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Pricing and promotion earns 4.7% in Q1 same-store sales for Weis

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets on Friday reported a 3.7% increase in its first quarter sales to $712.4 million while comparable store sales excluding fuel increased 4.7%.
 
"We continue to make long-term investments in growing our sales and are encouraged by our results," said Jonathan Weis, Weis Markets' chairman and CEO. "Our first quarter sales increase was the result of improved everyday pricing, disciplined promotions and an improved in-store experience. This combination produced a strong increase in customer count and continued market share growth."  
 
During the thirteen-week period ended March 28, overall comparable store sales increased 3.4%. During the same period, the company's net income totaled $13.1 million, down 11.2% while earnings per share totaled $0.49 compared to $0.55 per share in 2014.
  

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Walmart announces series of executive moves

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Operational changes keep coming at Walmart with another round of senior executive moves — and several retirements — announced late Friday that involve some familiar leaders in new roles focused on supercenters, small format and the rollout of grocery home shopping.
 
Veteran Walmart operator Mike Moore, who currently serves as executive vice president of the 613-unit Neighborhood Market division, will transition to a new EVP role with oversight of Walmart’s much larger 3,421 unit supercenter operation in the U.S. Assuming Moore’s previous position is Walmart West Executive Vice President Julie Murphy.
 
Also of note is an expanded role for Walmart U.S. Senior Vice President of Innovations Mark Ibbotson. He retains his SVP title in the innovations organization now named “Central Operations,” but has been given new responsibilities for asset protection and work with Walmart Global eCommerce to implement grocery home shopping within operations.
 
The key operational moves were shared in an internal announcement on Friday from Walmart U.S. President and CEO Greg Foran and Walmart U.S. COO Judith McKenna.
 
In addition to new responsibilities for Moore and Murphy, it was also revealed that Pam Kohn, executive vice president of Walmart Realty and Joaquin Gonzalez Varela, executive vice president of Walmart East, will leave the company.
 
The changes represent a fresh approach to operations as Walmart appears intent on flattening its operation's organizational structure to put senior leadership in tighter contact with the field. A similar approach has been applied in the merchandising area, where four EVPs of merchandising report directly to Foran.
 
In the operations area, Walmart previously employed a conventional approach, dividing the U.S. into five large regions and later three regions. However, last year when Moore was given oversight of the Neighborhood Market division in recognition that the operational needs of a 40,000-sq.-ft. small format store are different than those of a 180,000-sq.-ft. supercenter, the company divided the nation in half. EVPs Murphy and Gonzalez Varela were given oversight of the west and east, respectively. With the departure of Kohn, a former supermarket executive Walmart has relied on at various times to lead Neighborhood Market and fresh merchandising, JP Suarez will be elevated to the role of senior vice president of Walmart Realty. He currently serves as SVP of real estate strategy, design and construction.
 
The other notable change related to Kohn’s departure is that Walmart Realty now reports to COO McKenna, who, like Foran, assumed her current position last year.
 

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Fresh Market appoints two retail vets to board

BY Gina Acosta

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The CEO of Carter's Inc. and the former CFO of V.F. Corp. have joined the board of directors at the Fresh Market.

Michael D. Casey, CEO and a director of Carter’s Inc., and Robert K. Shearer, formerly CFO of V.F. Corp., have been named as independent directors effective May 1. With these additions, the Fresh Market’s Board has nine directors, eight of whom are independent directors.

Ray Berry, Chairman of the Board, said: “We are pleased to welcome Mike and Bob, two experienced leaders of high profile consumer growth and branded companies, to our Board of Directors. We believe they will bring valuable perspectives to the Board, and we look forward to leveraging their knowledge and insight as The Fresh Market moves towards the next level of growth and profitability.”

Casey has served as CEO and a director of Carter’s Inc., the largest branded marketer in the United States of apparel exclusively for babies and young children, since 2008, and as chairman of its board of directors since 2009. Casey joined Carter’s in 1993 and has held a variety of senior executive positions during his tenure with the company.

Shearer served as SVP/CFO of V.F. Corporation, a global leader in the design, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories with such brands as The North Face, Vans, Timberland, and Wrangler, from 2005 until his recent retirement. Prior to that, he served in a number of financial roles at the company,.

As of April 30, the Fresh Market operates 168 stores in 27 states across the United States. 

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