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Gina Acosta

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November 2017

MAC Cosmetics is launching a new Augmented Reality try-on mirror that allows a curated set of MAC shades and looks to be tried on user’s live video instantly in stores.

UPS wants to be regarded as an innovative technology company focused on disruption and it has some big ideas in store for 2018.

The holiday presents a huge opportunity and a huge test for grocery delivery and pickup services.

Market Track enjoys a broad view of the increasingly dynamic retail and consumer products universe.

A majority of Americans plan to shop over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and they plan to spend more than last year, according to a new survey from Deloitte.

Meal kit mania ebbed in 2017 and with the category now evolving rapidly 2018 promises to be a shakeout year filled with deal activity and disruption.

Amy's Kitchen is making moves to position the company for expansion in 2018.

The jargon-filled technology world outdid itself in 2017 with talk of artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, mixed realities, neural networks and edge computing. These words were heard a lot in 2017 and they will be heard even

Marc Benioff’s company revolutionized the software industry with a unique business model that integrated philanthropy as a core element.

Natural Grocers is continuing to differentiate itself in the crowded natural foods space as the retailer posted healthy gains in same store sales in the fourth quarter.

Heightened expectations of chief information officers mean some CIOs might not be re-hired if they applied for their current position today.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon talked with the Harvard Business Review about his company’s sustainability efforts.

Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen’s plan to become “America’s Grocer.”

Sales at Whole Foods Market are increasing at the fastest rate of growth in two years, according to a new Bloomberg report.

Eataly offers retailers timely lessons in the power of presentation.

Leveraging data and insights to achieve personalization and growth at Kroger.

Dick's Sporting Goods is adding some tech expertise to its leadership.

We are at the leading edge of how virtual, augmented and mix realities will change the manner in which retailers and brands engage with american consumers.

Albertsons Companies is investing in El Rancho Supermercado, a Texas-based retailer focusing on Latino-centric stores. The agreement with El Rancho provides Albertsons an opportunity to invest in the fast-growing Latino grocery sec

Rite Aid is making some changes to its leadership team across category management. 

Ross Stores is showing that consumers are still willing to hit the stores if they feel like they’re getting a deal.

Williams-Sonoma is investing in its digital future with a new acquisition on the heels of impressive third quarter results.

Luke Rauch, Senior Director of U.S. Insights for Walgreens, spoke with Retail Leader about the outlook for the retail market.

IRI is launching enhancements to a tracking solution that measures online purchase data from major online retailers. The company has expanded its E-Market Insights measurement and insights solution to provide more granular online s

Procter and Gamble is making a move into the direct-to-consumer beauty space with its first acquisition in eight years.

The galaxy won’t feel so far away this holiday season for Southeastern Grocers customers. The retailer is launching a new promotion with Star Wars collectibles at all BI-LO and Winn-Dixie stores on Nov.

Hy-Vee’s new supermarket in the Twin Cities suburb of Savage, Minn., embodies several of the retailer’s key initiatives, including continued development of fresh prepared food offerings and innovative center store concepts.

E-commerce grew 50%, online assortment is up to 70 million items, and Grocery Pick-Up is now available at 1,100 locations.

A new partnership from Amazon will allow consumers to shop for ingredients from recipes on Allrecipes.com.

Younger shoppers will be the biggest spenders in physical stores this holiday season, according to two recent studies that dispel one of the biggest misperceptions of digital natives.

Smart & Final's investments in e-commerce are paying off in the form of same-store sales gains.

Amazon and Whole Foods continue to earn favorable media coverage for unsubstantiated price cut claims that move markets and confound competitors.

Leading meal kit provider Sun Basket is launching premium protein options for consumers who want grass-fed ribeyes or wild-caught shrimp. The company will allow shoppers to choose grass-fed filet mignon, wild-caught halibut and other options

Postmates is accelerating the expansion of its "anything" delivery service to include Hawaii and Mexico.

Retail sales in October increased 4.3 percent year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation. 

Product exclusives, digital strength and investments in labor could help Target produce its strongest sales growth in years during the fourth quarter, according to guidance shared by Target Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell.

Instacart is entering its first international market by adding Canadian grocers Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, and T&T as partners.

Lidl is buying up more land in San Antonio as it looks to enter the city’s grocery market.

Petco is taking its digital strategy to a new level with the purchase of PupBox, a San Diego startup that delivers a curated selection of pet products to consumers.

CVS Health is doubling down on its commitment to workforce development by pledging to hire 5,000 new apprentices by 2022.

