Fred’s CEO: March dollar sales up but comps flat; pharmacy performing well
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s on Thursday reported total sales of $194 million for the five weeks ended March 31, up 3% from the year-ago period. Comparable-store sales for the month were flat versus an increase of 0.7% in the same period last year.
"As one would expect with warming weather, customers focused on seasonal product areas, and our Core 5 departments of pet, household supplies, and pharmacy continued to do well," Fred’s CEO Bruce Efird said. "Sales in our newer stores and pharmacies continued to perform ahead of our expectations in March. [And] our real estate team remains confident in its ability to hit our accelerated pace for new store openings this year."
Fred’s total sales for the first two months of fiscal 2012 increased 3% to $352.9 million. On a comparable-store basis, year-to-date sales decreased 0.4% versus a 0.7% increase for the year-earlier period.
Food Lion kicks off annual Hunger Has a Cure campaign
SALISBURY, N.C. — Food Lion has launched its Hunger Has a Cure campaign to support Feeding America’s network of local food banks. The two-week campaign, which allows customers to donate in $1 or $3 increments at the register, runs through April 17. Customers may also donate any other amount of their choice.
"As a grocer, we want to help our neighbors who are struggling to feed their families," said Bill Garcia, manager of community relations for Food Lion. "During the summer months, food donations typically drop while hunger needs increase. Funds raised through this two-week campaign will help close the gap and provide critical assistance to families in need."
Customers can support the Hunger Has a Cure campaign by adding a monetary donation of their choice to their total grocery bill at the register. These funds will then be donated to Feeding America, which is able to help provide eight meals per every $1 donated. All Food Lion stores are participating in the campaign.
Students study sustainability with Safeway
PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway has partnered with the Go Green Initiative, an organization that supports environmental stewardship among schools, families, governments and businesses, to launch the first annual Go Green Glogster Earth Day contest.
Students will be asked to investigate the sustainability of the food, water, or energy system in their community, and express their findings through videos, podcasts, blogs, music and photos compiled in a "Glog." For the food system, students will examine the availability of locally grown and organic food in their neighborhood; food safety procedures at their local grocer; and the impact that higher fuel prices will have on the price of food where they live. Safeway is providing an organic garden to a winning school; a full-service, all natural BBQ for a winning class; and five $100 dollar cash prizes to winning students.
"Safeway has worked very hard to bring more sustainable food choices to the communities we serve," Safeway VP sustainability Christy Consler said. "Our sourcing team works to provide locally grown, natural, and organic choices throughout our retail outlets, and our consumer brands provide a wide variety of healthy, affordable, and more environmentally responsible food choices for families."
The Go Green Glogster Earth Day contest runs from March 23 to April 22. For more information on entering, click here.