News Briefs


Home Depot Veteran Promoted to Merchandising EVP

home depot

The Home Depot has named William "Billy" Bastek executive vice president of merchandising, effective immediately.

Bastek is a 33-year veteran of Home Depot, having served in several leadership positions across the merchandising organization. Most recently, he was senior vice president of hardlines, where he was responsible for merchandising and marketing strategies for the hardware and garden departments. Prior to that role, he was merchandising vice president of hardware and tools, where he oversaw the growth and transformation of the power tools and automotive departments in stores and online.

Under Bastek's leadership, the merchandising team has led the retailer’s modernization efforts in the power tools and outdoor power categories, driving a shift from corded or gas-powered to battery-powered equipment. He and the team also drove Home Depot's growth in the Halloween and holiday categories both online and in stores.

Bastek began his career in 1989 at HD Supply, formerly known as Maintenance Warehouse, which was originally acquired by Home Depot in 1997. He has held various roles, including global product merchant, senior merchant, divisional merchandise manager and MVP for building materials.

Bastek replaces Jeff Kinnaird, who recently left the home improvement retailer.

"[Kinnaird] has made significant contributions to The Home Depot since starting in the lumber aisle nearly 27 years ago and progressing through every role in our stores," Ted Decker, chair, president and CEO of Home Depot, said in a media release. "His leadership of our Canadian division and more recently of our merchandising, marketing and online businesses is greatly appreciated.”


BJ’s Rolls Out AI Robots Chainwide


BJ's Wholesale Club is partnering with Simbe Robotics to roll out the tech company’s Tally robots across BJ’s 237-club footprint.

Tally will autonomously roam club aisles multiple times per day, leveraging computer vision technology and artificial intelligence to collect accurate shelf data that ensures products are in-stock, shelved appropriately and accurately priced.

Real-time data provided by Tally should allow BJ’s associates to refocus their time toward other tasks and helping shoppers. The data offers greater visibility into inventory tracking and enables faster restocking. It can be virtually reviewed to ensure optimal club conditions and accurate merchandising execution, according to a media release from the retailer.

“By deploying Tally in all of our club locations, we will gain unprecedented insights which will leverage real-time data, enabling us to continuously improve our operation and ensure that we’re offering the best possible experience to both our team members and members,” Jeff Desroches, executive vice president, chief operations officer, BJ’s, said in the release.

“Our team has partnered with BJ’s to refine our computer vision technology to accommodate the unique layout and product assortment in a warehouse club,” Brad Bogolea, CEO, Simbe, added.


Meyers Wins Sustainable Packaging Award


Meyers, a printing company that designs and manufactures packaging, labels and retail displays, has received the 2022 New Jersey Packaging Executives Club (NJPEC) “Package of the Year” award in the Sustainability Health & Beauty category. The Minneapolis-based solutions provider was recognized for packaging it created for each of the four fragrances in Ulta Beauty’s private-label Eau de Toilette (EDT) purse sprays collection.

The NJPEC annual awards program recognizes industry excellence that meets the criteria of design excellence, shelf impact, uniqueness, cost effectiveness and graphic presentation. 

Meyers’ Ulta packaging created leveraged responsibly sourced materials with unique production methods, creating an eye-catching shelf presence at a cost-effective price, according to a media release. The company created packaging for all four fragrances in the collection: sugared vanilla, island breeze, coconut cream and black salt vanilla.

Michael Dillon, chief revenue officer at Meyers, said in the release that its fragrance packaging for Ulta is unlike anything they’ve produced before.

“We created a pearlescent packaging stock using specialized coatings, instead of purchasing already pearlescent paper,” he said. “This led to a nearly 10-times savings in cost that was beautiful and perfectly complemented the brand’s well-priced beauty products.”

“I’ve worked with Meyers since 1988, taking them to every company I’ve worked with,” Jael Dalessandro, senior operations and compliance officer at Ulta, added. “In terms of packaging, Meyers always comes up with new technologies and new ways we can be more recyclable. That innovation and their commitment to quality and customer service is so impactful for us as a company and really helps us be an industry leader when it comes to sustainability, and makes our products stand out from a standpoint of beautiful aesthetics.”

The purse sprays packaging was custom designed to hold the small item upright while being stable on the shelf. Leveraging Meyers’ sustainability focus, the package was created using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified materials at a sustainable green printing partnership-certified facility. One hundred percent of the electricity used to manufacture the packages was carbon-free and renewable.

The printing of the package was done on a digital-flexo-hybrid press that includes both traditional flexographic print and digital print. Meyers says this manufacturing process for folding carton packages is “exceptionally rare” and strikes a balance between managing costs and quality.


