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Q4, fiscal-year comps up for Publix

BY Allison Cerra

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix on Tuesday disclosed a 4.4% increase in its fourth-quarter sales, which reached $6.4 billion, while comparable-store sales for the quarter also rose 3.2%.

Net earnings for the retailer totaled $342.1 million, compared with $284.2 million in the year-ago period, an increase of 20.4%. Earnings per share for the fourth quarter increased to 44 cents for 2010, up from 36 cents per share in 2009.

For the fiscal year ended Dec. 25, 2010, Publix reported sales of $25.1 billion, a 3.3% uptick from the prior year’s $24.3 billion. Comparable-store sales for 2010 experienced a 2.3% gain.

Net earnings also saw a boost in 2010, rising 15.2% to $1.3 billion, compared with the prior year. Earnings per share increased to $1.70 for 2010, up from $1.47 per share in 2009.

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Cherokee Uniforms accepting nominations for annual Inspired Comfort Award

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES — Medical scrubs provider Cherokee Uniforms has announced that it is accepting nominations through May 31 for its annual Inspired Comfort Award, which recognizes those healthcare professionals, such as registered nurses and advanced practice nurses, who go above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference for their patients and the communities they serve.

Since its inception in 2003, more than 9,000 healthcare professionals have been nominated for the award. To date, 80 recipients have been honored with this award for the outstanding impact they’ve made on their communities and the people in them.

Candidates can be nominated in two of the following categories but can only win in one: RNs; advanced practice nurses, or APNs; licensed practical nurses/licensed vocational nurses, or LPNs/LVNs; students enrolled in nursing school; and other nonphysician healthcare professionals. Any institution named on more than 200 eligible nominations will be awarded a $1,000 unrestricted grant.

All winners will receive a wardrobe featuring the best of Cherokee Uniforms and Cherokee Footwear worth more than $1,000, a Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award, a 14K gold-plated commemorative pin, a year’s subscription to Scrubs — a lifestyle magazine for nurses — and a $500 donation in their name to the Diseases Attacking the Immune System Foundation.

Nominations must contain an accurate description of 100 words or more of the candidate’s exceptional performance, which must have taken place at least in part in 2010. For every healthcare professional nominated through May 31, Cherokee Uniforms will make a donation to Nurses House, a national fund that provides short-term financial assistance to registered nurses facing serious hardship.

A panel of nurse professionals, Cherokee professionals and former award recipients will choose winners who best meet the program’s criteria of exceptional service, sacrifice and innovation. The grand-prize winner in each category will receive an all-expense-paid Caribbean cruise for two. Additional winners in each category will receive all-expense-paid trips to a 2012 U.S. medical conference of each winner’s choice and an annual membership to their preferred clinical association. Additionally, those who nominate the grand-prize winner in each category will receive a $1,000 Cherokee medical wardrobe. Winners will be announced in October.

Healthcare professionals can be nominated at InspiredComfort.com/nominate or via nomination forms available at Cherokee Uniforms retailers nationwide.

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Food Lion puts emphasis on private label

BY Antoinette Alexander

SALISBURY, N.C. — The push of private label at retail continues to gain momentum as Food Lion kicked off a promotion whereby shoppers can earn up to $10 in free groceries every time they buy private-brand products.

The promotion, dubbed the Private Brand Super Sale, begins March 2 and runs through March 29.

Each time customers shop at Food Lion during the Private Brand Super Sale and purchase at least four Food Lion or Home 360 products using their Food Lion MVP card, they earn a money-saving coupon.

Customers get $1 in coupons for the first four private-brand products they purchase and 25 cents back for each additional private-brand product they buy up to $10 ­during the promotion.

"Food Lion wants to put money back in customers’ pockets by rewarding our loyal customers," stated Shavonne Clark, Food Lion’s director of retail marketing and innovation. "Our sales trends show consumers are using more private-brand products, and this is one way we can thank customers who use Food Lion and Home 360 private-brand products. We also want to provide additional incentive for customers who may not have tried our private-brand products."

The promotion allows customers to use their MVP loyalty card to take advantage of lower prices available by purchasing their favorite private-brand products.

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