FINANCE

Safeway 1Q Profit Up 11%

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco Safeway Inc. reported Thursday that its profit rose 11% in the first quarter, boosted by the Easter holiday, a weak dollar and higher gas sales.

The grocer earned $193.4 million for the January-March period, up from $174.4 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 7% to $10 billion from $9.3 billion in the year-ago period.

Safeway said same-store sales rose 4.5%, or 2.9% excluding fuel. But adjusting for Easter revenue, which was in the second quarter last year, those sales rose only 2%.

Same-store sales grew 2.7% last quarter, the lowest growth rate in nearly two years.

CEO Steve Burd said in a conference call with investors that cost-cutting measures and price competitiveness paid off to deliver strong revenue, but that the credit squeeze and rising food prices are clearly affecting consumer behavior.

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Sam’s Club limits rice sales

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. According to reports, Sam’s Club is limiting its sale of Jasmine, Basmati and Long Grain White rices to four bags per member visit.

The limits are due to supply and demand trends and Sam’s Club is reportedly working to ensure that it has enough of the aforementioned rice products in stock.

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Pep Boys names Odell interim ceo

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack has named Mike Odell, Pep Boys’ coo, as interim ceo, effective immediately. The move was made after Jeff Rachor resigned to become a principal in an automotive dealership venture. Pep Boys also announced that Ray Arthur was named evp – cfo, and is scheduled to begin on April 28.

Odell joined Pep Boys in September 2007 as evp and coo after spending 13 years at Sears Holdings. His last position at Sears was as evp and general manager of Sears Retail & Specialty Stores, a $26 billion business with 1,900 locations. Mike initially joined Sears finance department in 1994 where he worked until moving over to its operations team in 1998. There, he served in various positions of increasing responsibility, including vp of stores, finance, and operations of Sears Automotive Group.

The entire board is highly confident in Mikes ability to step seamlessly into the role of interim ceo, said chairman of the board Bill Leonard. Mike was instrumental in helping to develop the companys long-term strategic plan and the board is pleased with the progress the company has made in executing its initial steps. Mikes leadership in driving Pep Boys strategic initiatives and our ongoing return to operational excellence makes him the obvious choice for this position. He is a serious candidate for the permanent chief executive position and the company has no plans to conduct a search at this time. The board would also like to thank Jeff for his service to Pep Boys and for his assistance during this executive transition. 

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