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Gina Acosta

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January 2018

Walmart has rolled out an extensive lighting program to its stores as part of its ongoing commitment to energy efficiency.

Instacart is joining forces with another e-commerce pioneer to continue the reinvention of grocery shopping. 

More consumers are turning to online grocery shopping as a way to save money on food and essentials, as well as reducing impulse buying.

​​​​​​​Kroger is taking the next step in its plan to re-imagine the grocer for the future by partnering with next-gen Wifi experts Edgewater Wireless.

Albertsons Cos. has elevated company veteran Susan Morris to the C-suite.

Nestle, the maker of Butterfinger and other brands, is taking a major step toward focusing on health and wellness by selling its U.S. confectionery business to Nutella maker Ferrero for $2.8 billion.

Retailers are offering the wrong promotions to the wrong customers at the wrong time, according to a new study.

Amazon's push into the grocery business has led to a big boost in online grocery sales for the e-comm giant.

Afluent consumers are becoming more price sensitive as they use technology to compare prices, according to a new survey.

CVS is one of the first major retailers to launch an initiative banning the use of Photoshop on ads and labels for its beauty brands, part of a major philosophical shift.

The National Retail Federation is applauding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to weigh in on whether online sellers should collect sales tax the same as local stores but also urged Congress to address the issue through federal legislation.

Trader Joe’s, Costco and Amazon are the three most popular food retailers in the United States, according to dunnhumby’s Inaugural Retailer Preference Index.

Time-starved consumers, rapid shifts in shopping habits and fierce competition require food retailers to completely change how they sell food.

Sales at Amazon Fresh grew 35% year over year to $135 million in just the last four months of 2017, aided by Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods last summer.

Target is getting ready to roll out interactive digital displays in 120 of its stores that allow shoppers to compare products side by side.

Google’s CES 2018 presence was an act of sheer brute force — a consumer electronics blitzkrieg that some how managed to stand out among the bright lights of America’s most garish city. 

Ocado is testing what it calls a humanoid maintenance assistant in its warehouses, in the online grocery specialist’s latest move to reduce reliance on human workers.

Higher wages, stronger employment and stronger confidence led consumers to spend more than had been expected during the 2017 holiday retail season.

Quotient CEO Mir Aamir wants retailers and CPGs to think bigger and move faster to drive sales in a multi-dimensional competitive environment

Dean Foods has named food and consumer packaged goods industry veteran Jody Macedonio as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer effective Feb. 26.

One on one with Daniel Alegre, President of Retail and Shopping at Google.

Ulta Beauty is under fire after several former and current employees posted allegations on social media that the retailer resells used makeup.

A fast-growing pet chain based in the Midwest is accelerating its growth strategy with a new acquisition.

Lidl drives competitors to set prices up to 55% lower than what they charge in markets where Lidl is not present, according to a new study.

Kohl's is looking to drive traffic by leasing space in its stores to food retailers.

Rite Aid CEO John Standley detailed the strategic priorities of "the new Rite Aid" at the annual J. P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.

Walmart is raising its minimum wage and handing out $1,000 bonuses because of President Trump's new tax law.

Petco is keeping pace with pet category trends by remodeling stores to put a greater emphasis on pet health.

On the same day Walmart announced pay raises and bonuses for employees, Sam's Club closed roughly 10% of its U.S. locations in a move that stunned employees, suppliers and competitors.​

A former executive at Meijer and Family Dollar has been named CFO at Academy Sports.

One of California's largest grocery chains has added a new name to the C-Suite.

As more food retailers expand their prepared foods assortment in an effort to meet consumer demand, the risk of food safety problems damaging their reputations also rises.

Retailers enjoyed their strongest holiday season in four years, according to First Data’s SpendTrend Report.

Sears has secured $100 million in new financing, will seek twice that from other sources, and will attempt $200 million in additional cost cuts this year unrelated to store closings. Sears Holdings, which said last week it would close more t

Natural and organic sales are back on track with solid gains, according to a new report from Nielsen.

The CEO of dunnhumby, Guillaume Bacuvier, speaks with Retail Leader about personalization, sku rationalization and the data science company’s evolving business model.

David Beckham is following in his wife's footsteps by launching a new men's grooming brand with L'Oreal.

