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Kroger asks chief supply chain officer Kevin Dougherty to lead Vitacost.com division

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger has tapped Kevin Dougherty, formerly group VP and chief supply chain officer, to lead the company's new Vitacost.com division as group VP of digital and Vitacost. 
 
"Kevin has been a leader on the Vitacost merger team from the beginning and for the past several years he has been increasingly focused on building our digital organization here at Kroger," Mike Ellis, Kroger president and COO, told analysts Thursday morning. "We look forward to combining our teams to do great things for our customers, together," he said.
 
"This is a compelling transaction because of the incredible potential for transformation and growth. We believe Kroger is uniquely positioned to blend the art of retailing and deep customer insights with a superb online experience," Ellis said. "Vitacost people and extensive e-commerce platform coupled with Kroger's customer insights and loyal customer base will really be a powerful combination that we can leverage to create new levels of personalization and convenience for our customers. We intend to build on Vitacost's robust technology platform and integrate it with our existing digital footprint to do just that."
 
As group VP and chief supply chain officer, Dougherty was responsible for the company’s digital strategy, health and wellness strategy and supply chain Operations. 
 
Dougherty joined Kroger in 2001 as VP supply chain operations. His career in the logistics and technology fields spans over 35 years with previous leadership positions in the automation and healthcare industries. 
 
He has his B.S. in Urban Systems from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an MBA from Widener University.

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99 Cents Only posts positive Q2 results, despite challenges

BY Vivian Gomez

CITY OF COMMERCE, Calif. — California's drought disrupted 99 Cents Only Stores’ ability to continually stock “right-priced” produce, which affected the company’s overall financial results for the second quarter. But despite the challenges, same-store sales in the quarter were positive.

The company's net sales for the quarter increased $25.1 million to $458.2 million, compared to $433.1 million in the prior-year quarter. Same-store sales increased 0.1%, calculated on a comparable 13-week period of the prior year.

Net income was $2 million in the quarter, compared to net income of $1.9 million for the same quarter last year. Net income as a percentage of total sales was 0.4% for the quarter, compared to net income of 0.4% for the same quarter last year.

"We have been focusing in the past year to position 99 Cents Only Stores for sustainable, long-term growth. We are encouraged by the early results of our global sourcing, Go Taller, and other business optimization initiatives," said CEO Stephane Gonthier. "The short-term adverse impact of these initiatives, along with the impact of California's drought on our ability to continually stock right-priced produce, has been a temporary drag on our overall results. However, we are pleased by our same store sales during the quarter — despite these disruptions — as well as the positive customer feedback we are receiving on these programs. We look forward to continuing to realize the benefits of the ongoing implementation of our strategic growth plan."

During the quarter, the company opened four net new stores. By the end of the quarter, the company operated 350 stores, an increase of 7.7% in store count over the end of the same period last year.

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FDA expands approval for Xtandi caps

BY Ryan Chavis

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and TOKYO, Japan — Medivation and Astellas Pharma on Wednesday announced that the Food and Drug Administration approved a new use of Xtandi (enzalutamide) capsules to treat patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The new approval follows a priority review of the supplemental new drug application that was based on results of a phase-three Prevail trial. 
 
The FDA's first approval for Xtandi in August 2012 was for patients with metastatic CRPC who had previously received chemotherapy. The new indication approves the drug for use in men with metastatic CRPC who haven't received chemotherapy. Metastatic CRPC is cancer that has spread beyond the prostate gland and has progressed despite treatment to lower testosterone, the companies stated. 
 
The FDA’s priority review and approval of this new indication for XTANDI now enables the use of an important therapy by patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer at all stages of their disease,” said Sef Kurstjens, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer of Astellas Pharma and president of Astellas Pharma Global Development. “We are pleased that these patients now have XTANDI available as a treatment option.”

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