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Eukanuba launches Facebook contest

BY Allison Cerra

MASON, Ohio — A Procter & Gamble dog food brand is hosting a Facebook contest that seeks to find one dozen dogs to be featured in an exclusive 2013 calendar.

Eukanuba said dog owners will have an opportunity to enter the contest on Facebook.com/Eukanuba, by “liking” the page and visiting the “Calendar Contest” tab to upload a picture and details about their canine. The contest has 11 entry periods, each with three phases: submission, judging and voting. At the close of each submission period, Eukanuba will select five finalists to represent that category and photos will be posted in an online gallery for voting by Facebook fans. The dog with the most votes in each category will represent their breed and/or age group in the 2013 Eukanuba calendar and receive a one-year supply of Eukanuba dog food.

"All of us at Eukanuba are committed to providing extraordinary nutrition so dogs look and perform at the top of their game, so what better way to showcase our mission than to feature 12 great examples every day of the year," Eukanuba associate marketing director Manuel Miyar said. "When we decided to create a calendar, we thought our fans would jump at the chance to submit their dogs for consideration and getting our Facebook community involved to help choose our calendar canines will make the experience fun for all of us."

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Ingles Markets off to good start

BY Allison Cerra

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Net sales for Ingles Markets rose 5.2% to $918.2 million for the first quarter ended Dec. 24, the retailer announced.

Comparable-store sales, excluding gasoline sales, rose 3.4%, compared with the year-ago period. Average transaction sizes and weekly customer visits also saw boosts, rising 1.3% and 2%, respectively.

Meanwhile, net income saw the biggest gain, increasing 38.5% to $10.6 million, compared with the same period last year. Additionally, basic and diluted earnings per share for the company’s publicly traded Class A common stock were 45 cents and 43 cents, respectively, compared with 33 cents and 31 cents, respectively, for the year-ago period.

Ingles Markets CEO Robert Ingle said that the past holiday season led to a good start for fiscal 2012.

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Meijer appoints COO

BY Allison Cerra

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer announced Friday some structural changes to its business, including the appointment of a chief operating officer, a newly created position.

Meijer said its EVP merchandising and marketing J.K. Symancyk will serve in the new role. Symancyk will report Meijer president Mark Murray.

Replacing Symancyk as EVP merchandising and marketing is Peter Whitsett, who most recently served as EVP global merchandising for Dick’s Sporting Goods and has an extensive background in leadership roles with such retail brands as Kmart and Radio Shack.

“I am extremely pleased to announce this new role for J.K., as well as the addition of Peter Whitsett to the Meijer team,” Meijer co-chairman and CEO Hank Meijer said. “As we position our company for continued growth, it’s essential that we have the proper structure and talent. This evolution of our leadership team under Mark Murray will help ensure our company’s on-going success in a very competitive industry.”

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