Revlon is starting the year off with a "wonderful" new brand ambassador.

Whole Food Market is starting off 2018 by making changes to drive growth in its Midwest and Northeast operations.

Target's investments in e-commerce and brick-and-mortar paid off for the retailer during the holiday season.

Maredia has worked hard to control his company’s destiny, and the future looks bright.

Consumers spent 18% more this holiday, according to a new survey from the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Sprouts Farmers Market is proving that its business model is differentiated enough from other retailers that it can continue to outpace the industry in sales growth.

As plant-based eating increases in popularity among consumers, Aldi is launching a new vegetarian and vegan line of foods called Earth Grown.

BJ’s Wholesale Club is accelerating its efforts to deliver a more personalized, relevant experience to customers by partnering with Toshiba.

Kroger's already popular Simple Truth brand will expand in 2018 to offer more Fair Trade Certified products. 

The retailer's strategy to steal traffic from struggling brick-and-mortar competitors bore fruit during the holiday season.

Target is ending its partnership with Instacart following its acquisition of the San Francisco-based delivery service’s rival Shipt, the Star Tribune of Minnesota has reported.

Fedex is preparing to open one of its largest facilities in Shanghai to ready itself for a boom in wealthy Chinese consumers buying products online from the U.S.

Kantar is officially streamlining its consulting services under a single entity, Kantar Consulting.

Former Big Lots and TJX CFO is bringing extensive expertise in the retail and CPG industries to the leading online retailer.

Former Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb has joined up with Patrick Bultema, CEO and co-founder of the Colorado Springs startup FoodMaven, to sell food waste.

Sprouts Farmers Market is cementing its fast-growing reputation in the new year by announcing that it plans to open 30 new stores in 2018.

Neiman Marcus is bringing in a luxury retail veteran to lead its transformation into a bigger omnichannel retail player.

Retailers shed 20,200 jobs in December, and the overall industry shed nearly 70,000 jobs in 2017.

Most Americans still buy pet food in brick-and-mortar stores despite the rise of e-commerce as a venue for pet food sales.

The year 2018 may turn out to offer a key opportunity for food retailers, as Americans say they plan to cook more meals at home this year.

Walgreens leveraged its scale and business values to meet its sustainability goals in 2017, but the company says it still has work to do in 2018.

Rite Aid says it is leveraging its health and wellness businesses into growth despite posting declines in sales and revenue in the third quarter.

Same store U.S. sales at Costco shot up 8.8% in December, its best month of sales so far in fiscal 2018. 

Walgreens is growing sales and profit by attracting more pharmacy customers through new partnerships.

The Fresh Market has appointed a new SVP to lead the company's human resources division.

Millennials are demanding more fresh food but shopping less at grocery stores, according to a new report from the USDA.

Office Depot has named a new executive to lead its transformation into a leading omnichannel provider of business services, products and technology.

One of the country's most popular meal kit providers is ramping up its meal personalization efforts to include more dietary choices.

Increasing consumer interest in a new beverage trend may offer a lucrative opportunity for savvy food retailers.

Kroger is rolling out its largest-ever private label sales promotion and expanding one of its most popular own brands.

American consumers plan to buy even healthier foods in 2018, especially those with less sugar, according to a new survey.

A small grocery chain in the Northeast is starting what could become a fast-growing trend across the retail industry.

Amazon was responsible for 44 percent of all U.S. e-commerce sales last year, or about 4 percent of the country's total retail sales, according to One Click Retail.

Earth Fare is looking to draw in more healthy-food buying shoppers by launching a clean-food magazine and expanding its private label offerings.

Ulta is already a very successful retailer for one reason: the store experience. Now the retailer is making its popular rewards program even more irresistible. 

The Aetna acquisition will be different from anything Merlo has attempted as CEO of CVS Health Corp.

Retailers expect the momentum in healthy food and beverage sales to continue in 2018, according to a survey by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). 

CIO Clay Johnson says he has begun to enact a cultural change at Walmart.

Kroger is planning to expand its Scan, Bag. Go technology to 400 stores in 2018, making it the first retailer to provide cashier-less technology to a mass market.

