ECRM RangeMe
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RangeMe partners with Thrive Markets

BY David Salazar

RangeMe, the ECRM-owned online product discovery platform for retailers and suppliers, announced this week a partnership with organic- and non-GMO-focused e-commerce retailer Thrive Market to help find new products to stock for its membership.

“RangeMe is a comprehensive way to see a huge portfolio of products and brands in our categories to ensure we are staying on top of the latest trends and emerging brands in our space,” said Thrive Market senior vice president of merchandising and chief merchant Julie Johnston. “It is a platform that promotes communication between brand and retailer without being disruptive to the merchants. Typically, merchants are inundated with emails from brands asking for distribution, but RangeMe allows us to decide how and when to respond to incoming brand requests.”

RangeMe noted that online grocery sales have been steadily growing in recent years, with online sales expected to comprise 20% of total grocery retail by 2025. Thrive Markets is capitalizing on this trend by offering its members organic and non-GMO products across CPG categories, RangeMe said.

“The old playbook of how the CPG industry operates is gone, and we’re rewriting a new one in real time,” RangeMe founder Nicky Jackson said. “For suppliers to see Thrive Market on RangeMe opens up yet another window of opportunity for them to succeed on their CPG journey. Thrive Market is an ideal partner in this new age of retail technology. They are furthering the revolution of how people shop, especially for organic and natural products.”

Organic, in particular,e has been a quickly growing segment of the food industry, RangeMe said, noting that consumers are seeking retailers and tech that can help them find their preferred products more easily.

Among some of RangeMe’s other partners are Target, Rite Aid, CVS Pharmacy, Albertsons, Whole Foods, Ulta Beauty, Sephora, Petco and Whole Foods.

“The technological revolution is in full swing, and we are committed to being the ideal partner for retailers and suppliers alike as the landscape continues to change,” Jackson said.

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CVS Health
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CVS Health, Aetna merger reportedly nears approval

BY David Salazar

The Department of Justice is nearing an affirmative decision to CVS Health’s acquisition of Aetna, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing sources familiar with the matter. WSJ’s sources said the final approval could come in the next several weeks.

The report noted that clearing the DOJ’s antitrust hurdles could require the companies to sell off assets having to do with Aetna’s Medicare offerings. WSJ said that WellCare Health Plans is one company in talks as a potential buyer of divested assets.

A CVS Health spokesperson referred Drug Store News to comments an earnings call in early August, in which CVS Health president and CEO Larry Merlo noted that he was expecting the deal to close in the third or fourth quarter, and that divestitures had been part of the expected deal since it was announced.

In December, he said, “we contemplated a range of possibilities in the limited [Medicare Part D prescription drug plans] area in which both CVS and Aetna offer plans, and we determined the impact of any divestitures would not be material to the deal model.”

Merlo also said that once the DOJ approval comes through, CVS Health expects various state approvals.

“To date, a substantial number of states have approved and more are expected to approve this summer. In fact, several additional states have already held or scheduled hearings,” he said. “You should also keep in mind that, as a matter of practice, some states prefer to wait for the DOJ decision before finalizing their approval. And as a result, we expect that a number of approvals will occur shortly after receipt of DOJ approval. And while I won’t provide details on our interactions, I can tell you that we are having productive discussions with regulators.”

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Giant acquires Pennsylvania Darrenkamp’s Markets location

BY DSN STAFF

Giant Food Stores has added to its store based in Pennsylvania. The Ahold Delhaize USA banner has entered an agreement with Darrenkamp’s Markets to acquire a store in Lancaster, Pa., it announced Wednesday.

“Giant is pleased with this opportunity to open a grocery store at this Darrenkamp’s location and continue to serve the grocery needs of Darrenkamp’s longstanding customers,” said Nicholas Bertram, Giant president. “We are thrilled to continue our renewed commitment to the greater Lancaster market and our relentless focus on growth.”

Once the purchase is complete, Giant will close the store temporarily to remodel it. The company noted that Darrenkamp’s associates will be able to interview with Giant. Currently, Giant operates eight stores in Lancaster County, employing roughly 1,300 associates. The acquisition comes as the company is in the midst of a $22 million investment in the county that it announced in June and that it said would include a new e-commerce hub, four store remodels, lower prices in stores and a new Lititz fuel station.

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