Target, Walmart look to take a bite out of Prime Day

— New York – Target and Walmart are counter-programming Amazon’s Prime Day, each with multi-day events that also aim to fatten their loyalty membership rosters.

Target Circle Week will take place from July 9-15 with savings of up to 50% off products from the retailer’s private label and national brands. The sale is exclusively for Target Circle members, but non-members can join the program for free.

Walmart+ Week will run July 10-13. It is open to all shoppers beginning July 11, with Walmart+ members getting an early go at the deals beginning July 10. The promotion will feature deals and limited-time offers in tech, home goods, toys, fashion and other categories. Walmart+ membership costs $98 per year.

Both events will take place in competition with Prime Day, which is set for July 11-12.

This is not the first time the discount giants have gone head-to-head with Prime Day, which has been running each summer since 2015.

Last year’s Prime Day lifted Amazon’s Q2 retail sales approximately 400 basis points.

Former GIANT exec hired to impact access to fresh, affordable food

Nicholas Bertram is accustomed to making a giant impact. 

The retail industry veteran and former president of The GIANT Company has joined the leadership team of Flashfood in the newly created position of president and chief operating officer.  

Flashfood is a digital marketplace connecting consumers to fresh, discounted foods such as bakery and deli items, meats, produce, and snacks nearing their best-by date. The Toronto-based company is used in grocers in Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. 

During Bertram’s tenure at GIANT, the company tested the app across four locations in Lancaster in 2020 and announced at the time it would be implementing the app in 170 participating GIANT and Martin’s Markets stores. 

Flashfood Founder and CEO Josh Domingues said in a statement that Bertram brings “an unprecedented level” of first-hand leadership experience with many of the biggest names in retail, including GIANT, Walmart, and Jewel-Osco. 

“His vision and successes around sustainable retailing align perfectly with our company’s mission to reduce food that is wasted throughout the retail sector,” said Domingues. “Nick has seen how the level of waste experienced by grocers represents billions of dollars in lost revenue and understands the massive impact this also has on our planet. 

“More importantly, he understands how this food could have helped families, which is a shared passion he brings to Flashfood that will help fuel our next phase of growth.” 

Bertram has more than 20 years of experience in the retail sector. His tenure with GIANT resulted in reported historic growth via acquisitions, market expansion, new formats, and exponential growth of digital engagement and eCommerce sales. 

“I have never been more excited about the collective impact the food industry, sustainability-minded investors and technology companies like Flashfood can have on our future,” Bertram said. “Josh and the rest of the board of directors have given me an amazing opportunity to join at this stage, with such a talented team and unique product.”

Flashfood enjoyed an historic year in 2022 as it diverted more than 65 million pounds of food from landfills. The milestone was achieved after the company’s expansion to over 1,550 grocery stores in North America. 

Along with providing consumers and retailers with a solution to reduce food waste, Flashfood stated in a press release that it has fed hundreds of thousands of families and saved shoppers more than $150 million on grocery bills at a time when food costs are rising more than 11 percent. 

Flashfood’s free app on iOS and Android operates in over 1,550 grocery locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The app allows consumers to purchase items from grocery retailers and pick them up in-store at lower prices and at the same time reduce food waste. 

Flashfood works with The GIANT Company, Meijer, Tops Friendly Markets, Loblaw, Martin’s Markets, VG’s, Family Fare, Food Lion, Stop & Shop, Giant Food, Save A Lot, and Giant Eagle. 

“Together with its retail partners,” Bertram said, “Flashfood is already making huge inroads in reducing food waste while helping consumers save money – and now is the right time to accelerate this bold work.” 

As COO, Bertram will seek to accelerate Flashfood’s growth, working with Domingues and internal department leaders to develop capabilities and innovation that impact both food insecurity and food waste. 

Walmart to hire some 40,000 more workers as holidays approach

Walmart announced this week that it plans to hire about 40,000 employees for the holidays and beyond in seasonal and full-time jobs.

The positions include:

· Seasonal store associates, helping customers who use in-store or pickup and delivery services.

· Full-time, permanent truck drivers.

· Customer care associates for Walmart’s customer call centers.

The retail giant will also offer additional hours to current employees who want them.

Walmart said its average U.S. wage is more than $17 an hour, “with many associates earning more based on role and market.”