Rob Mullins has been named senior vice president of store operations of the Western division. He succeeds Bill Romine, who is retiring from Rite Aid after more than 20 years of service.

The TJX Companies blamed hurricanes and warm weather for flat same-store sales in the third quarter, but the retailer's HomeGoods unit was a bright spot.

Campbell Soup Company has hired a media and CPG veteran to fill the newly created role of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

Hurricanes, fires and DIY-friendly millennials helped the largest U.S. home improvement chain post impressive same-store sales in the third quarter. For the third quarter ended Oct. 29, same store sales rose 7.9 percent company-wide.

The former Target grocery chief who joined Supervalu in February has been named EVP for retail, marketing and private brands.

Target CEO Brian Cornell says he's optimistic about the holiday season and consumer confidence, and still sees lots of opportunities in retail.

Raley’s is expanding its proprietary grocery delivery service to more zip codes.

Goya Foods is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to meet skyrocketing demand for healthier Hispanic food products.

Walmart has begun differentiating between prices online and in-store, in an effort to drive store traffic.

A startup in Southern California is selling meal kits that are focused on sustainable seafood. According to an article in The Memo, the new meal kit service called Trashfish is trying to fix how seafood is harvested. Founded this Septembe

A record 93% of Americans say they will be driving more over the holidays and anticipate spending more over the same time period, according to the latest NACS Consumer Fuels Survey.

Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn discusses her book about leaders who overcame adversity to leave a lasting mark.

JCPenney's aggressive efforts to woo shoppers back are working, and the retailer is hoping Rihanna can drive even more growth.

The nation’s 18 million honorably discharged veterans are now eligible to make tax-free online purchases, adding a new source of e-commerce competition ahead of the holidays. In the first major expansion of military exchange benefits in nearly 30

Walmart named Nielsen its preferred provider of point of sales data as part of an expanded relationship that also involves the Jet.com online unit.

Instacart is expanding its relationship with Big Y to offer same-day grocery delivery service to select stores in the Boston and Worcester area. The service allows Big Y customers to complete their grocery shopping online, and have their ord

Restaurants used to be developed for keeping customers in the store longer; now restaurants, and specifically food halls, are a way to attract people into store. A new Marketplace article explores the food hall concept, which retai

But that sales growth this holiday season is poised to benefit mostly online sellers, according to a new forecast.

Years ago, Jeff Bezos gave an interview to The Washington Post that contains interesting keys to Amazon's evolution.

A majority of shoppers plan to use buy online, pick up in-store this holiday seasons, according to a new study.

Weis Markets is launching an inventive program to teach children about food and retailing, as the company expands its education offerings in all of its stores.

With Postmates' new Fresh service, consumers can order groceries via local partners for delivery in 30 minutes or less.

Retail debt coming due, along with America’s over-stored suburbs and the continued gains of online shopping, has all the makings of a disaster for retailers, according to a new Bloomberg report.

Southeastern Grocers has found a winning new banner in Harveys, which will celebrate its 80th location this month in Florida. The company is opening three new Harveys in November: a second Harveys store in Tampa, Fla., and two new locations i

Target is turning up the heat on Walmart and other retailers with low-cost mobile services by partnering with FreedomPop.

Most holiday shoppers will be heading to stores during the Black Friday weekend, according to a new survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Amazon isn't waiting until the new year to make major changes at Whole Foods Market. Amazon announced that it is launching Amazon Pop-Up stores at Whole Foods locations ahead of the busy shopping season. The Pop-Ups will begin openin

Instacart has landed a deal with another grocery chain, this time in the Midwest.

CVS is building at least eight mock pharmacies to help Americans with disabilities find meaningful employment at CVS Pharmacy locations across the country.

CPG marketing agency Acosta has a new Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy and eCommerce. The company has appointed Kimberly-Clark and Safeway veteran Brian Christensen to the role.

Google is working a new feature for its Search that shows estimated wait times at restaurants and grocery stores. "Rolling out soon, wait times on Google Search (and coming soon to Maps) shows you the estimated wait at your favorite restaurants.

The solid sales performance of Ahold Delhaize’s U.S. banners in the retail conglomerate’s third quarter of 2017 led to increased market share across the brands.

Kroger is turning to Google for e-commerce, delivery and data-focused initiatives such as smart pricing as part of its Restock Kroger Plan.

Walmart’s payment app is close to surpassing Apple Pay in usage for mobile payments in the United States.

A new Texas-based dog food company has launched meal kits for dogs.

The online experience is increasingly beating out the brick-and-mortar experience for many holiday shoppers, according Deloitte's 32nd Annual Holiday Survey.

