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Target, Walmart, McKesson named among Businessweek’s ranking of civic-minded companies

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Target, Walmart and McKesson were each recognized Friday as one of America’s more community-minded companies as part of the The Civic 50 — the first scientific evaluation to rank the companies that best use their time, talent and resources to improve the quality of life where they do business. 

The survey was conducted by the National Conference on Citizenship and Points of Light, and was published in the Nov. 9 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.

“McKesson is in the business of better health, so our citizenship efforts are simply a part of our daily work,” stated Carrie Varoquiers, VP corporate citizenship. “Whether it is through the daily delivery of life-saving medications, improved medication safety in the emergency room, Comfort Kits delivered to cancer patients through our Giving Comfort charity, or our all-employee volunteer week, McKesson is proof that companies really can do well by doing good.”

“The results of The Civic 50 show that what is good for business can also be good for the community,” said Michael Weiser, chairman of NCoC. “Rather than passively write checks to charities or philanthropies, the top corporations are actively aligning their resources and professional skills with the needs of community partners. The Civic 50 reveals which companies are truly innovative, and we are hopeful that these examples will inspire other companies to make a difference in communities.”

Companies were evaluated on several elements, including leadership, measurement and strategy, design, employee civic health, community partnerships, cause alignment and transparency. 

To see the full rankings, click here.

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Roundy’s sales, profits fall in third quarter 2012

BY Alaric DeArment

MILWAUKEE — The continued softness of the economy weighed down on sales and profits at Roundy’s during third quarter 2012, the Midwestern supermarket chain said Friday.

The company reported sales of $973.6 million, a 0.3% decrease from third-quarter 2011, while profits were $8.8 million, down from $12.4 million last year. Roundy’s operates 161 stores with 98 pharmacies under the Pick ‘n Save, Rainbow, Copps, Metro Market and Mariano’s banners in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois.

"During the third quarter, our results continued to be negatively affected by the general weakness in the overall economy and increased competitive environment," Roundy’s president, chairman and CEO Robert Mariano said. "We have worked very hard to strengthen our leading market position as a provider of quality, value and convenience to consumers, but the impact of increased price investments and promotional activities on our gross margins and profitability was greater than we anticipated."

Mariano said that customers did not respond as enthusiastically as last year to the company’s Monopoly promotion program, which had contributed to the stronger results last year, though the chain’s stores in the Chicago market continued performing well. "With eight Mariano’s now open in the Chicago area, we are gaining significant traction and continue to invest in the growth of that market," Mariano said. "We believe that our continued focus on enhancing the execution of our overall business model will position us to deliver greater overall sales growth and profitability."

For the 39-week period ended Sept. 29, sales were $2.9 billion, a 1.2% increase over the $2.87 billion reported during the same period last year. Profits during the latest 39-week period were $38.3 million, compared with $38.9 million last year.

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Safeway expands support of military veterans

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Friday announced it will expand its support of America’s military veterans by hiring at least 1,000 military veterans in 2013 to add to the 1,300 hired to-date in 2012. In addition, the company is raising money this Veterans Day weekend for organizations that help veterans recover from service-related injuries and/or return to the civilian workforce.

"We are honored to assist those who have protected our freedom at home and abroad," stated Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and chair of The Safeway Foundation. "Likewise, we have tapped into the knowledge and leadership skills of these remarkable professionals to enhance our workforce. We urge other companies to do the same and benefit from the talent that comes with military experience."

The hiring and financial commitments reinforce Safeway’s longstanding dedication to honoring and supporting the country’s military. From donating and shipping more than 2,000 care packages to soldiers serving overseas, to continuing full benefits for Safeway employees who are called from reserve to active duty, to training and placing veterans into highly sought-after positions, the company continually demonstrates its appreciation to those who serve in the military, the grocer stated.

Though Safeway has supported the Armed Forces and military personnel for years, 2012 marks the second year that the company has dedicated the three-day Veterans Day weekend to raising money for key veteran-related causes. In 2011, the company raised $1 million for the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that provides medical and emotional support to "wounded warriors" who incurred service-related injuries on or after Sept. 11, 2001. This year, The Safeway Foundation’s Nov. 9 through Nov. 11 fundraising effort in most stores will also benefit various organizations and outreach programs that help veterans gain the skills and resources necessary to transition to civilian jobs.  

In addition to the goal of hiring more than 1,000 military veterans both in 2012 and 2013, Safeway has created a Junior Military Officer and Non-Commissioned Officer program to train and place veterans in top store and backstage leadership positions. The 41-week intensive training program includes a combination of on-the-job training, mentoring, classroom seminars, job shadowing and independent study, as well as participating in numerous department and key leadership strategy sessions. At the end of the program, participants are qualified to hold a number of leadership positions, including store manager and warehouse superintendent.

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