News Briefs


Wawa tests all-digital store format in Philadelphia


Wawa has unveiled a store with no shelves.

The convenience store retailer has transformed its store at 3300 Market St. in Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood into an all-digital experience. All products (with one exception) must be ordered on in-store touchscreens or via Wawa’s mobile app, with the orders  filled by in-store employees.  Coffee, however, remains self-serve.

The format is designed to be a faster and more efficient. It will not result in the elimination of any jobs at the store, which is located near Drexel University and open 24/7, Wawa told the Philadelphia Business Journal.

The test store comes as Wawa is expanding into new markets. In May, the company broke ground on its first store in the state of North Carolina. In December, Wawa said that its long-term expansion plans include the launch of its first-ever stores  in the states of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, along with  the previously announced state of Tennessee. 

Wawa stores are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C. with more than 1,000 locations to date.



CVS Health to cut 5,000 jobs

CVS Health store

Layoffs are coming to CVS Health.

The pharmacy giant is cutting about 5,000 jobs as it looks to reduce costs and increase its focus on healthcare services. The cuts represent less than 2% of CVS’ total workforce, which was made up of approximately 300,000 employees at the end of 2022.  The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

In a statement to Chain Store Age sister publication Drug Store News,  CVS said it does not expect the cuts will have any impact on its customer-facing colleagues in its stores, pharmacies, clinics or customer services centers.

“We do not anticipate there will be any impact to our clients and customers as we remain focused on our mission – continuing to provide the exceptional care and support our customers, patients and communities deserve and depend on,” the statement said. “Throughout our company’s history, we’ve continuously adapted to market dynamics to lead the industry. The difficult decision we are making will set the company up for long-term success."

CVS has increased its focus on the home health space in recent years. In March 2023, it completed its approximate $8 billion acquisition of Signify Health.  And in February, it entered into a deal to Oak Street Health in a deal valued at approximately $10.6 billion. Oak Street operates primary care centers that service people with Medicare Advantage plans,

CVS has more than 9,000 retail stores and 1,100 walk-in clinics nationwide.


Q2 sales, earnings jump at Publix

Publix’s second-quarter sales rose 8.9% to $14.1 billion.

Publix Super Markets reported another strong quarter during which its net earnings rose nearly 75%. 

Net earnings rose 74.7% to $1.1 billion for the quarter ended July 1, compared to $628 million in the year-ago quarter.  Earnings per share increased to $0.33 per share, up from $0.18 per share in 2022.

Excluding the impact of net unrealized gains on equity securities in 2023 and net unrealized losses on equity securities in 2022,  adjusted net earnings would have been $1 billion, compared to $896 million in 2022, an increase of 16.3%. Earnings per share would have been $0.31 per share, compared to $0.26 per share in 2022.

Sales rose 8.9% to $14.1 billion, up from $12.9 billion in 2022. Comparable store sales for the three months increased 6.2%

Publix’s sales for the six months ended July 1, were $28.4 billion, an 8.6% increase from $26.2 billion in 2022. Comparable store sales for period. increased 6.3%.

Effective Aug. 1, 2023, Publix’s stock price decreased from $14.97 per share to $14.75 per share. (Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors.)

“As we enter the last half of the year, our associates remain focused on operational excellence and providing premier customer service,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “I’m so thankful to serve with them in making shopping at Publix a pleasure.”

Publix, the largest employee-owned company in the U.S. with more than 250,000 associates, currently operates 1,346 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.



T-Mobile expanding with 12 new stores — here are the locations

T-Mobile is expanding its store footprint in North Carolina.

 T-Mobile is ramping up its retail presence in North Carolina.

The company plans to open 12  stores across the state during 2023 and 2024. Seven stores have already opened, with the other five expected to open in coming months. (Locations at end of article.) Last year, T-Mobile opened eight retail stores in the Tar Heel state.

“North Carolina is one of the states where T-Mobile is growing fast and focused on establishing a stronger presence in both smaller and more rural communities,” said John Stevens, VP for T-Mobile’s small markets & rural areas. “In some of these areas we’re opening our doors for the first time, which will bring us closer to our customers and businesses and allow us to tap skilled local workforce.”

With an expanding local presence in North Carolina, T-Mobile is also focused on helping to make a difference in communities throughout the state. Programs such as T-Mobile Hometown Grants provide funding to 100 small towns each year to use towards city beautification projects, public improvements and more. 

Through T-Mobile’s education programs, the company has connected over 43,000 students, from 44 school districts across North Carolina, and is also offering school districts free and heavily subsidized data plans and access to affordable laptops and tablets.

The new stores will be opening in the following locations:

  • Albemarle;
  • Fayetteville; (Opened January 2023)
  • Goldsboro; (Opened in June 2023)
  • Havelock; (Opened in June 2023)
  • Hickory; (Opened in July 2023)
  • Hillsborough;
  • Hendersonville;
  • Jacksonville; 
  • Leland;
  • Marion;
  • Newton; and

Rockingham (Opened March 2023).


Walmart pays $1.4 billion to increase stake in Flipkart

Walmart has made another big investment in Flipkart, the largest online player in India.

Walmart Inc. has made another big investment in Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart.

The retailer, which led a $1.2 billion financing round in Flipkart Group in 2020, paid $1.4 billion to buy out U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global’s remaining holding of Flipkart.  The Wall Street Journal first reported the deal, which values the company at about $35 billion. 

Walmart paid $16 billion for a 77% stake in Flipkart in 2018. In 2020, the retailer led a new $1.2 billion financing round in the company. With its latest investment, Walmart will hold about 77% of Flipkart, according to reports. 

The new investment comes as India continues to play a crucial role in Walmart’s global growth. The company expects India to overtake China as its largest international market this year.


Another c-suite exit at GameStop

GameStop store

The finance head of GameStop is leaving after one year on the job.

The video and electronics game retailer said that Diana Saadeh-Jajeh, chief financial officer, will resign on August 11.  GameStop has appointed  Daniel Moore, currently  VP and corporate global controller, as principal accounting officer and interim principal financial officer, effective as of August 11. 

Saadeh-Jajeh joined GameStop in 2020 and has served as CFO since July 2022. In a filing, the company said that her departure does not relate to any disagreement with the company on its operations, policies, or practices, including around its accounting

In June, GameStop said that its board has elected Ryan Cohen as executive chairman, effective immediately. In conjunction, GameStop said its former CEO — Matt Furlong — has been “terminated.”

The news about  Furlong's departure came almost at the same time as the company reported a net loss of $50.5 million, or a loss of $0.17 per share, for the quarter ended April 29, down from a loss of $157.9 million, or $0.52 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue fell to $1.24 billion, down from $1.38 billion.