FINANCE

Safeway Q2 net income and sales decline

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pleasanton, Calif. – Safeway reported a substantial decline in net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 as well as a drop in sales. Adjusted net income for the quarter was $8.4 million, compared to $122.7 million in the same quarter a year earlier. However, after adjusting for various legal expenses and loss from discontinued operations, net income for the quarter would have been $125.1 million.

Meanwhile, sales totaled $8.7 billion, a 1.6% decrease from $8.8 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. Safeway cited lower fuel sales in 2013 and the disposition of its Genuardi’s stores in 2012, partly offset by a same-store sales (excluding fuel) increase of 1.2%, as driving this small decline in sales.

Robert Edwards, president and CEO of Safeway, said expected profits from its June agreement to sell its Safeway Canada division to Canadian food retailer Sobeys Inc., as well as the April IPO of its Blackhawk subsidiary, should improve the company’s performance going forward.

“We are pleased with the significant milestones we achieved this quarter,” said Edwards. “The substantial cash proceeds we expect to receive from the sale of our Canadian operations combined with the completion of the Blackhawk IPO will allow us to broadly enhance stakeholder value.”

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REAL ESTATE

Pottery Barn subsidiary makes Maryland debut; features high-tech Design Lab

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – PBteen, a subsidiary of the Pottery Barn brand of Williams-Sonoma Inc., will open its first Annapolis, Md., store at the Westfield Annapolis shopping center on July 20. The store will include the PBteen Design Lab, which allows shoppers to digitally create room designs using drag-and-drop technology on a computer monitor.

“We are excited to open the first PBteen store in Maryland and to complete our family of Pottery Barn brands in this region,” said Sandra Stangl, president, Pottery Barn Brands. “We have many loyal customers in the Annapolis area and are thrilled to bring them PBteen’s personal in-store experience just in time for back-to-school shopping.”

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OPERATIONS

Walgreens, Boston-area chains join CVS in Rolling Stone boycott

BY Dan Berthiaume

Deerfield Park, Ill. – Walgreens, as well as Boston-area grocery chain Roche Bros. and convenience chain Tedeschi Stores, have indicated they will join CVS in refusing to sell the upcoming Aug. 3 issue of Rolling Stone that features a cover photo of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Walgreens made an announcement yesterday afternoon on Twitter, while the Boston Globe reported that Roche Bros. and Tedeschi would also decline to sell the controversial issue.

Walgreens apparently made the decision to not sell the issue after receiving Twitter comments from customers.

“Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Walgreens will not be selling this issue of Rolling Stone magazine,” stated a tweet on the official Walgreens Twitter feed, It has been retweeted at least 1,1417 times and favorited at least 708 times. CVS made its similar announcement via Facebook.

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