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Tide brings Loads of Hope to Dollar General

BY Allison Cerra

NASHVILLE Tide brought its mobile laundromat to a local Dollar General to benefit victims of the recent floods.

Tide’s Loads of Hope program visited a Nashville Dollar General May 12 to provide customers in the area with clean laundry. One truck and a fleet of vans house more than 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers that are capable of cleaning over 300 loads of laundry every day. Tide washs, dries and folds the clothes for these families for free.

The Loads of Hope program also benefited victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, in addition to other natural disasters.

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Combined effects dampen Spartan’s Q4, fiscal-year earnings

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Combined effects of a bad economy, price deflation and sold or closed stores dampened sales for Midwestern supermarket operator Spartan Stores in fourth-quarter 2010, causing a drop to $558.8 million, compared with $581.3 million in fourth-quarter 2009, the company said in an earnings report Wednesday. Spartan’s fiscal year ended March 27.

Sales for the fiscal year as a whole saw a smaller decrease, falling to $2.55 billion, compared with $2.58 billion in fiscal year 2009. Profits for fourth quarter 2010 were $13.7 million, compared with $17.3 million in fourth quarter 2009. Profits for the year were $63.5 million, compared with $72.7 million in 2009.

“We expect to generate improved cash flow, to further strengthen our balance sheet and to execute additional elements of our consumer-centric business strategy during fiscal 2011,” Spartan president and CEO Dennis Eidson said. “Following our aggressive capital investment program during the past two years, our retail store base is in good physical condition.”

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ROI marks three-year anniversary

BY Allison Cerra

NEW HAVEN, Conn. A software-as-a-service provider specializing in retail space and assortment optimization marked its three-year anniversary.

Retail Optimization Inc. offers an innovative, predictive macro analytics that optimizes both retail space and assortment simultaneously. Since ROI’s inception, more than 400 grocery and drug stores including Supervalu, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Rite Aid and Ahold have been optimized by the ROI process, the company said.

Additionally, new partnerships with such consultancies as Willard Bishop and Retail Performance Group are continuing the momentum and already showing positive effects, ROI said.

“The retail market demands results and we typically see 3% to 5% lifts on a store by store basis,” said ROI president and CEO Wes Bray, “Since we can deliver scalable, predictive analytic reporting that interfaces with a retailer’s current systems, ROI is perfectly positioned to quickly provide critical business intelligence, especially as more retailers move toward computer automated ordering.”

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