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5 things
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5 things: When a supermarket becomes a wholesaler

Here’s 5 things you may have missed in grocery

Ch-ch-ch-changes: Discount grocery store chain Save A Lot recently completed its transition to a wholesale model. The company sold its remaining 18 company-operated stores to Leevers Supermarkets, a current Save A Lot retail partner. Save A Lot now operates under a “pure-play wholesale model” and serves about 900 stores in 32 states. SN Senior Editor Bill Wilson sat down with Save A Lot CEO Leon Bergmann to talk about why the grocery chain made the pivot to wholesale. Take a listen. —Chloe Riley

‘I’m short and I hate it’: A Walmart in Mayfield, Ky. recently introduced new carts and the complaints are mounting. The carts appear to be taller than the previous model, and some senior citizens are experiencing sore shoulders due to holding their arms up higher while pushing the carts around. Slots in the carts for cell phones and cups apparently aren’t worth the pain, either. A 30-second video of a worker named “Bobby” talking about the cart features is making rounds on social media, as are posts griping about the changes. “I’m short and I hate it,” said one post, and another commenter on TikTok said her child in the cart’s child seat impairs her vision. Stay tuned to see whether Walmart will be rolling out its new problem child nationally (or if Bobby will become an official spokesperson.) —Bill Wilson

Costo, oui oui: “Pretty much heaven on earth,” says one enthusiastic fan of Costco in France. A flurry of social media posts say the same — there’s just something about the variety and the quality of Costco France items (especially the bakery) that give the U.S. Costco items a run for their money. Cream puffs, tarts, flan: oh my! There are two Costcos in France – one in Villebon-sur-Yvette, about 13 miles south of Paris, and another, Wholesale Pontault-Combault, in an eastern suburb around 12 miles from Paris. A decade ago, Costo indicated that the company planned to open 15 warehouses in France by 2025, but those plans have not come to pass. (Though there is still time.) Until then, U.S. Costco goers will have to swoon from afar. (Or buy a plane ticket to France). Ah amore! —CR

Ahold for the win: The most visited supermarkets in the mid-Atlantic area? Ahold banners came out on top, according to a recent report. Diving into the data for the Mid-Atlantic states, Food Lion stood out in Delaware (20.7% of most-visited share) and Virginia (27.7% of most-visited share). In Maryland and Washington, D.C., another Ahold Delhaize USA brand Giant Food, led the grocery scene. The Food Lion and Giant banners had greater year-over-year visit growth than the broader grocery segment during most months of the year, but why? While both chains are traditional grocery stores, they occupy somewhat different niches. Geographically, Food Lion tends to be more spread out, while Giant Food is highly concentrated in particular metro areas. That said, the data shows that the Ahold banners seem to have found their recipes for success in those areas. —Alarice Rajagopal

A very Costco birthday: Nothing says another year around the sun like a Costco-themed birthday party. Jasmine Pak loves the big box retailer so much, she incorporated Costco into her 28th bday party. The party came with a number of famous Costco food items, including hot dogs, Caesar salad, a whole rotisserie chicken, pepperoni pizza, and churros. The items were also tagged with price labels that looked like they belonged on Costco shelves. Hot dog and pizza water floaties also were on the menu. Party goers came dressed for the occasion, and Pak wore a shirt showing Costco’s famous “effing” hot dog combo (a shirt which also just so happens to be the unofficial uniform of the Supermarket News team). The cake had “Happy Birthday Jasmine” written like the Kirkland logo. No word on if Costco named Pak a lifetime president of its fan club. —BW

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