Albertsons is teaming up with IRI to leverage its Liquid Data technology platform. Albertsons Companies, which has more than 2,200 grocery stores across 33 states and the District of Columbia, plans to integrate its supply chain data, includ

Meijer is gearing up for the holidays by adding thousands of general merchandise items to its home delivery service.

The next evolution of Starbucks involves making a bolder move into foodservice in the form of an Italian style bakery-cafe called Princi.

Tractor Supply Company has appointed Thomas A. Kingsbury to its Board of Directors.

Kroger's Ralphs division has begun offering grocery delivery in Southern California through a partnership with Instacart.

Sears Holdings is initiating another round of store closures, with 63 locations scheduled to shut down in January.

Big Lots is opening a new store format this week in Ohio that is bigger and more food-focused than ever before.

CVS Health is launching delivery of prescriptions and other merchandise from its stores beginning in December.

Target has rolled out an aggressively promotional plan to lure shoppers this Black Friday. The retailer says its stores will be open from 6 p.m.

Pet Supplies Plus is looking to appeal to military families with a new social media campaign.

ALDI is making a move for more millennial shoppers by teaming up with Venmo to donate 1 million meals to families in need this holiday season.

Walgreens is looking to get a boost in customer traffic with an expansion of its FedEx pickup program to all 7,500 of its U.S. stores.

Amazon is making it easier for 7-Eleven customers to shop its websites.

Dollar General is offering shoppers a slew of holiday enticements this season, including online-only deals and new digital coupons. “Our strategy this season remains consistent with our ongoing commitment to provide our customers with value and c

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shared tips about inspiration, work-life balance, and how to be an inventor with his brother at a recent conference.

On its first days of public trading, HelloFresh gained as much as 4%, valuing it at more than double that of its rival Blue Apron.

Kroger is promising to launch a re-imagined apparel line, but shoppers will have to wait a year to see it.

Roundy's Supermarkets is giving shoppers another reason to visit its stores by offering savings on fuel.

Retail industry employment declined by 18,000 jobs in October, according to the National Retail Federation. The number excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

Technology driven change is happening quickly, prompting predictions about how American’s will live, work, play and shop that seem outlandish, but probably aren’t.  The World Economic Forum, a Switzerland-based organization whose lofty missi

Amazon is shutting down its Fresh grocery delivery service for select areas.

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

The combination of low unemployment, low gas prices, low interest rates and unprecedented options could see spending rise as much as 6%, according to a new forecast.

A massive pantry reloading effort by Floridians following Hurricane Irma accounted for half of Publix third quarter sales growth and fueled a 13% profit increase.

A robust private label program is helping Sprouts Farmers Market attract scores of shoppers despite increasing competition.

When BJ's Wholesale Club unveiled its biggest Black Friday event ever, it did so on Facebook Live.

More and more customers are abandoning Blue Apron's meal kits. 

With a new partnership, Aldi is looking to woo the shopper whose wine purchase is heavily influenced by graphics and labeling. 

Food retail veteran Bob Mariano has joined the board of directors for Gelson's Markets.

Online sales are expected to generate $107.4 billion this year, according to Adobe Analytics data. The company also estimated that Cyber Monday will become the biggest online shopping day in history, generating $6.6 billion in sales, representing

The plant-based movement has gained a major convert in the Campbell Soup Company.

October 2017

Loreal is teaming up with app developer Perfect Corp. for a new mobile experience that allows users to try on makeup and make purchases. 

Procter & Gamble delivered its 12th billion liter of clean drinking water and spent more than $1 billion on programs to end gender bias in 2017.

BJ's Wholesale Club has launched a new mobile app and add-to-card coupons that make it easier for members to save, shop, check gas prices and track their savings.

Lidl is betting that it can tempt shoppers to snap up affordable, European style furniture along with their groceries.

Amazon has lowered its fee on non-perishable grocery items offered through its website that cost $15 or less.

Consumers can't tell the difference between foods labeled “organic” and “non-GMO,” according to a new study.

Sprouts Farmers Market has added a veteran of the Gap and PetSmart to its board of directors.

One of the largest meal kit providers in the U.S. is changing the way consumers think about meal kits.

Prepared soups are a key focus of the changes that The Kroger Co. plans to make at its Roundy’s commissary in Kenosha, Wis.

Consumer packaged goods companies that successfully drive efficiencies can increase margins by 2 to 5 percent, according to a new IRI report. “Given the current CPG environment, manufacturers understand the importance of a renewed focus on making

Wakefern is making some major executive changes amid record retail sales for the fiscal year.

