Discount stores

Friday Checkout: Grocery sales are up, but discount stores are reaping the rewards

Welcome to The Friday Checkout’s weekly column — Grocery Dive, which provides more breaking news, summarizes announcements you may have missed, and shares what’s to come.

Grocery sales increased by 8.3% in Juneaccording to the latest estimates from the US Census Bureau – a solid monthly performance for the industry.

But that result masks what has become a very turbulent trading landscape. Consumers feel hurt by rising prices and change their habits accordingly. Research shows they are buying more private label, condensing travel, and eating more at home.

They also venture to discount stores. Scott Patten, Aldi’s Vice President of National Purchasing for the United States, recently told the insider the chain saw 2.5 million new customers shopping in their stores. Most of them were middle- and upper-income consumers, he noted.

This could cause problems for traditional grocers who aren’t always known for having the lowest prices in town. For shoppers tired of paying north of $5 a gallon for gas, Save A Lot’s recent offer to be able to buy a family meal for around that price is getting pretty enticing.

But overall, these grocers are still doing pretty well, if recent traffic data is any indication. According Placer.ai results.

Foot traffic to Acme in June was up 17% in June compared to the same period in 2019, while in Weis traffic was up 8.6% over the same period. This indicates that while traditional grocers may not be as hot as discounters right now, they are still benefiting from stay-at-home shopping trends spurred by inflation and the ongoing pandemic.

HEB expands its e-commerce fulfillment footprint in Texas.

Courtesy of HEB

In case you missed it

HEB increases the footprint of e-commerce facilities

The Texas Grocery Chain announced its opening a 50,000 square foot e-commerce fulfillment center in Leander, Texas to support curbside and delivery orders and its “longtime presence in the region.” The grocer opened its second store in Leander late last year.

HEB expects the new facility to employ more than 150 people. It is the fifth e-commerce distribution center opened by the grocer since 2018 and one of several expected to open this year, including one in Plano, Texas, to support expansion in the Dallas metro area. -Fort Worth. The grocer did not specify how many future installations are planned.

The grocery chain noted that the Central Texas region where the Leander facility is located is a “rapidly growing part of the state.”

C-suite changes continue at Dollar Tree

Following a shake-up that saw several senior executives leave the company, discount chain Dollar Tree welcomed a new director of information (IOC). Bobby Aflatooni, most recently executive vice president and CIO of The Howard Hughes Corporation, took on the role after the early departure of former CIO Andy Paisley.

Paisley was among a group of members of Dollar Tree’s C-suite — including chief legal officer William Old, chief operating officer Thomas O’Boyle and chief strategy officer David Jacobs — who recently parted ways with the company after an overhaul of its activist investor. plank. Kevin Wampler also plans to step down as CFO once a successor has been found.

Aflatooni brings over nine years of experience at Dollar General, serving as the competitor’s CIO for nearly three years and as senior vice president of infrastructure, Aflatooni LinkedIn Profile. Aflatooni also brings experience in information technology roles at several other companies, including Yum! Brands and Capital One Auto Finance.

Dollar Tree said Aflatooni’s appointment is “the first in a series of leadership additions related to our recently announced leadership changes.” The company also said it was pushing its Investor Day from October 2022 to Spring 2023.

ClusterTruck shuts down Kroger site

ClusterTruck shuts down operations Friday at a Kroger in Fishers, Indiana, The Indianapolis Star reported. JA 1,200 square foot ghost kitchen opened there in October 2020, according to the newspaper.

Kroger operates another in-store shadow kitchen with ClusterTruck at one of its stores in Columbus, Ohio. The ClusterTruck location at a Kroger in Carmel, Indiana, which opened earlier this year would have temporarily closed for a few weeks there are reopening plans and it is unclear what the status is. ClusterTruck also has standalone locations in Indianapolis.

The closure of the Fishers’ location doesn’t seem to put a damper on Kroger’s shadow kitchen efforts. The grocer recently announced a “virtual food court” in partnership with Kitchen United at a Los Angeles Ralphs and said the companies plan to open additional in-store ghost kitchens in Texas later this month.

supermarket exterior

A digital rendering of the Save A Lot store in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood of Chicago that Yellow Banana plans to reopen.

Courtesy of Save A Lot

Figure of the week: $13.5 million

That’s the size of a Yellow Banana Community Development Grants Investment Group received last week of the Chicago government. These funds are to be invested in the Save A Lot supermarkets that Yellow Banana operates in underserved neighborhoods of the Midwestern city.

Yellow Banana plans to use the grant, along with its own capital, to remodel five Save A Lot locations and reopen a Save A Lot store that closed in 2020 to help reduce food insecurity in Chicago neighborhoods where supermarkets. Improvements to discount grocery stores will include new flooring, lighting, signage, refrigerated display cases, and heating and air conditioning systems.

What awaits us

Albertsons Announces First Quarter Results

Next Tuesday, Albertsons will release its results for the first quarter of 2022, and investors will be looking for information on how the company has handled the galloping food inflation which recently shook the economy. The grocery chain could also discuss its ongoing efforts to increase buyer engagement and provide an update on strategic review he announced in February.

Amazon reports second quarter results

Amazon will announce its second-quarter results on Thursday, two weeks after holding what the e-commerce company said was the the biggest Prime Day event in its history. The e-commerce giant has focused more on groceries, and added four slots in New Jersey and New York to its steadily growing Amazon Fresh supermarket chain earlier this month.

Trader Joe workers are unionized vote

Associates at a store in Hadley, Mass., plan to vote Wednesday and Thursday on whether to unionize. If the workers decide to organize themselves formally within the Trader Joe’s United group, the site will become the first in the grocery chain where associates are represented by a union.