Kroger sustains environmental efforts
Cincinnati —The Kroger Co. is sustaining efforts to be more environmentally sound and humane in its business practices.
The grocery giant released its 2015 sustainability report, which included 33,000 tons of waste recycled at 1.061 stores in 2015, a 12% year-over-year increase.
Other highlights from the report include:
- Kroger has recycled 200 million pounds of plastic since 2008, a 125% increase.
- Energy and carbon consumption has fallen 35% since 2000.
- Fleet productivity has improved more than 41% since 2008.
- Since 2009, Kroger has achieved 100% best aquaculture practice rating, 100% ISSF certification for canned tuna and 86% sustainability for sourcing of wild-caught fish.
Tech company names former Staples, Walmart exec as CIO
New York — A former chief information officer at Walmart is joining retail technology firm Newgistics.
Gene Wojciechowski has been named CIO of Newgistics, where he will be tasked with providing executive leadership and strategic direction for all of Newgistics’ core technology operations.
Most recently, Wojciechowski served as VP of global technology for the North American commercial and supply chain division of Staples. In this role, he was responsible for the technologies that supported all of the company’s North American distribution and fulfillment centers. He also led a project to launch new e-commerce sites in six countries within an eight month period of time.
Prior to Staples, Wojciechowski was the CIO of Walmart.com, where he oversaw product development, engineering and site operations, as well as all global e-commerce engineering efforts. He also implemented Walmart.com’s first mobile application, as well as new multi-channel functionality that allows same day pick-up against in-store inventory from orders placed online.
“Newgistics is the only company that can support the entire e-commerce lifecycle – from a customer’s device to their doorstep – making Gene’s experience in both e-commerce and supply chain technology a perfect fit for both of us,” said Bill Razzouk, Newgistics’ CEO. “With an extensive background leading technical teams at some of the world’s largest retail organizations, his unique knowledge will help empower the brands we work with so they can stay at the forefront of digital commerce innovation and deliver the experiences that will keep their customers loyal.”
Wojciechowski and his team will lead Newgistics’ efforts to design and develop innovative technological solutions that will allow the company to continue its rapid growth in the e-commerce logistics and transportation industry.
“Retail and commerce technology has always evolved fairly quickly, but never at the breakneck speeds we’re seeing right now,” said Wojciechowski. “The convergence of digital and physical worlds, and the ubiquity of mobile technology make this a very exciting time in our industry, and Newgistics has put itself in unique a position to lead the way in bringing it all together. It’s rewarding to be part of a company that will help retailers navigate this revolution in how people shop.”
NRF: More time needed on overtime pay extension
Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation on Wednesday asked the Labor Department to give businesses more time to respond to the administration’s proposal to expand overtime saying the plan’s “drastic changes” will require “extensive analysis” and require companies to speculate on “hypothetical proposals.”
“NRF wants to provide the department with the most accurate and comprehensive assessment of the impact of the proposed salary changes on the retail community,” NRF senior VP for government relations David French said in a letter. “NRF therefore strongly urges the department to extend the comment period … and better understand how such drastic changes to the white collar exemptions could affect employers and employees in the retail industry.”
NRF asked that the September deadline for businesses to submit comments be extended by 60 days to November 3.
Under current rules, anyone making up to $455 a week is guaranteed overtime if they work more than 40 hours, but those making more can be declared exempt if they meet “job duties” tests such as having supervision of other workers as their primary duty.
Under the proposal, the salary threshold would rise to $970. But rather than proposing specific changes in the job duties tests, the administration is asking whether the tests should be changed and what changes should be made, the NRF said.
“This unprecedented increase in the salary threshold and the failure to consider regional differences will necessitate further economic assessments and feedback from NRF members,” French wrote.
Provisions indexing the salary threshold to inflation are “wholly new concepts for the white collar exemptions and will also require extensive analysis,” he said.
French said the request for businesses to comment on whether changes should be made to the job duties tests rather than laying out specific proposed changes and asking for a response is unusual.
“Leaving such an open-ended question without another comment period means that NRF and its members will have to comment on hypothetical proposals rather than an actual change,” French said. “This lack of clarity further complicates the comment process and increases the amount of time stakeholders will need to provide meaningful feedback.”
A study conducted for NRF by Oxford Economics found that expanding overtime could cost retailers $9.5 billion in added payroll costs if fully implemented, but that the tight economy would force many employers to offset the added expense by limiting hours or reducing base pay, among other steps.