Kroger, Walgreens partner to pilot new store format
Kroger Co. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. have joined forces to test a new store format that brings together their core offerings.
The two retailers are launching an “exploratory” format at 13 Walgreens stores in Northern Kentucky, near Kroger’s Cincinnati headquarters. Customers will be able to order Kroger grocery items online and pick up the orders at the participating Walgreens locations.
In addition, grocery items from Our Brands, Kroger’s private-label line, will also be available in-store at participating Walgreens locations. The diversified shopping assortment will complement Walgreens products and services across health and wellness, pharmacy and beauty, the companies said.
“This concept brings together the best of two great brands to rethink convenience and redefine the way America shops for food,” said Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen.
Kroger and Walgreens said they would conduct the pilot over the next several months, listening to customer feedback.
“This innovative new concept is an opportunity to test and learn, as we determine how we can best work together to further elevate our customer offering,” said Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. “We continue to evolve our offerings to meet the changing needs of our customers and provide a more differentiated shopping experience. We’ve been implementing new approaches to promotions, product selection and other areas to deliver greater value in our stores.”
Initially, Kroger and Walgreens will develop and test a one-stop shopping experience where customers can access products and services from both companies. Customers will be able to order Kroger grocery items online and pickup orders at the participating Walgreens locations. Kroger’s popular Our Brands grocery items, including America’s largest natural and organic brand, Simple Truth, will also be available in-store at participating Walgreens locations. The diversified shopping assortment will complement Walgreens products and services across health and wellness, pharmacy and beauty.
“This innovative new concept is an opportunity to test and learn, as we determine how we can best work together to further elevate our customer offering,” said Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. “We continue to evolve our offerings to meet the changing needs of our customers and provide a more differentiated shopping experience. We’ve been implementing new approaches to promotions, product selection and other areas to deliver greater value in our stores.”
CSA announces SPECS/2019 Advisory Board
Physical retail will be in the spotlight at Chain Store Age’s annual SPECS Show, which will be held March 3-5, 2019, at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine (Dallas), Texas.
The conference, now in its 55th year, is designed for retail and foodservice executives involved in the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of stores and restaurants nationwide. Taking an active role in the program planning is the SPECS Advisory Board, which is made up of industry executives from leading retail companies and key supplier organizations.
The board members are charged with advising and directing the educational program for the 2019 conference, which will feature a packed slate of workshops, roundtables and panel presentations covering a wide range of emerging and evolving issues. As industry insiders, the SPECS board members are integral to the development of the program.
Five veteran members were selected as Executive Advisory Board members, responsible for team leadership and overall program direction. The SPECS 2019 executive leaders are:
• Lisa Smola-Hollo, project manager, growth and development, Ulta Beauty;
• Lori Koeppe, operations coordinator, The Buckle;
• Craig Hale, associate Principal, HFA;
• Mike Gordon, senior manager, facilities management, Rent-A-Center; and
• Kristen Roodvoets, retail operations – construction project manager, SmileDirectClub
The following is a list of the SPECS/2019 Advisory Board:
* Aaron Ancello, VP, facilities manager lead, TD Bank
* Lisa Bien-Sinz, senior VP marketing and HR, Inside Edge Commercial Interior Services
*Marilyn Brennan, director of business development and account management, Egan Sign
*Brandon Collier, director of architecture, design and store planning, RaceTrac Petroleum
* David DiCarlo, former director of construction, Toms King Services/Burger King
* David Dillon, senior manager of development and standards, Walgreen Co.
* Tony DiSpirito, director of store preservation, Sephora
* Michael S. Ecke, strategic national accounts manager, Benjamin Moore & Co.
* Richard Elkins, director of construction services, Firehouse Subs
* Brian Foster, senior VP, Paint Folks
* Casey Fitzpatrick, construction estimator, Wegmans Food Markets
* Mike Gordon, senior manager, facilities management, Rent-A-Center
* Bill Graber, VP account management, USM Inc.
*Greg Green, divisional VP national accounts, Orion Energy Systems
* Scott Griffin, director of store design and construction, Stein Mart
* Craig Hale, associate Principal, HFA
* Roger Herman, director of national accounts, Springwise Facility Management
* Angie Huff, VP/retail, NGS Films and Graphics
* Keith Johnson, director of store design, Dollar Tree & Family Dollar Stores
* Kevin Kilgore, director of construction, Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q
* Christie King, senior architect, proto and new formats, Walmart Inc.
* Tiffany Ko, program manager, store development, lululemon athletica
* Lori Koeppe, operations coordinator, The Buckle
* Bridget McCormick Lackey, senior manager of architecture and building design, JCPenney
*Robin Baskin Ladner, VP sales, Global Facility Management & Construction
* Kevin Nolen, director of retail expansion and facilities, Z Gallerie
* John Noonan, executive VP business development & marketing, Atlas Sign Industries
* Doug Pellock, VP construction and purchasing, Marcus Theatres
* Vaun Podlogar, president, State Permits Inc.
* Terry Pratt, senior construction project manager, Academy Sports + Outdoors
* Rob Reiter, chief security consultant, Calpipe,
* Kristen Roodvoets, retail operations – construction project manager, SmileDirectClub
* Eric Russell, director of construction, L Brands
* Lisa Smola-Hollo, project manager, growth and development, Ulta Beauty
* Jennifer Sorrells, senior manager of national retail facilities management, T-Mobile
* BiBi Sukey, senior tenant coordinator, Brookfield Properties Retail
* Kevin Tierney, VP strategic accounts retail, Tarkett
* Bennett Van Wert, national sales manager, DWM Comprehensive Facility Solutions
* Rick Winkel, president, Retail Contractors Association
* Joshua D. Witte, director of store operations, brand maintenance and repair, Ross Stores Inc.
* Bret Woodland, project manager, H.J. Martin & Son Inc.
* Jason Woods, senior manager construction, Tesla
* Tracy Scanlan Zaslow, senior director of design and construction, Luxury Brand Holdings, Ross + Simons, Sidney Thomas Jewelers
* Melissa Zimmerman, category manager, group procurement, Walgreen Co.
First Look: German brand with devoted following opens U.S. flagship
A footwear brand whose roots date back to 1774 has gone direct to U.S. consumers with a physical store.
Birkenstock has a opened its first store in the United States (and 47th globally), in the SoHo neighborhood of lower Manhattan. Celebrating over 50 years of Birkenstock distribution in the U.S., the SoHo store features the brand’s full range of products for women, men and kids, including shoes, boots, socks, bags, belts and its new natural skin care line. The outpost also features a special gallery of limited-edition styles from designer collaborations including Rick Owens and 10 Corso Como.
The interior of the store takes inspiration from the materials used to create Birkenstock’s signature products, incorporating such natural materials as cork and leather. It offers a relaxed atmosphere with its open atrium and second floor lounge area that will feature special projects and collaborations.
A billboard and social media campaign, done in collaboration with Brooklyn-based artist Amit Greenberg, was created to mark the store’s opening. It features original cartoon characters that will also appear on a limited-edition version of the Birkenstock’s Arizona sandal and an exclusive T-shirt.
“It is an important part of our ambition to open our own retail stores in strategic locations and vibrant neighborhoods,” said Oliver Reichert, CEO of Birkenstock. “New York is a key market for us. The opening of our own retail store in New York is also a bow to one of the few remaining fashion capitals in the world that shapes global cultural and consumer trends.”