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Harris Teeter takes step toward monetizing big data

BY Michael Johnsen

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Harris Teeter on Tuesday announced that it has reached an agreement with Tresata to provide the company with next-generation predictive analytics software, which will improve the way Harris Teeter serves its customers through improved functionality of its mobile application (htmobile), e-VIC program and the newly launched Facebook application by enhancing the user experience. 

“With the amount of information about consumers doubling every two years and product options rapidly increasing, our predictive analytics software has tremendous potential for applications that improve identification, product selection, channel efficiency and price discovery for goods and services,” stated Abhishek Mehta, Tresata CEO. “Working with Harris Teeter gives us the chance to prove how this mountain of data that the consumers are readily sharing with the world can be used to benefit them — by providing them better products, at the right time and the best price.” 

Harris Teeter will use Tresata’s big data analytics platform to dynamically understand its product, customer and channel behaviors in an effort to provide its customers better value across its online, mobile, social and brick-and-mortar channels. 

"Access to insights from this type of dynamic intelligence software will enable us to better understand our shoppers’ buying habits, as well as present us with the opportunity to improve our level of service by giving our customers exactly what they want when they want it," stated Danna Jones, communication specialist for Harris Teeter. 

Analytics applications developed by Tresata use Hadoop and enable companies to collect, process, analyze and compute insights that allow for rapid monetization of big data. 

As a result of this investment, in the coming months, Harris Teeter shoppers can expect to see highly relevant promotions, increased shopping options and more personalized service that improves both their customer experience, as well as buying power, Harris Teeter stated.

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Weis Markets donates $100,000 to Central Pennsylvania Food Bank

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets on Tuesday donated $100,000 to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank during a check presentation at the company’s Camp Hill, Pa., store. The $100,000 donation is a result of the Weis Markets’ 2012 Fight Hunger campaign, an annual program that runs during Hunger Action Month in September. 

The donation will be divided between the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s warehouse in Harrisburg, Pa., and its second location in Williamsport, Pa., Combined, these warehouses serve 27 counties throughout central Pennsylvania.

“We believe wholeheartedly in giving back to our communities and fighting hunger locally,” stated Kurt Schertle, EVP Weis. “Food insecurity is a prevalent issue in our country, and anything we can do to alleviate these burdens for our neighbors is an honor. With this donation, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank will be able to provide as many as 600,000 meals to help fight hunger here in our own state.”

Weis Markets is a long-time, core partner of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s mission to fight hunger in the region, the nonprofit noted. “Over the years, Weis Markets has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars and extraordinary amounts of food, as well as provided discounted food purchases, public relations outreach and other help," said Joe Arthur, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. "We are grateful for our friends at Weis Markets for providing much-needed support to central Pennsylvania neighbors in need.”

Since 2008, Weis Markets’ Fight Hunger campaign has offered customers the opportunity to donate to local food banks and emergency food providers. Customers also have the option of donating $3, $5 and $10 vouchers, which are purchased at any Weis Markets’ cash register, and 100% of the proceeds are given to area food banks in the form of gift card donations to fill in any gaps in their food supplies.

The sixth annual Fight Hunger program will run throughout the month of September at all 164 Weis locations.

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Revlon posts Q2 results

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Beauty company Revlon announced on Wednesday that net sales were essentially flat during the second quarter due, in part, to continued softness in its Almay brand.

During its conference call with analysts Wednesday morning, the company also announced that Bob Kretzman, chief administrative officer, will retire at the end of September, following a 25-year career at Revlon. Kretzman will join Revlon’s board of directors, effective Oct. 1.

Larry Alletto will join the company as EVP, CFO and will assume the role of chief administrative officer upon Kretzman’s retirement. Alletto, who has a 26-year career in the financial services industry, most recently was managing director and global head of financial sponsors group at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, Revlon’s EVP and CFO, Steve Berns, resigned from the company, effective July 19, to become EVP and CFO of Tribune Co., a multimedia company.

Net sales for the quarter ended June 30 were $350.1 million compared with $357.1 million in the year-ago period, a decrease of 2%. Excluding unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations of $6.4 million, second quarter 2013 net sales were essentially unchanged year-over-year.

The company stated that lower net sales in Venezuela and lower net sales of Almay color cosmetics were offset by higher net sales of SinfulColors color cosmetics and the inclusion of the net sales of Pure Ice. The decrease in net sales of Almay color cosmetics was driven primarily by a reallocation of brand support in the United States from advertising to promotional allowances, which are a deduction in arriving at net sales.

Net income for the quarter totaled $24.7 million, or 47 cents per diluted share, compared with $11.1 million, or 21 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

"Our net sales in the second quarter of 2013 were essentially unchanged year-over-year as we benefited from the inclusion of our Pure Ice acquisition offset by continued softness in our Almay brand and the negative impact of business conditions in Venezuela. We continue to support our brands at appropriate levels and are pleased with a number of our new product launches in 2013. As always, we remain focused on our strategic goal of driving profitable growth," stated Revlon president and CEO Alan Ennis.

In 2011, a fire destroyed the company’s facility in Venezuela. Operating income in 2013 included an $18.1 million insurance gain related to the fire, a $4.5 million charge for estimated costs to clean up of the Venezuela facility, as well as a $3.3 million charge associated with the restructuring and related actions announced in September 2012.

In the United States, net sales totaled $203.9 million, essentially unchanged year-over-year. Higher net sales of SinfulColors color cosmetics and the inclusion of the net sales of Pure Ice were offset by lower net sales of Revlon and Almay color cosmetics.
 


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