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Ahold USA’s Peapod sees double-digit growth in Q2

BY Antoinette Alexander

ZAANDAM, the Netherlands — During the second quarter, Ahold USA experienced a dip in sales while its online grocery operation, Peapod, achieved double-digit sales growth.

Secondquarter net sales were €4,408 million, 1.7% lower than last year at constant exchange rates. Identical sales growth excluding gas was down 1.8%, which included the negative impact of the post-Easter week falling in second quarter 2014. The retailer’s overall market share was slightly down, particularly in New England and at Giant Landover, the company stated.

Peapod, however, again achieved double-digit sales growth. The recent opening of warehouse in New Jersey will almost double Peapod’s capacity and will consolidate its position as a top online grocer in the United States, the company stated.

Furthermore, the company improved its Fresh offering across its four U.S. divisions, enhanced the customer experience through more engaged store associates and introduced targeted price reductions. The company stated that it is on track with the accelerated rollout of the program, expanding to an additional 130 stores this quarter, with 320 stores participating by the end of the quarter. It still expects to have the program implemented in more than 50% of its stores by the end of 2014, largely funded by Simplicity cost savings in the United States.
 
"In a challenging competitive environment, we remain focused on executing our Reshaping Retail strategy and continue to make investments in our customer and value offering, making our stores a better place to shop,” said CEO Dick Boer.
 
Boer added, "In the United States, the roll-out of our program to improve our customer proposition is progressing well, bringing better quality, service and value to our customers. By the end of this quarter, the program was active in 320 stores and will be rolled out to more than half of our stores by the end of this year. The accelerated roll out of the program, together with our decision to absorb commodity price increases, resulted in an investment in margin that was partly offset by cost savings from our Simplicity program.”
 
 
 

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Pop star Katy Perry promotes newest fragrance ‘Killer Queen’s Royal Revolution’

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Pop star Katy Perry has unveiled her newest fragrance dubbed Killer Queen’s Royal Revolution by Katy Perry.

"In some ways, wearing fragrance is like putting on an invisible suit of luxurious armor. I want Royal Revolution to inspire women to make their own rules and embrace the idea that beauty and inner confidence can come together to become your secret weapon,” said Perry of the fragrance, which was created by Pierre Negrin of Firmenich.

Inspired by the beauty, strength and intensity of a royal sapphire, the bottle aims to mesmerize with multiple facets and brilliant shades of blue. The cap in an armor inspired gunmetal tone portrays fearless courage while showcasing Perry’s custom royal crest.

Photographed by Tim Walker, the Royal Revolution print campaign features Perry in a modern military ensemble leaning triumphantly against an armor conveying composed confidence and nonchalant valor.

The collection includes Royal Revolution eau de parfum 3.4-oz. for an SRP of $59, 
Royal Revolution eau de parfum 1.7-oz. for an SRP of $49
 and Royal Revolution Ancillary 6.7-oz. body lotion for an SRP of $25.
 

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Food Lion unveils store remodels in Wilmington, N.C. market

BY Antoinette Alexander

SALISBURY, N.C. — Food Lion has unveiled a new shopping experience for customers in 31 stores in the greater Wilmington, N.C., market, marking the first in the Food Lion chain to receive remodels as part of the grocer's new "Easy, Fresh and Affordable…You Can Count on Food Lion Every Day" strategy announced earlier this year.

"Since announcing our new strategy, we've been doing a lot across the Food Lion chain to create positive change. We're proud to continue that momentum by launching the first market of enhanced stores that bring all the elements of our new strategy to life to make shopping easier for customers," said Beth Newlands Campbell, president of Food Lion. "Our customers told us that they want a grocery experience where it's easy to shop, easy to save and easy to figure out what is for dinner tonight. In these enhanced stores, we've worked to deliver just that. We invite our customers and the Wilmington community to come out and experience grocery shopping reimagined at Food Lion and let us know what you think about our new stores." 

Food Lion expanded its selection in stores by adding thousands of new items, including a dedicated gluten-free section and produce that carry a double-your-money-back guarantee.

Food Lion also made deals easier to find throughout the store with new yellow signage and "Three Easy Ways to Save: MVP on Sale, Extended Savings and Great Value Every Day."

For busy families on the go, Food Lion also has added Daily Dinner Deals, hot meals for families of four for around $10. The grocer now has a wider variety of grab-and-go items and pre-sliced deli meats and cheeses, which are sliced fresh daily, but available for customers to pick up without waiting in line.

Knowing that customers want to get in and out of the store quickly, Food Lion made checkout faster with improved technology, larger display screens so customers can see items and prices as they're scanned and additional associates available to bag groceries for customers.

Food Lion stated that it will continue to roll out storewide enhancements in markets over time. The company plans to launch an additional 45 remodeled stores in the greater Greenville, N.C., market in November.

Furthermore, the launch of a new weekly flyer continues Food Lion's chain-wide improvements to support its "Easy, Fresh and Affordable…You Can Count on Food Lion Every Day" strategy. The new weekly flyer features an easy-to-navigate layout and easy-to-spot low prices, the company stated. An MVP Savings Center section on the back page also helps customers save more in store by combining weekly specials with coupons from the in-store kiosks.
 
 

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