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Meijer’s grocery deliveries hit half million

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The grocery and general merchandise retailer recently surpassed 500,000 deliveries, and is on-pace to make more than a million deliveries by year-end. Meijer launched its grocery delivery service in September 2016.

The program, which kicked off in 25 stores in Detroit, expanded to more than 200 stores in just 148 days. To date, the service is available to more than 10 million households in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Kentucky, Meijer reported.

Leveraging its relationship with on-demand grocery delivery provider Shipt, Meijer customers can shop more than 55,000 items using the Shipt app in iOS or Android, or online. A Shipt shopper will hand pick their items and deliver them in as little as one hour after the order is placed.

To date, more than 85,000 cases of water, 1 million eggs and 1.5 million pounds of bananas have been delivered, according to the retailer.

“As e-commerce continues to change the way people shop, we are proud to bring home delivery to the Midwest and innovate the way people shop our stores,” Meijer president and CEO Rick Keyes said. “Our goal was to quickly bring a high level of convenience to as many customers as possible, so surpassing a half million deliveries is a great start as we continue enhancing this personalized customer-first experience.”

Keyes also credits the program’s success on its broad product assortment. Categories span fresh produce and grocery to general merchandise, including daily essential items like light bulbs, diapers, school supplies. They can also order bulk items, like bags of rock salt and pet foods, normally found at specialty stores.

The Shipt delivery service is membership-based. For either $99 a year or a monthly fee, Shipt members receive unlimited free grocery deliveries on all orders over $35. Orders under this threshold are subject to a $7 delivery fee.

Delivery service members can also earn mPerks Rewards that can be redeemed in store. The Shipt app also gives members access to Meijer’s weekly sales prices.

Meijer operates 235 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

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Target partners with Always to support Girls on the Run

BY Gisselle Gaitan

CINCINATTI — Target is partnering with Always based on insight from the #LikeAGirl campaign, to prevent the loss of confidence in young girls. Together, both brands are supporting Girls on the Run, a nonprofit organization which provides physical activity-based positive youth development program for girls between third to eighth grades.

“We’re committed to helping our communities thrive and empowering families to take good care of themselves so they can live their best lives,” Jennifer Silberman, VP corporate responsibility at Target, said.

Girls on the Run reports that beginning at the age of 9 years old, confidence levels in young girls begin to drop and by the age of 10 years physical activity levels lower as well. Target will be donating $1 million to the nonprofit in efforts to remove financial barriers and allow thousands of young girls nationwide to enroll in the program.

“The Always #LikeAGirl mission is to stop the drop in confidence girls experience at puberty, which is why we are so excited to partner with Target on this program,” Amanda Hill, Always brand director at Procter & Gamble, said. “We know that the funds will allow more puberty-aged girls to benefit from Girls on the Run, providing them with the necessary tools to help maintain their self-confidence through puberty and beyond.”

As part of the 10-week program, participants will learn vital life skills, while being encouraged to tackle new obstacles in non-competitive environments to build confidence and inner strength.

“We are eager to give more girls across the country the opportunity to participate in our life-changing programs and the donation will allow us to expand our reach. The impact this will have on local communities is amazing and will also bring us closer to our goal of serving 2 million girls by 2021,” Theresa Miller, chief engagement officer at Girls on the Run, said.

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, a supporter of the organization, also is working alongside them to encourage young girls across the nation.  “It’s so important for girls to know that they can accomplish whatever they set their minds to, and Girls on the Run plays an important role in helping girls build their confidence and pursue their dreams,” Biles said.

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Walgreens to shutter 600 stores by next spring as part of Rite Aid purchase

BY Marianne Wilson

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Boots Alliance expects to shutter about 600 stores in the wake of its purchase of 1,932 stores from rival Rite Aid.

The closings will start next year and take place over 18 months, Walgreens CFO George Fairweather said on the chain’s quarterly earnings call. The stores marked for closing will mostly be Rite Aid locations. The retailer expects to close stores within a mile of another Walgreens or Rite Aid location.

Walgreens won regulatory approval in September to buy 1,932 stores and three distribution centers from Rite Aid for $4.38 billion.

In its quarterly earnings report released Wednesday, Walgreens said the first few Rite Aid locations have been acquired in the past week. Ownership of the remaining stores is expected to be transferred in phases and be completed by spring 2018.

Walgreens expects to complete the integration of the acquired stores and related assets within the next three years for an estimated cost of approximately $750 million, which will be reported as acquisition-related costs. The company also plans to spend approximately $500 million of capital on store conversions and related activities.

During the company’s quarterly earnings call, leadership highlighted Walgreens’ commitment to a fluid go-to-market strategy that is constantly evaluating customer behavior.

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