King Kullen implements NuVal nutrition scoring system
BETHPAGE, N.Y. — New York-based supermarket retailer King Kullen announced that it is partnering with NuVal to provide customers with better insight of what foods they should be eating.
NuVal’s nutrition scoring system — in which store items receive a NuVal score from 1 to 100, making it easy for consumers to compare the overall nutrition of the foods they buy at a glance — will be implemented in all of King Kullen’s stores, which are located throughout Long Island and Staten Island.
King Kullen co-president J. Donald Kennedy said, “Through this partnership, NuVal and King Kullen will help customers learn how to live better, more nutritious lifestyles. By putting NuVal scores on our shelves, we’re giving our shoppers the ability to instantly find and ‘trade up’ to more nutritious items within each food category."
JCPenney 4Q comps beat company guidance
PLANO, Texas –JCPenney reported income from continuing operations of $1.09 per share for the quarter ended Jan. 29. Comparable-store sales for the quarter grew 4.5%.
Myron Ullman, III, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "Our performance in 2010 reflects the strides we have made to deliver on our operating goals and position JCPenney as a retail industry leader. This was particularly evident in the fourth quarter when the actions we took during the year — including new growth initiatives and improvements across our merchandise assortments, redefining the jcp.com experience and driving efficiencies across our company — enabled us to achieve sales, market share and profitability growth that surpassed our expectations, and to establish a share buyback plan which will return value to our shareholders."
Comparable-store sales in the fourth quarter increased 4.5% over last year, ahead of the company’s guidance for sales to increase 3% to 4%. Total sales for the quarter increased 2.8%, and continued to be impacted by the company’s exit of its catalog business, JCPenney reported. Internet sales through jcp.com were $495 million in the fourth quarter, increasing 6.7% over last year. Geographically, the best performance was in the Southeast region of the country. Overall, the strongest merchandise results were in men’s apparel, women’s accessories and Sephora inside JCPenney.
For the full year 2010, comparable-store sales increased 2.5%, in-line with the company’s expectations for comparable-store sales to increase low single digits for the year. Total sales increased 1.2% for the year.
The company said it expects comparable-store sales growth in 2011 to be in the low- to mid- single digit range. Total sales are expected to grow in the low-single digit range in 2011. The company noted that its total sales are expected to grow at a slower rate due to the discontinuation of its catalog business and the company’s transition out of its outlet store business over the next two years.
For the full year, earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $2 to $2.10 per share.
Safeway’s EPS above analyst expectations
PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway surprised analysts Thursday morning with fourth-quarter earnings per share of 62 cents, well above a consensus of 57 cents among analysts.
Total sales were up 0.9% to $12.8 billion in the fourth quarter. Higher fuel sales and an increase in the Canadian exchange rate were offset by reduced sales due to store closures and a 0.8% decline in identical-store sales, excluding fuel, the grocer reported. Same-store sales, excluding fuel, declined 0.5%. Fuel sales rose 23%.
Share value on the NYSE was up 14 cents in mid-day trading to $22.19.
"We are pleased with the improving trends in sales in 2010, driven by our price reductions, reinvigorated private-label brands and targeted marketing,” stated Safeway chairman, president and CEO Steve Burd. “All of our trends are improving, and those trends are continuing into the first quarter," he told analysts Thursday morning. “Our sales improvements are coming from our best customers — who shop more often,” Burd said. That suggested customer retention is on the rise, he added.
Identical-store sales improved each quarter and improved shrink control was a fourth-quarter highlight, Burd said. “We think we did a very good job this year of managing cost but it was hidden from view by deflation,” he said. Burd projected price inflation of more than 1% going forward, and wouldn’t be surprised if inflation eclipsed 2%. Right now, he said, virtually all retailers are passing those price increases along to the consumer.
Safeway plans to issue a press release announcing earnings guidance for March 8.