OPERATIONS

Bottom Dollar Food to close all 66 stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Salisbury, N.C. – Bottom Dollar Food will close its 66 store locations in the greater Philadelphia and greater Pittsburgh markets by Jan. 15 and retire the banner's operations. Upon the closing of stores, Bottom Dollar Food will offer every associate severance, and eligible associates will be offered career transition services.

In November 2014, Delhaize Group, the parent company of Bottom Dollar Food, announced that it had entered into a transaction to sell Bottom Dollar Food's 66 store locations and associated lease liabilities to Aldi Inc., and that the transaction would close in first quarter 2015.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Apple leads in Christmas week device activations

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco, Calif. – Apple accounted for 51% of the new device activations worldwide during the week leading up to and including Christmas Day (Dec. 19 – 25). According to data from mobile analytics provider Flurry, Christmas Day typically sees the highest number of new device activations and app installs each year, with 2014 following the trend.

Samsung held the number two position with 18% of new device activations, and Microsoft (Nokia) rounded out the top three with a 5.8% share, mostly for Lumia devices. After the top three manufacturers, the device market becomes increasingly fragmented with only Sony and LG commanding more than a 1% share of new activations on Christmas Day. Up-and-comers Xiaomi, Huawei, and HTC all had less than 1% share on Christmas Day. Flurry said that one reason for these manufacturers not doing well on Christmas is their popularity in Asian markets, where Dec. 25 is not the biggest gift-giving day of the year.

For every Samsung devices that was activated, Apple activated 2.9 devices. For every Microsoft Lumia device activated, Apple activated 8.8 devices.

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News

Rite Aid sales surge 5.3%

BY CSA STAFF

Rite Aid Corp. says sales at stores open at least a year grew 5.3% in December, boosted again by strengthening pharmacy sales.

Same-store salesat the Camp Hill, Pa.-based retailergrew 5.3% to $2.2. billion, beating analyst consensus of 4.5% and reflecting a 1.7% increase in front-end same-store sales and a 7.3% increase in pharmacy same-store sales.

"The front-end comp of 1.7% outpaced consensus of 1.2% and represents the strongest two-year trend since last January," noted Ed Kelly, Credit Suisse research analyst. "Flu-related OTC helped and Wellness remodels are likely a tailwind whose impact could ramp over time as a higher proportion of the store base is remodeled. The pharmacy comp beat as well, as sales rose 7.3% vs. consensus of 6.3%, although generic impact markedly decelerated sequentially due to the lapping of Cymbalta."

Prescription count at comparable stores increased 5.1% over the prior-year period. Prescription sales accounted for 64.8% of drug store sales, and third party prescription sales represented 97.6% of pharmacy sales.

Same-store sales for the 43-week period ended Dec. 27, 2014 increased 4.3% over the prior-year period. Front-end same-store sales increased 1% while pharmacy same-store sales increased 5.9%. Prescription count at comparable stores increased 3.6% over the prior-year period.

Total drug store sales for the 43 weeks period increased 3.9% with sales of $21.8 billion. Prescription sales represented 68.6% of total drug store sales, and third party prescription sales represented 97.5% of pharmacy sales.

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