Party City to expand growth in New England with acquisition of iParty Corp.
Dedham, Mass. — iParty Corp., a leading party goods retailer with a strong presence in New England, has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Party City Holdings Inc., North America’s largest party supply retailer.
“We are excited to add iParty’s strong platform of retail stores to our vertically integrated business model,” said Gerald C. Rittenberg, Party City’s CEO. “By joining forces, we enhance our leadership position and accelerate our growth throughout New England, a densely populated region where we currently do not have a market presence. We look forward to working together to expand our combined geographic footprint and brand presence on a national scale.”
The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2013.
Ahold to roll out more Peapod pickup points in 2013
AMSTERDAM — Keeping stores open during Hurricane Sandy was one of the factors that contributed to an increase in total store sales and comps in the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2012 for Ahold USA, the supermarket operator’s Dutch parent company said Thursday.
Ahold attributed its 4.3% increase in sales in the fourth quarter, to $6.1 billion, partially to the Hurricane Sandy effort. The quarter also saw comps increase by 2.4%, while full year sales were $25.8 billion, a 3.1% over 2011, as comps increased by 1.4%.
The company opened eight pickup points for Peapod, its online grocery service, in 2012, and opened a ninth one in New York on Wednesday, CEO Dick Boer said in a conference with analysts in Amsterdam Thursday to announce the results. The company is planning a further rollout of pickup points in the United States in 2013. The company also hopes to have 40% private-label penetration by 2016.
Other highlights included strong growth in loyalty programs, with 8-in-10 primary shoppers now participating. The presentation Thursday included a video introducing the program, which has allowed Ahold banners like Stop & Shop to collect data that it uses to adjust inventory. This includes the use of an in-house analytical tool called SKUBA — short for SKU Business Analyzer — which does a "deep dive" into each store’s product assortment and allows managers to understand whether anything needs to be different by region, demographic or geography.
In addition, the company expressed satisfaction with the performance of 15 former Genuardi’s stores in the Philadelphia area purchased from Safeway, which have since been converted to the Giant-Carlisle banner, as well as highlighting the rollout of ScanIt! Mobile to all of Stop & Shop stores and Giant-Landover’s acquisition and conversion of two Fresh & Green’s stores.
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First Data expands FourSquare specials program
ATLANTA— First Data, a provider of electronic commerce and payment processing, announced that it is working with Foursquare to extend its already-successful Foursquare Specials for Credit Cards program to now accept Visa and MasterCard, and most debit cards. Foursquare has integrated the First DataSM OfferWiseSM solution that seamlessly allows users to sync their card, and then swipe at a participating merchant location to redeem offers and receive automatic savings.
First Data merchants participating in the Foursquare Specials for Credit Cards program will now be able to drive measurable and incremental purchase volume through this expanded feature, offering secure, value-added, time-saving point-of-sale (POS) convenience. The OfferWise solution, which may be deployed off-the-shelf by merchants, allows for expedited implementation and requires no training for retail staff. The integrated, card-linked structure of the OfferWise solution combined with Foursquare Specials creates a friction-free POS experience for the consumer.
To redeem the Foursquare Specials, consumers simply connect their card of choice, check-in at participating First Data merchants, and pay for their purchase with their connected card. The discount is automatically sent back to their credit card or bank account and they’ll be notified by Foursquare of the money they saved.
“We’re excited to be working with Foursquare to open up a new avenue of savings to Visa, MasterCard, and debit card holders and look forward to rolling out this expanded Foursquare feature to additional First Data merchants in the coming months,” said Dom Morea, SVP and division manager, Advanced Solutions and Innovation, First Data.
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