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Stop & Shop to improve shopper experience with store remodels

BY Marianne Wilson

Stop & Shop is updating its brand to make grocery shopping easier.

The grocer unveiled a fresh, new look at 21 remodeled stores in the Hartford, Conn. area. The update, a $70 million capital investment, is designed to improve the in-store experience with a focus on more fresh and healthy options and improved digital solutions.

The Hartford market will serve as a test market for Stop & Shop to pilot such features as an in-store smoker, poke bowl and taqueria stations, and frictionless checkout, which will be used to inform updates across the company’s 400-plus stores during the next several years. Stop & Shop said it is also investing heavily to lower prices on thousands of high-purchase items and extending its assortment of items from store brands.

The company currently employs over 3,000 people in the Hartford region. The remodeled stores are expected to increase headcount by 7%.

“We recognize that our customer is changing, and we’re evolving our entire shopping experience to better serve them,” said Stop & Shop president Mark McGowan, president, Stop & Shop, which is owned by Ahold Delhaize. “They’re focused on getting back to their lives, juggling many responsibilities and we want to make grocery shopping even easier and faster for them. Hartford is the first step in our journey towards repositioning our brand for future success and in helping our communities enjoy better food and better lives.”

Stop & Shop’s update includes a new logo and modernized store format that reflects a customer-centric approach and commitment to reshape its shopping experience around the customer and their evolving needs. While updates vary by store location, highlights of the refreshed stores include the following:

  • New in-store experiences – Customers can create their own olive oil and vinegar blends like fig-infused balsamic at DIY machines. They can also fill up growlers at a kombucha fountain, or find out what food pairs best with a hoppy IPA at an informational craft beer kiosk;
  • Community Tables – In-store cafes will feature “community tables” made from reclaimed wood so neighbors can gather together with family-style seating. Digital community boards will also share local fundraisers and other events around town;
  • Curbside Pickup – Customers can pull up beneath solar-powered canopies to pick-up their online Peapod orders, which will soon be assembled by a miniature robotic warehouse thanks to a new partnership with Takeoff Technologies;
  • Frictionless checkout – Customers can save time when shopping in-store by using the SCAN IT! mobile app, which provides a frictionless checkout experience, with no waiting in line;
  • Focus on local, fresh, and quality – Stores will feature more space dedicated to fresh produce and more locally grown and produced items;
  • Smoker – Customers can choose from meats like brisket, pulled pork and baby back ribs slow cooked up to 14 hours over solid hickory wood; and
  • Poke bowl & taqueria stations – New stations will make it easy to grab fresh, healthy meals with global flavors to-go.

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Kmart Pharmacy to offer free flu shots

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Kmart has found a way to encourage shoppers to get their flu shots.

Through April 30, 2019, Kmart Pharmacy is offering free flu shots, including the Fluzone High-Dose influenza vaccine. (The cash price of a flu shot starts at $35.99.) The retailer is also offering Shop Your Way (SYW) benefits to members who get vaccinated.

Members will receive $5 Cashback in SYW points when they get a flu shot at a Kmart Pharmacy in the United States or Puerto Rico. (No copayment is due unless required by the customer’s health plan). Pharmacy Rewards members also earn $5 in SYW points for every five qualifying prescriptions filled at Kmart. Immunizations and pet prescriptions count toward these rewards.

Once awarded, points are eligible for use in the next transaction. Points, which can only be used on non-pharmacy merchandise, are valid for 30 days, according to Kmart.

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Target intros low-priced brand, Smartly

BY DSN STAFF

Target is showing off a new line of lower-priced owned-brand products.

The collection, titled Smartly, is comprised of more than 70 items, such as hand soap, paper plates, household cleaners and razors.

“Over the past few years, Target has launched more than 20 owned and exclusive brands across our multi-category assortment. The introduction of Smartly is another example of how we are listening to consumers and bringing them solutions to make their lives easier,” Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Target, said. “Smartly offers incredible value, looks great and, most importantly, gets the job done. It broadens our assortment to give guests even more options to find the product that’s right for them, regardless of their budget.”

Ranging in price from 59 cents to $11.99, most items are under $2, the Minneapolis-based company said.

In addition, Target’s product design and development team focused on the design and key attributes of each product, working with master perfumers to develop various fragrances for products.

For example, the hand soaps will featured such scents as rain shower and lavender, and all-purpose cleaners in ocean and citrus grove scents, the company said.

Products in Smartly’s collection also will feature modern and joyful packaging with irreverent expressions that say “smells like well, nothing” on a bar of unscented soap and “no dishes tonight” on disposable plates.

The entire collection will arrive in stores and on Target’s website on Oct. 14, and be available year-round.

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