one-stop shopping destination like Meijer, so we're proud to be the retailer to fill that void."

The new store is the latest of nine new Meijer supercenters to open – and part of an investment of more than $400 million in new and remodeled stores – this year. The Sturgis store will welcome customers from St. Joseph, Cass, and Branch counties and is located at the corner of South Centerville Road and West South Street.

In addition to the retailer's traditional grocery and merchandise, garden center, and 24-hour gas station, the new Sturgis Meijer pharmacy will offer drive-thru pick up and the company's free prescription program. The prescription program includes leading oral generic antibiotics with a special focus on prescriptions most often filled for children, prenatal vitamins, and medications for those with diabetes and high cholesterol. Since its inception in 2006, the Meijer free prescription program has filled nearly 33 million free prescriptions, saving Meijer customers nearly $454 million.

With more than 100 stores located throughout Michigan, the new store is built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and will be open 24 hours a day.

Opening celebrations began with a ribbon-cutting event, followed by remarks from Meijer leadership and local officials. The store also demonstrated its commitment to the community by making donations to a local organization. Store director Marsha Keefer presented $25,000 to the Doyle Community Center to help with the construction of a new 2,500 square foot strength training center to its multi-purpose sports, fitness and recreational facility.
 

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