FINANCE

Fresh & Easy in Earth Day promotion

BY CSA STAFF

El Segundo, Calif. To commemorate Earth Day next Wednesday, Fresh & Easy said it will give away free canvas bags to consumers who spend more than $10. The chain is using the promotion to encourage shoppers to switch to reusable bags and lessen the impact on the environment.

The chain also carries a line of canvas reusable bags, available at different sizes and different price points.

The free bag campaign supports the chain’s overall commitment to the environment. Fresh & Easy only sells energy-efficient light bulbs, uses LED lighting in external signs and freezer cases, and offers customer recycling in every store. The chain also recycles or reuses all of its display packaging, sending the majority back through its distribution center.

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The bleeding has slowed

BY CSA STAFF

The market may have reacted favorably last week to news that Target reported a better-than-expected 6.3% decline in March same-store sales, but don’t break out the champagne just yet. The company wisely planned conservatively for March, given discouraging economic conditions and the shifting of Easter sales into April with the late arrival of the holiday. In essence, the company under-promised and over-delivered, to the extent that a same-store sales decline of 6.3% on top of a prior-year same-store sales declined of 4.4% can be regarded as over-delivering.

“Our guests continue to be cautious, but we have begun to see encouraging signs in the operating results of both of our business segments,” said Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel. “In light of the Easter shift and recent trends, we expect our April reported comparable-store sales results to be essentially flat to last year.”

Relative strength was seen in non-discretionary categories such as food, household product, baby and health care, while home and apparel continues to suffer with declining sales. When those categories begin to show some strength and Target reports positive monthly same-store sales a celebration will be in order, but don’t be fooled by April’s results, where the real possibility exists for the company to exceed its guidance given the cautious approach to its sales outlook.

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New leadership named at Stop & Shop

BY CSA STAFF

QUINCY, Mass. Stop & Shop Supermarket has named Paula Price as CFO and Paula Labian as EVP human resources.

As CFO, Price will be responsible for the Finance, Strategy and Planning, and IT functions at Stop & Shop and Giant Food. Most recently, she served as SVP, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer for CVS/Caremark.

As EVP human resources, Paula Labian will play a key role in positioning Stop & Shop and Giant Food for the future. For the past six years, she served as chief human resources officer (CHRO) and global VP human resources for Whole Foods Market.

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