Aldi turns up the heat in already competitive supermarket industry
German discount grocer Aldi is jumping into home grocery delivery.
The retailer announced a pilot program with Instacart, the on-demand grocery delivery service. Starting later this month, the service will be available in Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles, with potential for future expansion.
Shoppers in the pilot markets will be able to fill their virtual carts by visiting Instacart.com or downloading the Instacart app. At checkout, they can choose a delivery window that works best with their schedule, anywhere from an hour or up to a week later.
Aldi's partnership with Instacart will help it compete with more upmarket grocery chains that have already made home delivery part of their game plan. It also gives the no-frill chain a leg up on another German discount grocer, Lidl, which has just started expanding in the United States.
"Our partnership with Instacart is another example of Aldi expanding our commitment to customer convenience and value," said Jason Hart, CEO of Aldi, which operates nearly 1,700 U.S. stores in 35 states. "We know customers are looking for new ways to save time and money. Instacart provides easy access to our low prices at the click of a button."
To celebrate the partnership, Aldi and Instacart are offering customers $20 off their first Instacart order until Sept. 30.
Target revs up efforts to transform supply chain with acquisition
Target Corp. has acquired a transportation technology company that will help it expand more quickly in same-day delivery. The deal will also bring a new talent to the discounter’s technology team.
Target Corp. has agreed to acquire Grand Junction to improve Target’s delivery capabilities and accelerate its investments and ongoing efforts to transform its supply chain. Upon the close of the deal, Grand Junction founder and CEO Rob Howard will become a VP of technology at Target.
"Grand Junction’s technology and algorithms will help Target deliver to guests faster and more efficiently,” said Arthur Valdez, executive VP, chief supply chain and logistics officer, Target. “This acquisition is part of Target’s ongoing efforts to strengthen Target’s supply chain to provide greater speed, reliability and convenience for guests.”(For more by Valdez on the acquisition, click here.)
San Francisco-based Grand Junction has a software platform that is used by retailers, distributors and third-party logistics providers to manage local deliveries through a network of more than 700 carriers. Currently, Grand Junction is working with Target on its same-day delivery pilot at the Target store in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood. Upon deal close, Grand Junction’s employees will become Target team members.
“Target is seizing a tremendous opportunity to leverage local delivery as a retail differentiator,” said Grand Junction's Howard. “We’re thrilled about helping to pursue this opportunity, and to join Target at this unprecedented time in retail.”
New Oregon law impacts employee scheduling in stores
Oregon has become the first state in the nation to pass legislation that puts an end to on-call scheduling by guaranteeing hourly employees advance notice of their work schedules.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed into law the Fair Work Week Act, which imposes predictive scheduling requirements on large employers in certain industries, including retail and food service. Most provisions of the law will take effect on July 1, 2018.
The Oregon legislation comes on the heels of similar measures that have been enacted in such major cities as New York, Seattle, and San Francisco.
The law applies to Oregon employers that employ 500 or more employees worldwide who provide services relating to “retail trade,” “hotels,” “motels,” or “food services." It requires these employers to give hourly workers at least seven days advance notice of their work shifts. In three years, the lead time is extended to 14 days.
Employers also have to pay additional compensation for any violation of the advance notice requirement (to be calculated based on the type of schedule change) and provide a minimum of 10 hours of rest between shifts, or pay the employee time and a half.
For more on the bill, click here.