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Rite Aid Posts 1Q Loss

BY CSA STAFF

Harrisburg, Pa. Rite Aid Corp. said Thursday that it swung to a big loss in its first quarter as it continues to spend heavily to absorb more than 1,850 newly acquired stores and offered promotions on items such as food and toiletries that hurt profit margins, according to the Associated Press.

Rite Aid also said it has turned around the declining sales in the Brooks and Eckerd stores it acquired last year, and is a matter of several months away from full integration.

The loss by Rite Aid after paying preferred stock dividends was $162.8 million compared to a profit of $19.5 million in the same period a year ago.

Complete integration and remodeling of the acquired stores is expected by October, and Rite Aid converted all of the acquired Brooks and Eckerd store systems during the quarter, Rite Aid said.

“While the business environment remains challenging, we expect that completing the minor remodels, sales turning positive in the acquired stores and new pharmacy and front-end initiatives will contribute significantly to strong results in the second half of the fiscal year,” Mary Sammons, Rite Aid’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.

Revenues rose to $6.61 billion from $4.46 billion a year ago. The 2007 figure was before it acquired the Brooks and Eckerd stores.

Rite Aid also said cash flow increased, as did gross pharmacy margins, but promotions of front-end items such as food and toiletries hurt non-pharmacy margins. It also listed about $160 million in charges that it said were expected because of the acquisition, and it spent about $32 million more to close 68 stores, mostly to combine an acquired store with another nearby.

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Bed Bath & Beyond posts 1Q earnings drop

BY CSA STAFF

UNION, N.J. Bed Bath & Beyond has reported net earnings of 30 cents per diluted share ($76.8 million) in the fiscal first quarter ended May 31, compared with net earnings of $.38 per diluted share ($104.6 million) in the same quarter a year ago.

Net sales for the fiscal first quarter of 2008 were approximately $1.65 billion, an increase of approximately 6.1% from net sales of $1.55 billion reported in the fiscal first quarter of 2007. Comparable-store sales for the fiscal first quarter of 2008 increased by approximately 0.8%, compared with an increase of approximately 1.6% in last year’s fiscal first quarter.

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New site launches for Wal-Mart Marketside

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart has launched a new site for its Marketside concept at www.marketside.com.

The site includes information about the concept, which Wal-Mart said offers “a wide selection of complete meal solutions, fresh ingredients, and everyday favorites at affordable prices — all in one easy-to-shop store.” In addition, the site provides information on how to apply to positions within the stores and where the stores are located.

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