News Briefs


Lululemon, Apple, Foot Locker among stores looted in Philadelphia

Phil Dickinson the senior VP and global creative director of Lululemon, has died.

Dozens of looters, mostly teenagers, ransacked stores across Philadelphia on Tuesday night, smashing store windows, toppling displays and fleeing with merchandise. 

The disruption started in the early evening, shortly after the conclusion of peaceful protests against a judge’s decision to dismiss all charges against a former Philadelphia police officer in the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Eddie Irizarry during an encounter at a traffic stop in August. 

This had nothing to do with the protests," Interim Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Stanford said in a press conference on Tuesday night. "What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists take advantage of a situation to make an attempt to destroy our city."

The looting occurred the same day that Target said it was closing nine stores in key U.S. stores due to theft, organized crime and safety concerns.

The flash mob-style looting began in the Center City area and then moved into other neighborhoods, with more than 100 juveniles and young adults reported to be involved. Police said the effort to steal merchandise was apparently coordinated. As of Wednesday afternoon, 49 people were arrested by the Philadelphia Police Department in connection with the looting.

The targeted businesses included clothing and sneaker shops, high-end stores, wine and spirit stores and drug stores. Foot Locker, Apple, Lululemon and T-Mobile were among the big-name retailers hit. 

Although no injuries were immediately reported,  CBS Philadelphia reported that a security guard was assaulted at the Foot Locker.



Smart & Final president to step down

Scott Drew is retiring as president of Smart & Final. (Photo: Business Wire)

A longtime Smart & Final executive is leaving.

Chedraui USA, parent company of El Super, Smart & Final and Fiesta Mart stores, said that Scott Drew, president of Smart & Final, is retiring, effective September 29, 2023. 

Drew, who began his career in the industry more than four decades ago as a grocery clerk,  joined Smart & Final in 2010 as senior VP of store operations.  Prior to being named president in 2021, he held various other leadership positions, including COO.

In 2021, Smart & Final was acquired by Grupo Comercial Chedraui, the third largest retailer in Mexico,  from private equity firm Apollo Global Management for approximately $620 million.

“I am grateful for Scott’s tireless service to Smart & Final for more than a decade,” said Carlos Smith, CEO of Chedraui USA. “I wish him and his wife, Kelly, the very best as they embark on this next chapter of their lives.”

Carlos Smith will continue to serve as CEO of Chedraui USA with 

Sean Mahony, senior VP of store operations; Matt Reeve, senior VP of sales & merchandising; and Dan Matarelli, group VP of Chedraui USA marketing will now report directly to Smith.

Chedraui USA is based in Los Angeles and is the fourth largest grocery retailer in California with 377 locations in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. It is a subsidiary of Grupo Comercial Chedraui based in Mexico.



Harps Food Stores optimizes inventory and replenishment

Harps Foods Stores

A regional grocer is ensuring it has the right products in the right quantities, at the right time, to meet shopper demands.

Harps Food Stores, which operates in six Southern and Southwestern states, is deploying inventory and replenishment optimization solutions from Upshop. The grocery chain plans to utilize Upshop technology to monitor demand signals, forecast quantities accurately, generate precise orders, and ensure optimal product availability.

As part of its Upshop implementation, Harps is rolling out the Magic platform, which will enable the retailer to optimize inventory and ordering for both center store and fresh departments, streamline its merchandising operations, enhance its IT footprint, and consolidate various functions into a single, all-in-one solution spanning the entire store.

Specific workflows Harps intends to optimize include product assortment, which it will be able to dynamically adjust to align with shopper demand; as well as merchandising, via more consistent item placement in stores. The retailer also seeks to extend fresh item shelf life and provide store associates with more time to assist shoppers.

“We are committed to providing our customers with the freshest and most satisfying shopping experience,” said David Ganoung, senior VP / chief marketing officer at Harps Food Stores.At Harps. Upshop is pivotal in achieving this goal by optimizing our inventory and ensuring that the products our customers want are always available.” 

