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Hertz enters van share partnership with Costco in the U.K.

BY Antoinette Alexander

LONDON —The Hertz Corp. and Costco in the U.K. have teamed up to bring short-term Hertz 24/7 van rental to Costco’s members. 

The self-drive service operates at all 25 Costco warehouses in the U.K. Costco’s members can hire a van from the warehouse car parks to drive their purchased items home immediately.

"We have been growing our global van rental offering through Hertz 24/7 for over five years. Our Hertz 24/7 service enables Costco to provide its members with an attractive and efficient van delivery service. Hertz takes care of providing and maintaining the fleet and handling all customer transactions while Costco’s members can enjoy the convenience of taking their purchases home straightaway, rather than waiting for the goods to be delivered in the future,” stated Michel Taride, group president of Hertz International.

Sue Knowles, Costco’s marketing director, added, "Our agreement with Hertz 24/7 is another example of our dedication to improving member service, ensuring members can transport their purchases conveniently and at a low price. Given Hertz’s 24/7’s customer support network, combined with its solid reputation for reliability and experience of operating a large and strong van fleet across the U.K., I am confident that this agreement will further enhance the Costco member experience."

As well as with Costco, Hertz 24/7 has partnered with IKEA in the U.K. to offer customers access to van hire. Hertz 24/7 self-drive van hire is also available to customers of B&Q in the UK; IKEA, Castorama and the Casino supermarket chain in France; the DIY store Leroy Merlin and a number of IKEA stores in Spain; and Lowes DIY store in the United States.

 

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OurPet’s rolls out new line of toys, accessories

BY Ryan Chavis

FAIRPORT HARBOR, Ohio — OurPet’s, a pet supply company, announced the launch of a new line of products available through the food, drug and mass market channel. The Pet Zone brand will offer toys and accessories that are meant to enhance the well-being of pets.

Pet Zone’s launch will help ensure easier access to high-quality products for pets, the company said. "Rather than simply moving products to food, drug and mass-market channel after they age out of pet specialty, we’re carefully identifying the needs of FDM consumers and retailers by providing the products they need," said Dr. Steve Tsengas, president and chief executive officer of OurPet’s.

To further support the brand, the company recently launched a new website, PetZoneBrand.com, which provides resources for retailers and brokers and also includes an online portal with access to marketing and sales materials.

"We are very excited to launch this new brand," said Gabriella DeSantis, senior director of marketing. "The savvy Food/Drug/Mass consumer wants products for their pet that provide the same level of innovation and enrichment as those found in pet specialty stores, but at a greater value. The Pet Zone brand fills this requirement with a variety of products that include feeding and storage solutions for dogs and cats, dog and cat toys and waste management tools."

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Walmart, Kroger identified as leading retailers in providing opportunity to diversity business owners

BY Michael Johnsen

SOUTHPORT, Conn. — DiversityBusiness.com earlier this month named the “Top 50 Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities." More than 1.3 million diversity business owners participated in an online election to determine the “Top” 50 organizations. Wal-Mart Stores was named the leading retailer and No. 2 overall for providing business opportunities to diverse business owners throughout the United States. Food, drug and mass retailers Kroger (No. 11), Target (No. 18), Supervalu (No. 23), Walgreens (No. 26) and Ahold USA (No. 42) were also identified as leaders in providing business opportunities to diversity owners. 

“The diversity practices of the Div50 has changed the course of economic inclusion and thereby the world as we know it," said Kenton Clarke, CEO of DiversityBusiness.com. “The great diversity and vision of our country and our people have made this possible.” 

While other awards and “Top” lists crown companies for such metrics as overall economic growth and returns to shareholders, The Div50 is an indicator of which organizations provide the best and the most business for diversity-owned companies. “In a marketplace that is increasingly as sensitive to diversity as it is to revenues, awarding the top buyers of multicultural products and services is becoming a natural part of the new socioeconomic food chain. Organizations that consistently buy the most products and services from diversity businesses, and that sustain the most mutually beneficial business relationships with their multicultural suppliers, should be recognized not only by the business community but also by the general public. That is what we have accomplished in creating The Div50.” Clarke said. 

"This recognition means a lot to Kroger because it is a reflection of how we are viewed by diversity business owners in the United States," said Reuben Shaffer, Kroger’s chief diversity officer, in a statement released Wednesday. "We thank the more than 1,000 minority and women-owned businesses that are part of our supplier network for their commitment to our shared goals to continue growing and responding to our customers." Kroger currently spends nearly $2 billion annually with diversity businesses, Kroger reported. 

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