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News Briefs

  • 7/19/2023

    Giant Company names president

    John Ruane has been named brand president of The Giant Company.

    Ahold Delhaize USA said that John Ruane has been named brand president of The Giant Company. He has served as interim president of the chain since the departure of Nick Bertram in September 2022.

    Prior to being appointed interim president, Ruane served as senior VP and chief commercial officer for The Giant Company, leading the merchandising and marketing teams to develop and implement customer-centric strategies that support the continued growth of the brand, while also improving customers’ experience and the overall value proposition, the company said.

    Ruane started his career in the grocery industry at age 14 at Foodtown in New Jersey, where he worked through college. He later joined Pathmark and held positions of increasing responsibility at retail and in merchandising before joining Ahold Delhaize USA companies in 2011 and Giant in 2018. 

    “We have been fortunate to have John lead The Giant Company as interim Brand President during a time of transition, and we are excited about this next step in his career,” said JJ Fleeman, CEO, Ahold Delhaize USA. “He has led the team during a very important time in the company’s history as it celebrates its 100-year anniversary this fall. John is a leader who cares deeply about his team and serving customers. He will continue to drive strong performance and advance many of the hallmarks of The Giant Company brand, including growth in its local markets, innovation in operations and a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as health and sustainability.”

    The Giant Company, headquartered in Carlisle, Pa., has193 stores, 132 pharmacies, 107 fuel stations and over 180 online pickup hubs and grocery delivery services, with operations across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and New Jersey. 

  • 7/18/2023

    Starbucks taps former Target exec for key supply chain role

    Arthur Valdez  has joined Starbucks as executive VP, global supply and customer relations.

    An veteran retailer with more than 30 years of leadership experience in the operational supply chain and logistics industry has joined Starbucks Corp.’s supply chain team.   

    The coffee giant has appointed Arthur Valdez as executive VP, global supply and customer relations. Valdez recently retired from Target Corp., where he served for seven years as executive vice president and chief supply chain and logistics officer, overseeing all functions of Target’s global supply chain and logistics network.

    Prior to Target, Valdez spent nearly 17 years at Amazon, with roles that included VP operations international expansion (supply chain, fulfillment centers, transportation, and VP worldwide transportation.

    Valdez  has spent his career building customer experience network solutions and solving problems across many key business areas – from product inventory management, retail store operational efficiency, manufacturing, distribution and fulfillment to transportation, Starbucks said in post on its website. These geographical networks span North, South and Central America, as well as across Europe and Asia.


  • 7/18/2023

    Walmart to offer free financial literacy course for employees, customers

    Walmart is partnering with Khan Academy to offer a free financial literacy course.

    Walmart wants to help educate its employees and customers about important financial topics.

    The retail giant has teamed up with Khan Academy as its founding sponsor to offer a new, free financial literacy course for its employees, customers and communities. (Khan Academy is an American non-profit educational organization with a mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.).

    The virtual course offers articles, videos and exercises designed to master personal finance skills, which can help strengthen financial capabilities, reduce stress and make choices that lead to a healthier financial future, the company said. 

    “With a reported 72% of Americans feeling stressed about money during the previous month, we know providing access to personal finance resources is more important now than ever,” wrote Kim Lupo, VP, global total rewards, Walmart, in a post on the retailer’s website.  

    The course is designed to take participants from familiarity to mastery by using a learn-at-your-own-pace, classroom-style approach. Several key financial topics are covered in the comprehensive training, including:

    • Budgeting and saving; 
    • Consumer credit; 
    • Financial goals; 
    • Loans and debt; 
    • Insurance; 
    • Investments and retirement; 
    • Scams and fraud; 
    • Careers and education; and 
    • Taxes 

    “Our partnership with Khan Academy is an example of one of the many commitments we’re making to invest in financial tools to help people live better,” Lupo said. “We believe offering these unique financial offerings will empower people to live their best lives – in and out of the workplace.”


  • 7/18/2023

    Plans revealed for Costco’s largest store yet

    Costco operates 855 warehouses around the world.

    Costco Wholesale Corp. is thinking big in California.

    The membership warehouse club retailer is proposing to build a location in Fresno, Calif., that would include a main building of more than 241,000 sq.ft., with 47,000 sq. ft. dedicated to a market delivery operation of large and bulky items, reported If approved and built, it would the largest Costco to date. (A 235,000 sq. ft. Costco in Salt Lake City currently holds the title.)

    The 22.4-acre site in Fresno would also include a Costco gas station with 32 fuel pumps and an automated car wash. A total of 889 parking stalls are planned, the report said.  The store would replace a smaller Costco in Fresno that is located less than three miles away.

    A draft environmental impact report for the project was recently approved by the city of Fresno’s Planning & Development Department for a 45-day public comment period through August 25. 

    Costco operates 855 warehouses, including 587 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 107 in Canada, 40 in Mexico, 32 in Japan, 29 in the United Kingdom, 18 in Korea, 15 in Australia, 14 in Taiwan, four each in China and Spain, two in France, and one each in Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden. Costco also operates e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.



  • 7/16/2023

    Ross Stores opens 27 locations — with more to come

    Ross Stores is delivering on its 2023 expansion plans.

    The off-price apparel and home goods retailer recently opened 18 Ross Dress for Less stores and nine DD's Discounts stores across 14 states in June and July. The new locations are part of the company's plans to add approximately 100 new locations during fiscal 2023, including 75 Ross stores and 25 DD’s Discount outlets.

    This summer, Ross Dress for Less opened its inaugural six stores in the state of Michigan. DD’s expanded its presence in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

    "These recent openings reflect our ongoing plans to continue building our presence in both existing and newer markets," said Gregg McGillis, group executive VP, property development. “Looking ahead, we remain confident in our ability to grow to at least 2,900 Ross Dress for Less and 700 DD’s Discounts locations over time."

    Together, Ross Dress for Less and DD’s Discounts currently operate a total of 2,061 locations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam. The total includes 1,722 Ross locations in 41 states and 336 DD’s stores in 22 states. The company posted fiscal 2022 revenues of $18.7 billion.

  • 7/13/2023

    Consumer sentiment soars in July

    Consumer sentiment rose in July to its highest level since September 2021.

    Consumer sentiment in July reached its highest level in nearly two years even as inflation expectations inched up.

    The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment  rose for the second straight month, increasing 13% over June to a preliminary July reading of 72.6.  It was the highest level since September 2021.

    All components of the index improved significantly in July. Consumers’ view of current economic conditions rose to 77.5, up from 69.0 in June.  The expectations index rose to 69.4, up from 61.5 in June. 

    “Overall, sentiment climbed for all demographic groups except for lower-income consumers,” said Joanne Hsu, surveys of consumers director, University of Michigan. “The sharp rise in sentiment was largely attributable to the continued slowdown in inflation along with stability in labor markets.”

    Year-ahead inflation expectations were little changed, inching up from 3.3% in June to 3.4% in July and down from the high point of 5.4% from April 2022. 

     Long-run inflation expectations were also virtually unchanged from June at 3.1%, again staying within the narrow 2.9-3.1% range for 23 of the last 24 months.


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