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Food Lion announces upgrades in 169 stores

BY Staff Writer

Salisbury, N.C. — Food Lion announced that it has made significant investments in 169 stores in North Carolina and South Carolina and created 500 new jobs. Key markets include Greenville, N.C., Wilmington, N.C., Columbia, S.C., Charleston, S.C., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

To celebrate the launch, Food Lion is holding grand re-opening festivities at the 169 stores, including providing the first 50 customers at each location with a bag of free groceries Nov. 13 through Nov. 16.

"With today’s launch, nearly all Food Lion stores have received these store investments," said Greg Finchum, senior VP of retail operations for Food Lion.

Food Lion’s key investments offer customers lower prices on 6,000 items throughout the store and access to quality store brand products at new lower prices, including the company’s private label products. To further enhance customer savings, Food Lion has added MVP Savings Centers in each of its stores. Customers can scan their MVP Card to receive personalized offers for additional savings on national and private brand products in-store during their shopping trip.

The company also improved its produce as part of its "Fresh From the Field" initiative.

The investments are based on customer feedback and will continue to position the company for future success.

Food Lion also plans to donate $2,000 to local food banks, which will help each agency provide up to 10,000 meals to its constituents.

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Christopher & Banks Selects QuantiSense exception management software

BY Staff Writer

Atlanta — QuantiSense, a provider of retail exception management software, announced that Christopher & Banks Corporation has licensed both QuantiSense Playbooks and QuantiSense Retail Business Intelligence to help automate the management of retail exceptions across its 598 stores in 44 states, as well as to provide the business analytic platform for their enterprise.

“I look forward to sharing the QuantiSense software with our team,” said Lisa Klein, VP of information technology and planning & allocation, Christopher & Banks. “Currently it is very time consuming for our people to both find and manage all of the more important retail exceptions buried in our retail data. There are simply too many exceptions to sift through on a daily basis, so the traditional focus has been on the top SKUs and stores. A more accurate and easier way to drive this process is clearly a job for computer software designed specifically to manage our retail exceptions. Once implemented, our focus will shift to managing the SKUs and stores which the platform identifies as offering the biggest potential returns.”

Added company president and CEO LuAnn Via: “Finding and managing the retail exceptions that matter the most, whether it be on avoiding stock-outs of product in stores where we could be selling more or making adjustments to store size profile curves to better meet what our customer needs is an opportunity for us. The QuantiSense solution is designed to quickly show our people what actions to take on an item/store basis to both enhance and accelerate our allocation, purchasing and planning decisions.”

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Walmart offering earlier Black Friday deals too

BY CSA STAFF

Holiday shopping continues to encroach on Thanksgiving with Walmart the latest retailer to reveal plans that its promotional activity will begin at 6 p.m. with an expanded range of featured items, price guarantees, deeper inventory levels and detailed crowd control procedures.

Most Walmart stores are already open on Thanksgiving Day, but consistent with the trend among other retailers, the company moved up the timing of its promotional activities by several hours. Last year, Walmart began promotional activities at 8 p.m. The company also continues to employ a phased approach to it promotional activity in an effort to spread out shopper traffic and is also enticing employees to work on Thanksgiving Day with a 25% discount.

No one does Black Friday better than Walmart, according to Bill Simon, president and CEO of the retailer’s U.S. division.

"We’re excited to give our customers an incredible Black Friday with shopping hours that will allow them to take advantage of great prices on Thanksgiving night and all weekend long,” Simon said.

The first wave of deals begins at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and is followed by a second wave of deals at 8 p.m. The spacing is designed to keep shoppers at Walmart and is complemented by an enhanced price guarantee first introduced last year that guarantees customers receive the featured items during a one hour period.

Twenty-one items are part of the price guarantee offer this year, compared to only three last year. The stipulation is that shoppers wait in line prior to the 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. price events to secure a wristband which shows they are eligible to purchase the featured item. Shoppers can continue to wait in line or shop, but must return within two hours after the featured items go on sale to pick up merchandise. Walmart said it has increased inventory levels on featured items, but also noted that quantities of the wristbands are limited which signify a shopper is eligible to purchase featured product.

"Some other retailers advertise great deals, but may only have a handful of products available, forcing customers to wait outside the store only to leave disappointed. Not at Walmart,” Simon said. “Most of our stores are open 24 hours so customers can come inside. And we’ve improved this year’s shopping experience so customers can spend less time in line and get what they need without going anywhere else."

Other components of Walmart’s Black Friday strategy involve deeper integration with social media and Walmart.com. For example, Walmart said it will offer what it calls “managers’ specials” from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Black Friday because it has empowered managers to lower prices on key items. However, for details on the categories and products featured customers must “like” their local Walmart’s Facebook page.

Walmart is also looking to appeal to those fond of couch commerce by offering sharp pricing on key items beginning early Thanksgiving Day and throughout Black Friday. The company has also added functionality and content to its site so that visitors can plan their shopping trip at Walmart.com/BlackFriday with maps that show the location of various deals. Visitors will also find tips on gift-giving and videos on Walmart.com and YouTube which provide research on hot products.

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