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Consmr offers new kind of product review website

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Review websites have become an essential tool for the discriminating consumer, so it’s only natural that one would crop up for consumer goods.

Consmr provides ratings for product categories ranging from consumables and personal care to hair care and household items, allowing users to give products between one and five stars. Advertising Age described it as a consumer product version of restaurant review site Yelp.

The site further groups product categories according to channel, namely grocery and drug store, the latter of which includes over-the-counter medicines, diet and fitness products, mouth care, products for babies, expectant mothers and more.

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Stop & Shop raises funds for tornado victims in Massachusetts

BY Allison Cerra

QUINCY, Mass. — Stop & Shop has commenced a fundraising campaign to benefit victims of the recent tornadoes in Massachusetts.

The retailer said that 100% of the donations from the campaign, which will run from Friday through July 4, will go directly to the American Red Cross of central and western Massachusetts.

"Stop & Shop wants to help, and our customers have also asked how they can help. The devastation in this area has impacted both our customers and associates," said Mark McGowan, New England division president of Stop & Shop. "We’re pleased to be able to provide this campaign in our stores to support the American Red Cross, an organization that works tirelessly to help those who need it most during this difficult time."

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Retail chiefs gather to discuss food deserts with Chicago mayor

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — The Windy City’s problem with food deserts is getting attention from the city’s mayor and some of the country’s top retailers, according to published reports.

ABC reported Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel held a summit with CEOs from Walgreens, Walmart, Aldi, Roundy’s and the companies that operate the Jewel and Dominick’s chains. During the summit, Emanuel offered incentives for the companies to build stores in the food deserts, which are low-income neighborhoods that lack large supermarkets, thus making residents unable to obtain fresh fruits and vegetables.

Walgreens already has built several stores in Chicago that offer expanded fresh food options as a way of addressing the food desert problem, including at least one store that has 40% of its retail space dedicated to food. Walmart also has built Walmart Express stores in Chicago food-desert neighborhoods, including West Englewood.

What’s more, Walgreens also has sought to expand its fresh-food store concept. CEO Greg Wasson said at a shareholders meeting earlier this year that the company may expand its fresh food centers to 400 or more stores over the next several years, and the company announced in May that it would test-market stores with healthy food options at 30 locations in San Francisco.

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