Wegmans to make New York City debut
Wegmans Food Markets is coming to the Big Apple.
The family-owned grocer will make its long-awaited debut in New York City this fall, with a 74,000-sq.-ft. store at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, in the Admirals Row development. Wegmans Brooklyn will feature a second-floor mezzanine with nearly 100 seats for the in-store market café. The mezzanine space also has a bar that will serve food, wine, beer, and spirits.
Wegmans is also beginning its expansion into North Carolina this fall, opening a 104,000-sq.-ft. store in Raleigh. It will include a family-friendly, casual restaurant counter, called The Burger Bar, that serves burgers, salads, sandwiches, kids meals and more, along with beer and wine. Wegmans has announced plans to open four additional North Carolina stores in the future, in Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and two sites in Cary.
Wegmans, which currently operates 98 stores in six states, will also enter Virginia this year, with a location in Virginia Beach.
Kroger, Microsoft pilot in-store mobile experience
Grocery retailer Kroger is partnering with Microsoft to provide customers with mobile control of their in-store shopping experience.
Kroger has developed a smart technology system, powered by Microsoft Azure and connected by Internet of Things, or IoT sensors, being tested in two pilot stores located in Monroe, Ohio and Redmond, Washington, respectively, near each company’s headquarters.
The system, which Kroger refers to as Retail as a Service, or RaaS, uses a proprietary digital shelving solution called EDGE, or Enhanced Display for Grocery Environment. EDGE replaces traditional paper shelf tags with digital displays of prices, promotions, and other product information. Leveraging Microsoft Azure capabilities, EDGE will directly connect to the Kroger Scan, Bag & Go mobile app while customers shop.
As a result, customers can have a guided store experience where items on their mobile shopping list are automatically identified by images on digital shelf displays as they approach. In addition, the pilot includes a pick-to-light fulfillment solution that digitally guides store associates finding items to fill curbside delivery orders and automatically notifies them of out-of-stocks.
“Kroger is building a seamless ecosystem driven by data and technology to provide our customers with personalized food inspiration. We are identifying partners through Restock Kroger who will help us reinvent the customer experience and create new profit streams that will also accelerate our core business growth. We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft to redefine grocery retail,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO.
The connected store is a trend that appears to be gaining traction. The burgeoning Amazon Go cashierless store c-store pilot and similar pilots from retailers such as Sam’s Club also leverage IoT sensors and in-store mobile technology to streamline the shopping experience.
Kroger has plans to further monetize the new store system. Kroger and Microsoft intend to eventually develop a RaaS solution based on the pilot they will jointly market to the retail industry, and Kroger plans to sell digital advertising space to CPGs brands. Using video analytics, personalized offers and advertisements can be presented based on customer demographics. Kroger will base expansion plans in 2019 and beyond on the pilot.
Stop & Shop announces King Kullen Grocery acquisition
One of Ahold Delhaize USA Company’s divisions is expanding its presence in New York.
Stop & Shop Supermarket announced that it will acquire King Kullen Grocery. The agreement includes King Kullen’s 32 supermarkets, five Wild by Nature stores, and the use of its corporate office located in Bethpage, New York.
The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of 2019 and is subject to customary closing conditions.
“King Kullen is a well-respected grocery chain in the Long Island, New York market that has an 88-year tradition of excellent customer service,” Mark McGowan, president of Stop & Shop said. “We look forward to bringing our quality, selection and value to more communities in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.”
King Kullen, which opened in 1930, operated as a private business. “As a family-owned and operated business, we are very proud of our heritage and extremely grateful to all of our associates and customers for their support over the years,” said Brian Cullen, co-president of King Kullen Grocery Co. “We are confident the Stop & Shop brand will carry on our legacy of service in the region.”
Stop & Shop Supermarket operates more than 400 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.