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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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Walgreens launches Every One Counts Hometown Challenge

BY Michael Johnsen

In support of the fourth annual Red Nose Day in the U.S., Walgreens on Monday launched its Every One Counts Hometown Challenge – a fun way for customers and communities to demonstrate their city’s commitment to supporting children in need. The challenge will feature 10 markets – deemed ‘Red Rally Markets’ for their integral role in rallying the nation to end child poverty – going nose-to-nose in a challenge to raise the most money for the Red Nose Day cause.

“The Every One Counts Hometown Challenge is a spirited initiative that allows our customers and communities to come together as champions for children in need,” Adam Holyk, Walgreens chief marketing officer and CSR leader, said. “By inspiring the simple act of purchasing a Red Nose, we hope to continue to demonstrate the impact of ‘Every One Counts,’ our belief that helping to end child poverty can start with just one Red Nose at Walgreens.”

For the week of April 2, the 10 markets will include Atlanta, Washington, Miami, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia, Newark, N.J./New York City and Houston.

The rankings for the progress report are compiled using store-level data for combined Red Nose Day sales (Red Noses and Red Nose Day related merchandise) across Walgreens store locations in Red Rally markets. Data for the progress report is analyzed at a geographic market level to measure total store performance of Red Nose Day sales.

In the spirit of friendly competition, Walgreens will share a weekly progress report revealing which Red Rally markets are leading the national charge in overall Red Nose Day fundraising activity in Walgreens stores. The goal is to inspire communities to help end child poverty as part of the eight-week Red Nose Day campaign. Following Red Nose Day, which takes place May 24 with a special night of programming on NBC, Walgreens will announce the winner of the challenge with a formal proclamation to the victorious city, designated as “Red Nose Day Hometown Hero” for the next 12 months.

 

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