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New name for grocery wholesale retailer

BY Marianne Wilson

Cash&Carry Smart Foodservice is rebranding itself.

The company is changing its name to Smart Foodservice Warehouse Stores. The retailer said the new name is designed to allow it to better communicate its mission of selling quality ingredients and restaurant supplies in a simple, convenient warehouse format.

“The updated name better reflects our mission and provides a much clearer message to current and future customers about the products and services we offer,” said Derek Jones, president, Smart Foodservice Warehouse Stores and executive VP, Smart & Final.

Since 1955, Smart Foodservice has been selling foodservice supplies to businesses, non-profit organizations and households. It will continue to utilize the day-to-day business model and add warehouse stores across its markets. This approach will not only better emphasize the go-to market strategy, the company said, but will also offer restaurants and businesses the same competitive advantage that is available to some of the largest foodservice operators.

Headquartered near Portland, Oregon, Smart Foodservice is a subsidiary of Smart & Final Stores, and has operated throughout the Northwest for more than 60 years. The division currently has 63 warehouse-format stores located in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Utah.

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America’s most loved brands are…

BY Marianne Wilson

Four retailers rank among the top 25 most loved brands in the United States.

That’s according to an annual survey by Morning Consult that ranks the nation’s biggest brands based on brand favorability. Amazon claimed the No. 4 spot, with an overall rating of 76, and Home Depot came in at No. 15, at 72.1. Dollar Tree and Lowe’s tied at No. 19, both with a rating of 71.2.

Google took the top spot in Morning Consult’s Most Loved Brands in America, with an overall rating of 78.7, followed by Hershey’s, at 78.6, and Pillsbury, at 76.1.

The report also ranked favorite brands according to community. Trader Joe’s and DSW led among suburbanites, while Carhartt and Cabela’s were tops with in rural communities.

Morning Consult’s Most Loved Brands 2018 edition uses over 250,000 interviews with U.S. adults to provide an in-depth view of the companies, organizations and brands that define American culture and commerce. The data is sourced from Morning Consult Brand Intelligence.

The final rankings were determined using surveys conducted online among a national sample of adults. Between 2,500 and 50,000 adults rated each of the over 1,000 companies from January through March 2018. The average company was surveyed over 12,000 times. The maximum margin of error for a given brand is plus or minus 2%.

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Two men arrested in Philly reach agreement with Starbucks and the city

BY Marianne Wilson

Starbucks Coffee Company and the city of Philadelphia have both reached settlements with the two men involved in a racially charged incident on April 12 at a Starbucks location in the city.

The arrest of Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, both African American, sparked a national uproar around the issue of racial profiling. The two men were put in handcuffs and accused of trespassing after the store manager called police, saying they refused to order anything or leave. The men were waiting for a third person to have a business meeting.

On Wednesday, the men settled with the city for a symbolic $1 each, and a promise from officials to set up a $200,000 pilot program for young entrepreneurs.

Also on Wednesday, Starbucks announced that, after “constructive conversations,” it reached an agreement with Robinson and Nelson earlier this week. The coffee giant did not release the terms of the agreement, but said it will include a financial settlement and “continued listening and dialogue between the parties and specific action and opportunity.” It said more details “will be provided in a mutually agreed public statement.”

“I want to thank Donte and Rashon for their willingness to reconcile,” said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson. “I welcome the opportunity to begin a relationship with them to share learnings and experiences. And Starbucks will continue to take actions that stem from this incident to repair and reaffirm our values and vision for the kind of company we want to be.”

Johnson traveled to Philadelphia to apologize to the men. He later announced that more than 8,000 Starbucks stores in the U.S. would close on the afternoon of May 29 for a training program designed to address racial bias.

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