C-SUITE

Safeway names Libenson CIO

BY Dan Berthiaume

PLEASANTON, Calif.— Safeway has appointed Barry Libenson as senior VP and CIO, effective July 1, 2013. Libenson replaces former Safeway CIO David Ching, who retired earlier this year. He will oversee IT business functions and report to executive VP Larree Renda.

Libenson previously served as senior VP and CIO at Land O’Lakes Inc. since 2010. Other positions he has held include VP of business at Ingersoll-Rand and executive VP at Surety.com.

"We are pleased to have someone with Barry’s credentials join our executive team as we look to further ensure our IT organization is aligned with our key business strategies," said Renda. "His track record managing a complex set of technology functions across a diverse group of companies will be of significant value to the organization."

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C-SUITE

Consumer spending drops in April

BY Dan Berthiaume

WASHINGTON—U.S. consumer spending dropped 0.2% in April 2013, according to the Commerce Department.

It was the first monthly decline since May of last year and follows increases of 0.1% in March and 0.8% in February. Falling gas prices in April were part of the reason for the drop in spending, with purchases of gas, electricity and other energy goods and services down 4.4%.

In addition, increased Social Security deductions in consumer paychecks may have also contributed to the decline in spending.

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OPERATIONS

Costco sets goal of 150 new stores in five years

BY Marianne Wilson

NEW YORK —Costco Wholesale Corp. is looking to open approximately 150 locations over the next five years, CFO Richard Galanti said on the company’s quarterly conference call with investors.

“And if we get a little better than that, great,” he added. “But that’s certainly a good starting point given where we’ve come over the last few years.”

Of the total, about 55 of the new units would be in the United States, with the rest located in Canada or foreign markets.

To date, for the first three quarters of its current fiscal year, Coscto has opened 19 locations, with plans to open nine in its current fourth quarter, for a total of 28 for the full year. “As compared to fiscal ’12’s expansion of about 3% in square footage growth, this year’s 28 units, on a beginning base of 608 would be about 4.5%,” Galanti said.

For its third quarter, which ended May 12, Costco’s net income rose 18.9% to $459 million. Sales rose 7.8% to $23.6 billion.

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