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Publix to sell Crispers chain

BY CSA STAFF

Lakeland, Fla. — Publix Super Markets said that it has reached a deal to sell the Crispers restaurant chain to Healthy Food Concepts, an affiliate of the Miami-based investment group Boyne Capital Partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Crispers is a fast-casual restaurant chain serving soup, salads and sandwiches with 36 locations in Florida.

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MasterCard Spending Pulse: April’s total retail sales up 8.8% year-over year

BY CSA STAFF

Purchase, N.Y. — Excluding auto sales, total retail sales in April 2011 grew by 8.8% year-over-year, stronger than March’s growth rate, and substantially higher than the average 7.1% year-to-year growth rate of the previous quarter, according to MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, a macroeconomic report tracking national retail and service sales.

While spending on gasoline has helped drive overall sales figures to some extent, retail sales ex-gasoline show few signs of abating. Seasonally adjusted retail sales excluding both autos and gasoline were up by 1.4% in April, the fourth straight month of growth.

“We have not seen this sort of sustained growth in retail sales since late 2005/early 2006, when the economy was in much better shape and the unemployment rate was more than 4% below its current level,” said. Kamalesh Rao, director of economic research for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. “Today, the general state of the labor market and a mixed economic environment suggests that the current rate of retail expansion could be vulnerable, especially given the weight of higher fuel costs on discretionary spending. Additional momentum in the labor market could offset that uncertainty.”

Sectors showing positive results in April included e-commerce, luxury, apparel, groceries and travel. Weaker segments included furniture and furnishings, hardware, electronics and department stores.

Spending grew in every part of the country, with the best unadjusted year-over-year results in the Pacific and Southwest regions, respectively posting 13.2% and 12.2% growth.

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Supervalu banners introduce Colors in Your Carriage education initiative

BY CSA STAFF

MALVERN, Pa., and VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Building on the successful introduction of the nutrition iQ program to stores, two Supervalu banners announced that they will implement an education initiative designed to help grocery shoppers navigate the aisles with great-tasting foods that meet their nutritional needs.

Acme and Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy said the Colors in Your Carriage initiative shoppers find quick-to-prepare, good-tasting solutions to fill the nutrient gaps highlighted in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

Both supermarket chains have extended the nutrition iQ program to include signage in the fresh produce, meats, bakery and seafood sections.

“Our shoppers are looking for information they can trust when it comes to which foods they should include as part of a healthy diet. We know how important it is to provide straight talk on what to eat to help clear the confusion,” said Acme and Farm Fresh registered dietitian Jennifer Shea. “Nutrition iQ can help people more easily achieve the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. Our goal is to make good eating enjoyable and to help consumers really understand how to shop, what to buy and how to prepare quick meals their family will enjoy. Customers count on [Acme and Farm Fresh] for that.”

Acme operates 117 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, while Farm Fresh operates 43 stores in the Virginia market.

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