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Costco COO to retire in June

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. Dick DiCerchio will retire as Costco’s senior EVP and COO, effective June 4, the mass-merchandise retailer said Wednesday.

DiCerchio will remain as a member of the company’s board of directors, and a Costco representative told Drug Store News that employees who had reported to him would report instead to president and fellow COO Craig Jelinek, though the company had not found anyone to succeed DiCerchio.

DiCerchio’s career spans more than five decades, and held various positions at such retailers as Fed-Mart and The Price Co. Costco CEO Jim Sinegal said his efforts led to many of Costco’s successes.

“Dick has made invaluable contributions to the growth of our company, having spent 27 years in all facets of our operations, culminating with his positions as senior EVP and as a member of the board of directors,” Sinegal said. “Under his leadership, the company has trained and developed a broad and deep team of executives across the globe.”

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Publix supports flood, tornado relief

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA In line with many other retailers in southern United States, Publix has established a program to offer customers a way to assist those affected by the devastating floods and tornados in Alabama and Tennessee.

Customers may donate at the register to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund at Publix stores throughout Tennessee and most of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. The customer donation program will continue for a few weeks, based on customer response.

In related efforts, Nashville-area Publix stores will be collecting nonperishable items for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Nashville. The food bags will be distributed to shelters servicing the impacted communities. The company also is coordinating efforts with Feed the Children for a donation of approximately $25,000 in shelf-stable items.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones, homes and personal belongings as a result of this disaster,” said Brenda Reid, media and community relations manager for Publix. “We would also like to take a moment to recognize our associates who are working hard everyday to make sure that their Publix is open and able to provide the products and services our customers need and want.”

Currently, all Publix locations are open and serving their surrounding communities.

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Social media placed into action by Wegmans

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. As a potential example of how retailers will communicate directly with customers in the future, Wegmans recently tapped into its online services. Upon hearing customer concerns about the effect of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on seafood at its stores, Wegmans turned to social media to spread the word.

By posting a video link on Twitter, it enabled its customers to meet Carl Salamone, VP seafood and hear about how the spill does (or does not) impact the seafood at its stores.

For a look at the video, click here: http://yfrog.com/2gseafoodgulfz.

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