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Ross reports 19% rise in Q4 profit after strong holiday selling season

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Pleasanton, Calif. — Ross Stores Inc. reported Thursday that profit for the quarter ended Jan. 28 rose 19% to $192 million, from $161.8 million last year. A profitable holiday season helped boost the discounter’s results, which met Wall Street expectations.

Sales surged almost 12% to $2.4 billion, and same-store sales increased 7%.

For the full year, Ross reported a net income rise of 18% to $657.2 million. Sales increased 9% to $8.6 billion, with same-store sales up 5%.

“Our healthy revenue growth continues to be driven mainly by our ability to deliver compelling bargains,” said Michael Balmuth, CEO. For 2012, Balmuth said, "We believe our ability to offer customers terrific name brand bargains, while running our business with much lower store inventories, remains a key driver of sales growth and operating profitability.”

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Former Safeway exec to head store ops at Dollar General

BY CSA STAFF

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — A former Safeway executive has joined Dollar General as its EVP store operations.

Effective March 19, Greg Sparks will assume all responsibilities for the operations of more than 9,900 retail stores in 38 states and serve on Dollar General’s real estate and store development committee, the company said. Sparks will report to chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling.

Sparks most recently served as president of Safeway’s Seattle division. His departure from the supermarket retailer was announced earlier this week.

“Greg is a proven leader with a breadth of retail experience across both operations and merchandising. Given that I have known Greg for 20 years and have had the opportunity to follow his career during this time, I believe Greg will be a great addition to Dollar General and help take our business to new levels of success,” Dreiling said.

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A hot commodity, thieves target top detergent brand

BY CSA STAFF

Tide laundry detergent is so popular with shoppers that it is regularly featured on the cover of Target’s weekly circular as a means to generate customer traffic, but it appears the detergent brand’s popularity is causing it to generate the wrong kind of traffic. A story by the Associated Press points out this week that Tide has become a frequent target of shoplifters at retailers nationwide and the new currency of an underground economy. It is somewhat of a curious development considering Tide comes in a high visibility orange jugs that are more difficult to conceal than frequently stolen health and beauty items. Read more.

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