Monday, 11 September 2017 15:23

Message from Scott Shalley on Hurricane Irma

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FRF/FPMA Members:

As IRMA exits Florida and continues to diminish, I hope that this email finds your and yours safe and secure. Many of you and your businesses have suffered significant loss and are facing a daunting path to recovery and return to operations. Please know that we are with you and we will work tirelessly to help facilitate a complete return to operation for your businesses. Floridians need you and we know that there are immediate challenges relating to reentry and restoration of power. FRF and FPMA team members remain embedded within the State Emergency Operations Center and we are working closely with all level of government to clear hurdles to safe, efficient return to operations.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Vice President & General Counsel, and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Executive Director of FPMA, have maintained a near round the clock presence in the EOC and remain ready to assist you as needed. Samantha and Ned have been actively staffing the EOC for nearly a week and I can not thank them both for their commitment to our industry. From watching them in action I know that their efforts have contributed heavily to how well Florida has been prepared in terms of product and fuel supply. They will both continue to push out extensive updates regarding rule/statute waivers, local needs and other pressure points. Please take the time to review these communications as you receive them.

While I am proud of our team and our efforts, I am even more touched by the response of Florida's retailers. The retail community has been incredible in responding to the needs of Floridians and providing food and water, fuel, life saving medical supplies, construction/safety materials, safe harbor to pets and much, much more. I could not be more proud to be associated with such an impressive group of companies. Thank you for all you are doing to provide much needed products and services to your friends and neighbors.

While I know all of you are eager to reopen, please keep in mind that much of Florida still faces life safety dangers. We urge you to respect law enforcement officials as they complete search and rescue efforts and clear areas for reentry. If you have questions or concerns, let us know and we will work to facilitate solutions.

We are here to help....use us. In addition to Samantha and Ned, you can contact me at any time at 850.545.2673 (mobile) or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you for all that you are doing. Following a dark storm, this will be retail's time to shine.....and shine we will!


Tuesday, 05 September 2017 14:11

Hurricane Irma Advisory -- 9/5/2017

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Governor Scott has declared a state of emergency for Hurricane Irma (link to Executive Order). The path of the storm is not clear at this point, but the potential for serious impact to Florida is significant. The time to prepare is NOW. We encourage you to consider the following as you prepare your businesses and your homes for this event:

Please visit for information and guidance regarding preparation and response, forecasts, and other resources from Florida’s State Emergency Response Team. The declaration includes the entire state, which means emergency pricing regulations are in effect for the entire state. This means that the state will be monitoring how necessary commodities are being priced throughout the emergency.

In the event of impact to an area, re-entry to the area may be restricted. You and your employees will need government issue ID, proof of employment, and a letter of authorization demonstrating the need for re-entry in order to re-enter. Local law enforcement exercises the authority to decide who can re-enter and when. Please call or email Samantha Padgett at 850-528-5006 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if we can assist you throughout this event. If you have questions related specifically to fuel, please contact Ned Bowman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

IImagine going to the grocery store for dinner, not to pick up a rotisserie chicken to take home, but to actually eat at the store. As online grocery shopping grows, many supermarkets are adding sit-down restaurants in a move to attract more millennials. And it seems to be working.

This valued event brings together the leaders of Georgia’s retail industries along with Georgia legislators to discuss the future of retail as well as laying the foundation for GRA’s legislative and membership priorities for 2018.

Kyle Riggs, who manages Market Grille, the restaurant at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Columbia, Mo., says most people don't expect to find this level of food service next to the produce aisle.

"And then when they walk in here, they're just amazed at the full wine wall with the ladder that slides," he says. "We have 20 beers on tap and a lot of high-end alcohol, whiskeys and things like that, and great food."

The ingredients come from the store. They are cooked in the store's kitchen and served here. Riggs says football games can pack the 148-seat restaurant with college students and young professionals.

Indeed, Rob Hunt, 30, and Aaron Hadlow, 28, have been stopping by all summer for happy hour after work. Hunt says the variety of food, the local, craft beer on tap and ultimately the price are a big draw.

"You can't get $2 pints of beer anywhere else and that's honestly the biggest thing," he says. "We tried a couple of other places this summer and they were fun, but it's just cheaper over here."

Across the country, supermarkets like Whole Foods have been offering sit-down dining and drink deals for years. The trend of adding full restaurants, sometimes called "groceraunts," falls in line with the uptick in prepared store meals, which has grown 30 percent since 2008 and driven $10 billion in sales last year, according to the NPD group.

