RETAIL NEWS

SpartanNash appoints new CIO

BY DSN STAFF

SpartanNash has named a new chief information officer.

The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer has appointed Arif Dar, who previously served as SC Johnson and Sons’ CIO, to the role.

In his newly appointed role, Dar will be responsible for the development and execution of the company’s IT strategy, ensuring its alignments with the enterprise’s overall business strategy, and provide direction for the oversight of design, development, operation and support of IT systems and program.

Part of the oversight Dar will oversee includes enterprise architecture management, application management, security and risk, infrastructure and operations support, the company said.

“We look forward to having Arif join the company,” David M. Staples, SpartanNash’s president and chief executive officer, said. “as his record of large scale IT strategic planning and execution combined with his vision, collaborative leadership, supply chain experience and knowledge of the food distribution industry lay the foundation for success at SpartanNash. During his tenure at SC Johnson, Arif’s cross-functional relationships throughout the business, empowering management style and ability to drive operating efficiencies with diverse technologies drove an improved customer experience, cost savings and sales growth.”

Dar has previously held IT roles at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Foods, Bombardier Transportation in Berlin, General Motors, Tyco International and General Electric.

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Walmart increases its workforce on the road

BY DSN STAFF

The world’s largest retailer has been waging a major recruitment drive to increase the ranks of its truck drivers.

Amid the background of a national truck driver shortage, Walmart hired about 1,400 new drivers in 2018, up from 922 in 2017, reported Yahoo Finance. In response to the shortage, Walmart began aggressively hiring drivers in the fall by offering $1,500 referral bonuses, reaching out to younger drivers via social media, and reducing its application time from 73 days to 31 days, the report said. It also changed the format of its hiring events. (Walmart drivers still must have at least 30 months of experience and meet other stringent requirements.)

“Safety is our priority,” Tracy Rosser, a senior VP of transportation and supply chain at Walmart told Yahoo Finance. “We are not going to adjust our minimum standards due to a tight labor market.”

A first-year Walmart driver can expect to make $86,000 driving for Walmart, Yahoo Finance reported. The retailer also offers quarterly safe driving bonuses, benefits, and does not make its drivers load or unload freight

Click here to read more.

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Study: Retailers deliver on holiday shipping expectations

BY Marianne Wilson

Retailers followed through on their shipping promise this holiday season — with Amazon Prime delivering all the way to midnight on Christmas Eve.

Ninety-three percent of retailers successfully processed and accurately delivered orders to customers on their last guaranteed shipping date before Christmas, according to the 2018 Holiday Shipping study from Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy. (Orders were placed with 52 U.S. retailers across a broad range of categories, including traditional big boxes, specialty retailers and online-only etailers, to measure their ability to fulfil customer orders on their last guaranteed shipping date before Christmas.)

The following retailers came out on top in the Kurt Salmon study for delivering standard shipping orders (placed on or after 12/20) to their customers before Christmas:

• Amazon Prime – Ordered on 12/22
• Under Armour, Lululemon, MM.LaFleur, Coach, L.L.Bean, Nordstrom and Zappos – Ordered on 12/21
• Dillard’s, Macy’s, Timberland, Sephora, Saks Fifth Avenue and Best Buy – Ordered on 12/20

The study found that non-traditional retail channels were the real winner this year. Amazon Prime Now (which promises 2-hour delivery) was delivering up until midnight on Christmas Eve. Also, ‘buy online pick-up in-store’ options were available late on Christmas Eve from many retailers, including Kohl’s, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe’s.

In other findings:

• One third (33%) of retailers opted out of having a ‘last order promise date’ as Christmas approached to avoid disappointing customers.

“This was the highest percentage we’ve seen compared to previous years. Instead, many retailers decided to push their BOPUS capabilities and in-store specials to drive last-minute sales and reduce risk,” the study reported.

• Retailers that pushed the limit with delivery dates were the ones that disappointed customers. Although the average cutoff date was 12/17, all of the retailers that failed to deliver had a cutoff date of 12/19 or later.

“Those [retailers] that came out on top ensured they built out the appropriate capacity in their network, successfully implemented alternative fulfillment methods – such as ship from store and BOPUS – and had the right order routing capabilities,” said Steve Osburn, managing director at Kurt Salmon. “Delivering on shipping promises before Christmas is extremely challenging and has huge consequences for those that get it wrong. With online sales continuing to rise, retailers have to ensure they are operationally robust to deliver on time, able to change direction at a moment’s notice, and offer flexible delivery alternatives to avoid letting customers down.”

“As retailer networks become even more complex – with multiple distribution centers and ship from store options driving more and more of the fulfillment – retailers need to have systems in place to ensure that the right shipping method gets used regardless of where the items get picked and shipped,” Osburn added.

Accenture Strategy research found that 54% of U.S. consumers now expect holiday orders, with free shipping, to arrive in just three days.

“With the majority taking much longer to deliver – around six days – retailers have got a long way to go to meet this expectation,” Osburn said.

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