Publix names VP finance
Lakeland, Fla. — Publix Super Markets Inc. announced the promotion of Gino DiGrazia to VP finance.
In addition to his current responsibilities for business analysis and reporting, DiGrazia assumes many of the responsibilities previously held by Kelly Underhill, director of tax and treasury, who retired from Publix on March 30, 2012 after 22 years of dedicated service.
Target accelerates NASCAR presence
NASCAR fans will become very familiar with Target, if they aren’t already, as the retailer plans to expand its presence in NASCAR during the Sprint All-Star and Coca Cola 600 race weeks. In addition to being the presenting sponsor of the Blake Shelton pre-race concert, Target will have nine branded race carts providing samples of their grocery items in the campgrounds surrounding Charlotte Motor Speedway, a Target Taste Wagon as well as a Target Shuttle that will provide fans transportation to the Target in Kannapolis, N.C.
Campers and race fans at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be able to sample Target branded food items as well as catch a ride to the local Target store for supplies Thursday, May 17 through Saturday, May 19 and then again from Thursday, May 24 through Saturday, May 26.
Target brand ambassadors will also be on-site to hand out some added items such as opportunities to meet Juan Pablo Montoya as well as a private autograph session with Montoya, race tickets, Blake Shelton VIP concert tickets, tours of the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing race shop, and autographed race merchandise.
Steve Lauletta, team president, said, “We appreciate Target’s long-standing commitment to racing and the Ganassi team. We’re excited about this fresh, fun way to surprise and excite fans. NASCAR and the No. 42 race team are a perfect fit to partner with Target – and we look forward to connecting with delighted fans at the campgrounds over the next two weeks.”
Home Depot lawn products are golden in Q1
Home Depot’s Craig Menear, EVP merchandising, shared details and data from a first quarter that saw double-digit comps in certain seasonal product categories.
Overall, Home Depot saw comp-store sales increase 5.8% in the first quarter of strong sales and earnings growth.
A long list of products were described as double-digit comp generators, including walk-behind mowers, riding mowers, lawn accessories, soils and mulches. “Warmer than expected weather allowed customers to complete exterior projects and begin spring projects early,” he said, estimating a 300 basis point boost for U.S. comps due to the weather.
Double-digit comps in decks were also reported in pressure washers, siding, gutters, portable outdoor power, roofing, exterior paint, windows and fencing.
Only two departments failing to generate positive comps in the quarter – pluming, which was flat; and kitchens, which were slightly negative.
“The core of the store continues to perform,” Menear said. “And we saw positive comps in fasteners, electrical repair, portable power, door locks and pipe and fittings.”
Among the new merchandising initiatives coming to or already on Home Depot shelves are new load center value packs for electronics in the home; Sharkbite dishwasher hook-ups; and new brushless motor technology in power tools from Makita and Milwaukee.
Menear also said the stores are seeing recovery of the pro business. Historically, pro sales account for about 30% of the company’s overall sales.