Innovation
 
Hy-Vee KidsFit Launches Free, Flexible Health and Wellness Program for Schools
Hy-Vee KidsFit launched a downloadable Wellness Week guide that includes in-person, virtual and hybrid methods that will help students make healthy choices at school and home. The toolkit has education-based activities, at-home assignments as well as challenges encouraging a healthy lifestyle and physical exercise.
There will also be 50 schools in grocery store brand Hy-Vee’s eight-state footprint this fall that will host a Hy-Vee KidsFit Wellness Week that educates students on the importance of nutrition and fitness.

“During these unique circumstances, Hy-Vee remains committed to building relationships with schools across its eight-state region,” says Daira Driftmier, director of Hy-Vee KidsFit.
 
First-Ever Sour Patch Kids Store Opens In New York City
Sour Patch Kids launched its first store in New York City between New York University’s Washington Square campus and SoHo Shopping district to celebrate its 35th anniversary.

“We’re excited for the Kids to bring their playful, sour-then-sweet attitude to the Big Apple and make their mark with the first-ever Sour Patch Kids store,” says Danielle Freid, brand manager of Sour Patch Kids. “We created this new experience for our fans to engage with the Sour Patch Kids brand on a whole new level, but of course understand that these are uncertain times.”
 
News
 
AutoZone Increases Hiring Efforts, Plans to Add 20,000 New Jobs
AutoZone plans to hire more than 20,000 employees across the country to meet the demands of retail and commercial customers.

“We are fortunate to be in a position to create so many rewarding jobs and career opportunities, especially in this current environment,” says Bill Rhodes, chairman, president and CEO of AutoZone. “We have such a unique and powerful culture at AutoZone built on our commitment to always putting our customers first and helping our teams succeed. Our AutoZoners are truly incredible and are the very best people and professionals in any industry.”

REI To Sell Its New Headquarters, Shift Work to Other Sites as Pandemic Changes Priorities
Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) is selling its corporate campus in Bellevue, Washington, to shift to a less centralized approach to its headquarter presence in the Seattle area. Instead, it will now be over multiple locations across the region.

“The dramatic events of 2020 have challenged us to reexamine and rethink every aspect of our business and many of the assumptions of the past. That includes where and how we work,” says Eric Artz, president and CEO of REI in a video call with employees. “As a result, our new experience of “headquarters” will be very different than the one we imagined more than four years ago.”
 
Technology
 
American Eagle Outfitters Purchases Kindred SORT Robots to Meet Surge of Online Orders and Increase Worker Distancing During COVID-19
American Eagle Outfitters is expanding its fleet of Kindred Sort robots and will install 26 additional units in its U.S. distribution centers. The clothing brand uses these robots to increase social distancing measures as well as pick and place items into an automated putwall.

“AEO is committed to building a supply chain of the future—ensuring we are meeting our American Eagle and Aerie customers however and whenever they choose to shop, and getting merchandise into their hands as quickly as possible,” says Shekar Natarajan, senior vice president of global inventory and supply chain logistics for AEO. “We are excited to continue our partnership with Kindred because artificial intelligence, human-in-the-loop methodology and on-demand robotics as a service are the way of the future. Kindred robots in AEO’s distribution centers have helped to reduce operational costs, increased associate safety, and expedited throughput to better serve our customers.”
 

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