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Ahold chief commercial officer to head global online, customer loyalty programs

BY Alaric DeArment

ZAANDAM, Netherlands — Royal Ahold has hired Hanneke Faber as chief commercial officer as part of a new executive committee leadership structure that the Dutch supermarket operator said would allow it to accelerate its "reshaping retail" business strategy by simplifying governance structure and decision-making.

Faber will report directly to CEO Dick Boer and head the company’s online and customer loyalty programs, having previously worked at Procter & Gamble under various senior general management and marketing positions in the United States, Switzerland, Greece and the Netherlands.

Other members of the executive committee include chief financial officer Jeff Carr; chief corporate governance counsel Lodewijk Hijmans van den Bergh; chief operating officer of Ahold USA James McCann; chief operating officer for Ahold Europe Sander vender Laan; and a chief human resources officer who was not named in the company’s announcement.

"Following the development and implementation of reshaping retail, Ahold is now at a point to adjust its leadership structure in a way that will best drive and support our growth phase," Boer said. "Furthermore, I am delighted that we have Hanneke joining our company. Coming from a world-class marketing organization, she will provide us with key insights in leading online and customer loyalty initiatives going forward."


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AquaHydrate grows U.S. retail distribution

BY Jason Owen

LOS ANGELES — AquaHydrate Inc., a Southern California-based health and fitness water company, announced today expanded retail distribution across the West and Midwest regions of the United States.

In the west, AquaHydrate launched into grocery and drug store chains: Walgreens in Los Angeles and San Diego (230 stores); Savemart (240 stores); Raley’s (128 stores); Pharmaca (25 stores); High Health (38 stores); Superior Grocery (35 stores); and Vallarta Grocery (44 stores).

In the mid-west, AquaHydrate launched in Cub Foods (80 stores) across the Minneapolis/St. Paul region and recently finalized a deal with Mahaska Bottling to be distributed in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota.

"We are experiencing a tremendous amount of growth and we are definitely not slowing down any time soon. When you have a great product that is backed by a solid team with a clear vision the brand is able to achieve maximum success," says Nate Puksta, VP, marketing.

AquaHydrate contains a combination of high pH, electrolytes and minerals, which helps restore balance to the body, fuels "supercharged hydration" and helps people perform at the top of their game, "No Matter What" drives them, the company stated.

AquaHydrate comes in recognizable blue bottles in three sizes: 1 L (SRP $2.29), 700 mL sport-top (SRP $1.79) and 500 mL bottles (SRP $1.19), prices may vary. AquaHydrate is available at Kroger Co. and Safeway Inc. grocery stores, GNC and a variety of additional grocery, health and natural foods stores throughout the U.S., as well as online at www.aquahydrate.com.


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Rite Aid to refinance $400 million worth of debt

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid announced Monday a new debt-refinancing plan, the second such plan in two weeks.

The company announced that it would offer for sale a new series of senior notes due 2021 worth $400 million, which would be unsecured, unsubordinated obligations of Rite Aid Corp. and would be guaranteed by the company. The retailer said on June 7 that it would purchase $500 million worth of 7.5% senior notes due 2017.

Proceeds from the offering will be used to redeem $400 million of the company’s outstanding 9.5% senior notes due 2017.

Rite Aid’s debt currently stands at about $6 billion, according to the company’s 2013 annual report.


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