It seems preposterous at first blush, but a well-respected Wall Street analyst has suggested that Amazon's next brick and mortar acquisition target could be Target.

Dollar General is preparing to accelerate its growth plans by building a new distribution center in Texas.

Whole Foods Market is making it easier for consumers to eat healthy in the new year by launching new partnerships and in-store programs for shoppers.

When she becomes CEO of Kohl's in May, Michelle Gass will tackle one of the toughest jobs in retail: transforming a department store into a digital-era shopping powerhouse.

Kroger could be in talks to open Ace Hardware shops within its grocery stores, reports.

December 2017

Bed Bath and Beyond Inc. says it plans to transition all of its banners to a "treasure hunt format" that will help drive foot traffic and encourage repeat visits.

The Home Depot is growing its online presence and expanding its fulfillment capabilities with a key acquisition.

The majority of Americans shopping online this holiday season plan to shop from Amazon, according to CNBC's All-America Economic Survey.

Food Lion is showing its support to the communities it serves by renewing a partnership with a key organization.

Congress is weighing legislation that would double the budget for the USDA’s oversight of the organic industry. According to The Washington Post, the legislation increases the budget for the USDA's organic program to $24 million over the nex

Consumers will be shopping for more gut-healthy foods in 2018, according to a new report.

H-E-B is planning to build a new 95,000-square-foot store on stilts in a flood-prone area of Houston.

PetSmart is putting the finishing touches on a strong holiday season by offering a creative incentive to drive even more store traffic.

Midwest-based Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is looking to open 10 new stores in 2018, including its first on the East Coast in Pennsylvania.

Food retailers are partnering with digital coupon company Quotient Technology and software developer Propel to bring digital coupons to SNAP participants who use Propel’s Fresh EBT app to manage their benefits, increasing their ability to buy more fo

Hy-Vee is leveraging new technology to ensure food quality and transparency throughout its supply chain.

For the fourth consecutive year, shoppers at Meijer stores received a very merry surprise when they were selected to have their entire shopping carts paid for by the store.

The Trump administration is rolling back Obama-era rules for how animals should be treated if their meat is going to be sold as “certified organic.”

Lowe's Companies is accelerating efforts to become a digitally-focused retailer by creating the new role of chief digital officer.

Amazon is planning to leverage a strong holiday season into even more sales by bringing back Digital Day.

While some food retailers are adding full-service restaurants in an effort to drive traffic, others are betting on grocery delivery and pickup. The Wharton School invited two professors to discuss the future of food retail in a Q&A and podcast.

Chinese e-comm giants Tencent Holdings and are battling back against rival Alibaba by investing $863 million in apparel platform Vipshop Holdings.

A new survey indicates that average holiday spending in the United States will top $900, the highest in at least 12 years.

The National Retail Federation urged the House and Senate to approve a final version of tax reform legislation, saying the measure will boost the nation’s economy and make the United States more competitive in the global economy.

Chinese e-comm giants Tencent Holdings and are battling back against rival Alibaba by investing $863 million in apparel platform Vipshop Holdings.

Procter & Gamble is poised for big changes after announcing that it has appointed Nelson Peltz to its board despite the activist investor narrowly losing a months-long proxy fight.

Colgate-Palmolive Company is shifting its focus to higher-margin personal care products with the acquisition of two of the fastest-growing brands in skin care.

Walgreens is once again differentiating itself from the rest of the retail world by staying open throughout the holidays.

Kroger's strategy to conquer online grocery is entering as new phase, as the company rolls out ClickList in its 1,000 store.

With just one week until Christmas, Target is offering customers even more convenient ways to shop for last-minute gifts.

Kroger is expanding its Prep+Pared Meal Kit line to 200 stores across several banners in the Midwest.

Retail trade associations have filed a joint amicus brief in a case now before the U.S.

Macon F. Brock Jr., the co-founder and ex-chairman of Dollar Tree, died Dec. 9 at his home in Virginia Beach, Va., according to published reports.

Pet retailer is expanding its fulfillment operations by building a new distribution center in Arizona, the company's first in the state.

Costco reported an impressive 8.7% jump in U.S. same store sales and a 17% boost in profit in the first quarter, showcasing the strength of its unique business model against increasing competition.

