News Briefs


Amazon lowers minimum for Prime free grocery delivery

Amazon Fresh

In February, Amazon raised the minimum for free grocery delivery to $150 for Prime members. But the company said it has now lowered the threshold for free delivery to $100.

“We’re always listening to customer feedback and looking for ways to make shopping for groceries easier, faster and more affordable,” stated Claire Peters, worldwide VP, Amazon Fresh, in a statement to Chain Store Age. “As part of that, we continuously test our delivery models to see where we can and should make adjustments.”

Amazon disclosed the news in a blog on its site in which it noted that, outside of the change, all other delivery fees remain the same for Prime and other Amazon customers. For Prime members, this includes $6.95 for orders of $50 to $100 and $9.95 for deliveries under $50 with Prime.

Customers who are not Prime members will still be charged between $7.95 - $13.95 depending on basket size and the delivery window selected.

Additional fees are charged for rush orders.


NRF to host ‘Fight Retail Crime Day’ event in D.C.


The National Retail Federation is bringing retailers to Washington, D.C., to advocate for passage of the
Combating Organized Retail Crime Act.

The NRF has declared Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, as “Fight Retail Crime Day” to raise awareness for Congress to take swift and comprehensive action to address organized crime. NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay and some NRF members will meet with congressional leaders in Washington, D.C.

“NRF is convening leaders from the loss prevention community — those at the forefront of the battle against rising organized retail crime — to meet face-to-face with members of Congress and their staff to educate them on the need to act,” the group said.

The Organized Retail Crime Act is a bipartisan, federal solution that would establish a national coordination center, combining expertise and resources from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and retail industry representatives to curb organized retail crime, according to the NRF.  

NRF’s 2023 National Retail Security Survey found that retailers lost an estimated $112.1 billion to shrink in 2022. More than two-thirds (67%) said they were seeing even more violence and aggression from ORC perpetrators compared with a year ago.


Rite Aid faces delisting from NYSE


Rite Aid's troubles continue to mount.

The struggling drug store chain disclosed that it is no longer in compliance with New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) continued listing standards, which require a $1.00 average closing share price over a 30 trading-day period. (As of Thursday late afternoon, Rite Aid’s stock was trading at about $0.54 on the NYSE.)

Under NYSE rules, Rite Aid will be provided with “cure periods” and the company’s common stock will continue to be listed and traded on the NYSE during these periods, subject to its compliance with other continued listing requirements.


Rite Aid may file bankruptcy, close stores

This NYSE non-compliance notice comes on the heels of media reports that Rite Aid is preparing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan which involves store liquidations, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. Under the plan, Rite Aid would close 400 to 500 of its more than 2,100 stores and either sell or let creditors take over its remaining operations, the report said.

In August, the Journal reported that Rite Aid was preparing to file for bankruptcy protection  in a move to deal with its more than $3.3 billion in long-term debt and lawsuits related to opioid prescriptions. The expected Chapter 11 filing would cover Rite Aid’s debt load and pending legal allegations that it oversupplied prescription painkillers.

The current noncompliance with NYSE listing standards does not affect Rite Aid’s ongoing business operations or U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reporting requirements, nor does it trigger any violation of its material debt or other obligations. However, Rite Aid says it can provide no assurances that it will be able to regain compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standards or maintain the listing of its shares on the NYSE.



DoorDash adds Halloween retail leader to platform

Spirit Halloween DoorDash

Delivery platform DoorDash is teaming up with the world’s leading Halloween retailer to provide on-demand access to thousands of items.

The partnership between DoorDash and Spirit Halloween is a first for the two companies. Over 1,500 locations are now available on the DoorDash marketplace nationwide, giving customers access to shop the largest assortment of Halloween costumes, decor and accessories. To promote the new partnership, DoorDash is treating customers to 30% off eligible retail orders of $30 or more, up to $20 off, with code TRICK30, now through Oct. 31.

Recent data from National Retail Federation (NRF) shows that Halloween spending is expected to be about $12.2 billion, breaking last year’s record. A record number of people (73%) are expected to participate in Halloween-related activities this year, up from 69% in 2022.

With the partnership news, Spirit Halloween joins over 100,000 non-restaurant stores already on the DoorDash Marketplace and Drive platforms across North America. More than 98% of DoorDash’s monthly consumers in the U.S. now have access to a non-restaurant store on DoorDash.


Dollar General opens its first-ever store in Montana

Dollar  General celebrates the grand opening of its first Montana store in Columbia Falls. (Photo: Business Wire)

Dollar General has marked a major milestone in its expansion.

The discounter celebrated the grand opening of its first store in Montana, in Columbia Falls. With the addition the new location, Dollar General now has stores in all 48 continental U.S. states.

In addition, construction is currently underway on Dollar General stores in Lincoln and Sanders Counties, Mont., with both expected to open in fall 2023. The retailer said plans to evaluate additional areas in the Treasure State for future locations.

“Today marks an exciting milestone in our history as we extend our ability to provide customers with convenient and affordable access to household essentials throughout all 48 continental states,” said Steve Deckard, Dollar General’s executive VP of growth and emerging markets. “As America’s general store, we believe each new Dollar General represents positive economic impact, local job opportunities, community donations and literacy grant opportunities through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.”

As of August 4, 2023, the company operated 19,488 Dollar General, DG Market, DGX and PopShelf stores across the United States and Mi Súper Dollar General stores in Mexico. 



Walgreens reportedly eyes former Cigna exec as its next CEO

Walgreens Boots Alliance is eliminating 504 corporate jobs.

Walgreens Boots Alliance may be considering a health care veteran as its next chief executive. 

According to a report by Bloomberg, which cited people familiar with the matter, the company is considering Tim Wentworth as CEO.  The report said Walgreens may still consider other candidates for the role.

Wentworth, who is listed as retired on his LinkedIn page, served as CEO of Cigna’s health services division, Evernorth, from Sept. 2020 to Dec. 21. Prior to that, he was president, health services, at Cigna from Dec. 2019 to Dec. 2021. 

Before Cigna, Wentworth was president and CEO of Express Scripts, from 2016 to 2021. (Cigna acquired the pharmacy benefits manager for $67 billion in 2018.)

On Sept. 1, Walgreens said that Rosalind Brewer had stepped down as CEO of Walgreens. Her departure, effective as of Aug. 31, came after less than three years on the job.  In making the announcement, the company noted that it would search for a new CEO with "deep healthcare experience."