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Harris Teeter raises $279K for Together in Education program

BY Allison Cerra

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Harris Teeter has donated more than $279,000 to schools participating in Together in Education, a program designed to financially help schools in communities where Harris Teeter stores are located.

Harris Teeter said TIE’s donation of $279,572.98 to schools is the first of three payouts of the 2011/2012 school year. With this donation, the program’s fundraising total now is more than $16.1 million since it was established in 1998. How it works: Schools registered for a TIE code earn money when community members who link their loyalty cards (known as VIC) to a TIE code purchase Harris Teeter Brands or fill a prescription at a Harris Teeter pharmacy.

Harris Teeter’s TIE runs from August to May.

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Fred’s December sales rise, comps fall

BY Allison Cerra

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — December sales for Fred’s realized a 1% gain to a total of $213 million, the discounter said Thursday.

Comparable-store sales for Fred’s saw a decline of 0.4% in December, compared with an increase of 0.2% in the same period last year.

Fred’s CEO Bruce Efird said sales were affected by unseasonably warm weather and continue to be at the low and midpoint of its projected fourth-quarter earnings per share range.

During the month, Fred’s opened seven net stores, including five new pharmacies.

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Safeway prepares to exit Philadelphia market

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Thursday announced the sale of 16 of its Genuardi’s stores in the greater Philadelphia area to Giant Food Stores, a division of Ahold USA. Safeway will continue to operate these stores until the transaction closes, and the company is working through an orderly transition for all of these stores.

In addition, Safeway plans to close three Genuardi’s stores and sell the remaining eight Genuardi’s stores, which it will continue to operate while it is working with potential buyers.

"We have made the decision to exit the greater Philadelphia market, including four stores in New Jersey, and focus our resources in those operating areas where we have a stronger presence," stated Steve Neibergall, president of Safeway’s eastern division. "We will be working with the purchasers to ease the transition for our store employees and making efforts to facilitate continued employment for as many of them as possible."

As for Giant, the company plans to convert the stores under the Giant Food banner.

"Giant is always looking for convenient locations to better serve our customers," Giant Food president Rick Herring said. "We are very excited to have the opportunity to expand our presence in greater Philadelphia and serve new customers."

The sale currently is expected to close within the first half of 2012, subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

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