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Hispanic business group honors Kroger

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI — Kroger has become a member of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Million Dollar Club. The USHCC Million Dollar Club recognizes corporations that are leaders in supplier diversity and integrating Hispanic business enterprises into their strategic sourcing and procurement process. Corporations qualify by spending between $25 million to more than $500 million with Hispanic suppliers in the previous year.

This is Kroger’s third consecutive year of qualifying for membership.

"Kroger is honored to be selected for membership in the Million Dollar Club," Kroger’s chief diversity officer Reuben Shaffer said. "Our partnerships with diverse suppliers help us meet our customers’ needs and create employment opportunities in the local communities we serve."

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ShopperTrak: September 2012

BY CSA STAFF

Total U.S. shopper traffic in retail stores and malls for September 2012

The end of back-to-school shopping in the U.S. led to a significant drop in foot traffic this past month. September saw a 13.1% decrease in retail foot traffic compared to August. However, this past month continued a streak of year-over-year improvements. September 2012 foot traffic increased 12.9% when compared with the same month last year.

Back-to-school time is the second-largest shopping season of the year. The promotions to buy new gear and apparel for the kids drew shoppers to stores and malls over the long Labor Day weekend. However, once the sales ended in early September, shoppers cooled down their purchasing for a bit.

Retail traffic revived again thanks to release of the iPhone 5. Beginning Sept. 21, the latest iteration of Apple’s flagship product led shoppers to malls and electronics stores in droves. Foot traffic in electronics stores has seen a general decline due to a movement toward online comparison and shopping. The iPhone 5 release demonstrates big events still compel shoppers to visit brick-and-mortar stores to (literally) get their hands on the new product.

Looking forward to the last quarter of the year, ShopperTrak predicts that national retail sales, when compared to the same period in 2011, will rise 3.3% during the holiday season (the months of November and December). Also, retail foot traffic will increase 2.8% during that time. In October, the month leading up to the holiday season, ShopperTrak expects a slow but continually improving economy will positively affect year-over-year foot traffic.

ShopperTrak’s data and analyses in this article are based on counting billions of shoppers in more than 50,000 locations across 74 countries. ShopperTrak is a leading retail technology company that anonymously counts people, analyzes data and identifies opportunities to increase revenue for retailers, mall developers and entertainment venues. Find out more at http://www.shoppertrak.com.

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Anheuser-Busch making a difference for military families

BY CSA STAFF

The Budweiser brand raised $2.5 million for military families during Major League Baseball’s recently ended regular season as part of a program called, "Walk-off a Hero."

The program’s name stems from a game-winning phenomenon that occurs in baseball when the home team scores a run during its last at bat to win a game in dramatic fashion. There were 205 such "walk off" wins during regular season play and each time one occurred Budweiser provided a scholarship to a family through the Folds of Honor Foundation, an organization devoted to providing scholarships to families of fallen or injured soldiers.

"Walk-offs are one of the most exciting ways to win in baseball," said Rob McCarthy, vp of Budweiser at Anheuser-Busch. "Knowing that each walk-off this season will help support and honor our wounded or fallen heroes and their families made each walk-off even more exciting and meaningful."

For each of the 205 walk-off wins during the 2012 regular season, Budweiser donated $5,000 to FHF.  In addition to the "Walk-off a Hero" program, Budweiser contributed a portion of all sales from May 20 through July 7, raising a total of $2.5 million for FHF.

"Thanks to Budweiser and the ‘Walk-off a Hero’ program, we can now provide 205 more deserving military families with educational scholarships and incredible opportunities," said Major Dan Rooney, president and founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation. "The $4.5 million that Budweiser has contributed to our Foundation over the past two years has helped us bring these families healing, hope and the opportunity to realize their dreams."

Budweiser presented the donation to Rooney and FHF on October 3, in front of 42,509 people at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Rooney, a former F-16 fighter pilot who served three combat tours in Iraq, founded FHF in 2007 after an inspiring moment aboard a commercial flight. As the plane landed, the pilot announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have an American hero on board – Corporal Brock Bucklin. And his twin brother, Corporal Brad Bucklin, is accompanying him home from Iraq. As a sign of respect, please remain seated while Corporal Bucklin’s family receives him in his final homecoming."

Rooney watched through the window of the plane as the flag-draped casket was lowered. He saw a family waiting for Brock, and a four-year old boy waiting for his father. The tragic homecoming inspired Rooney to create the Folds of Honor Foundation. To learn more about FHF, visit www.foldsofhonor.org.

 

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