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Publix Super Markets CEO is stepping down

BY Gina Acosta

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets is getting a new CEO after Ed Crenshaw announced his retirement on Wednesday.

The company announced that Crenshaw will step down effective April 30. Upon Crenshaw’s retirement, current company President Todd Jones will become president and CEO. 

“The board of directors is grateful for Ed’s 42 years of dedicated service to Publix, our associates and the communities we serve,” said Charlie Jenkins Jr., Publix chairman of the Board. “He’s been a strong leader keenly focused on our continued growth in current and new markets and committed to the development and promotion of our associates. He’s provided invaluable insights to our industry, serving on numerous boards. The board looks forward to working with Ed to continue the success of Publix.”

Crenshaw began his Publix career in 1974 as a front-service clerk in Lake Wales, Fla. After working in a variety of retail and support positions, he was promoted to director of retail operations for the Lakeland Division in 1984. In 1990, he became vice president of the Lakeland Division and was elected to the board of directors. In 1991, Crenshaw moved to Atlanta to start the Atlanta Division as division vice president. He was promoted to executive vice president of retail in 1994 and to president in 1996. He was named CEO in 2008.

While he has announced his plans to retire as CEO, Crenshaw plans to remain a member of the Publix board of directors. In addition, the board of directors asked him to accept the role of Chairman of the Board that will be effective May 3. Current Chairman of the Board Charlie Jenkins Jr. will become Chairman Emeritus.

Incoming CEO Jones began his career in 1980 as a front-service clerk in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. He worked in a variety of store positions before becoming a store manager in 1988. He was promoted to district manager in 1997, regional director in 1999 and vice president of the Jacksonville Division in 2003. In 2005, Jones was promoted to senior vice president of product business development. He was named president in 2008.

“I’ve been privileged to lead what could quite possibly be the best company in the world,” said Crenshaw. “Company ownership provides our associates amazing opportunities and with that comes the responsibility to continue to grow our company and invest in each other. The time has come to turn over the reins, and I am pleased to have a leader with the experience of Todd who is ready to take the next step in his career. I am confident in his ability to lead our company into the future and to continue to make Publix a great place for both customers and associates.”

Publix is privately owned and operated by its 180,000 employees, with 2014 sales of $30.6 billion. Currently Publix has 1,113 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. 

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Save-A-Lot hinders Supervalu performance ahead of spinoff

BY Mike Troy

Supervalu’s Save-A-Lot division expects its current footprint can more than double in size after spin-off from parent company.
 
 
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Supervalu wants to unlock the value of its Save-A-Lot division with a planned spinoff, but the 1,336 store division did little to enhance its appeal to investors with a weak showing in the third quarter.
 
Supervalu did meet its profitability targets for the period ended Dec. 5, but sales at Save-A-Lot declined to $1.07 billion from $1.09 billion due to some store closures and a 3.4% decline in identical store sales. The division’s adjusted operating profit increased to $50 million from $49 million. Total company sales declined to $4.1 billion from $4.2 billion as sales also declined at Supervalu’s wholesale division and traditional supermarkets. Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations were $46 million, or 16 cents a share, compared to $49 million, or 18 cents a share the prior year.
 
Commenting on the total company performance, President and CEO Sam Duncan said the operating environment is challenging.
 
"Improving sales is a primary focus as we look to complete the fiscal year,” Duncan said.
 
Weak results from the Save-A-Lot division are particularly noteworthy because Supervalu announced last July it was exploring a possible spin-off transaction. In early January, the company took the next step in the spin-off process, approving the separation of the business and filing documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission in which it disclosed plans to open 90 stores this year and next and to maintain mid-to-high single digit rates of new store growth in pursuit of a 3,500 unit domestic opportunity. Timing of the spin-off has not been announced, but upon completion Supervalu shareholders will own at least 80.1% of outstanding shares of common stock of Save-A-Lot, according to the SEC filing.
 
“As two distinct publicly traded companies, each of Supervalu and Save-A-Lot will be better positioned to focus on its respective businesses, customers and strategic priorities and to capitalize on growth opportunities,” Duncan said in a recently distributed letter to shareholders. “We believe Supervalu will be able to focus on providing wholesale distribution services to independent retail customers and operating its five regionally based traditional-format grocery banners. Save-A-Lot will continue to be a leader in hard discount grocery retailing in the United States.”
 
Notwithstanding the tepid third quarter results, Supervalu is convinced the hard discount concept (small format, limited assortment, extensive private label) will gain popularity with more shoppers. The typical Save-A-Lot store measures 17,000-sq-ft., stocks about 3,000 items and generates about 60% of sales from proprietary brands. Hard discount concepts in the U.S. only account for about 3% of a U.S. grocery retailing industry Supervalu pegs at more than $1 trillion.
 
To capitalize on that opportunity, in early December Supervalu said current Save-A-Lot CEO Eric Claus would continue to serve in that role after the spinoff. Claus, a longtime former senior executive with The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, joined Save-A-Lot in Dec. 2015. Serving as president of Save-A-Lot after the separation will be Ritchie Casteel. The veteran Albertson’s executive join Supervalu as president and CEO of Save-A-Lot in 2013.

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JAMA study explores PPI use and increased risk of chronic kidney disease

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO – A JAMA Internal Medicine report published Monday associated the use of proton pump inhibitors with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease, but more research is needed to determine whether PPI use causes kidney damage the article stated.
 
Morgan Grams, of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and coauthors quantified the association between PPI use and chronic kidney disease in the general population using data on self-reported PPI use in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study (10,482 participants followed up for a median of nearly 14 years) or an outpatient PPI prescription in the Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania (248,751 participants followed up for a median of six years). The results were replicated at Geisinger.
 
At baseline, PPI users in both groups were more likely to have a higher body mass index and take antihypertensive, aspirin or statin medications.
 
In the ARIC group, there were 56 incident CKD events among 322 baseline PPI users (14.2 per 1,000-person years) and 1,382 events among 10,160 baseline nonusers (10.7 per 1,000 person-years). PPI use was associated with risk of incident CKD in unadjusted and adjusted analyses. The 10-year estimated absolute risk of CKD among the 322 baseline PPI users was 11.8% while the expected risk had they not used PPIs was 8.5%, according to the results.
 
The authors did note several study limitations, however, including that participants who are prescribed PPIs may be at higher risk of CKD for reasons unrelated to their PPI use.
 
"We note that our study is observational and does not provide evidence of causality. However, a causal relationship between PPI use and CKD could have a considerable public health effect given the widespread extent of use," the study stated. "More than 15 million Americans used prescription PPIs in 2013, costing more than $10 billion. Study findings suggest that up to 70% of these prescriptions are without indication and that 25% of long-term PPI users could discontinue therapy without developing symptoms." 
 
“Currently available safety data as well as cumulative experience on the use of OTC PPIs does not warrant any revision of clinical practice or recommendations for use," noted the Consumer Healthcare Products Association in a press release published Tuesday. "The published data on any possible association needs further review and verification and does not change the well-established safe and effective proper use of PPIs."
 
Previous research from CHPA and the Nielsen Company indicates 94% patient satisfaction with OTC heartburn medications and estimates that OTC therapy saves patients an average total of $174 each in office visits and medication costs annually.
 
 

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