Sep 4, 2019
Big Buzz at Walmart StoresBy Tim Hodson

This year, Walmart has planted 21 pollinator gardens at retail locations throughout Oregon, Washington and North Carolina.

The gardens serve a dual purpose of adding to the beautification of the outdoor grounds at designated store properties and seeking to increase pollinators including bees and butterflies, which have suffered population declines in recent decades.

The first garden was planted in April at a Walmart store in Garner, North Carolina. A garden has also been planted at Walmart’s global corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. The remaining gardens are in five cities in Oregon and 14 cities in Washington state. They were planted in April and May.

Walmart hopes that the initiative will inspire customers, associates and other members of these local communities to plant their own pollinator gardens. Customers who are interested in purchasing pollinator flower seeds can ask a lawn and garden associate for details.

“We are delighted to initiate this pilot at some of our stores as these flower gardens enhance our landscaping and serve as an important habitat for the birds and insects that play a vital role in plant, vegetable and fruit reproduction,” said Wendy Widener, with Walmart’s Environmental, Health and Safety Compliance team. “We have received positive feedback from our customers and associates and are exploring opportunities to expand this project to additional store locations.”

This pollinator garden pilot program is part of the company’s larger commitment to use its size and scale for good and do business to enhance economic opportunity, encourage sustainability and strengthen local communities.

You can learn more in Walmart’s Environmental, Social and Governance Report.

— Tim


Lowe’s, NFL Kick Off Season with New Deal

Last month, Lowe’s announced it will carry more than 10,000 licensed NFL-branded merchandise items on and will launch an online video “homegating” series that will inspire fans as they prepare for the NFL season. Lowe’s will offer licensed NFL and team products across categories including: garden décor, grills and accessories, décor, holiday and more. The home improvement retailer will showcase some of these items in a new online video series, called NFL Homegating Makeovers by Lowe’s, which follows three football-themed home makeovers in one of three primary areas — kitchen, living room and patio.

Whole Foods Foundation Helps Grow Healthy Kids

Earlier this week, Whole Foods’ foundation launched its annual Growing Healthy Kids campaign to fund K–12 school programs that connect kids to real food. For this year’s campaign, all Whole Foods Market locations will match register donations up to $1 million for two weeks — Sept. 1-17. The 2019 campaign goal is to raise $3.4 million to fund an estimated 500 edible learning gardens, 400 salad bars in schools, 100 new educational beehives, and support healthy teacher and staff programs. Funds raised by the campaign will support an additional 575,000 students through grants for local schools and nonprofits.

Hy-Vee Debuts Smaller Format Store

Midwest grocer Hy-Vee recently opened its first smaller format store in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region. The 8,700-square-foot Fast & Fresh store includes a gas station as well as a drive-through Starbucks. The store also features on-the-go meals, a fountain drink wall, dairy, bakery, Mia Pizza wood-burning pizza and online grocery pickup. The new store, located in Lakeville, Minnesota, is the chain’s 11th store to open in the Twin Cities region. Hy-Vee plans to open two large format stores in the region in the next two years.

Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at [email protected]

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