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PetSmart continues rapid store expansion amid major digital investments.

Serving as ICSC President and CEO affords Tom McGee a unique perspective on the retail industry. He leads a global organization with 70,000 members in more than 100 countries who develop, lease and operate shopping centers from the largest mega-malls to neighborhood centers.

A conflict has existed for too long between CPGs and retailers over huge, yet notoriously low performing, trade funds (also called vendor funds.) Without a significant change, these trapped resources may delay sorely needed new programs at retail. 

Industry analysts are predicting PepsiCo will increase marketing and advertising support for its beverage brands to $1.7 billion this year, up 50 percent from the prior year, Bloomberg reported.

In an exclusive interview with a co-founder of HomeGrocer.com, one of the fastest-growing Internet startups from the dot-com boom that later fizzled, Retail Leader explores the opportunities and challenges grocery retailers face in e-commerce today.

Aligning organization with strategy is a major challenge, according to a poll of CEOs by Strategy&.

European hard discounter Lidl, which plans to have stores open in the U.S. no later than 2018, launched a website for suggestions on potential real estate sites, as well as vendor and employee applications. 

The Fresh Market entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by investment firm Apollo Global Management for $1.36 billion. 

Blount Fine Foods, a Fall River, Mass.-headquartered manufacturer of premium soups, entrees, sauces and side dishes for retail and foodservice, said it purchased Food Source LP, a custom food manufacturer based in McKinney, Texas.

Club store chain operator Costco is “quietly removing” tobacco SKUs this year, having begun reducing the presence of cigarettes at some of its U.S. stores three or four years ago, according to business news website TheStreet.com. 

Packaged goods manufacturer Campbell Soup Co. is investing $125 million in its venture capital project to fund food startups at the front of food trends, reported the Wall Street Journal. 

Mother’s Market & Kitchen, a Southern California grocery chain with seven stores in Orange County, said it “selected and partnered” with investment firm Mill Road Capital. 

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