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Walmart promotes NYC efforts with new website

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Though Walmart’s desire to enter New York City is nothing new, its latest push shows that attitudes toward the retailer opening stores in the Big Apple are changing — in Walmart’s favor.

The company recently launched WalmartNYC.com, a "community forum for customers, associates, stakeholders and public officials who want to learn more about Walmart as it continues to evaluate opportunities across the city," according to a company press release.

Walmart launched the site following a study by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC that showed 71% of New Yorkers surveyed favored Walmart coming to the city and in the last year alone, city residents spent more than $165 million at Walmart stores outside the five boroughs.

“We know that job creation and access to affordable food are significant needs in the city and we think our stores can be part of the solution,” said Steven Restivo, director community affairs for Walmart. “At the same time, we know New Yorkers overwhelmingly support Walmart so we’re using social media to listen to the conversation, tell our story and give our supporters a voice.”

Featuring media coverage, footage of Walmart shoppers from New York and facts and figures about the company, WalmartNYC.com will be a place for New Yorkers to learn more about Walmart and how they can help bring the retailer to the city, the company reported.

Walmart said that in February it plans to set up informational kiosks at local stores in Secaucus and North Bergen, N.J. as well as Valley Stream, N.Y. to promote the new site.

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Supervalu expands nutrition iQ program

BY CSA STAFF

Minneapolis — Supervalu on Thursday announced the expansion of its exclusive in-store nutritional navigation program, "nutrition iQ," to include the fresh food departments and more robust nutrition information for the center store.

“Nutrition iQ is one of the many programs and services we offer in-store to help customers create healthy lifestyles," stated Heidi Diller, Supervalu dietitian. "With our expanded nutrition iQ program, shoppers will find the additional knowledge, clarity and simplicity they need to make better-for-you food choices, whether they simply want to eat a bit more healthfully or need help managing health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart health.”

The expanded program will feature additional nutritional attributes and health benefit information, from the center store grocery, frozen food and dairy sections to the newly included fresh produce, self-service meat and seafood departments.

The nutrition iQ program, launched in 2009, currently is available at more than 800 stores including: Acme, Albertsons, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Jewel-Osco and Shoppers. And the expanded program recently launched at Albertsons stores in Southern California and Nevada, with other banners and locations scheduled to roll out later this year.

Supervalu has evaluated more than 80,000 products in the center store aisles. Customers will see an average of 2,400 to 2,600 tags at the shelves in key food categories. Approximately 10% of the items in each center store category have received a nutrition iQ tag. For the fresh expansion, key nutritional attributes and health benefits are called out for select produce items.

The nutrition iQ program, which was developed and implemented in collaboration with dietitians from Joslin Clinic, features color-coded icons on shelf tags and signs that serve as at-a-glance cues to help shoppers identify and find healthy food options. With the expanded program, qualifying items in stores’ fresh departments — produce, self-service meat and seafood — now will receive nutrition iQ signs.

The fresh departments now also will feature informational signs highlighting key attributes of the foods receiving nutrition iQ signs, such as "excellent/good source of fiber;" "helps support healthy digestion;" "excellent/good source of vitamin C;" "promotes skin and immune health;" "excellent/good source of potassium;" and "important for muscle and bone health."

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Microsoft exec named to NRF advisory council

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Microsoft Corp. announced that Bill Gonzalez, general manager of its worldwide distribution and services sector, has been elected to the associate member advisory council for the board of directors of the National Retail Federation. The announcement was made at the NRF Annual Convention & EXPO in New York.

"I’m honored to have been elected to the NRF board of directors advisory council on its 100th anniversary and look forward to supporting this organization in its continuing efforts to pioneer solutions and services for the global retail industry," Gonzalez said. "Microsoft is deeply involved in supporting and advancing the state of the art in technology to fundamentally transform people’s lives and society as a whole. Our increasing involvement with NRF and our commitment to the retail industry help us to achieve this goal."

As the general manager for the worldwide distribution and services sector at Microsoft, Gonzalez is responsible for all aspects of strategy and execution plans for the retail, hospitality and consumer goods industries. He has more than 20 years of experience in the distribution and services industries including retail and hospitality. His experience spans software development and business process, as well as all aspects of IT and sales. Before joining Microsoft in August 2007, Gonzalez held executive positions in the IT organization at Wal-Mart Stores for 11 years. Before joining Wal-Mart, he held executive sales and marketing positions at NCR Corp. for 10 years.

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