OPERATIONS

Family Dollar renews merchandising contract with SPAR Group

BY Dan Berthiaume

Charlotte, N.C. – Family Dollar Stores Inc. has renewed its in-store merchandising services contract with SPAR Group Inc. for two years. SPAR Group has been servicing Family Dollar Stores since 2012 across more than 8,000 locations.

SPAR Group has completed various merchandising service programs including schematic resets, revisions, item cut-ins, returns, audits and recalls across nearly all categories including grocery, pet, party, household & chemical and paper goods.

"It has been a pleasure working with the SPAR Group team to date,” said Kelley Cooper, director of merchandising initiatives for Family Dollar Stores. “Their organization and ability to service the vast majority of our locations quickly and efficiently was key in our decision to renew our contract."

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Meijer launches omnichannel fashion campaign

BY Dan Berthiaume

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Meijer is launching a major initiative to upgrade its fashion offerings. The omnichannel initiative includes regional advertising in national fashion magazines, the distribution of a spring Look Book, and the use of social media, including Instagram, as well as a new website, meijerstyle.com.

Meijer’s style team is led by Lynn Hempe, the retailer’s group VP of softlines, and includes her buying team and input from fashion advisor, Mariana Keros,

"Restyling our fashion offerings is not only great for our customers, who are searching for on-trend fashion items at the right price, but it also enhances the Meijer promise of a one-stop shopping experience," said Peter Whitsett, executive VP of merchandising and marketing at Meijer. "We knew our investment was sound over the holiday season when apparel realized a nearly 20% increase in sales."

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FINANCE

Stater Bros. net income soars in Q1

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Bernadino, Calif. – Stater Bros. Holdings Inc. reported a substantial increase in net income, for the first quarter of fiscal 2014. Net income more than doubled to $11.1 million from $5.4 million in the same period a year earlier. Net sales rose almost 2% to $984 million, to $968.7 million.

Same-store sales grew 1.4%. Jack H. Brown, chairman, president and CEO of Stater Bros., credited the supermarket retailer’s maintaining of a low-price market strategy during difficult economic times with boosting financial performance.

"During the extended economic downtown, we have sacrificed gross margin by not fully passing on the costs of inflation, which has allowed us to keep our prices low for our valued customers,” said Brown. “In addition, in order to continue to invest in our customers, we are constantly looking for opportunities where we can reduce our costs in areas such as improving our shrink or product loss, and improving our efficiencies at both our stores and in our distribution facility.”

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