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Gen Y’s Eco-Attitude

BY CSA STAFF

Recent research tells us that, while the “Y” generation cares about the environment, it’s pretty middle-of-the-road about how greening impacts their purchase decisions.

According to the latest Maritz Poll, “Environmentally Friendly Retail Marketing—All Hype or Consumer Preference?,” Gen-Y shoppers (defined as being between the ages of 18 and 30 for the purposes of this survey) are split down the middle on influence of retailers’ environmental policies on their spending habits.

Of the 1,062 Gen-Y shoppers surveyed, less than half (46%) said they would shop at a retailer more if the retailer were to go green. The research also revealed:

Fifty-four percent said green doesn’t influence their buying decisions;

Nearly half (47%) said they would pay more for environmentally friendly services, products and brands;

Out of that half, the vast majority (77%) cited their concern for the environment as the reason they would pay more—with other qualifiers, such as “it’s the right thing to do” (21%) or “so that people know I’m environmentally aware” (2%).

According to Gloria Park Bartolone, division VP of St. Louis-based Maritz Research’s Retail Group, it was important to find out—particularly with all the hype surrounding environmental issues—what kind of influence green messaging had on customer loyalty, especially Gen Y.

“When it comes to determining marketing messages to reach Gen Y, this poll revealed some interesting facts for retailers,” she said. “While the majority wasn’t impacted either way by a store’s environmental stance, you can’t ignore that 46% of shoppers said they’d spend more with a retailer that was environmentally friendly. The percentage lends credibility to environmental messaging, which is only likely to gain more momentum with consumers in the future.”

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Winn-Dixie team honored for turnaround

BY CSA STAFF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The team that lead Winn-Dixie Stores’ successful turnaround initiative is being honored by the Turnaround Management Association for the best ‘Mega Company Turnaround’ for 2007. Comprised of financial experts from The Blackstone Group, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Smith Hulsey & Busey, the team helped Winn-Dixie regain the market share and profits it started to lose in the mid 1990s and early 2000s to competitors Publix and Wal-Mart.

Winn-Dixie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2005 after reporting  year-to-date losses of $552.8 million or $3.93 per share of common stock and a decline of 4.9% in identical-store sales in its second fiscal quarter over the same period in 2004.

 

Despite the difficulty of achieving a succesful turnaround, Winn-Dixie began its reorganization effort, while still continuing to operate its core business and preserving jobs. According to the Turnaround Management Association, it created new common stock for five classes of unsecured creditors, with recoveries ranging from about 96% to 53%. The company emerged from bankruptcy on Nov. 21, 2006.

For its fiscal year ended June 27, Winn-Dixie reported adjusted EBITDA of  $85.9 million compared to a loss of $27.8 million last year and an identical-store sales increase of 1.6% 

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Sears ends deal with maternity retailer

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA Sears and Mothers Work, the world’s leading maternity apparel retailer, will not be renewing their agreement, Mothers Work announced today. Under their current agreement, Mothers Works operates the maternity apparel department in 502 Sears stores through the sale of its Two Hearts Maternity branded merchandise.

Mothers Work said it expects its partnership with Sears to end on June 20, 2008, when it current deal with the company is expected to expire.

Rebecca Matthias, president and ceo of Mothers Work, noted, “While we are disappointed about the end of our relationship with Sears, we feel the decision not to proceed with a renewal is in the best interest of our stockholders since we were unable to reach terms on a renewal which would be favorable for Mothers Work and our stockholders. “

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