FINANCE

Report: Wal-Mart U.S. sales momentum continues

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores chief merchandising officer Duncan MacNaughton said during a CIBC conference on Wednesday that Wal-Mart’s domestic sales momentum has continued over the last two months.

The world’s largest retailer registered a same-store sales rise of 1.3% in U.S. stores in the third quarter and a 1.5% increase in the fourth quarter.

Results reversed a nine-quarter streak of same-store sales declines.

According to MacNaughton, the momentum continued in February and March, as well.

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OPERATIONS

Food Lion rolls out new brand strategy to 268 stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Salisbury, N.C. — Grocery chain Food Lion, a subsidiary of Delhaize America, said Wednesday that it has rolled out a previously announced new brand strategy to 268 stores in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina. These markets are the first stores in 2012 to unfurl the new strategy, which is based on customer feedback.

"As part of our new strategy, we are committed to being recognized as a price leader, making our stores easier to shop, offering the greatest value in store brands and providing fresh produce,” said Cathy Green Burns, president of Food Lion. “We believe our new brand strategy enables us to better serve our customers in these markets."

The strategy combines lower pricing with a new shopping experience focused on ease and convenience. In tandem with the brand strategy rollout, Food Lion remodeled 20 stores, and transitioned eight Bloom and six Bottom Dollar Food stores to Food Lion stores.

In January, the company announced plans to accelerate the rollout of the strategy to an additional 600 to 700 stores by the end of 2012. The just-announced 268 locations are the first step in the rollout.

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REAL ESTATE

Former Macy’s razed in preparation for redevelopment

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chestnut Hill, Mass. — A 120,000-sq.-ft. former Macy’s building was demolished on Wednesday, as developer WS Development prepares the site for a second redevelopment phase of its Chestnut Hill (Mass.) Shopping Center.

The region’s oldest suburban mall will become home to a new generation of retailers, services and entertainment offerings, including a new 31,000-sq.-ft. Sports Club/LA health and fitness complex and a National Amusements’ theatre and restaurant facility.

The Phase II launch, which officially began on Wednesday, will bring a village-like streetscape to the center, as well as tree-shaded pedestrian walkways, outdoor dining, cafes and new buildings with glass facades overlooking Hammond Pond.

The architect is PCA (Prellwitz/Chilinski Associates) of Cambridge, who previously designed WS Development’s Legacy Place in Dedham.

Later this year, construction will begin on Phase III, which will include a new 64,000-sq.-ft., three-story building that is LEED certifiable and will include retail stores and restaurants, as well as WS Development’s new corporate headquarters.

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