News Briefs

03/29/2022

BP to Pilot Touchless Checkout Tech

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BP will roll out touchless checkout technology at four ampm stores in Northern California with Mashgin's artificial intelligence (AI) self-checkout system. Part of a move to modernize the convenience store experience, the system uses computer vision to scan items for purchase instantly.

This is BP’s most recent step to nearly double earnings from its global convenience and mobility business by 2030 from around $5 billion in 2019, according to a news release from the retailer.

BP will test Mashgin's self-checkout technology at ampm stores in the Bay Area between April and June before the retailer explores options to roll it out wider.

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03/28/2022

Frank Mayer Weighs in on Self-Service

Within the last few years, the buying experience has undergone incredible change. As consumer needs have evolved, the ways in which businesses respond to those needs have evolved as well. And as Frank Mayer’s Cheryl Lesniak writes, self-service has made its way into the spotlight, and it’s not going anywhere. But what can be attributed to the rise of self-service? In a Frank Mayer blog, Lesniak details the reasons behind the rise, and why the technology is here to stay.

03/25/2022

With/Agency Rebrands Visual Identity

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With/agency has introduced a new visual identity and logo to reflect its repositioning as a brand partner agency and capture its mission “to unite people and possibilities to create sustainable brand relationships,” according to a news release. The agency’s new logo uses bold letterforms that interconnect and lean into each other, while rounded corners and varying widths and spacing aims to evoke the “organic and authentic flow of human handwriting,” per the release. The new visual identity includes a color palette inspired by nature including earthy tones.

The rebranding coincides with With/agency’s 10th anniversary as a certified woman-owned firm. Founded in 2012, the agency spent a decade refining a proprietary “Brand Unification Process” that brings together business strategy and brand strategy to help clients identify pain points, work through modern challenges and create a stronger enterprise. To support its long-term growth, With/agency is also working on a new headquarters office space called The Union in Atlanta’s Brookhaven neighborhood that will open in the fall of 2022.

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03/22/2022

Circle K Launches Spring Campaign for Lottery Players

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Convenience store chain Circle K and Jackpocket, a third-party mobile app in the U.S. that provides a secure way to order official state lottery tickets, have extended their partnership to offer exclusive perks for lottery players and Circle K shoppers.

The partners are kicking off a spring campaign at more than 1,650 Circle K and Holiday stores in Ohio, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Arkansas, New Hamshire and New York, according to a news release from Jackpocket.

The campaign enables Circle K shoppers and team members to claim $5 off their first lottery ticket in the Jackpocket mobile app using promo code “CKJP” at checkout. Jackpocket app users can also unlock special deals at Circle K stores. The retailer will promote the exclusive Jackpocket offer across a variety of Circle K touchpoints, including in-store, email and in the Circle K rewards app.

"We're proud of our continued partnership with Jackpocket," said Melissa Lessard, the head of North American marketing at Circle K, in the release. "Providing a simple, exclusive and convenient way to order official state lottery tickets with just the tap of a button is a great way to engage our customers and make their lives a little easier every day."

03/18/2022

Volta Charging Stalls Coming to Tanger Outlets

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Volta Inc. and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, a real estate investment trust that operates 36 open-air outlet centers, plan to install charging stations at Tanger locations in nine markets throughout the U.S. The move taps in to two new geographies for Volta and expanding reach in others, according to a news release from the San Francisco-based developer. The partnership is expected to grow in the coming months.

Volta's deployment plan will provide shoppers with access to a mix of direct current (DC), fast-charging electric vehicle (EV) and level two (L2) stalls tailored to Tanger shopper characteristics. Volta operates a nationwide network of EV chargers incorporating large-format digital displays that double as a digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising opportunity. Volta installs these location-based media stations in high-traffic retail locations, including Albertsons Cos. and Whole Foods Market locations, and partners with advertisers to sponsor the service. Tanger will leverage this media functionality nationally, regionally and locally as part of its omnichannel marketing partnerships strategy.

“Our partnership with Volta will provide our customers with a high-value service as they shop while helping our retail partners attract new, loyal shoppers who are in search of a convenient charge,” said Leslie Swanson, chief operating officer of Tanger, in the release. “It will also allow our media partners to capitalize on Volta's unique, eye-catching and sustainable ad platform, further elevating how customers view, shop and connect with Tanger's brands."

03/17/2022

Forecast: In-Store BevAlc Sales to Top Pre-Pandemic Levels

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Shopper intelligence company Catalina tapped into its Buyer Intelligence platform ahead of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 to determine how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nationwide alcoholic beverage purchases and how they are likely to fare this year. As COVID-19 lockdowns began in March 2020, in-store alcohol sales around St. Patrick's Day surged, according to a media release from Catalina. One year later, alcohol sales in most categories declined slightly compared to 2020, but they still posted a 20% increase overall compared to the last "regular" St. Patrick's Day celebrated in 2019. (The pre-mixed cocktails/cooler category has experienced an ongoing sales boom.)

Considering recent sales for the four weeks ending March 4, total alcohol sales were trending about flat (not rising or declining) compared to last year, according to the March 10 release. Catalina predicted St. Patrick's Day week in 2022 would be comparable to last year. Comparatively, alcohol sales for Super Bowl week this year were down about 2% versus Super Bowl week last year. However, compared to the same pre-pandemic period in 2019, alcohol sales continue to be higher, which is why Catalina estimates St. Patrick's Day week this year will be 5%-15% higher than 2019 levels, with beer leading the way.