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Supervalu throws its heart into health

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS Supervalu.com/heart) that encouraged customers to learn more about their current health status through free blood pressure tests and discounted cholesterol screenings available at Supervalu pharmacies.—In conjunction with Heart Health Month, Supervalu last month launched in select locations its Value Your Heart program, which included a booklet, available at Supervalu stores, complete with recipes and information for heart-smart meals, as well as valuable money-saving coupons. And online, Supervalu developed a “Value Your Heart” micro-site (

Supervalu also is in the second year of a three-year commitment as a national supporter of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement, aimed at educating women about the risk factors for heart disease and urging them to take action to reduce their personal risk.

“Supervalu pharmacists play a key role in promoting the health and wellness of our customers. Our mission is to make it easier for all of our customers to manage any health conditions they may have or maintain good health,” stated Chris Dimos, president of Supervalu Pharmacies. “We believe that by providing a single destination where customers can find fresh food selections, nutrition and health information, and access to our full-service pharmacies, we can help customers achieve their health goals, whatever they may be.”

Making healthier choices got easier for shoppers at Supervalu retail stores with the 2009 launch of its Nutrition iQ program, a nutrition information program designed to help consumers make better-informed food choices at the store shelf. Developed in collaboration with the Joslin Clinic, the program currently is available across Supervalu’s Acme, Albertsons, Cub Foods and Farm Fresh banners, and will be rolled out to all Supervalu banners later this year, the grocer announced.

The Nutrition iQ program uses easy-to-see, color-coded shelf tags to help consumers quickly identify healthier food choices.

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Bashas’ rejects Albertsons’ buyout bid

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Bashas’ has turned down a nearly $300 million buyout offer from Albertsons, according to published reports.

According to an American City Business Journals article, the Chandler, Ariz.-based Bashas’ was uninterested in a buyout offer of $290 million for the chain.

Bashas’ filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, announcing the following month that it would close 14 stores. Still, the published reports quoted an attorney representing the company as saying that the reorganization plan would ensure Bashas’ remained in the hands of the Bashas family, which has owned it since 1932.

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Shoppers’ new initiatives sets chain up to become retail giant

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT While the decision to move in this direction may have been made before Chong Bang crossed the border, there is no questioning that industry watchers will be focused on what SDM’s new top merchant will do to further improve the stores.

(THE NEWS: Shoppers Drug Mart takes a page out of CCR playbook. For the full story, click here)

That has a lot to do with Bang’s pedigree — he’s directed a significant merchandising program at Walgreens, one of the leading pureplay pharmacies in the United States. And now he’s at Shoppers, the leading drug store retailer north of the border.

Bang will be armed at Shoppers with the sales data generated by 9.7 million members of the pharmacy’s Optimum loyalty program, 80% of whom are women. When you consider that there are only 34 million Canadians, that means that almost 1-in-3 Canadians are members of Shoppers’ loyalty program, and almost 1-in-2 Canadian women.

Presently, Shoppers plans to grow its square footage at a clip of 8% to 9% with a new distribution center slated to open in 2010 to help support that growth. And that’s really going to be Bang’s merchandising challenge — finding a way to slip one more item into that Shoppers marketbasket in a saturated marketplace. Bang certainly can’t build front-end sales by attracting new customers. There just aren’t that many Canadians who don’t already shop at Shoppers.

For Bang, it’ll be a question of optimizing categorical synergies and in doing so help drive impulse purchases. Similar to Walgreens, Shoppers is on a mission to make a good shopping experience better, and Bang’s expected to help realize that goal.

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