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Ahold 4Q U.S. sales reach $5 billion

BY DSN STAFF

AMSTERDAM Ahold today reported total net sales for its U.S. segments of $5 billion for the fourth quarter compared with net sales of $4.8 billion for the same period last year.

For its Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover division, the company reported net sales of $3.9 billion for the quarter, a 2% increase over sales of $3.8 billion last year. The Giant-Carlisle division posted a net sales increase of 8.6% to $1 billion from $951 million last year.

According to Ahold, economic instability in the United States did not have a significant impact on local market conditions. Price investments related to the further roll-out of the Value Improvement Program, launched in September 2006 at Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover, will continue to impact margins, the company reported.

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Shoppers Drug Mart announces semi-finalists in inter-store competition

BY Michael Johnsen

TORONTO What better way to improve chain-wide compliance than to tap into the competitive fire already burning in retail managers?

At least that’s what Shoppers Drug Mart appears to be doing, having recently named six of its stores as “semi-finalists” to be named the company’s “Model Store,” as reported Wednesday in the The Brockville Recorder and Times, an Ontario daily.

According to the report, six regional vice-presidents will soon judge the store on a number of criteria, including maintenance of store standards and procedures, overall merchandising and the store’s success in attracting customer visits.

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CVS Caremark teams up with VSA arts for “All Kids Can… Create”

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON CVS’ charitable foundation Caremark All Kids Can has teamed up with international nonprofit organization VSA arts to launch a national call for visual art as part of a year-long campaign to encourage learning and community engagement through creating art.

“All Kids Can… Create” invites children nationwide aged 5 to 15 to create a piece of visual art. VSA arts’ affiliates will conduct local arts-based initiatives, which will culminate in a national exhibition in Washington DC in June. It will be part of VSA arts’ annual Start with the Arts Family Festival. VSA arts was founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in and enjoy art.

Through the campaign, children will create original artwork, artist-in-residence programs in schools will expand access and document learning through the arts for students with disabilities, and CVS Caremark employees will lead volunteer activities that engage their communities and/or schools in building inclusive environments.

There are no limits to what a participant can create and children are invited to use both traditional and non-traditional art-making materials. There is no fee and entries must be received via digital photograph by March 14. For more information visit www.vsarts.org/allkidscan.

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