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Same store sales up 1% at Costco in September

BY Gina Acosta

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco’s same-store sales for September rose 1%, compared to a 2% increase in August. 

The club retailer also reported net sales of $11.06 billion for the five weeks ended Oct. 2, an increase of 3% from $10.75 billion during the similar period last year.

Comparable sales for this period excluding the impacts from gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange were: U.S.  0 %, Canada  5 %, Other International  0 % and Total Company  1 %.

Last month Costco reported a higher-than-expected profit for the fourth quarter ended Aug. 28 as it benefited from paying lower fees to credit card partner Visa and shoppers spent more on appliances, electronics and hardware, the company said.

The lower payments helped offset falling prices of grocery and fresh food in the quarter, Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said in a post-earnings call.

Net income rose to $779 million, or $1.77 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Aug. 28, from $767 million, or $1.73 per share, a year earlier. Same store sales in the U.S. were down 1%.

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London Drugs debuts customer loyalty program LDExtras

BY Michael Johnsen

RICHMOND, British Columbia – London Drugs on Wednesday launched LDExtras chainwide following a successful pilot program in Vancouver Island first introduced last year.

"Our customers will now reap rewards tailored to how they shop simply by shopping at London Drugs," stated Clint Mahlman, COO and EVP, London Drugs. "We needed to be sure when launching a loyalty program that it would do two imperative things: be simple and not be onerous on our customers and also, surprise and delight them each and every time they shop with us," he said. "LDExtras epitomizes our goal to help make our customers lives easier and at the same time, have something fun and different and exciting in store."

Loyal London Drug shoppers may have an opportunity to be very well rewarded for their patronage. An example of an experiential reward during the pilot phase was when four cosmetics customers and their guests were flown from Victoria to Vancouver for a VIP London Drugs' beauty event. Those LDExtras customers were comped a hotel room and attended an exclusive event before returing to Victoria with a swag bag containing $1,000 worth of exclusive, highly anticipated beauty products later to appear in London Drugs stores.

Another example of an experiential reward during the pilot phase was when a group of Vancouver Island LDExtras customers were given a similar holiday experience, attending a B.C. Lions game which includeda behind-the-scenes tour and an autograph signing.

Rewards simply for signing up for LDExtras include the chance to win a $2,500 monthly shopping spree. Multiple Visits earn specialized London Drugs services such as free computer virus checks and consultations with a health coach. All of these experiences and rewards aim to reflect the breadth of what London Drugs offers and the department and staff knowledge and expertise the company aims to excel in.

"The opportunities to bring magic to our customers through LDExtras are endless," Malhman said. "I've challenged our team to go above and beyond when exploring ways we can make our customers' lives easier and as well to provide our customers with enjoyable and unique opportunities and experiences as a way for London Drugs to say thank you for shopping with us."
 

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Fox News’ Chris Wallace to headline PLMA trade show

BY Gina Acosta

NEW YORK – The Private Label Manufacturers Association will feature Fox News star Chris Wallace as its headliner during PLMA’s 2016 Private Label Trade Show in Chicago in November.

PLMA says it invited Wallace to share his views of what a new administration taking up residence in the White House could mean for the business community and the country moving forward.

Past keynote speakers for PLMA have included such media personalities as Lou Dobbs and John Stossel, high-profile business leaders such as Martha Stewart, PayPal President Dan Schulman and Google CIO Douglas Merrill, as well as top retail executives such as Whole Foods CEO John Mackey and Trader Joe’s President Doug Rauch.

As store brands continue to rack up new sales records across the major retail channels, surpassing $118 billion in the U.S. alone according to the latest industry data, PLMA says its annual show continues to draw the largest attendance of store brands buyers in the Western Hemisphere.  

Click here to learn more about PLMA’s 2016 speakers and seminars.

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