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IKEA Welcomes In-Store Hostel

BY CSA STAFF

IKEA in Norway is making customers feel right at home by offering them a bed at night and some breakfast, too.

The furniture giant in Furuset, Norway—located in the outskirts of Oslo—is offering free overnight lodging to shoppers as part of a promotional effort to become a temporary in-store hostel.

IKEA shoppers in Furuset, Norway now have the unique opportunity to stay overnight in the store.

“A large number of beds are not being used at night, and we think it is nice to be able to offer people free accommodation—especially at the end of the summer when a lot of people have little left of their holiday budgets,” company spokesman Frode Ullebust said.

From July 23 to July 27, shoppers can spend the night in special rooms set up in the store, with a choice of a bridal suite, complete with hanging chandelier and a round bed, or a luxury suite that includes breakfast in bed.

Others can share a bunk in the dormitory, while parents and children can stay in a family room.

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Children can stay in colorful and vibrant bunk bed rooms.

Guests, which were required to make reservations through the store directly or on its Web site, can bring back souvenirs. The company will provide bathrobes with the IKEA Hostel logo, slippers and bed sheets for guests to take home afterward.

The stay also includes a free breakfast and dinner. And to make getting to the location easier, IKEA is offering a free bus from Oslo to its Furuset location.

Ullebust said the store will be open as usual and the promotion shouldn’t affect the shopping experience of its regular customers.

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Living room areas are also available for in-store hostel guests.

“However, you may end up meeting our guests in the bedroom department from 10 p.m., and perhaps see a few sleepyheads in their beds when the department store opens in the morning,” Ullebust said.

Customers might also run into IKEA’s own hostel staff, which will be busy making the beds and getting ready for the company’s nighttime experience.

Ullebust said the company expects the promotion to have a positive impact on IKEA’s in-store experience.

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The bridal suite is for romantic couples. It comes with a hanging chandelier and a round bed.

“We are hoping for a lot of interest,” Ullebust said. “We expect even more smiles than usual on the week of the IKEA-hostel.”

The company said that if the run is successful, it would consider increasing the number of days for the promotion next year and possibly launch several other IKEA hostels in Norway.

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Change on Safeway’s agenda

BY CSA STAFF

PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway plans to launch an online tool that will allow loyalty cardholders to view the nutritional content of past purchases, the company said last week.

Foodflex, an innovative online nutrition tool available exclusively to Safeway Club Card members, provides personalized food and nutrition information and offers alternative food choices, the company said in a statement. The program allows a household to quickly and easily view their grocery purchases, benchmark their performance against USDA guidelines, identify healthier food alternatives in specific grocery categories and create a personalized shopping list to achieve their nutritional goals. 

“Foodflex helps them take a look at the foods they bring home for their families and make changes as they are necessary,” Safeway spokeswoman Teena Massingill said in a recent interview with Supermarket News. “If you’re trying to cut your sodium, for instance, you can learn through Foodflex how much sodium what you’re normally eating contains and adjust it by taking the suggestions Foodflex offers. No one else is doing anything like this.”

The launch of Foodflex, planned for January, will be supported in stores, online and through the company’s circulars.

Meanwhile, Supermarket News reported that Safeway’s cfo has reiterated that the company would consider developing new formats once it has completed upgrading its store base to the Lifestyle concept over the next two years.

“If there is profit in a small-format vehicle, we could easily duplicate it, though it would be a challenge to make a small box work, so the jury is still out on that,” cfo Robert Edwards said at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer & Retail Conference.

When asked for his opinion on Tesco’s Fresh & Easy stores, Edwards said, “Our early read is, it looks more like a price vehicle than a fresh vehicle.”

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Ahold names Rishton ceo

BY CSA STAFF

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands Ahold Friday announced the appointment of John Rishton as president and ceo. Rishton has been in the role of acting president and ceo since July.

Ahold also announced the appointment of Kimberly Ross, currently deputy cfo, as cfo, succeeding Rishton. She has been nominated by the supervisory board for appointment to the Ahold corporate executive board and will assume her responsibilities as acting executive board member with immediate effect.

Rene Dahan, chairman of Ahold’s supervisory board, said, “After careful consideration, the supervisory board unanimously reached the conclusion that John is the right individual to lead Ahold into the future. John has the skills, capabilities, and knowledge of Ahold, necessary to drive Ahold’s strategy for sustainable profitable growth. I am delighted he has accepted the role.”

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