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Safeway begins exit of Chicago market

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Thursday announced, as part of its plan to exit the Chicago market, it has sold four of its Dominick’s stores in the greater Chicago area to New Albertsons, which operates Jewel-Osco grocery stores.  

Safeway announced today that it intends to exit the Chicago market altogether, where it operates 72 Dominick’s stores, by early 2014. "We expect to use the cash tax benefit and any other cash proceeds from the disposal of Dominick’s properties to buy back stock and to invest in growth opportunities," the company stated.

During a short transition period, the stores will continue to operate under the Dominick’s banner until Jewel-Osco can complete their conversion to Jewel-Osco stores. Dominick’s will be working with Jewel-Osco and the unions to ease the transition for store employees.

Safeway has decided to exit the Chicago market and focus its efforts in other operating areas where its business is stronger, the grocer stated.

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Deloitte: Consumer spending down in September

BY Dan Berthiaume

NEW YORK — The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index moved down again in September, showing the second month of small declines. The index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.

"If the government shutdown is short-lived, retailers may not feel a noticeable impact, but if it persists, consumers may pause at the beginning of the holiday season," said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and Retail & Distribution sector leader. "With many retailers planning early promotions this year, shifts in consumer sentiment will likely test retailers’ scenario planning techniques.”

Paul advised retailers to run multiple scenarios now, so they can be nimble enough to make quick decisions about their promotions and pricing should demand suddenly tick up or down.  

“Those efforts include analyzing store and online traffic patterns, mining social media for changes in consumer behavior, and taking a closer audit of merchandise to determine what is sitting too long on the shelf and which items are effectively bringing customers through the door,” Paul said.

The Index, which comprises four components, tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices, fell to 3.7 this month from 4.0 last month. Highlights include:

Tax Burden: The tax rate is up 6.8% from last year, and is now at 11.7%.

Initial Unemployment Claims: Claims moved down 9% from the same period last year to 330,000 in the most recent month.

Real Wages: Hourly real wage growth remains slow, hovering at $8.78, which is up 0.1% from the previous month and 0.3% from last year.

Real New Home Prices: Real new home prices were down 0.8% from the month prior, but moved up 4.3% from this time last year to reach approximately $109,000.

 

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Idea Village hosts ‘MasterChef Junior’ cooking party

BY Rebecca Haughey

LOS ANGELES — Idea Village presented contestants on FOX’s "MasterChef Junior," as well as radio contest winners from 102.7 KIIS FM Studios, with gift bags containing Idea Village culinary products on Monday at the Four Seasons in Westlake, Calif.


"MasterChef Junior Contestants" Kaylen, Tommy, Troy and Dara with their new Idea Village Culinary products

Each of the contestants and radio winners received a gift bags containing Idea Village cooking products, including:

  • Pop Chef – used to quickly make fun and interesting snacks, according to the company;
  • Perfect Fries – used to make natural-cut fries; and
  • Ice Cream Magic – an ice cream maker.

The show’s contestant’s put together a cooking demonstration throughout the course of the event. Guests watched as the young chefs prepared a meal for all of the winners. KIIS FM will promote the products on air and give away an additional 10 gift bags to listeners throughout the next two weeks.

 

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