REAL ESTATE

Stark Enterprises announces retail property acquisition

BY Melonie Messina

Pickerington, Ohio — Stark Enterprises acquires The Shoppes at Stonecreek in Pickerington, Ohio. The 45,000-sq.-ft. retail center is located east of Columbus and is currently 100% occupied. Featured tenants include Lifetime Fitness, Petland, Advanced Vapor, Lomonico’s and Roosters.

“This acquisition further expands our footprint outside of Northeast Ohio and is a prime opportunity for us to prove the transformational impact we have on our properties,” said Ezra Stark, COO for Stark Enterprises.

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New PetSmart brand unites health and philanthropy

BY CSA STAFF

Pet lovers can now feed their own pets a wholesome meal and serve one up to a pet in need at PetSmart.

The retailer has launched a new natural pet food line called Good Natured. But the natural formulation of the food is not the only special feature of this new brand: It also has a charity component. For every bag of food purchased, PetSmart will donate a meal to a pet in need through PetSmart Charities or PetSmart Charities Canada.

“At PetSmart, we know pet parents want the best for their pets. That’s why we are thrilled to launch this wholesome, quality food that is also affordable,” said Eran Cohen, chief customer experience officer, PetSmart. “Good Natured’s natural formulation is a great match for pet parents who want to serve up a healthy option to their own pet, while also providing a wholesome, nutritious meal to pets in need.”

PetSmart says the Good Natured line is a value-priced, natural, wholesome pet food. It features quality, real ingredients, with meat as the first ingredient, and is free from corn, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives, colors or flavorings to keep pets healthy and strong. Dry and wet food options are available for cats and dogs, and the largest package size is available for under $30.

Donations from every purchase of Good Natured food will benefit thousands of PetSmart’s shelter partners, freeing up the shelters' funds for adoption and other programs. PetSmart expects donations from customer purchases of Good Natured products to reach 250,000 pounds of food – equivalent to 500,000 meals – in the first year of sales.

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Walmart donates nearly $1M to help retail’s front line

BY CSA STAFF

Walmart is one step closer to fulfilling its mission of donating $100 million toward increasing the economic mobility of entry-level workers.

The retailer and its Walmart Foundation are donating nearly $1 million to Innovate+Educate to fund research and build recommendations that support the advancement of entry-level workers in retail and adjacent sectors.

The grant is the first of its kind to help incumbent entry-level employees in retail attain higher paying jobs based on articulated skills and competencies from the employers in a select region.

“We chose Dallas, Texas, as the first site for this exciting work. After analyzing the labor data provided by Burning Glass Technologies and other sources, doing site selection interviews, and learning more about the work on the ground already underway in pathways by Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas and the Dallas Regional Chamber, we felt confident this was a great place to implement the work and create a model to scale,” stated Jamai Blivin, CEO, Innovate+Educate.

Blivin stated that there are thousands of unfilled retail jobs in the Dallas area, many of them middle-skill jobs, and a great network of employers that appear willing to move to a competency-based hiring and training model for incumbent workers that will not only impact retail but also adjacent sectors such as grocery, pharmacy, telecommunications and banking/finance.

“Through an innovative approach, Innovate+Educate is working to better define the requirements needed to help today’s entry-level workers advance in their careers to attain middle-skills jobs,” said Gayatri Agnew, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Walmart Giving. “Gathering this first-hand research is a unique and valuable mechanism to create an important blueprint that will help companies build clear pathways and training programs for advancement, ultimately supporting the economic mobility of workers nationwide.”

Earlier this year America’s largest retailer launched the Opportunity Initiative to help the retail industry close the skills gap that keeps many Americans out of jobs. The donation entails a series of grants as part of a five-year, $100 million commitment.

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