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BJ’s Wholesale announces team member award recipients

BY CSA STAFF

BJ’s Wholesale Club has announced the recipients of its Team Member Awards at the its annual Team Member Conference held this month in Orlando, Fla. The awards are presented to team members who have shown exemplary achievement throughout the past year.

“It’s wonderful to be able to acknowledge those Team Members each year who have gone above and beyond and have truly embraced the mission and goals of the company,” said Laura Sen, CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club. “These awards are a way to show our appreciation for all they’ve done for our Members and Clubs.”

The General Manager of the Year Award was presented to Paul Marcoccia of the Clermont, Fla., club. Marcoccia was recognized for the high standards he has set at his club, which was demonstrated by the club’s increase in sales.

The Merchant of the Year Award for General Merchandise was presented to Ryan Phillips. Phillips started with BJ’s Wholesale Club in 2007 and in the past year exceeded his sales plan and profit goals. His success came after he developed a clear strategy around his assortment, presentation and promotional execution for the areas of Lawn Care, Winter Supplies, Luggage and Juvenile.

The Merchant of the Year Award for Food was presented to Dominic Viglione and Gary Kosofsky. These two buyers, nicknamed “the dynamic duo” not only showed an impressive increase in sales, but also outstanding dedication and teamwork, according to the company.

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GNC says bad press took a bite out of Q1 results

BY CSA STAFF

GNC’s profit slid in the first quarter, but although the company said that severe weather during January and February affected its financial results, it also pointed to an “unusually significant amount” of negative media as a driving factor for the dip.

“January and February were affected by severe weather across large parts of the country, resulting in a delayed start to the workout season,” said president and CEO Joe Fortunato. “Recent trends have also been affected by an unusually significant amount of negative media, and year-over-year sales hurdles in the third-party diet and pre-workout categories. Based on our current information it looks like these recent trends will persist for the next few quarters.”

Fortunato did not cite specifics regarding the negative media publicity, but news outlets that include NPR and BBC have published in recent months articles about dietary supplements getting recalled or questioning their efficacy.

GNC’s net income for the quarter dipped to $69.9 million from $72.6 million in the year-ago period.

Retail revenue grew 3.1% to $509 million, compared to $493.5 million for first quarter 2013, driven primarily by strength from the e-commerce sector. Consolidated revenue edged up 1.9% to $677.3 million. Same-store sales decreased 0.7%.

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Supervalu to acquire Rainbow Stores in the Twin Cities

BY CSA STAFF

Supervalu, the owner of Cub Foods, along with four Twin Cities-based independent grocery retailers, have each entered into definitive agreements to acquire select Rainbow Foods grocery stores. In total, they agreed to acquire 18 Rainbow grocery stores, including 13 Rainbow pharmacies and three Rainbow liquor stores in Minnesota.

Jerry’s Enterprises, Haug Enterprises, Lund Food Holdings and Radermacher Enterprises have joined Supervalu in executing these agreements. Once completed, the acquired stores are intended to be operated by Supervalu, a Cub franchisee or an independent retailer as 10 new CUB Foods locations, two new Byerly’s locations and six locations are expected to be operated under the Rainbow banner.

Of the 18 stores, Supervalu will have 100% ownership in three Cub stores, majority ownership in two Cub stores, minority ownership in three Cub stores and 100% ownership in two Rainbow stores as well as 100% ownership interest in eleven pharmacies. Roundy’s will be selling these 18 stores for approximately $65 million plus inventory. Supervalu’s aggregate purchase price across its multiple purchase agreements is approximately $35 million in cash plus the cost of inventory that will be purchased at the closing of the Rainbow store sale. In addition, as part of the transactions, Supervalu will assume certain lease obligations and certain multi-employer pension liabilities related to the stores being acquired by Supervalu.

“Supervalu is thrilled to participate in this consortium of retailers that is acquiring Rainbow stores,” said Sam Duncan, Supervalu’s president and CEO. “We’re especially pleased that highly respected independent retailers here in the Twin Cities are also acquiring Rainbow stores. These independent retailers are great customers to Supervalu who understand the importance of being a strong community grocer.”

Cub Foods consists of a combination of corporate-owned and franchised locations. Following the close of the transactions, Cub Foods will total 66 stores in the Twin Cities and 77 stores banner-wide (including 76 stores in Minnesota and one store in Illinois). As part of acquiring these stores and with seasonal employment needs, Cub Foods expects to make more than 1,000 job offers in the coming months.

“For nearly five decades, Cub Foods has been a trusted grocer and innovator in the Twin Cities,” said Mike Stigers, Cub Foods president. “This community has always been important to us and it is our continued desire to deliver great products, excellent service and an incredible overall value in the grocery store. With more stores under the Cub Foods brand and being serviced out of our distribution center in Hopkins, we will be better positioned to improve our efficiencies and explore ways to bring even stronger value and price competitiveness to our shoppers going forward.”

The transactions are subject to customary closing conditions and are expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

Supervalu serves customers across the United States through a network of 3,339 stores made up of 1,819 independent stores serviced primarily by the company’s food distribution business, 1,330 Save-A-Lot stores, of which 948 are operated by licensee owners; and 190 traditional retail grocery stores.

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