Target is making a slew of technology enhancements to stores to make shopping even easier for customers.

Walmart's British supermarket division Asda has promoted head of operations Roger Burnley to be chief executive.

Ulta Beauty, normally a suburban strip mall retailer, is looking to capture more millennial consumers by opening its first store in New York City.

A new farm-to-fridge player in the online grocery space has launched an express service that offers grocery pickup in 30 minutes or less.

Walmart is trying to lure more foodies to its grocery shelves with a new private label line of Italian food.

Aldi and Lidl are focused on brick-and-mortar while everyone else in the sector races to perfect online grocery.

A robust stock market and high levels of consumer confidence have coalesced to double the increase in anticipated 2017 holiday spending over 2016.

With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, consumers say they will spend an average $967.13 this year, according to NRF's annual holiday survey. That’s up 3.4 percent from the $935.58 consumers said they would spend when surveyed at

Door to Door Organics, a Louisville, Colo.-based a meal-planning and natural and organic grocery delivery service, has named Scott DeGraeve its COO.

Amazon is working with Whole Foods executives on a new format poised to disrupt the grocery industry.

FedEx and UPS are making aggressive investments in a bid to keep up with the explosive growth in online shopping.

Once U.S. shoppers visit a Lidl store, they are highly likely to return, according to a new survey. According to a report from financial services firm Oliver Wyman titled "U.S.

CVS is moving further away from retailing and closer to health services as a way to stave off intensifying competition. The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported Friday that CVS Healthcare is in talks to acquire Aetna for more

Walmart is expanding a shelf-scanning robot trial run to 50 additional stores, including some in its home state of Arkansas.

Bristol Farms is showcasing the hottest concept in food retail -- the food hall -- at a new store in Los Angeles.

These key trends are set to impact food retailers and suppliers in the coming year.

The National Retail Federation will recognize Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon as “The Visionary,” an award given once a year to an outstanding retail industry leader.

GNC's new strategy and investments are reshaping the company's business model and reversing negative sales growth trends.

Mondelēz International has hired Glen Walter to be its next Executive Vice President and President, North America. 

Online grocer Peapod, a division of Carlisle, Pa.-based Ahold USA, plans to relocate its headquarters to downtown Chicago, aiming to complete the move by next spring.

Meijer says it is on-pace to process more than 1 million deliveries made from its stores by year-end.

Walgreens will spend about $450 million and close about 600 stores beginning next spring as it starts integrating Rite Aid stores into its own footprint of about 8,100 locations.

Target is rolling out a multi-faceted holiday strategy that includes augmented reality, free shipping, new private label brands and deep discounts on toys.

More than $8 billion has been spent during the past three years to transform America's mall and much of that investment involves food and entertainment.

The e-commerce giant's latest innovation makes it easier for Amazon customers to receive packages when they are not home.

UPS will be offering a combination of human- and drone-based delivery in Las Vegas in December, just in time for Christmas, if the Federal Aviation Administration approves.

More than half of holiday shoppers expect their budgets to go to online spending, according to Deloitte's 32ndAnnual Holiday Survey of consumer spending intentions and trends.

Customer satisfaction with packaged food is down 2.4 percent to a score of 81 on a 100-point scale, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Kroger has added new talent to the C-suite as it looks to implement a three-year strategy to focus on an improved customer experience and sustained sales growth.

A landmark study of retailers and shopper behavior highlights new market dynamics and optimal strategies for growth.

At least 238 cities and states are going to great, and possibly humiliating, lengths to land Amazon's second headquarters.

Albertsons Companies is deploying Apple Pay to 2,300 stores, including recently confirmed Safeway branches. 

Ulta is giving social-media obsessed beauty fanatics another reason to shop its stores.

A new era begins today for Retail Leader with the launch of our daily newsletter backed by a brand promise unique to the retail industry.

The CEO of Albertsons Companies says its efforts to focus on the omnichannel grocery experience are bearing fruit, as the grocery chain posted a spike in e-commerce revenue in the second quarter.

Walmart's Jet.com has launched a new private label brand designed to appeal to today's younger online grocery shopper. 

Walmart has been rolling out new digital initiatives and buying e-commerce sites, but now the retailer has set its sights on virtual reality.

Andy Dunn joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss the changing landscape of online and offline retail.

