FINANCE

Fresh & Easy Reports Same-Store Sales Up

BY CSA STAFF

Cheshunt, England Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy said last week that comp-store sales for the company’s U.S. operation, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, are progressing strongly, according to Supermarket News.

However, Leahy said Fresh & Easy expects to open only 500,000 sq. ft. of new selling space during the second half, down from earlier projections due to the U.S. recession, citing “you can’t just buck a downturn of that magnitude, the report said.

Leahy also noted that once the U.S. economy turns around, the company plans to step up its growth rate.

Last week, Tesco reported that its third-quarter sales for the 13 weeks that ended Nov. 22 rose 11.7%, including 5.8% growth in the United Kingdom and 28.1% in its international division.

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Best Buy: Americans concerned about buying the right gift

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS A recent Best Buy nationwide survey found that three-quarters of Americans, while concerned about price, say that getting someone the right gift is their number one priority. In addition, when it comes to consumer electronics gifts, customers say assurance and advice are top priorities when they are making purchase decisions.

The Best Buy survey shows one out of four consumers (25%), believe the right gift this year is consumer electronics, and price isn’t all that drives their decisions. When buying electronics gifts, shoppers want a retailer that offers a good return policy (85%), post purchase technical support (80%), price matching for their purchases (79%) and knowledgeable salespeople to provide good advice (76%).

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Whole Foods add new board members

BY CSA STAFF

AUSTIN, Texas Whole Foods Market announced that it recently has added four new members to its board of directors, bringing the size of the board to ten.

The new board members include Stephanie Kugelman, vice chairman emeritus of Young & Rubicam Inc. and chairman of A Second Opinion strategic consulting group, and Kip Tindell, chairman and ceo of The Container Store. Additionally, Jonathan Seiffer, partner, and Jonathan Sokoloff, managing partner, both of Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. (LGP), have also joined the board in connection with LGP’s recent preferred stock investment in Whole Foods Market. Whole Foods Market closed its sale of preferred stock to LGP today.

“These four talented leaders bring unique wisdom and complement the experience of our current board members,” said John Mackey, chairman, ceo, and co-founder of Whole Foods Market. “In this challenging economic environment, we feel fortunate to have this fresh addition of intellectual capital.”

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