STORE SPACES

Cuhaci & Peterson to remodel three Winn-Dixie supermarkets

BY Staff Writer

Orlando, Fla. — Cuhaci & Peterson Architects LLC said Thursday it has been awarded contracts to remodel three Winn-Dixie Supermarkets in the Orlando, Fla. area.

The projects include a 35,000-sq.-ft. supermarket in Key West, a 45,000-sq.-ft. store in Pembroke Pines and a 45,000-sq.-ft. store in Apopka.

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Bed Bath & Beyond last year’s profits

BY CSA STAFF

UNION, N.J.— Bed Bath & Beyond dominates the home and housewares retail space by consistently reporting strong revenue and earnings growth, and this quarter was no exception.

The company reported net earnings of 72 cents per diluted share ($180.6 million) in the fiscal first quarter ended May 28, an increase of approximately 38% versus net earnings of 52 cents per diluted share ($137.6 million) in the same quarter a year ago.

The company reported that net sales for the fiscal first quarter of 2011 were approximately $2.11 billion, an increase of approximately 9.7% from net sales of approximately $1.923 billion reported in the fiscal first quarter of 2010. Net sales beat Wall Street expectations, which called for $2.07 billion in net sales. Comparable-store sales in the fiscal first quarter of 2011 increased by approximately 7%, compared with an increase of approximately 8.4% in last year’s fiscal first quarter.

Bed, Bath & Beyond said it now expects earnings per diluted share for the second quarter of 2011to be approximately 77 cents to 82 cents for the fiscal second quarter of 2011 and to increase by approximately 15% to 20% for all of fiscal 2011.

As of May 28, the company had a total of 1,142 stores.

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Rite Aid trims losses as loyalty program, new formats drive same-store sales

BY CSA STAFF

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Sales may have been flat overall, but a closer look revealed there was a lot to be positive about in Rite Aid’s fiscal first quarter 2012 earnings, as the company managed significant expense improvement and stronger same-store sales growth. Bottom line: Rite Aid narrowed its losses considerably, and that ain’t all expense control.

Driving the growth in same-store sales is Rite Aid’s Wellness+ loyalty card program, which company president and CEO John Standley told analysts during a June 23 earnings call, currently boasts nearly 40 million members. Card members accounted for 67% of front-end sales during the quarter, Standley said, and 62% of total scripts.

Importantly, Standley explained, Wellness+ card members are emerging as Rite Aid’s most valuable customers. Gold and silver members are shopping both sides of the store, he said, and 50% of these customers are visiting the stores every week, “so we’re getting frequency.”

In addition, Wellness+ members also have higher basket rings than nonmembers, and gold and silver members have higher basket rings than nonmembers. Other highlights during the quarter included expansion of the company’s new Wellness store format. Currently, eight stores are in operation, with the most recent openings in Mechanicsburg, Pa. — a suburb of Harrisburg, Pa., (click here to see photos of the store) — and Newport Beach, Calif. During the call, Standley said the company was planning to open another Wellness store in the Harrisburg, Pa., area.

CFO, chief administrative officer and SVP Frank Vitrano said the company would renovate about 500 stores this year with components of various new formats, including the Wellness, Value and co-branded Rite Aid/Save-a-Lot stores, which the chain operates under an agreement with supermarket operator Supervalu. Vitrano said the company still was working through the overall profitability of the co-branded stores.

While only some initial data were available, sales at the Wellness stores were trending about 100 to 200 basis points higher than the rest of the chain, Vitrano explained. Sales at the co-branded stores were up 68% year-over-year, and sales at the Value stores were up 140 basis points.

Overall, first quarter 2012 sales at Rite Aid were $6.4 billion, flat compared with first quarter 2011 sales, according to earnings data released Thursday.

The 4,700-store chain had a loss of $63.1 million during the quarter, which ended May 28, compared with $73.7 million in first quarter 2011. Front-end same-store sales were flat, compared with last year, while pharmacy sales increased by 1.1%. Prescriptions filled increased by 0.4%, and prescriptions accounted for 68.7% of total sales. Over fiscal year 2012, the company said it expects sales of $25.7 to $26.1 billion and losses between $370 and $560 million.

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