Acosta Unites Agencies Under New Brand


Jacksonville, Florida-based marketing agency Acosta has launched Acosta Group, a unified brand of the company’s omnichannel retail, marketing and foodservice agencies, to provide clients better access to its full suite of solutions.

"We are operating in a new era of commerce that demands a diverse yet cohesive set of solutions that touch the consumer everywhere they buy," Brian Wynne, CEO of Acosta Group, said in a media release. "Across our agencies, we are investing in the expansion of our strategic capabilities and simplifying access to our suite of services. The promise of Acosta Group is to deliver frictionless, modern solutions that accelerate sales, share and profit growth for our partners, now and in the future."

More than 2,500 brands, retailers and foodservice providers ranging from CPG to consumer electronics, natural and specialty, fresh foods, health and beauty care, convenience, mass and club — use Acosta Group agencies to connect consumers with their products across the path to purchase.

The collective unites Acosta’s end-to-end solutions, including headquarters sales services, omnichannel retail solutions, in-store selling and training, integrated marketing, foodservice sales enablement and culinary solutions as well as advanced data and insights from proprietary first-party data, research and analytics.

The Acosta Group pillar agencies comprise:

  • Acosta: Omnichannel retail solutions and business intelligence, including headquarter sales, digital commerce, back-office solutions, merchandising, revenue growth management, space and category management.
  • Core Foodservice: Progressive foodservice sales enablement and culinary solutions that enable brands to sell to today's influential foodservice operators.
  • Mosaic: Integrated marketing capabilities, from in-store sales and training and experiential to brand building and national media campaigns.
  • Premium: Sales and training, merchandising, and field technology to identify insights, grow sales and help brands and retailers execute.
  • ActionLink: Specialized merchandising and in-store selling solutions.

"With Acosta Group, we are creating a platform that enables easy access to all of our agencies and helps brands and retailers achieve their full potential, regardless of their size or where they are in their lifecycle,” said Wynne.


Dick's to Acquire Moosejaw


Dick’s Sporting Goods has agreed to acquire outdoor retailer Moosejaw from Walmart. The acquisition will expand Dick’s outdoor product portfolio currently led by its specialty retailer, Public Lands and reaffirm its commitment to the growing outdoor category.

Moosejaw, founded in Michigan in 1992, operates a large web presence through its e-commerce platform and strong vendor relationships with outdoor brands. Moosejaw also operates brick-and-mortar locations in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan and Missouri.  

"We admire what Moosejaw has accomplished over the past 30 years as leaders in the outdoor industry and look forward to the opportunity to share insights and learn from one another," Todd Spaletto, president, Public Lands and senior vice president, Dick’s, said in media release from Dick’s. "We believe there's potential to grow the Moosejaw business and provide compelling experiences and an expanded product assortment to its millions of loyal customers."

Dick’s launched Public Lands in 2021 following several years of development in an effort to celebrate and protect public lands, according to the release. The brand has since grown to seven retail locations and an e-commerce presence. Once the acquisition closes, Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford will report to Spaletto.

The deal is expected to close this month.

Walmart acquired Moosejaw in February 2017 for approximately $51 million. In 2021, Moosejaw opened its first physical location in Bentonville, Arkansas, where Walmart is headquartered. The store was the second-largest Moosejaw location in the U.S., spanning 6,000 square feet.


Pricer Explores Sustainable Electronic Shelf Labels


Pricer, a Sweden-based technology company specialized in shelf automation and communication solutions, is exploring the next generation of electronic shelf labels (ESL), self-powered through light, in partnership with Epishine, a Swedish developer of printed organic solar cells.

The goal of this partnership is to find a solution that combines both the benefits of digitalization and the increased focus on sustainability, according to a media release from Pricer.

"We are convinced that Epishine is the perfect choice of partner for us, and together we aim at setting a new standard for sustainable retail,” Chris Chalkitis, chief digital officer at Pricer, said in the release. “With more than 30 million electronic shelf labels sold every year, Pricer realizes the positive impact that alternative energy sources will have on retailers' sustainability targets. As we see an increasing interest from leading retailers all over the world in in-store communications solutions, and thereby a rise in energy needs, we are continuously looking at alternative energy sources.”

Epishine's indoor solar cells are developed for indoor lighting, meaning they harvest energy from the available light indoors to power electronics like ESLs. “Smart retail” is a strategic avenue for a sustainable shift in powering small devices such as shelf labels, due to the number of batteries that can be eliminated as well as because of the light availability in stores, per the release.

"The trends of digitalization and sustainability within retail align very well with our ambition to support our customers in making sustainable self-powered electronics,” added Anna Bjorklou, CEO at Epishine.