Safeway HR head earns industry recognition
PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Monday announced that Russ Jackson, Safeway SVP human resources, has been named by Human Resource Executive magazine to the influential 2012 HR Honor Roll. Jackson will be recognized by the publication on Oct. 9 at a black tie awards dinner at the University Club of Chicago.
Human Resource Executive selected Jackson and four other human resources professionals to recognize and feature in the October issue. Each was chosen for their problem-solving skills, positive impact on their organization and contributions to the profession at large.
"Russ is a transformational architect within Safeway," stated Safeway EVP Larree Renda. "With his vision, insight and drive for results, he has built a human resources organization that is a powerful accelerator of change."
Among his accomplishments at Safeway, Jackson has been instrumental in strengthening the company’s leadership development efforts. For example, in 2011 the company launched a program which provides high-potential and high-performing directors and district managers with VP-level experiences and instruction. Human Resource Executive noted that Jackson also "implemented a series of new programs aimed at recruiting ex-military personnel for key roles; reshaped the organization’s competency model; and enhanced the organization’s already highly regarded health initiatives."
Elevating the company’s efforts to support veterans, Jackson launched an initiative aimed at recruiting and developing former junior military officers for retail store management positions. Since the program launched in 2010, the company surpassed its goal of hiring more than 1,000 ex-military personnel by the end of 2012.
Jackson and his benefits team have also made significant strides in the area of employee health and wellness. Employees at all levels are encouraged to participate in a range of programs from biometric testing to other wellness initiatives designed to help employees and their families make healthier choices.
Jackson joined Safeway in 2007 after a 27-year career with Pacific Gas & Electric, where he served as SVP human resources. He holds a Business degree from San Jose State University, earned his MBA from St. Mary’s College and a Master’s degree in human resources and organizational development from the University of San Francisco, along with a certificate in Human Resources Management from the University of California at Berkeley. He has also achieved the designation of SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) from the Human Resources Certification Institute.
Mars Chocolate unveils Easter 2013 items
HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — Mars Chocolate already may have unveiled its lineup of new treats for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, as well as the winter holiday season, but the company announced that it is adding new items to its Easter 2013 lineup.
The new Easter 2013 lineup includes:
Snickers Peanut Butter Squared minis;
Dove Silky Smooth white chocolate eggs;
Twix minis filled eggs;
M&M’s milk chocolate Fun Size filled gift box;
Snickers Eggs 2-To-Go;
Snickers Peanut Butter Eggs 2-To-Go;
Dove Silky Smooth white chocolate bunny;
Mixed singles Easter floor stand: Chock full of Snickers, Snickers Peanut Butter and Milky Way Brand Simply Caramel — all in Easter egg and bunny shapes — this convenient display is a one-stop-shop for snacks and basket fillers.
The new Easter products carry a suggested retail price range of 60 cents to $3.99.
Category pressures across tobacco, gas could be driving c-stores toward healthier food options
CHICAGO — Are macro category pressures across tobacco and gas driving convenience stores toward healthier food options? That’s a question raised by a recently published white paper from Nielsen.
Tobacco and gas are two of the categories that have traditionally fueled the rapid store growth across the convenience channel. More than 8,100 such stores have opened since 2005, bringing the total number of U.S. c-stores to 148,764, Nielsen said. What’s more, year-over-year sales across the convenience channel in the United States grew 4.9% in the 52-week period ended Aug. 4, compared with 3.7% dollar growth for the marketplace overall.
But now, c-store operators are looking to fresher and healthier food to spark growth across its stores, according to the white paper, especially as increased fuel efficiencies associated with new cars translates into fewer trips to the pump, and more healthcare providers incentivize smoking-cessation programs. Both trendlines suggest impeded growth across two major drivers behind c-store sales.
And the competitive landscape is changing, too, the report noted. Other smaller-box formats, such as dollar and drug, establish new stores at a faster rate.
"C-stores are increasingly emerging as a viable choice for quick and/or healthy on-the-go meals," Nielsen noted. "Within the past year, common grocery items like yogurt and fresh produce have increased sales in C-stores by 57% and 38%, respectively. [Convenience] stores make it easy for consumers to eat fresh, buy less and shop more often. The trend is gaining traction across the U.S. and could attract higher-income shoppers." C-store drive-thrus are also gaining in popularity with Americans, the report added, making most store items — including such grocery staples as bread, eggs and cereal — available without having to leave the car.
For more insights about convenience store trends, Nielsen’s white paper “Growing Appetite for C-Stores” is available for download here.