The National Retail Federation is urging the Senate to move forward on tax reform by approving the fiscal year 2018 budget resolution. “Tax reform is the top priority for our nation’s economy, and approving the budget resolution is an import

Rite Aid’s current senior vice president of operations in the Northeast and Midwest has been named executive vice president of store operations. Derek Griffith will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s chainwide store operati

U.S. consumers are less inclined to shop on peak holiday shopping days this year and more likely to search for and buy the best bargains online than in stores, according to Accenture’s 11th Annual Holiday Shopping Survey.
 

With mobile wallet adoption on the upswing, it will become increasingly important for merchants to get on board with mobile payments to remain competitive in the retail market, according to a new report from research firm Forrester.

U.S. retail candidates value shorter work weeks and flexible shift patterns over compensation and benefits, according to new research from the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

Jay Ard, vice president of national sales, convenience retail, at the Coca-Cola Company, has been named 2017–18 chairman of the NACS Supplier Board.

Target plans to open about 12 small-format urban stores this month and ramp up its remodels of older stores over the next few years.

BJ's Wholesale Club is hoping to lure more shoppers to its stores with an expanded assortment of appliances.  The wholesale club is expanding its assortment of LG and Whirlpool appliances, including kitchen and laundry suites.

Sam's Club is launching new tools to give associates quick and easy access to data that they can use to help customers.

Walgreens is hiring approximately 300 new staffers to establish a new technology center in Chicago.

Kroger has named Suzy Monford to be president of its QFC division. 

Kroger hosted its first natural foods innovation summit, in partnership with its insights subsidiary 84.51°, in its headquarters city of Cincinnati.

Sears's largest institutional shareholder is leaving the board of directors.

In an increasingly crowded meal kit space, Plated is looking to stand out via a partnership with Top Chef judge Gail Simmons.

Trader Joe’s, now in its 50th year of operation, added 14 new locations in 2017 and could achieve a significant milestone in 2018.

Amazon is launching a new program that allows adolescents aged 13 to 17 to shop with the retailer — with approval from their parents.

Target is expanding its partnership with Google to make online shopping even easier.

Petco is looking to appeal to digitally connected pet lovers with a new app and wellness services.

Online grocery will be the fastest growing channel in the United States over the next five years, with an annual growth rate of 18%. According to grocery research firm IGD, the U.S.

Southeastern Grocers has found two new banners to accelerate growth for the company.

Walmart says its digital transformation strategy is resonating with shoppers, especially food shoppers.

The next phase of Walmart's e-commerce transformation is here, with a new initiative from the retailer that aims to match Amazon's famously generous return policy.

​​​​​​​What we know and don't know about a future where shopping is seamless.

A robot revolution is coming to retail.

Retail supply chains in the U.S. will be shaped by a new intermodal facility downriver from New Orleans.

Midwestern retailer Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has the backing of Meijer and distribution capacity in place to drive growth.

Retailers' cage free commitments represent the ultimate chicken or egg scenario.

The battle against climate change is giving retailers and suppliers a competitive advantage.

Retailers and consumer goods companies faced with the prospect of unrelenting and increasingly sophisticated cyber threats have reason for hope.

With a curious blend of promotional intensity, everyday low prices and lots of yellow paint, Harveys Supermarket could help Southeastern Grocers grow.

The word "disruption" has a place in the physical world too. Just look at Lidl.

Accelerating online efforts and membership fee perks are helping Costco ward off the impacts of quickly shifting trends in the food retail industry.

Plenty of CEOs could claim to have the hardest job in retail, but none faces the unique set of challenges ahead of Shell Retail Executive Vice President István Kapitány.

Amazon is experimenting with a new delivery service intended to make more products available for free two-day delivery and relieve overcrowding in its warehouses.

Walmart's curbside grocery pickup program for online shoppers is so popular that it can't expand the program fast enough.

PepsiCo is in the middle of a massive digital transformation that aims to spur online sales growth.

CVS Pharmacy is taking a page from Target's playbook by launching a new system for patients who manage multiple medications.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is looking to tap into millennials' love of all things beauty with a new, value-priced skin care range.

Instacart is teaming up with Lowes Foods, one of the top 50 grocery banners in America, to bring same-day delivery to over 350,000 Raleigh-Durham households.

Target is giving curbside pickup another go after abandoning the program in 2016.

Holiday retail sales are expected to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent year-over-year, according to NRF's new forecast.

Walmart has acquired a same-day, last-mile fulfillment company specializing in perishable and non-perishable delivery to customers in New York City.

Amazon has introduced a new slate of products aimed at expanding the retailer's reach into consumers' homes.

Rite Aid CEO John T. Standley says his company has a firm plan in place to rebuild momentum and grow the business after the Walgreens deal.

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