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Albertsons appoints division presidents; Justin Dye to head pharmacy

BY Alaric DeArment

BOISE, Idaho — Albertsons named the division presidents who will lead the 877 stores it will acquire from Supervalu after the purchase agreement closes next month, the company said. The two companies agreed to the purchase in January.

In an internal memo, the company said Bob Butler, currently EVP operations, will be named COO with responsibility for all Albertsons banner stores. Justin Dye, currently chief strategy officer, will be COO with responsibility for the Acme, Jewel and Shaws & Star Markets banners, and the total company pharmacy operation, operated by New Albertsons Inc., or NAI. AB Acquisition will head Albertsons LLC and NAI, with CEO Bob Miller at the lead. CFO Rick Navarro, general counsel Paul Rowan, EVP human resources and public affairs Andrew Scoggin and chief information officer Mark Bates will oversee their respective functions at Albertsons LLC and NAI.

Albertsons also announced that it would form a new Northwest division office, based in Portland, Ore., which will manage operations for stores in Oregon, Washington and northern Idaho. All of the new division presidents previously worked for Albertsons or are currently employed there, the company said.

Jim Perkins, formerly VP operations for Albertsons and director of operations for its southern division, is returning to the company after working as regional VP for Giant-Landover, owned by Ahold, to serve as president of Acme Markets.

William Emmons will head Jewel Osco. Emmons was formerly president of the southern division and is returning to the company following his 2010 retirement. He began working at Albertsons in 1971.

Shane Sampson will head Shaws & Star Markets. Sampson was formerly VP marketing and merchandising for the southern division and began working at Albertsons in 1983. Sampson is returning to the company after serving as SVP operations for Giant-Landover.

Dennis Bassler will head the Northwest division. Bassler is currently a district manager in the company’s southern division and was formerly SVP marketing and merchandising for Albertsons, having started there in 1981.

Susan Morris will head the intermountain division. Morris is currently VP marketing and merchandising for the Southwest division and began her career with Albertsons in Denver in 1985.

Wayne Denningham will head the southern California division. Denningham is currently president for the southern division and began working at Albertsons in 1977.

Shane Dorcheus will head the Southwest division, of which he was already president, having started at Albertsons in 1980.

The original article stated Dennis Bassler’s name incorrectly and Wayne Denningham’s current position within the company. These corrections have been made. We apologize for the errors.

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Jackery releases powerful, rechargeable external batteries for mobile devices

BY Rebecca Haughey

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Jackery, a provider of premium rechargeable battery products for mobile devices, announced on Thursday the launch of the Jackery Bar and Jackery Mini batteries.

With 120 hours of extra operation time and a weight of only 5.4 oz., the Jackery Bar is the world’s smallest power bank with 2.1A output operating at 5600 mAh. The bar is fast-charging, and ideal for users that need a powerful and compact mobile charging solution. It retails for $39.95 on Amazon.com.

The 2600 mAh Jackery Mini weighs less than three oz. and is currently the smallest external device battery in the world. Measuring only 3.7 by 0.9 in., the Mini fits easily into a pocket or purse, and offers up to 50 extra hours of operational time for device users. The Mini is capable of fully charging an iPhone 5 on one full cycle and currently retails for $29.95

Each Jackery device features a durable aluminum case, which can sustain the rigors of frequent travel. The products hold their charge for up to six months due to the company’s unique power lock technology, which allows the batteries to operate in a standby mode for up to six months.

"The Bar and Mini are powerful and fast-charging external batteries that give users on the go the peace of mind to know their devices can remain operable for extended periods," said Julie Wang, COO of Jackery. "With our products, users get an immediate power boost that does not require scrambling to find an outlet."

In addition to iOS and Android devices, Jackery’s products are also compatible with Windows phones, various smartphone and tablet platforms, multiple gaming devices and MP3 players.

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Safeway reports Q4 sales, projects Q1 comps of 2% based on strong uptake in loyalty program

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Thursday reported a sales increase of 1.3% to $44.2 billion in 2012 for its fiscal year ended Dec. 29, driven by increased fuel sales and a same-store sales increase of 0.5% (excluding fuel), the grocer reported. Safeway chairman and CEO Steve Burd projected identical sales as high as 2% in the first quarter of 2013, in part because of the success Safeway has had with its loyalty program Just 4 U. 

"As Just 4 U matures … our volume, our marketshare and our ID sales should only continue to improve," Burd said. Safeway currently has 5.4 million active Just 4 U cardholders who represent 45% of the grocer’s sales. Burd expects Just 4 U customers will one day be responsible for 65% of Safeway sales. Burd noted that Safeway is signing some 50,000 Just 4 U cardholders each week. Burd wasn’t sure if that adoption rate was sustainable through the rest of the year, "but if we do, we should cross over 55%-plus of our sales covered by Just 4 U households."

"Mobile users [participating in the program] are higher than we have predicted," noted Robert Edwards, Safeway president. Mobile users’ contribution to incremental sales is higher and their trips are more frequent, he added.

"[Contribution] is higher by about 40%," Burd said. 

And Safeway is not concerned about any reduction in disposable income from the increase in Social Security tax and delay in income tax returns. In fact, the change in disposable income "plays to the strength of Just 4 U," Edwards noted, because Safeway can target those customers with personalized promotions. 

"Longer term, you will see others try to personalize their efforts with consumers," Burd said. "The retailer that comes to mind that’s done more of this than anyone is actually Nordstrom," he added. "The wave of the future is personalization. We will come to a point where the shelf pricing will become irrelevant."

Safeway plans to gravitate more and more toward personalized promotions through Just 4 U, Burd said. "There is an opportunity to get out of paper ads and make the ad itself personalized for every household." 

And in the second quarter, Safeway will be launching its much-anticipated wellness initiative. Initially, Safeway’s wellness program was to have launched in the fourth quarter of 2012. However, Safeway’s technology partner had delayed that launch to ensure the infrastructure was in place to support a full roll-out, Burd said.  

Net income for the fiscal year 2012 increased to $596.5 million, to $2.40 per diluted share, up from net income for 2011 of $516.7 million or $1.49 per diluted share. Safeway’s fiscal year 2011 ended on December 31, 2011 and therefore captured New Year’s holiday sales. Safeway’s fiscal year 2012 ended on December 29, 2012 and therefore did not capture all New Year’s holiday sales.

Safeway invested $240.4 million in capital expenditures in the fourth quarter of 2012. The company opened three new Lifestyle stores, completed two Lifestyle remodels and closed six stores. For the year, Safeway invested $927.6 million in capital expenditures, opened nine new Lifestyle stores, completed four Lifestyle remodels and closed 46 stores (including 25 Genuardi’s stores sold or closed during the year).

 

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