• Albertsons Companies announced "investments in technology, vaccine inventory and patient services to increase immunization access and personalized care at more than 1,700 pharmacy locations. Pharmacy teams across Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs and more, are now administering flu vaccines, as well as the FDA and CDC authorized Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna bivalent COVID-19 boosters."
“Our pharmacy teams are partners in community health, and preparations for this year’s cold and flu season underscore an unwavering commitment to our customers’ well-being,” Omer Gajial, Chief Digital Officer and EVP of Health at Albertsons Cos., said in a prepared statement. “We have administered nearly 14 million COVID-19 vaccines to patients across the country, and we are enhancing the experience this year with specialized scheduling tools and pharmacy care. We know vaccines are one of the best ways to keep families healthy this winter, and these enhancements are designed to make it easy for everyone to receive the right vaccinations in a single appointment.”
• H-E-B announced that it "has launched a Debit Account program that gives customers five percent cash back on the purchase of qualifying H-E-B brand products. The H-E-B Debit Card, which can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, acts as a spending card with an optional, high-yield savings account, and provides users several benefits such as free cash withdrawals at H-E-B branded ATMs, no monthly fees to maintain an account, getting paid up to two days earlier with direct deposit and more.
"To receive the cash back benefit, customers use the H-E-B Debit Card to purchase items in the H-E-B family of brands, which include thousands of products from H-E-B, Hill Country Fare, Meal Simple, Field & Future by H-E-B, Home by H-E-B, Kodi, Cocinaware, H-E-B Kitchen & Table, and GTC, among others. Once the transaction is complete, the cash back amount will be automatically issued to the customer’s H-E-B Debit account. The cash back program is only available for purchases of eligible items at H-E-B stores and heb.com for Curbside and Home Delivery orders."
• A new Gallup survey says that Americans' view of business and industry sectors has fallen to its lowest level "since the Great Recession." And the grocery sector has fared the worst.
According to the story, "The latest average positive reading of 36% marks a nine-percentage-point decline since 2020, including a three-point dip during the past year. These declines coincide with Americans' lower confidence in the nation's institutions and its economy amid struggles brought on by high inflation … The grocery industry is down 14 points to 40% positive."
•The New York Times reports that "more than six months after one of the largest infant formula manufacturing plants in the United States issued a recall and was then shut down because of contamination concerns, a newborn staple remains in short supply.
"In parts of the country, parents and their families are scrambling to find precious containers of formula for their babies, and many large retailers remain out of stock of popular brands. Some companies like Walmart and Target are limiting the number of containers that can be purchased at one time.
"While the situation has improved since mid-July, the out-of-stock figure for powdered formula on store shelves in late August remained at 23 percent, still above the 10 percent it was before the recall and shutdown, according to the market research firm IRI."
• USA Today reports that Target has announced "a multi-year deal to carry exclusive toys from FAO Schwarz.
"More than 120 toys from FAO Schwarz will be available to purchase exclusively from Target and its website starting in mid-October.
"Products will range in price between $9.99 and $149.99, including 50 toys under $20, Target said in its statement. To celebrate the 160th anniversary of FAO Schwarz, Target will also offer several nostalgic toys under $25, including a Hot Wheels Collector Set and Funko Toy Soldier Pop … Toy departments in Target stores will have dedicated space for FAO Schwarz, including store displays for FAO toys, and toy demonstrations throughout the holiday season to provide shoppers hands-on time with FAO toys."