FINANCE

Morrisons invests in online grocer FreshDirect

BY CSA STAFF

London — Wm. Morrison Supermarkets PLC said Thursday that it has acquired a 10% stake in U.S. online grocer FreshDirect, based in New York City.

According to Morrison, the U.K. fourth-largest supermarket chain, the acquisition marks its debut in the online food market.

Morrison has also announced plans to test a c-store format and to expand its grocery store counts in order to increase its presence in the U.K grocery market.

Morrison will pay $51.7 million for the 10% stake in FreshDirect. It will also take a seat on its board.

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New book offers unique perspective on Walmart

BY CSA STAFF

There have been dozens of books written about Walmart, but none from the perspective of Ron Loveless. He is an Arkansas native from a small town who was hired by Walmart founder Sam Walton in 1964. His first job was that of stock boy, but he would go on to hold positions of increased responsibility in operations and merchandising and was the executive charged with opening the first Sam’s Clubs in the early 80’s. Loveless retired in 1986.

Now he has written a book, titled Walmart Inside Out, that is equal parts business book and personal memoir. According to promotional materials for the book, there has never been a book as uniquely positioned to answer the question of whether Walmart is the evil empire or low-price savior because author Ron Loveless was there from the beginning.

Loveless has been gone from the company since the mid-80’s so his name may not be as recognizable as the likes of David Glass, Don Soderquist or Lee Scott, but he was among a cadre of executives who were there early on and whose efforts drove Walmart’s meteoric growth rate in the 70’s and 80’s. The book chronicles the rise of Loveless from stock boy to senior vice president and is filled with interesting stories that offer a never-before-seen glimpse at the company’s culture during its early days.

“Walmart Inside Out gives readers a rare, behind the scenes look at the corporate giant from a uniquely balanced perspective,” according to promotional materials for the book. “By turns enlightening, entertain and endearing, Walmart Inside Out is written in an amiable, down home style that feels like you’re sitting on the author’s porch, sharing stories and a cool drink on a gentle Arkansas night.”

The book will be available beginning in April.

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Sam’s Club pushes eValues

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark.— Through March 13, Sam’s Club is offering an eValues trial to its advantage and business members. According to the company, the eValues program is an exclusive program that delivers tailored offers to consumers based on unique shopping patterns. The trial program will enable all Sam’s Club members to receive a benefit usually afforded only to members with Sam’s Club Plus.

The eValues program enables Sam’s Club Plus members to receive limited-time discounts on a variety of products and services, according to Sam’s Club. On average, Sam’s Club Plus members receive eight to 10 offers per month, each available 28 days for redemption. Offers can be viewed online, by accessing the Sam’s Club App, or at the eValues kiosk in each club.

Sam’s Club’s Plus membership is available to both advantage and business members for a $100 annual fee. (Advantage membership is $40 for the year, while business membership is available for $35 a year.)

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