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Fresh Market profit falls on higher sales; will open 16-17 new stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Greensboro, N.C. – The Fresh Market Inc. reported decreasing profit in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 even as net sales growth exceeded Wall Street expectations. Net income fell 25% to $16.57 million from $22.12 million in the same period the prior year, while net sales increased 18% to $431 million from $366.63 million and same-store sales climbed 2.5%.

Fresh Market plans to open four new stores in the second quarter and 12 to 13 new stores in the second half of the year, as well as remodel four-to-five stores.

The decline in first quarter net income includes pre-tax store closure and exit costs of $7 million related to previously announced store closings in California and Texas. Fresh Market expects same-store sales growth of 1.5%-3.5% during the fiscal year.

“We are pleased with our first quarter performance, especially given the weather-challenged start to the quarter in the majority of our markets,” said Greg Carlock, president and CEO. “Our positive same-store sales and steady trends in customer traffic throughout the quarter were a result of our ongoing promotional successes and decision to hold prices steady despite higher food costs. During the quarter, we also continued to focus on increasing store penetration in existing markets and opened seven new stores in our core geographies, including Florida, and North Carolina.”

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Marathon Data adds delivery pick-up and drop-off to route planning

BY Dan Berthiaume

Neptune, N.J — Marathon Data Systems, which provides a cloud-based route management platform for companies with a mobile workforce, is launching its new delivery pick-up and drop-off feature. The new feature tracks load to ensure that all vehicles’ load capacity limits — like weight, volume and value — remain within required limits during the entire route, while planning the correct order of pickups and deliveries to best optimize routes.

"Every new feature we add to our software suite is designed to simplify and optimize business operations for our clients no matter which vertical their business is in," said Chris Sullens, president and CEO of Marathon Data Systems. "Our new pick-up and drop-off feature reduces the burden on employees in the field and in the office by actively monitoring loads to ensure they remain in compliance with all local regulations and logistical constraints while enhancing the overall fleet productivity."

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SAP releases rapid cloud deployment solutions

BY Dan Berthiaume

Walldorf, Germany – SAP AG is releasing cloud-based Rapid Deployment solutions designed to simplify deployments and move existing SAP applications to the cloud with best practices in a predictable manner that helps minimize business disruption while new solutions are implemented. SAP Rapid Deployment solutions follow a universally applicable approach for customers deploying across the cloud, on premise or in hybrid landscapes.

The solutions include best practices-based implementation content and risk-reducing methodologies. The assemble-to-order methodology enables businesses to deploy multiple solutions in the cloud or on premise in a way that supports business outcomes through a framework of proven guidelines, content, tools and methods. For example, customers can explore the new SAP user experience in the cloud, on top of running business processes contained with best practices of the SAP ERP Foundation Extension package.

"Businesses that want to move to the cloud often face the difficult task of identifying what information and processes they need and how they can move without disrupting daily operations," said Dr. Bernd Welz, executive VP and global head, solution & knowledge packaging, SAP. "SAP Rapid Deployment solutions make cloud implementations a non-issue. Customers can make a business decision, explore the solution, experience a guided solution implementation and enjoy the merits of the cloud without concerns on how to best implement a new cloud solution, integrating cloud solutions from SAP with on-premise solutions or migrating to SAP Cloud powered by SAP HANA."

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