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Giant Food returns as title sponsor of major summer festival

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — For the third consecutive year, grocer Giant Food will be the title sponsor of the annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle to be held in June in Washington D.C.

The summer festival benefits the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore and Capital Area Food Bank and is one of the largest food and music festivals in the country, welcoming more than 100,000 fans annually. This year’s event is scheduled for June 23 and 24.

Located at the National Mall on Pennsylvania Avenue, attendees will enjoy live music, barbecue food, cooking demonstrations and competitions, celebrity appearances, and a variety of unique exhibits and special attractions.

“We are thrilled to be returning as the title sponsor for this year’s Annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle,” said Gordon Reid, president of Giant Food. “Our local communities and barbecue fans from all over look forward to this annual celebration to kick-off summer and we anticipate another successful weekend that will help raise money for USO-Metro and supply plenty of food to the Capital Area Food Bank.”

All Giant Food stores are offering a buy one, get one free admission coupon.

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Target’s revenue, digital sales rise in Q1 results

BY Marianne Wilson

A strong quarterly traffic gain was not enough for Target, whose profit missed Street expectations amid a late spring and higher costs.

The discounter’s net income rose 5.9% to $718 million, or $1.34 a share. On an adjusted basis, it earned $1.32 a share, below expectations of $1.39 a share.

Revenue rose 4.75% to $16.782 billion, topping analysts’ forecasts of $16.5 billion. Digital sales increased 28%, on top of 21% growth in the year-ago period.

Same-store sales rose 3%. Traffic increased 3.7%, its strongest quarterly performance in more than 10 years.

“We’re very pleased that our business continued to generate strong traffic and sales growth in the first quarter, as we made significant progress in support of our long-term strategic initiatives,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target.

Target experienced strong sales growth in its home, essentials and food & beverage categories. But a late spring took a toll on temperature-sensitive categories, but sales have “accelerated rapidly in recent weeks as the weather improved across the country,” Cornell said.

In the first quarter, Target completed 56 remodels and opened seven new stores. It also debuted three new brands, expanded its Restock initiative nationwide, launched its new Drive-Up service in more than 250 locations, and rolled out same-day delivery from more than 700 stores, enabled by its recent acquisition of Shipt.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, commented that stores contributed 1.9 percentage points of growth to Target’s same-store sales growth, making them the lead driver of the retailer’s success.

“In our view, this completely justifies Target’s decision to focus on and invest in stores – a step that was criticized by some at the time it was announced,” he said,
“There is no doubt that investing in stores was an expensive decision, but we believe….it was the right move to make.” For more, click here.

Target reaffirmed its earlier stated expectations for 2018, which anticipate comparable sales growing at a low-single-digit rate and adjusted earnings per share between $5.15 to $5.45.

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Walgreens expands offerings, investments in Puerto Rico

Walgreens' Puerto Rico investment to reach $35M since last year’s hurricanes

BY Antoinette Alexander

With recovery efforts complete across its 108 drug stores in Puerto Rico, Walgreens announced on Wednesday that it is launching an additional investment campaign on the island to expand the offerings in all of its Puerto Rico locations to include, among other features, new patient health rooms, an expanded beauty offering and FedEx OnSite services.

When the expansion of services is complete later this summer, Walgreens expects to have invested $35 million in Puerto Rico since last year’s hurricanes.

Walgreens will reopen on Wednesday its drug store in Toa Baja, its final store to reopen on the island and one of six locations where the company operated a temporary pharmacy while it repaired the store.

“We are very excited to not only rebuild, but continue to innovate in our stores by bringing new features and services to a community where we have provided trusted care for nearly 60 years,” said Alex Gourlay, president of Walgreens. “Our employees’ response in the community over the last year is the perfect example of what it means to work at Walgreens. Whether they were working to re-establish pharmacy services or going door-to-door to hand out bottled water, we could not be more proud of how our employees continued to care for the community. They, along with our customers on the island, deserve this commitment.”

Walgreens is now upgrading all of its Puerto Rico pharmacies to include patient health rooms that allow pharmacists to provide counseling and services such as immunizations in a private setting.

Walgreens also is elevating its beauty offering in all its Puerto Rico stores to include an expanded offering from brands such as No7, Botanics, Soap & Glory and YourGoodSkin. The stores will feature a new beauty consultation area where specially trained beauty consultants are available to help customers discover new offerings. In 10 locations, a marquee beauty experience will offer additional prestige beauty brands.

All Walgreens locations in Puerto Rico also will receive the retailer’s updated brand materials to reflect its new brand, Trusted since 1901, which launched last December. When complete, Puerto Rico will be the first market where all Walgreens locations will reflect the new brand materials.

In addition, Walgreens is working in collaboration with FedEx to offer FedEx OnSite package pickup and drop off services at all Walgreens locations in Puerto Rico.

 

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