RETAIL NEWS

Kroger expands Instacart delivery partnership to QFC divisions

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Home delivery service will now be available from Kroger’s QFC divisions, located in Puget Sound, Wash., and Portland, Ore. The company is once against partnering with Instacart, a key driver in the grocer’s Restock Kroger Plan: Expand Partnerships to Create Customer Value and Redefine the Food and Grocery Customer Experience.

“By offering home delivery in addition to in-store shopping and online ordering for curbside pickup, we are listening to our customers who are telling us they want the convenience of shopping anyway they choose,” said Suzy Monford, president of QFC. “We know that our customers are busier than ever but still want to feed their families fresh, healthy foods that are available at low prices. This new partnership allows our customers to have their groceries delivered to their doorsteps as soon as two hours after placing an order.”

QFC delivery powered by Instacart will allow customers to place orders from 4,000 available products – including perishables, by building a digital cart. A delivery window from 9 am to midnight will be available, with a home delivery fee will be waived for first-time customers.

“Instacart customers prefer doing their online grocery shopping from local stores, where they know the products,” said Andrew Nodes, vice president, retail accounts for Instacart. “We are thrilled to partner with QFC to give our customers in Portland and Seattle a new convenient option for shopping at their favorite local QFC store.”

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Ahold USA shares health screening report card

BY Seth Mendelson

Officials at AholdUSA are quite proud of the success of their health screening program. And with good reason. In 2017 alone, the company reports that it provided nearly 36,000 health screenings and more than 20,000 immunization recommendations to roughly 14,000 patients. All of this was done at no charge to the customers, officials note.

The company also had significant, double-digit growth in both flu and non-flu immunizations for two straight years and in 2017 Ahold administered more than 200,000 flu shots. In addition to all this, Ahold also hosted roughly 150 free educational classes to its patients. These hour-long diabetes or healthy heart classes are hosted by the chain’s own pharmacists and nutritionists.

In 2016, AholdUSA pharmacies undertook a major initiative to have one specially trained (APhA accredited) diabetes care pharmacist (DCP) in every pharmacy.  The chain has have actually exceeded that goal and now have more than one DCP for every one of its nearly 560 pharmacies, according to Gary Petruzzelli, clinical programs manager for Ahold.

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Costco reports 14 consecutive months of sales growth

BY Marianne Wilson

Costco “turned in a month for the ages in the current retail environment,” Ken Perkins, analyst at Retail Metrics, told MarketWatch.

Net sales surged 13.2% to $11.26 billion in November, up from $9.95 billion in the year-ago period. Online sales rose 39%, and were up 44% in the 12-week period through Nov. 26, helped by an expanded assortment and faster delivery times.

Costco’s total same-store sales rose 10.8%, its biggest monthly gain since September 2011. Excluding the impacts from changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange, U.S. same-store sales rose 8.4%. 6.3% in Canada and 7.2% internationally.

Customer traffic at Costco’s U.S. locations was up 5.9% in November. The retailer saw growth across hardline and soft line categories, as well as food and sundries.

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