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April sales rise at Rite Aid

BY Dan Berthiaume

Camp Hill, Pa. – Total drugstore sales at Rite Aid grew 4.9% to $1.99 billion in April 2014 from $1.9 billion the same month in the previous year. Same-stores sales for the month increased 5%.

Rite Aid cited the shift in Easter from March in 2013 to April in 2014 as helping to boost same-store front-end sales.

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GNC takes school-based health & wellness campaign online

BY CSA STAFF

GNC is launching a month-long fundraising and awareness campaign for Run With US! at more than 5,000 GNC stores and online at GNC.com.

Run With US! is a curriculum-based health and wellness program that brings elite track and field athletes and aspiring Olympians into the classroom to demonstrate how exercise and nutrition go hand-in-hand with goal setting and self-esteem.

GNC’s campaign will kick off Saturday, May 3with appearances at approximately 175 GNC stores across the country by athletes from the USA Track & Field Foundation, the sponsor of Run With US! USATF Foundation athletes will also appear in support of Run With US! and the GNC campaign at the Pittsburgh Marathon May 3 and 4. GNC is a sponsor of the Pittsburgh Marathon.

Currently, Run with US! is being used in more than 70,000 classrooms across all 50 states and teaches children that physical activity breaks (aka "brain breaks") help them as students to be more engaged, focused and ready to learn by burning off excess energy.

"GNC’s fundraising campaign for Run With US! is a natural fit with our corporate support for other nonprofit organizations that provide health & wellness programs that benefit both individuals and communities," said chairman, president and CEO Joseph Fortunato. "GNC employees and customers have given generously to many fitness-focused campaigns in the past, and we anticipate strong support during our month-long campaign for the Run With US! program."

GNC’s support of Run With US! falls in line with the company’s ‘Beat Average’ branding campaign and it allows the company to reach out to a young potential consumer base.

“The combination of a classroom-based curriculum and aspiring athletes deeply committed to being their very best is a great way for young people to learn how good exercise and nutrition habits can help them ‘Beat Average’ in their own lives," added Fortunato.

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Blue Nile has fine Q1

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Blue Nile Inc. reported increases in net income and sales during the first quarter of 2014, compared to the same period in the prior year. Net income rose 30% to $1.07 billion, from $832 million.

Net sales increased 6.8% to $103.7 million, compared to $97.1 million. Looking ahead, Blue Nile expects net sales between $108 and $113 million during the second quarter of fiscal 2014 and net sales between $485 and $510 million for fiscal 2014.

"As we announce our financial performance, we remain steadfast in our execution of three key initiatives in 2014," said Harvey Kanter, president and CEO. "These include enhancing the user experience; developing our product lines in bridal and diamond jewelry, as well as fashion pieces through The Designer Collective; and expanding internationally by building our presence in China and growing our established markets. Through these initiatives, we continue on our quest to be nothing less than the worldwide leading retailer of bridal and fine jewelry."

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