Sears Holdings is looking to jump-start sales by selling DieHard-branded products on It marks the company's latest partnership with the online leader as it aims to reverse a longstanding sales slump. "DieHard is Amer

GoodRx, an app that tracks prescription drug prices, is giving consumers a new way to shop for medicine: using Alexa.

Walmart is partnering with, IBM, and Tsinghua University on a collaboration designed to enhance food tracking, traceability and safety in China.

Unilever is acquiring another natural brand as the company looks to shift its portfolio toward higher-growth areas.

Retail sales in November were up 6 percent year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation.

ShopperTrak is teaming up with DTLR to help the retailer better analyze key metrics and customer insights.

PetSmart is rolling out an innovative new store concept focusing exclusively on pet grooming services.

As holiday e-commerce surges, retailers’ efficiency in limiting and handling returns of merchandise bought online will make or break the holiday season for many, according to CBRE.

A majority of shoppers like shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers, but lack of digital engagement sends them elsewhere to buy. Those are the findings of a recent Scandit consumer survey of more than 1,500 respondents in the U.S., UK and&nbs

Online grocer Peapod is now allowing shoppers to build and update their orders for pickup or delivery via text messages.

The CEO of American Express, Dow Chemical, Vanguard and other companies talk to Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett about lessons that have a big impact on leadership.

7-Eleven is making a play for time-starved consumers with on-demand ordering for delivery or in-store pickup at select Dallas stores.

Target is moving aggressively to better compete with Amazon, Walmart and other retailers by acquiring same-day delivery platform Shipt for $550 million.

Younger shoppers are increasingly dissatisfied with the traditional food shopping experience, according to a new study.

Campbell Soup Company is looking to drive growth with its acquisition of Pacific Foods of Oregon.

Kellogg has opened an expanded cereal cafe concept in New York as part of a larger trend of CPG companies marketing their products directly to consumers.

Gift cards are a prime target for theft and counterfeit, and fraudsters have found a number of ways to have their cake and eat it too – by scamming retailers.

Leading meal kit provider Sun Basket has a few ideas about where food trends are going in 2018.

Hispanic grocery shoppers are more profitable than other U.S. food shoppers, according to new research from Acosta.

Top executives from some of food retailing’s most innovation companies share insights on competition, serving customers and leveraging technology.

Symphony Retail Solutions has named Ryan Powell as Vice President of Merchandising and Category Management.

Overall U.S. customer satisfaction has stabilized, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Kroger is teaming up with Chase Pay to offer mobile payments in select retail markets and e-commerce programs in 2018. 

One of the country's leading meal kit providers has a new marketing guru. Chef'd announced that it has named Jemie Sae Koo as as its new Vice President of Marketing.

Target is offering “sensory friendly shopping hours” in some stores for families with sensitivities to noise and light.

Walmart is partnering with Buzzfeed’s Tasty in an effort to attract more social media savvy shoppers.

Food Lion is toasting its 60th anniversary with a variety of discounts and other promotions.

Amazon appears to be seeking the smallest number of new employees for its Seattle headquarters in years after hiring thousands since 2014.

The Fresh Market has named Mary Kellmanson as the company’s new chief marketing officer.

American Express is eliminating the requirement for retailers to collect consumers' signatures for all purchase transactions at the point of sale beginning in April.

The EPA has awarded Aldi with the 2017 "Best of the Best" GreenChill award for its use of cutting-edge, environmentally sustainable refrigeration systems in 34 of its stores.

Instacart is teaming up with Supervalu to provide grocery delivery for four of its retail banners across the nation.

One of the few remaining categories that Amazon has not disrupted is lawn and garden, but now the company has made official plans to conquer that space.

Retail fraud is on the rise as more shoppers turn to online shopping, and retailers are grappling to combat the problem.

Lowe's Companies has promoted Sylvain Prud'homme to the role of president, international, effective Dec.

The majority of shopping this holiday season is still to be completed, and most of it will be done at brick-and-mortar stores, according to a new survey.

A Wisconsin company that specializes in software for online grocery has developed a product that allows stores to promote specific items and brands to shoppers.

Walmart has vastly expanded the list of its eligible items for buy online, pick up in-store on the  same-day, just in time for Christmas.

