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Q2 sales up at Ahold U.S. segments

BY DSN STAFF

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands Ahold reported that net sales at its Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover segment were $4 billion for the second quarter, an increase of 1.7 percent over the same period last year. Identical sales were up 2.2 percent at Stop & Shop (1 percent excluding gasoline net sales) and down 1.5 percent at Giant-Landover (1.7 percent excluding gasoline net sales), impacted by lower pharmacy sales.

At Giant-Carlisle, net sales increased 11.5 percent to $1.1 billion for the quarter. Identical sales were up 7.0 percent (4.1 percent excluding gasoline net sales).

“In the United States, the Value Improvement Program has now expanded beyond price repositioning to marketing and branding,” Ahold chief executive officer John Rishton said. “We unveiled new logos and a number of brand initiatives for Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover last week as a further step in Ahold’s global strategy to build powerful local consumer brands. Giant-Carlisle continued to gain share in a highly competitive market.”

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CVS looks to donate more than 2,500 backpacks to needy schoolchildren

BY Alaric DeArment

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy hopes to provide school supplies for 2,600 children in need in the Washington area, with the help of the local NBC affiliate.

The drug store chain announced Tuesday that it would sell backpacks filled with more than a dozen school supplies at its stores for $12.99 for customers to donate to the Backpacks 4 Kids program. The supplies are valued at more than $25.

The backpacks and school supplies collected through the program are given to pre-selected schools and non-profit organizations to distribute to children in need. Customers at CVS/pharmacy can also purchase school supplies for donation.

The backpacks are available at CVS/pharmacy stores in Washington and surrounding cities in Virginia and Maryland. Last year, the program donated 2,300 backpacks.

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Sammons’ speech to Rite Aid associates very positive

BY Michael Johnsen

BALTIMORE Rite Aid is looking up, Mary Sammons, Rite Aid chairman, president and chief executive officer, told Rite Aid associates last week at the 2008 Rite Aid Management Conference and Supplier Exhibition. “The momentum is with us to have positive comp sales in all of our stores in Q3,” she said, noting that the Brooks/Eckerd assimilation was nearly complete. All systems conversions were completed in May; each of the six distribution centers is online; and Rite Aid’s planograms have been ceded into all former Brooks/Eckerd store fronts.

And to help fuel that momentum going forward, Rite Aid has generated hundreds of thousands of new prescriptions out of its “Fill Up and Fuel Up” program—in shich customers transferring prescriptions receive a $30 Rite Aid gift card and a chance to win a year’s worth of gas.

And to entice even more seniors to shop Rite Aid, the chain is continuing to promote its Living More senior loyalty card program and will introduce a new health and wellness program in September.

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