Wholesale food and restaurant supplies retailer CHEF’STORE has tapped a new supplier for its supply chain and retail planning solutions.
RELEX Solutions will support the more than 95 CHEF’STORE locations throughout the United States, allowing the chain to achieve greater supply chain efficiency and improved customer experience through the use of RELEX’s AI-driven, machine learning technology. The chain will leverage RELEX to forecast demand and optimize replenishment, automate planograms to improve store layouts and optimize promotions that will lead to an enhanced customer experience.
“We are pleased to be working with RELEX to advance our merchandising planning solutions needs,” said Irfan Badibanga, president of CHEF’STORE. “RELEX has a comprehensive platform and deep expertise in retail making them an ideal choice for helping us drive additional operational efficiencies as we focus on providing restaurateurs, smaller foodservice operators, and price-conscious community members the products they need, when they need it.”
RELEX works with a number of retailers to boost retail planning operations, including Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, Stokke, Rite Aid, Sprouts Farmers Market, AutoZone and PetSmart.
“It’s an honor to be supporting the more than 85 CHEF’STORE locations with AI-driven forecast and replenishment, space planning, and promotion planning solutions,” said Keith Adams, senior vice president for North America at RELEX. “We believe RELEX is the ideal solution for their operations as our unified platform enables CHEF’STORE to simplify supply chain and store planning management processes to ensure enhanced efficiencies and value.”
American streetwear brand Avirex has taken the next steps in expanding its growth both in the United States and in the United Kingdom.
On Sept. 15, Avirex opened its flagship store in the U.S. location in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. In celebration of the store opening, actor/entrepreneur CJ Wallace (son of legendary rapper The Notorious B.I.G.) and celebrity stylist Kesha McLeod co-hosted an invite-only event on the last day of New York Fashion Week at 21 Mercer St. Rapper Fabolous gave a special performance to the event's 250+ guests.
"Our authenticity and connection to the culture, premium leathers, unmistakable details, and strong style is what differentiates us from other luxury streetwear brands," said Mia Dell'Osso-Caputo, creative director at Avirex. "We are the original, proudly designed and created in NYC for almost 50 years.”
The 5,000 sq. ft. Avirex shop at 21 Mercer Street in New York City operates Monday-Sunday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will be the hub of activations through the 2023 holiday season. The new location was built at the location of the former NikeLab.
Simultaneously, in London, Avirex EU celebrated the opening of its two new London locations on Soho's Berwick Street and Fitzrovia's Eastcastle Street. According to Drapers, the 1,108 sq. ft. Berwick Street store will become the brand’s largest retail site, while the 269 sq. ft. Eastcastle Street store will offer a more boutique shopping experience. The stores join the existing Avirex store in the Shoreditch neighborhood of London.
Founded in 1975 as a supplier of military apparel for the United States Air Force, Avirex is currently carried by luxury department stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as 40+ high-end specialty shops nationwide, as well as online at avirex.com.
Amazon lowers minimum for Prime free grocery delivery
In February, Amazon raised the minimum for free grocery delivery to $150 for Prime members. But the company said it has now lowered the threshold for free delivery to $100.
“We’re always listening to customer feedback and looking for ways to make shopping for groceries easier, faster and more affordable,” stated Claire Peters, worldwide VP, Amazon Fresh, in a statement to Chain Store Age. “As part of that, we continuously test our delivery models to see where we can and should make adjustments.”
Amazon disclosed the news in a blog on its site in which it noted that, outside of the change, all other delivery fees remain the same for Prime and other Amazon customers. For Prime members, this includes $6.95 for orders of $50 to $100 and $9.95 for deliveries under $50 with Prime.
Customers who are not Prime members will still be charged between $7.95 - $13.95 depending on basket size and the delivery window selected.
Additional fees are charged for rush orders.
NRF to host ‘Fight Retail Crime Day’ event in D.C.
The National Retail Federation is bringing retailers to Washington, D.C., to advocate for passage of the
Combating Organized Retail Crime Act.
The NRF has declared Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, as “Fight Retail Crime Day” to raise awareness for Congress to take swift and comprehensive action to address organized crime. NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay and some NRF members will meet with congressional leaders in Washington, D.C.
“NRF is convening leaders from the loss prevention community — those at the forefront of the battle against rising organized retail crime — to meet face-to-face with members of Congress and their staff to educate them on the need to act,” the group said.
The Organized Retail Crime Act is a bipartisan, federal solution that would establish a national coordination center, combining expertise and resources from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and retail industry representatives to curb organized retail crime, according to the NRF.
NRF’s 2023 National Retail Security Survey found that retailers lost an estimated $112.1 billion to shrink in 2022. More than two-thirds (67%) said they were seeing even more violence and aggression from ORC perpetrators compared with a year ago.
The struggling drug store chain disclosed that it is no longer in compliance with New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) continued listing standards, which require a $1.00 average closing share price over a 30 trading-day period. (As of Thursday late afternoon, Rite Aid’s stock was trading at about $0.54 on the NYSE.)
Under NYSE rules, Rite Aid will be provided with “cure periods” and the company’s common stock will continue to be listed and traded on the NYSE during these periods, subject to its compliance with other continued listing requirements.
Rite Aid may file bankruptcy, close stores
This NYSE non-compliance notice comes on the heels of media reports that Rite Aid is preparing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan which involves store liquidations, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. Under the plan, Rite Aid would close 400 to 500 of its more than 2,100 stores and either sell or let creditors take over its remaining operations, the report said.
In August, the Journal reported that Rite Aid was preparing to file for bankruptcy protection in a move to deal with its more than $3.3 billion in long-term debt and lawsuits related to opioid prescriptions. The expected Chapter 11 filing would cover Rite Aid’s debt load and pending legal allegations that it oversupplied prescription painkillers.
The current noncompliance with NYSE listing standards does not affect Rite Aid’s ongoing business operations or U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reporting requirements, nor does it trigger any violation of its material debt or other obligations. However, Rite Aid says it can provide no assurances that it will be able to regain compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standards or maintain the listing of its shares on the NYSE.
Delivery platform DoorDash is teaming up with the world’s leading Halloween retailer to provide on-demand access to thousands of items.
The partnership between DoorDash and Spirit Halloween is a first for the two companies. Over 1,500 locations are now available on the DoorDash marketplace nationwide, giving customers access to shop the largest assortment of Halloween costumes, decor and accessories. To promote the new partnership, DoorDash is treating customers to 30% off eligible retail orders of $30 or more, up to $20 off, with code TRICK30, now through Oct. 31.
Recent data from National Retail Federation (NRF) shows that Halloween spending is expected to be about $12.2 billion, breaking last year’s record. A record number of people (73%) are expected to participate in Halloween-related activities this year, up from 69% in 2022.
With the partnership news, Spirit Halloween joins over 100,000 non-restaurant stores already on the DoorDash Marketplace and Drive platforms across North America. More than 98% of DoorDash’s monthly consumers in the U.S. now have access to a non-restaurant store on DoorDash.