Retail industry employment increased by an unusually high 12,900 jobs in November over October, the National Retail Federation reported. The number excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

Fast-growing natural foods retailer Natural Grocers has named Todd Dissinger as Chief Financial Officer, effective Jan. 1, 2018. 

Ahold Delhaize is combining all of its U.S. businesses under one new company, which will have a new president.

Ulta Beauty has appointed the dean of the Kellogg School of Management to its board.

Charmin is making a more direct connection with consumers in New York City, by way of branded restrooms.

Walmart has started selling meal kits on its website, including some under the Takeout Kit and Home Chef brands.

Ingles Markets is showing other food retailers that you don't need to have a lot of apps or online delivery services to drive customer traffic. 

Shoppers looking for deals on fresh food and other consumables packed 99 Cents Only Stores during the third quarter.

Food retailers looking to get a leg up in the battle for "share of stomach" could learn a few lessons from GrubHub's Year in Delivery food trends report.

Home Depot is moving aggressively to invest in its supply chain capabilities and store experience amid what it calls a "changing retail landscape."

Sheetz is making it even easier for customers to order their morning "Shmuffin" or "Shmiscuit," thanks to a partnership with Amazon.

Fred's Pharmacy is looking at strategic alternatives for real estate and other assets after posting disappointing third-quarter sales.

Target has launched a new mobile-payments system that aims to speed customers' checkout times in stores.

Starbucks has opened its biggest and most interactive store ever, in China, with help from e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

Walmart is looking to demonstrate how much the word "store" is no longer relevant in today's retail industry by changing its name.

The majority of U.S. grocery shoppers visit more than one retailer every week, according to new research.

An ecommerce startup specializing in delivering produce typically deemed too “ugly” to sell by many grocers today has expanded its operations from the West Coast to the Windy City.

Amazon will offer last-minute delivery of products ordered as late as Christmas Eve in nine U.S. cities.

A new study reveals some strikingly different digital behaviors that affect retailers' strategies to serve shoppers in Canada and the U.S.

Wegmans Food Markets SVP and CIO Dave DeLaus has joined the GS1 US Board of Governors.

Social media is influencing purchase behavior more than ever before, according to a new study by TD Bank. TD Bank's Retail Experience Index revealed trends about shoppers, including their research patterns and reliance on social media.

Retailers could learn a marketing lesson from Starbucks, which is launching an exciting new incentive to get people through its doors all holiday season long.

Dollar General's low-price model is gaining ground in rural communities where residents are struggling financially, and the retailer plans to open thousands more locations.

Campbell Soup Co. is experimenting with a new business model by launching an online service that will deliver soups to customers’ doors.

Instacart is bringing grocery delivery to the Pacific Northwest through a new deal with Kroger.

On the heels of a big merger announcement from CVS, Walgreens is launching a rebranding effort highlighting its health and wellness heritage. The drug chain is rolling out a new brand positioning campaign reflected in the new tagline, W

Publix is looking to disrupt the meal kit industry by launching a meal kit line that is appliance-specific.

U.S. natural food maker Hain Celestial has acquired a natural sweetener brand in the United Kingdom.

Big Lots will have new leadership due to President and CEO David Campisi taking a medical leave.

CVS Health is acquiring Aetna for $69 billion in a deal that pushes the retailer into new growth areas, alters the competitive landscape and reshapes how consumers receive and pay for health care.

DHL is expanding its capabilities in several ways to meet what it expects will be record holiday season volumes.

One of the largest confectionary groups in the world has acquired U.S.-based Ferrara Candy Company, maker of Brach's candy and other brands.

Amazon is holding meetings with makers of generic drugs about its potential entry into the pharmacy space.

Nordstrom is teaming up with hot online retailer Byrdie to open a beauty playground in New York where customers can test products and learn from beauty editors.

Lidl is expanding its pilot with online delivery service Shipt, following a successful launch in Greenville, S.C., in October.

The volatility in the meal kit industry takes another turn, with Blue Apron replacing its CEO just six months after going public.

Petco is opening three stores with added services designed to offer pet owners a one-stop shopping experience.

The Ulta Beauty business model continues to offer a master class in how to execute a successful omnichannel strategy.

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