Hy-Vee, which was one of the early adopters of the groceraunt model, has added 115 Market Grilles to date.

While grocery stores had been losing customers in recent years to smaller markets and online food shopping, groceraunts have helped bring back foot traffic to the old-school grocers.

"It's really made a big difference for us in the evening," says Jeremy Gosch, executive vice president strategy and chief merchandising officer, at Hy-Vee, Inc. "That's where most traditional grocery store food service had oppurtunity."

Gosch says creating an in-house restaurant, different ambiance and different lighting were important to draw in diners. "I think we're capturing business that we didn't have before in our food service department," he says.

While people are looking for more options in prepared foods, the traditional center of the store, with cans of beans and boxes of cereal, has had to make room. That means space on the shelf is becoming more competitive.

"As ... we continue to roll out into existing stores some food service updates and expansion, especially on meals to go for consumption at home, I think you'll see a little bit of that compression," Gosch says. That could mean a future with only one size and brand of canned tomatoes on the shelf.

A large part of this shift is thanks to millennials, like Hunt and Hadlow, who are more likely to dine out than older generations. More than half of millennials surveyed by financial services firm Morgan Stanley said they had eaten out in the past week, compared to 43 percent of previous generations.

Today, groceraunts are featuring seasonal menus and hiring graduates of the Culinary Institute of America as chefs. Food industry analyst Phil Lempert says this appeals to millennials, too.

"What these groceraunts can do is give them a convenient location where they can meet their friends, where they can have great food, and have it at a great value," he says. "That becomes a terrific formula to attract this generation."

Millennials are also turning away from slumping restaurant chains, like Chili's or Applebee's, which plans to close up to 60 locations this year.

That's forcing some restaurant chains to look toward grocery stores as potential partners. Think of Starbucks and Caribou coffee kiosks in grocery stores, except in this case, Wolfgang Puck wants his cafe to become the in-house restaurant, says Lempert.

"Now these restaurateurs want their space in the supermarket as well, because they know that it's more convenient for people, it's more of a one-stop-shop, and it's hurting their traditional restaurants," he says.

The next step for grocery stores may be to add home meal-delivery options, Lempert says, as digital orders ramp up with tech-savvy, young adults. Market analysts are looking at the Amazon-Whole Foods merger and expect both more restaurants to be added to grocery stores, and more people to order their groceries and dinner together online.

"This is a trend that's going to continue to grow," Lemeprt says. "Grocers are putting more money and more effort in this. They see it as their culinary mark, if you would, on society. So this is here to stay."

For Immediate Release: July 31, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

1st Annual Best Bagger Competition winner was Kelina Salinas from Lucky’s Market, who received a $1,000 cash prize and all-expense paid trip to February’s national championship

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Grocers Association (FGA), a division of the Florida Retail Federation, hosted an event to identify Florida’s best bagger of groceries among Sunshine State grocery industry employees. The 1st Annual Florida Best Bagger Competition took place Sunday, July 23 during the 2017 Sunshine EXPO®, one of the largest retailing events in the Southeast, with contestants representing a number of grocery stores throughout Florida. The winner of this inaugural contest was Kelina Salinas from Lucky’s Market. In addition to taking home “bagging rights” for the year, Kelina also won the $1,000 grand prize along with an all-expense paid trip to represent Florida and compete for a $10,000 grand prize at the National Grocers Association National Best Bagger Championship held in February 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“We were thrilled with the interest and participation from our grocery members for our first ever Best Bagger Competition as well as the excitement of the audience during the event,” said FGA Executive Director Josie Correa. “I want to congratulate all of the contestants for participating in this inaugural event, and we look forward to supporting Kelina and cheering her on as she represents the State of Florida at the national championships in February.”

The runner-up bagger, Josue Anelus from Publix, received $500 while the third place contestant, J.P. Paiva also from Publix, won $250.

The Florida Best Bagger Competition was for supermarket employees demonstrating a superior core customer service skill in a friendly competition. Contestants were judged by speed of bagging, proper bag-building technique, weight distribution in the bag, as well as style, attitude and appearance. All stores were encouraged to do their own in-store competition and then send their best bagger to the Florida competition. Family, friends, cheer teams and fellow workers were in attendance to cheer on their favorite contestant.

The Florida Grocers Association, a division of the Florida Retail Federation, was launched in 2015 to provide a voice and identity to the state’s $45 billion grocery industry. FGA’s goal is to advocate for its members at the local, state and national level while serving the needs of the more than 2,300 grocery stores and their industry partners statewide. For more information about the Florida Grocers Association, please visit


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