Walmart continues to expand in-store ‘Pickup Towers’
Walmart is expanding its modern-day — and oversized — version of a vending machine — but the new model will come with an addition.
The discounter plans to add more than 500 additional “pickup towers” to stores across the country, bringing the total to more than 700 by the end of the year. Walmart said the response to the existing 200 kiosks has been “overwhelmingly positive,” with more than half a million orders retrieved since the chain first introduced them.
Based on customer feedback, the new towers will come with pickup lockers, which will allow customers to retrieve large items, such as TVs.
“Our customers have been clear: They love the Pickup Tower. But, they also told us they wanted the ability to retrieve larger items the same way,” stated Walmart in a blog on its website.
The pickup tower — which stands 16 ft. tall and about 8 ft. wide — greets shoppers at store entrances. After placing their online order, customers receive a barcode on their digital receipt. Upon entering the store, customers scan their barcode via their smartphone on the kiosk’s digital scanner to retrieve their order. The process takes less than a minute.
With the expansion, pickup towers will be available to nearly 40% of the U.S. population, Walmart said.
Shoppers Drug Mart reveals next Wellwise location
Wellwise’s new store will be located in Etobicoke, Canada, and products offered at the location will cover everything from sleep therapy to low-impact fitness, physiotherapy, supports, braces, tools and gadgets for everyday living.
Unique to this location will be full-sized lifestyle vignettes, where residents can through a model bathroom, bedroom, living room and garage to try out products and see how it would fit into their everyday lives. Another new feature coming to the location is an innovation space where consumers can try out new products that have not yet hit the market. There also will be a community room for associations and experts to run education events.
Shoppers Drug Mart’s new Wellwise location will open on April 7.
Ahold Delhaize CEO, chairman to retire following successful merger
Ahold Delhaize on Thursday named Frans Muller to its CEO post, effective July 1, the day Ahold Delhaize’s current CEO, Dick Boer, plans to retire. In a separate announcement, Ahold Delhaize shared the retirement plans of its chairman as well.
“We thank Dick for his leadership and dedication throughout his 20-year career at Ahold Delhaize and Ahold. Dick’s accomplishments include the successful repositioning of Albert Heijn to market leadership, strategically building Ahold’s portfolio into brands with number one and two positions in the markets they serve and introducing digital, eCommerce and sustainability as integrated parts of the business,” Mats Jansson, current chairman of the international supermarket’s supervisory board, said. Jansson plans to retire April 11 (see below). “Dick has role-modelled the values of our ‘Better Together’ strategy, with his passion for retail, customers, associates and health. Under Dick’s leadership, two leading food retailers were brought together in an historic merger. With this merger now being substantially completed, Ahold Delhaize is now ready to move into its next phase.”
Muller has more than 20 years of experience in retail and has served as ceputy CEO and chief integration officer of Ahold Delhaize since July 24, 2016. He also led Delhaize America on an interim basis from October 2016 until January 2018. Prior to the merger between Ahold and Delhaize, Muller served as president and CEO of Delhaize Group from 2013. Before joining Delhaize Group, he served on the management board of German retailer Metro AG for seven years and was CEO of Metro Cash & Carry for five years.
“Together with Dick, Frans was instrumental in bringing together Ahold and Delhaize Group,” Jansson said. “During the past two years he has been driving the integration process in close collaboration with our great local brands and support offices. Frans brings a wealth of retail experience and a deep knowledge of our company, brands and U.S. and European markets, making him the natural choice as next CEO. Frans is committed to the brand-centric operating model which is key to our strategy and has the customer at its core. We are confident that Frans is the right person to lead the company into its next phase.“
“I’m honored to be given the opportunity to lead this company with such powerful brands, incredible talent and long-term growth potential – a combination that sets us apart globally,” Muller said. “Our success will be based upon delivering a great and seamless shopping experience for our customers, both in stores and online. Building on the solid foundations established under Dick’s leadership, we will continue to drive innovation and growth in stores and online as we execute our strategy and create value for all our stakeholders. My focus will be on delivering our promises to be a better place to shop, better place to work and better neighbor – every day.”
Boer will work closely with Muller to ensure a smooth transition on July 1, 2018 and he will remain available as advisor to the company until mid 2019.
In a separate announcement, Ahold Delhaize noted that Jansson is similarly retiring from the supervisory board next week following the company’s annual meeting April 11. Jan Hommen has been appointed chairman of the supervisory board as of the same date. Johnny Thijs and Patrick De Maeseneire will also step down after having indicated that they are unable to continue the membership of the supervisory board with their other commitments.
Jansson has been chairman of the supervisory board since the merger between Ahold and Delhaize Group in July 2016. Prior to that, he served as chairman of the board of directors of Delhaize Group.
“I leave Ahold Delhaize knowing that the company is well positioned for the future. I thank my colleagues in the supervisory board and especially Jan Hommen, with whom I have had the privilege of working closely, both before and after completing the merger of two leading food retail companies,” Jansson said. “It makes me proud to see what the teams at Ahold Delhaize have accomplished in two years, with the integration fully on track. For me this proves that we truly are ‘Better Together.’ I also thank Johnny Thijs and Patrick De Maeseneire for their valuable contributions during their terms at Ahold Delhaize and Delhaize Group.”
Jan Hommen has been vice chairman of the supervisory board since July 2016. Prior to the merger, Hommen served as chairman of Ahold’s supervisory board since 2013. Between 2003 and 2007, he was vice chairman of the supervisory board of Ahold and chairman of the audit committee. Hommen has an executive background as vice chairman of the board of management at Royal Philips Electronics and as CEO of ING Group and of KPMG the Netherlands.
The supervisory board has appointed Bill McEwan as vice chairman, succeeding Hommen.