In the last several months, Walmart has raised pay in occupations ranging from pharmacy technician to truck driver.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Walmart opens 400,000-square-foot center in Lebanon County

Walmart’s 400,000-square-foot high-tech consolidation center will open this month in Lebanon County. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Walmart announced Wednesday that its 400,000-square-foot high-tech consolidation center will open this month in Lebanon County.

The facility, at 1625 Heilmandale Road, North Lebanon Township, will add nearly 1,000 jobs to the area, 500 of which were hired in advance, a release said. Those range from freight handler to operational manager.

The center’s automated technology will enable three times more volume to flow throughout the center, helping the giant retailer deliver products to its stores and servicing Walmart’s 42 regional distribution centers, with plans to service fulfillment centers in the near future.

The building is the second of its kind in Walmart’s supply chain, with the first, in Colton, California, opening in 2019. “Consolidation centers have a specialized role in moving products quickly on their journey to store shelves, and ultimately, the customer,” the release noted.

“We’ve made continued investments in our people, facilities and technology to ensure we have the right product, in the right place, at the right time,” said Mike Gray, senior vice president, supply chain operations at Walmart. “As part of these investments, the Lebanon facility will provide even more opportunities for small- to medium-sized suppliers who do not ship nationwide the ability to provide product to all 4,700 Walmart stores.”

In July, Walmart opened a 1.8 million-square-foot e-commerce fulfillment center in Shippensburg, which is expected to employ 600 full-time workers. The month before, it announced plans to build a 1.5 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Antrim Township, Franklin County, which will bring 1,000 jobs.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Walmart to build huge e-commerce warehouse in Franklin County

Walmart’s newly announced fulfillment center is planned for Greencastle, Pennsylvania. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Walmart announced plans Friday to build a high-tech fulfillment center in Greencastle, Franklin County, one of four the retailing giant is constructing nationwide.

The 1.5 million-square-foot warehouse – at 1915 Ebberts Spring Court, Antrim Township – is set to open in 2024, bringing with it more than 1,000 jobs, according to a release.

Full-time positions will include tech-focused jobs like control technicians, quality audit analysts and flow managers.

The fulfillment center will be equipped state-of-the-art automation technology that provides customers and Walmart Plus members in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey with access to next- or two-day shipping on more items than before.

Walmart said it chose Greencastle because of its proximity to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and other large metros, as well as the area’s “attractive pipeline of talent.”

“Our new next generation fulfillment center is a first-of-its-kind for Walmart that will transform the way we ship online orders to customers,” David Guggina, senior vice president of
automation and innovation, said in the release. “Through our automated storage system and patent-pending five-step process, we’ll not only provide increased comfort for associates but
also double the storage capacity and double the number of customer orders we’re able to fulfill in a day.”

The other new warehouses will be in Joliet, Illinois; McCordsville, Indiana; and Lancaster, Texas.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart currently operates 31 dedicated e-commerce fulfillment centers, 4,700 stores and 210 distribution centers.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Walmart to open fulfillment center in Shippensburg 

A rendering of Walmart’s Shippensburg fulfillment center, expected to finish construction early this year. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Walmart plans to open a 1.8 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Shippensburg, expecting to bring up to 600 permanent supply chain jobs to the area. 

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail corporation announced on Tuesday that its newest fulfillment center will be located at 2281 United Drive, Shippensburg, and is set to open this spring. 

“We are proud to open a new state-of-the-art fulfillment center in Shippensburg, which will be instrumental in providing our customers with increased access and faster shipping on millions of every-day low priced items,” said Steve Miller, senior vice president of supply chain operations, Walmart U.S. “In addition to faster shipping, our investment in Shippensburg will bring a positive impact to the community by bringing even more employment opportunities to a growing local economy.” 

Walmart operates seven distribution centers, 160 retail stores and employs more than 60,000 people across Pennsylvania. 

Unlike Walmart’s distribution centers, which receive, store and distribute products to Walmart stores, the company’s fulfillment centers store, package and ship items directly to customers. 

Walmart is looking to hire a variety of full-time positions at the facility, including assistant general manager, human resources manager and operations managers. 

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to invest in our associates through job promotion and growth while providing new career opportunities to job-seekers in the Southern Pennsylvania region,” said Karisa Sprague, senior vice president of U.S. supply chain HR at Walmart.