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Delhaize moves ahead with New Game Plan

BY Allison Cerra

SALISBURY, N.C. — Delhaize Group on Thursday said that while its U.S. revenues dropped 1% to $18.8 billion, the retail conglomerate hopes to keep its business afloat by going forward with its New Game Plan.

Ending the quarter with more than 1,600 supermarkets in the United States — which included the opening of 40 stores and remodeling or expansion of 31 stores in the Richmond, Va., and Greenville, N.C., markets — Delhaize said it is increasing its store openings by investing $1.2 billion in 2011, including 120 to 130 store openings and approximately 120 store remodels. The expansion mainly will effect its Bottom Dollar Food banner, although Delhaize also disclosed remodel plans for three Food Lion stores.

Delhaize said it also was forging ahead with such sales-building initiatives as price investments, private-brand innovation and assortment optimization.

Delhaize’s Pierre-Olivier Beckers said during 2010 that its U.S.-based banners, namely Food Lion, "made important price investments as part of the New Game Plan," adding that Delhaize’s continued "commitment to price investments" kept its U.S. retail inflation "largely below" national inflation.

In addition to its $18.8 billion in revenue, comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter improved from -1.8% in the third quarter to -0.8%.

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Many Americans believe private-label products are high quality

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO — It seems that private-label brands are getting a sterling reputation among shoppers.

According to new research by Mintel, consumers have taken notice of private-label companies’ "better-for-you" products and attractive packaging, as 44% of grocery shoppers believed store-brand products are of better quality today than they were five years ago. What’s more, 39% of respondents said they would recommend purchasing a store-brand product.

More than two-thirds of shoppers surveyed (62%) also affirmed that they weren’t skimming on flavor or prestige by purchasing private-label products.

"Private-label brands are overcoming the stigma once associated with ‘generic’ products," said Fiona O’Donnell, senior analyst at Mintel. "Even though the recession has ended, and consumers may be in a better position financially to return to name brands, it’s likely that many will continue to buy store-brand staples that are of equal quality."

Mintel’s latest survey builds on several retailers’ emphasis on store-brand penetration in recent years, including such companies as CVS/pharmacy, Save-A-Lot and more. According to recent research by the Private Label Manufacturers of America, shoppers can save up to 30% on their grocery bills.

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Target gets in tune with weight-loss resolutions

BY DSN STAFF

ROGERS, Ark. — The beginning of a new year is weight-loss season, and to help those who made such a resolution track their progress, this Target store in Rogers, Ark., featured scales on an endcap.

The fact is, dieters who weigh themselves are more likely to succeed in both losing weight and maintaining that weight, according to a study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Three-out-of-10 dieters participating in the research successfully lost weight — 20.3% of those who were successful weighed themselves daily, versus 11% who were not successful.

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