Safeway reports dismal Q4 results
PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway reported a net loss of $1.61 billion during fourth quarter 2009, compared with the year-ago period.
The retailer also said that total sales declined 8.1% to $12.7 billion in the fourth quarter 2009, compared with $13.8 billion in the fourth quarter 2008. Safeway said the decline was the result of an additional week in 2008 and a 4.1% decline in same-store sales, excluding fuel, for the quarter.
Meanwhile, gross profit declined 14 basis points to 28.64% of sales in the fourth quarter 2009, compared to 28.78% of sales in the same period last year.
“Excluding the non-cash goodwill impairment charge, our results were in line with our expectations,” said Steve Burd, chairman, president and CEO. “Despite very challenging economic conditions, Safeway generated free cash flow of $1.5 billion in 2009. This exceeded our expectations and is the highest annual free cash flow ever achieved by Safeway.”
Safeway currently operates 2,000 stores.
Walgreens gift cards in demand by American consumers, index finds
NEW YORK An independent research and advisory group found that when it comes to gift cards, American consumers want them from one of the largest drug store chains.
The Global Prepaid Exchange found that gift cards from Walgreens were among the top preferences of American adults, according to 2,300 people surveyed in its Gift Card Performance Index. The drug store chain ranked No. 8 on the list.
Dan Horne, professor of Providence College in Rhode Island and the study’s principle investigator, said the high levels of consumer performance result from an interaction between the store and the gift giver’s perception of the tastes of the recipient.
“If a gift card giver really thinks about the kinds of store that a recipient likes, they will certainly make the experience more rewarding,” Horne noted. “Gift cards tend to be effective gifts because they show thought about the type of stores that recipients like, while still promoting a sense of autonomy and choice.”
United Supermarkets launches NuVal nutritional scoring system
LUBBOCK, Texas In an effort to aid its customers in making healthy food choices, United Supermarkets is implementing a nutritional scoring system throughout its United Supermarkets, Market Street and Amigos United grocery stores.
NuVal is a ranking system that provides comprehensive nutritional information of foods through a comprehensive scoring system. With the NuVal System currently assisting guests at Market Street’s Colleyville and Frisco, Texas, stores to better food choices, United debuts as the first grocery chain to implement the innovative nutritional ranking system in Texas.
All six of the company’s Dallas-Fort Worth area Market Street stores will feature the NuVal system by mid-March, and the company plans to have all 50 stores outfitted with the new system by the end of the year.
“NuVal’s innovative food scoring system is revolutionizing the shopping experience, and we’re proud to be the first Texas grocer to bring this innovation to our aisles,” said Robert Taylor, EVP and CEO, United Supermarkets.
In addition to the NuVal implementation, United staffs dietitians throughout its stores and serves as one of the founding members of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, whose stated mission is to reduce obesity by 2015. HWCF members already have committed more than $20 million to the joint initiative to raise awareness about the importance of balancing a healthy diet with physical activity.