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McDonald’s testing payment app

BY Staff Writer

New York — McDonald’s is testing a mobile order and payment application in Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Bloomberg News reported.

“We’re always looking at new technologies to make the McDonald’s experience better for our customers,” Lisa McComb, a McDonald’s spokeswoman, said in the report. “We are testing some of these technologies in a few markets, so it’s premature to speculate on the decisions we may make after the tests, but we’re excited to bring a cutting-edge experience in the future to our customers.”

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La-Z-Boy Inc. buying three Nevada locations from independent dealer

BY Marianne Wilson

Monroe, Mich. — La-Z-Boy Inc. announced it intends to acquire three La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores located in the Las Vegas market, with combined revenue of approximately $11 million. Included in the transaction are two stores in Las Vegas, and one in Henderson.

The transaction is a result of the planned retirement of the independent dealer, Steve Hueftle, who opened his first La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries store in 1988, and the mutually agreed-upon decision that transitioning the stores to a subsidiary of La-Z-Boy would be in the best interest of his employees while providing for the greatest stability and continuity of the long-standing business in the Las Vegas market.

The three stores will become part of La-Z-Boy’s retail operation and will bring the total company-owned store count within the retail segment to 96. The deal is expected to close on September 30, 2013, subject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

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Del Monte bolsters pet business with new hire following first quarter results

BY CSA STAFF

Economic issues in Venezuela and fruit supply constraints affected Del Monte’s consumer business for the first quarter ended July 28. The company’s pet business, however, offset volume declines and helped net sales increase 0.3% to $823.9 million from $821.1 million for the prior-year quarter.

While consumer products net sales were $342.9 million, a decrease of 5.5% from $362.8 million in the prior year period, pet product net sales were $481 million, an increase of 5% $458.3 million in the prior year period. The increase in pet products was driven, in part, by the acquisition of Natural Balance.

“The company delivered a solid increase in profitability during the quarter,” said Dave West, CEO of Del Monte Foods. “In pet, the business continues to grow amidst a tough competitive environment. In consumer, we faced challenges driven by fruit supply constraints and the continued economic issues in Venezuela. We remain focused on generating long-term growth by investing behind our brands, as well as driving strong innovation and new go-to-market capabilities. We completed the Natural Balance acquisition and are excited to further expand in the pet independent and specialty channels, consistent with our long-term growth strategy. We also successfully launched Fruit Burst Squeezers, our first consumer products platform innovation since we restaged the Del Monte brand.”

The acquisition of Natural Balance, which operates in high growth channels in which Del Monte is currently underrepresented, complements the company’s current pet products portfolio. The company appointed Giannella Alvarez as the company’s EVP and general manager of the pet business unit in July 2013, after finalizing its acquisition of Natural Balance. She has more than 25 years of U.S. and international consumer products goods experience with premier brands and companies. Most recently, Alvarez was group president and CEO of Barilla Americas. Prior to Barilla, Alvarez held several senior positions at The Coca-Cola Company, Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble.

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