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Save-A-Lot opens food DC in Lexington, N.C.

BY DSN STAFF

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Save-A-Lot announced that it will break ground for a new 325,000-sq.-ft. food distribution center in Lexington, N.C.

The state-of-the-art center, located in Lexington’s Business Center, is expected to open in December and initially will employ more than 40 employees with the potential for hiring additional employees once the facility is at full capacity. The project is the result of collaboration with the state of North Carolina and its One North Carolina Fund, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Davidson County and the City of Lexington.

“With this project, Save-A-Lot plans on investing more than $24 million in Lexington over the next three years,” said Bill Shaner, Save-A-Lot president and CEO. “We chose Lexington for our new distribution center because of its excellent business climate, central location and industrious work force. For the state of North Carolina and the surrounding region, it means economic growth and jobs. I believe this will be a wonderful partnership for Save-A-Lot, Lexington and the region.”

According to the company, the new center will help Save-A-Lot supply its growing network of grocery stores. In addition, the new state-of-the-art food distribution center will feature the latest in green technologies for the most efficient use of energy, including lights that only operate when a person is present and an HVAC system with smart thermostats.

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Walmart on a health mission

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON — Walmart joined First Lady Michelle Obama in Washington Thursday to unveil a comprehensive effort to provide its customers with healthier and more affordable food choices.

The program will involve five key elements, including:

  • Reformulating thousands of everyday packaged food items by 2015 by reducing sodium by 25% and added sugars by 10%, and by removing all remaining industrially produced trans fats. The company will work with suppliers to improve the nutritional quality of national food brands and its Great Value private-label brand in key product categories to complete the reformulations;

  • Making healthier choices more affordable, saving customers approximately $1 billion per year on fresh fruits and vegetables through a variety of sourcing, pricing, and transportation and logistics initiatives that will drive unnecessary costs out of the supply chain. Walmart also will dramatically reduce or eliminate the price premium on key “better-for-you” items, such as reduced sodium, sugar or fat products;

  • Developing strong criteria for a simple front-of-package seal that will help consumers instantly identify truly healthier food options, such as whole-grain cereal, whole-wheat pasta or unsweetened canned fruit;

  • Providing solutions to address food deserts by building stores in underserved communities that are in need of fresh and affordable groceries; and

  • Increasing charitable support for nutrition programs that help educate consumers about healthier food solutions and choices.

"No family should have to choose between food that is healthier for them and food they can afford," said Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. "With more than 140 million customer visits each week, Walmart is uniquely positioned to make a difference by making food healthier and more affordable to everyone. We are committed to working with suppliers, government and nongovernmental organizations to provide solutions that help Americans eat healthier and live a better life."

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Many Valentine’s Day shoppers will opt to buy gifts online

BY Allison Cerra

RYE BROOK, N.Y. — A new quarterly index developed by eBillme found that 19% of shoppers will spend more on Valentine’s Day this year.

The index polled 1,200 consumers to measure projected online spending for the quarter and the influencing factors, eBillme said. Of the consumers polled, the index revealed, 32% of shoppers will purchase Valentine’s Day gifts online.

This quarter, respondents also were asked what they planned to purchase for Valentine’s Day. Findings included:

  • 60% planned to purchase something other than chocolates or flowers this year;

  • 10% planned to purchase a gift card for their Valentine; and

  • 47% of shoppers remained uncertain about what to purchase for Valentine’s Day, representing an opportunity for retailers to win these sales.

"There will be a lot of retail love this Valentine’s season," said Marwan Forzley, president and CEO of eBillme. "Retailers are coming off one of the best holiday shopping seasons in several years, and it looks like the spending will continue for another quarter. Our index paints a very optimistic picture for the e-commerce sector with increases in shoppers and sales projected for the quarter."

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