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OfficeMax COO lands at A&P; grocer’s losses widen in Q1

BY CSA STAFF

Montvale, N.J. After OfficeMax announced Thursday that its COO Sam Martin had departed the company, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. said Friday that it has nabbed Martin as its new president and CEO.

Martin replaces Ron Marshall, who has left A&P after roughly five months in the job. Martin had been COO at OfficeMax since 2007.

After naming its new chief, the grocery chain also reported its first quarter results, posting a fiscal first-quarter loss of $122 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $65 million.

Sales dropped to $2.56 billion from $2.79 billion. Same-store sales decreased 7.2%.

The company said it is launching a turnaround initiative to generate revenue, lower costs and raise capital, including pursuing sale-leaseback transactions and selling noncore assets.

“The board and the company’s major shareholders, Tengelmann and Yucaipa, have been instrumental in developing what I believe is the right turnaround strategy for A&P,” said Christian Haub, executive chairman for A&P. “As we moved to the implementation and execution stage of this comprehensive operational and revenue-driven turnaround, the board determined that the company needed a leader at the helm with the skill set Sam Martin possesses.”

Current OfficeMax CEO Sam Duncan has credited Martin with a key role in the turnaround of the office supplies retailer. He is no stranger to the grocery sector as, prior to joining OfficeMax, Martin was COO for Wild Oats Markets through the company’s acquisition by Whole Foods. His experience also includes senior management roles at ShopKo Stores and Fred Meyer.

A&P operates 429 stores in eight states and the District of Columbia under the following trade names: A&P; Waldbaum’s; Pathmark; Pathmark Sav-a-Center; Best Cellars; The Food Emporium; Super Foodmart; Super Fresh; and Food Basics.

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Safeway quarterly results in line with expectations

BY CSA STAFF

PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway reported net income of $141.3 million (37 cents per diluted share) for the second quarter of 2010 compared with $238.6 million (57 cents per diluted share) for the second quarter of 2009. The second quarter of 2009 included a $57.8 million tax benefit (14 cents per diluted share) from the resolution of a tax matter.

“Our second quarter results were in line with our expectations, and we are encouraged by our volume trends in the quarter,” said Steve Burd, chairman, president and CEO. “However, deflation continues in price per item and is not expected to significantly improve until the fourth quarter. As a result, we have lowered our expectations for the balance of the year.”

 

Total sales were $9.5 billion in the second quarter of 2010, essentially flat compared with $9.5 billion in the second quarter of 2009. A higher Canadian exchange rate and higher fuel sales were largely offset by a 2.5% decline in identical-store sales, excluding fuel, the company reported.

Safeway is updating guidance for the year to $1.50 to $1.70 earnings per diluted share and non-fuel ID sales of -1% to -1.5%. The company said it continues to expect cash capital expenditures of approximately $0.9 to $1.0 billion and free cash flow of $0.9 to $1.1 billion.

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Amazon.com 2Q sales up 41%

BY CSA STAFF

SEATTLE Amazon.com announced that net sales increased 41% to $6.57 billion in the second quarter, compared with $4.65 billion in second quarter 2009. Excluding the $48 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales would have grown 42% compared with second quarter 2009.

Net income increased 45% to $207 million in the second quarter, or 45 cents per diluted share, compared with net income of $142 million, or 32 cents per diluted share, in second quarter 2009.

   

“We’re seeing rapid growth in Kindle, Amazon Web Services, third-party sales, and retail. We’re also encouraged by what we see in mobile. In the last twelve months, customers around the world have ordered more than $1 billion of products from Amazon using a mobile device,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “The leading mobile commerce device today is the smartphone, but we’re excited by the potential of the new category of wireless tablet computers. Over time, tablet computers could become a meaningful additional driver for our business.”

For the third quarter, Amazon.com expects net sales to be between $6.9 billion and $7.6 billion, or to grow between 27% and 40% compared with third quarter 2009.

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