[Read more: Harps Food Stores rewards loyalty – with a personal touch]

Headquartered in Springdale, Ark., employee-owned Harps Food Stores operates 147 stores in six states including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Kansas.


Dick’s to add 8,600 seasonal employees; to close stores, DCs on Thanksgiving

Dick’s Sporting Goods’ first-quarter sales rose 5.3% to $2.84 billion.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is getting ready for the holiday rush.   

The nation’s largest sporting goods retailer plans to hire 8,600 seasonal workers for the upcoming holiday season. Dick’s will kick off its holiday hiring at its "National Signing Day" on Oct. 3, at which it will recruit for all of its store banners nationwide. 

Dick’s 2023 holiday hiring goal is down slightly from last year, when it said it would add up to 9,000 seasonal workers. According to a recent report by global coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, retailers will add 410,000 seasonal positions this year, the lowest number of jobs added in the final quarter since 2008.  

Similar to last year, Dick’s will again close all of its stores and distribution centers on Thanksgiving Day, which falls on November 23 this year, so that employees can spend the holiday with their families. Stores will re-open re- on Black Friday.

“Our seasonal teammates are key to creating a great holiday shopping experience for our athletes," said Julie Lodge-Jarrett, senior VP, chief people & purpose officer at Dick’s Sporting Goods. "We're looking forward to offering an unparalleled in-store experience with the most in-demand brands and styles and having a knowledgeable and friendly team is critical."

Dick’s is asking interested applicants to apply first online and then visit their local store on National Signing Day (October 3) to be interviewed. Holiday hiring will continue beyond National Signing Day until all positions are filled.



H-E-B plots more Dallas-area store expansion — here’s where

H-E-B opened its first store in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in November 2022, in Plano.

H-E-B continues its push into the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex.

The grocer said to plans to open three new stores in the area  — in Melissa, Prosper and Rockwall — in 2025. Groundbreaking is expected early next year.

 H-E-B currently has two stores under construction in the DFW area, in Alliance and Mansfield. Both are set to open in spring 2024.  In addition, the grocer will open a location in Allen, on Oct. 4. 

At 117,000 sq. ft., H-E-B Allen will include a full-service pharmacy with a drive-thru, curbside and home delivery service  and a True Texas BBQ restaurant. 

H-E-B has long been a powerhouse retailer in south and central Texas. It opened its first store in the Dallas area in September 2022, in Frisco, which was followed by locations in Plano and McKinney.

Earlier this year, the company announced the first expansion of its value retail concept, Joe V’s Smart Shop, outside of Houston. It plans to open two locations in Dallas, with one (Wheatland Rd.) opening in late summer 2024 and the other (Buckner Blvd.) opening in spring 2025.

Launched in 2010 and with nine locations to date, Joe V’s Smart Shop is described as an “innovative price format” that delivers a curated assortment of items, including the  “most relevant high-quality, fresh products H-E-B is known for at even lower prices.”  

Stores average 55,000 sq.-ft. and carry tortillas and sushi made in-house along with chef-inspired meals, fresh cut fruit, in-store cut meat and more. H-E-B said it leverages operational efficiencies and new technologies to keep prices low.



Amazon to bring adds to Prime Video — with an ad-free option

Amazon’s Prime Video will include advertisements beginning in January.

Amazon Prime members will have to pay a bit extra come January if they want to continue to see ad-free programs on its streaming service.

Amazon said that, beginning in January, shows and movies on Prime Video will include “limited advertisements.” The company noted that it aims to have “meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers.”

Amazon said it is not making any changes in 2024 to the current price of Prime membership, but it will offer a new ad-free option for an additional $2.99 per month for U.S. Prime members.

Ads on Prime Video will be introduced in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Canada in early 2024, followed by France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia later in the year.

The company will e-mail Prime members several weeks before ads are introduced into Prime Video with information on how to sign up for the ad-free option.

To continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time, starting in early 2024, Prime Video shows and movies will include limited advertisements,” the company said in a post announcing its decision.

Amazon’s move to include advertisements comes as other streaming services, including Netflix,  have also introduced ads into their programming.