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NRF speaks out in support of new port contracts

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation issued a statement on Tuesday in support of the International Longshoreman’s Association’s approval of a new long-term master labor contract covering port terminal operations along the East and Gulf Coast ports.

NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said on behalf of the association that “Today’s vote ratifying a new, long-term master labor contract is welcomed news to the nation’s retailers, who have been on pins-and-needles for the past year due to the possibility of a supply chain disruption along the 14 East and Gulf Coast container ports.

“The nation’s ports are our economic lifeline to the world,” added Gold. “Today’s vote will bring much-needed certainty and efficiency to East and Gulf Coast port operations and secure the United States’ position in the global supply chain.”

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Family Dollar Q2 profit edges up; opening 500 stores this year

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Matthews, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores reported Wednesday that net income for the quarter ended March 2 edged up to $140.1 million, compared with $136.4 million in the year-ago period.

Sales increased 17.7% to $2.89 billion from $2.46 billion, and same-store sales rose 2.9%.

“Following a difficult December, we were pleased with our sales results in early January,” said Howard Levine, chairman and CEO. However, he added that as the company moves into the second half, “our discretionary sales continue to be challenged by both the financial pressures facing our customers as well as unseasonably cold spring weather. Given this uncertainty, we have adjusted our plans to reflect lower than anticipated Home and Apparel sales as our customers’ discretionary spend is expected to remain constrained.”

Still, Levine said, the company remains on track to open approximately 500 new stores in 2013 and close 30 to 50. CapEx is forecasted to range from $650 million to $700 million to support new store openings, store renovations, merchandising initiatives, and expansion of the Family Dollar supply chain.

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Macy’s heats up the grilling competition

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Macy’s has launched a new contest to find America’s best griller. Customers can enter the "Macy’s Great American Grilling Guru" contest via Facebook.com/macys from April 9 through April 27. Six finalists will be pitted against each other in a "Sizzle Showdown" on June 8 in Atlanta. One winner will earn the coveted title of America’s Greatest Grilling Guru and receive the grand prize: $10,000 and a trip to Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks in New York City.

"Firing up the grill and sharing a meal with family has long been a favorite American pastime, and Macy’s Great American Grilling Guru provides us a platform to celebrate this time-honored tradition," said Amy Kule, group VP Macy’s parade and entertainment group. "This promotion will help kickoff Macy’s American Icons campaign by giving customers coast-to-coast an opportunity to show off their best grilling recipes, with the winner to receive a trip to Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, one of the most all-American events that we enjoy as a nation."

Six finalists will win a trip to Macy’s Lenox Square in Atlanta, where they will compete in the Sizzle Showdown hosted by Tracye Hutchins, co-anchor of CBS’s "Better Mornings Atlanta," and judged by Macy’s Culinary Council chefs Cat Cora, Marc Forgione and Stephanie Izard, three of our country’s top culinary talents. After two rounds of competition, the Macy’s Culinary Council chefs will select the winner, who will receive the grand prize of $10,000 and a trip to the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks in New York City where he or she will be revealed as America’s Greatest Grilling Guru. Those who cannot attend the Sizzle Showdown can still share in the fun through video and images of the competition that will be captured and available on macys.com/culinarycouncil after the event.

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