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Report: Bankruptcy judge approves sale of Penn Traffic

BY CSA STAFF

Syracuse, N.Y. A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has approved the sale of bankrupt The Penn Traffic Co. to Tops Markets, according to a report by Syracuse.com.

Judge Peter J. Walsh signed a modified sale agreement presented to him by Penn Traffic lawyers late Monday.

Tops officials said the closing on the acquisition of Penn Traffic will take place by the end of the week.

“We are very pleased that the court has approved our comprehensive bid,” said Frank Curci, president and CEO of Tops. “We look forward to the upcoming closing and the opportunity to bring the Tops Friendly Markets shopping experience to our new neighbors and customers.”

Tops victory will more than double the size of the resurging private grocer. It also marks the end of The Penn Traffic Co., a grocer whose roots go back to 1854, when it started selling groceries to stagecoaches.

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Tiny Target coming soon

BY CSA STAFF

Before Target can experiment with a small-format store in the range of 60,000 to 100,000 square feet the company plans to carry out a different type of experiment intended to asses the concept’s viability. Three existing stores at undisclosed locations on the West coast, the Midwest and the Northeast will have their assortments pared by 50% in order to gauge consumer reaction to a streamlined product offering of a smaller store.

“We’ve made great progress in our efforts at SKU rationalization across our stores, reducing SKU’s by 10%, and this test is an effort to better understand how we can maximize the convenience and performance of a smaller urban format,” said Target chairman, CEO and president Gregg Steinhafel. The company didn’t say where or when the small stores would open, only that the experiment would take place in a handful of markets during the next several years.

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The color of redemption

BY CSA STAFF

Target added four-color capability to its receipt marketing program and experienced a significant, but unspecified, lift in redemption compared with its earlier program, which relied on black-and-white printing technology. In addition to increasing redemption rates, the program is persuading customers to shop other areas of the stores. Now, the retailer is putting coupons in the hands of more shoppers, as it has added functionality that lets customers download and redeem coupons using their mobile phones.

Retailers have been talking about consumers increased usage of coupons for more than the past year, so it is not a big surprise then that data out this week shows that redemption activity was up last year. What is surprising is the magnitude of the increase, as there were 3.3 billion coupons redeemed last year, a 27% increase from the prior year when 2.6 billion coupons were redeemed, according to Inmar, the nation’s leading promotion transaction settlement provider. The surge in redemption activity was made possible by the fact that CPG manufacturers relied extensively on coupons, issuing 367 billion of them, as a means to maintain sales volumes as consumers were included to purchase store-brand alternatives.

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