RETAIL NEWS

Kroger’s Scan, Bag, Go to hit 400 new doors

BY Michael Johnsen

Kroger on Thursday introduced its Scan, Bag, Go shopping technology in 18 operating divisions, making the service available this year to customers at 400 stores.

“With every new product, service and technology integration, Kroger is redefining the customer experience and reimagining the store of the future,” Chris Hjelm, Kroger executive vice president and chief information officer, said. “After testing Scan, Bag, Go in several locations, we are bringing this transformative technology to new stores across the country through Restock Kroger.”

Kroger’s in-house research and development team invented and built the Scan, Bag, Go shopping technology, which has been piloted in the Cincinnati area for the past several years. The offering allows customers to use a wireless handheld scanner or the Scan, Bag, Go app on their personal device to scan and bag products as they shop for a quicker, seamless checkout experience.

Scan, Bag, Go helps to create a personalized experience for customers throughout their shopping trip, allowing them to view and download digital coupons, keep a running total of their order, and view the current week’s sales ad.

Scan, Bag, Go customers currently visit a store’s self-checkout area to provide payment. Customers will soon have the ability to provide payment directly through the app, allowing shoppers to exit the store even quicker.

“Many of our customers have adopted this convenient new technology and responded favorably to the seamless checkout experience,” Hjelm said. “Scan, Bag, Go is one more choice, like ClickList, that Kroger provides so customers can choose when and how they want to shop with us.”

By the end of the year,  the service will be available at select locations in the following divisions: Atlanta; Central; Cincinnati; Columbus; Dallas; Delta; Dillons; Fred Meyer; Fry’s; Houston; King Soopers; Louisville; Michigan; Mid-Atlantic; Nashville; Ralphs; Smith’s; and QFC.

“The installation of Scan, Bag, Go is a collaboration between the Kroger operations and tech teams that allows us to accelerate the adoption of new technologies in our stores,” said Mary Ellen Adcock, Kroger group vice president of retail operations. “We are always excited to execute innovative ideas that benefit our customers’ shopping experiences.”

 

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Bartell Drugs brings on operations exec from Albertsons

BY David Salazar

Bartell Drugs has brought on Adam Wampler as its new senior vice president of operations. Wampler joins the Seattle-based company from Albertsons, where he was senior vice president of operations for Northern California.

Wampler has experience of more than 30 years with Safeway, which Albertsons acquired in 2015. In his most recent position, he oversaw store conditions, diversity, profitability and employee development at more than 283 Safeway Albertsons banner stores in three states. His career also has included roles in marketing, execution, store design and store layout.

“Adam’s experience in grocery and retail are a great fit for Bartell Drugs,” Bartell Drugs CEO Kathi Lentzsch said. “His focus on delivering an exceptional store experience through employee development and seamless operations will expand upon our famous Red Vest service.”

Wampler is the second addition to Bartell’s C-suite this month. The family-owned chain in mid-January named Lentzsch the company’s fifth CEO in its 128-year history.

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Kroger names new Fry’s, divisional leadership

BY David Salazar

As part of its Restock Kroger effort, Cincinnati-based Kroger has announced two promotions with regard to its divisions. The company named Steve McKinney — most recently president of Kroger’s Fry’s division — to the position of senior vice president of retail divisions, effective Feb. 5. Monica Gaines, currently corporate vice president of produce-floral merchandising, has been named president of Fry’s, succeeding McKinney to become the first African-American to lead one of the company’s divisions.

McKinney has been with Kroger since 1981, when he joined its former Florida Choice Supermarkets banner as a clerk, advancing through the ranks to field representative before joining Phoenix, Ariz.-based Fry’s in various leadership positions. He became vice president of operations at Fry’s in 1998 and became vice president of operations for Kroger’s southwest division in 2006 and was named vice president of operations for its Ralph’s division the following year. He was tapped to lead Fry’s in 2013.

“Steve’s nearly 37 years of Kroger experience and deep knowledge of food retail will help our divisions continue to execute with excellence,” said Mike Donnelly, Kroger’s executive vice president and COO said. “Steve has always been passionate about creating uplifting associate and customer experiences. We look forward to him joining our senior leadership team as we continue to drive Restock Kroger.”

Gaines takes the helm of Fry’s with more than 20 years of Kroger experience under her belt, having joined the company’s Columbus division through a management training program in 1995. She has held such positions as human resources coordinator, produce buyer, store manager and district manager before becoming produce-floral merchandiser in the Columbus division. She became vice president of merchandising for Fry’s in 2013, and moved into her current role in 2015.

“Monica is a recognized leader in our business and across the industry,” Donnelly said. “She combines a willingness to embrace fresh ideas with a keen business savvy that yields real results. As the company’s first African-American division president, we are excited to have Monica drive and influence change in our company through her expertise and perspective, and we are eager for her to bring her passion for people and results to Fry’s.”

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