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Safeway swings to Q1 loss; expects merger in Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pleasanton, Calif. – Safeway reported a net loss of $76.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to net earnings of $118.9 million in the same period a year earlier. The company is working toward closing its $9.4 billion merger with Albertson’s by the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year.

Safeway cited the impact of inflation in some goods that it did not fully pass on to consumers as partially driving its net loss. In addition, translating Canadian dollars to U.S. dollars for financial reporting purposes in the sale of its Safeway Canada Limited business also negatively affected income.

Sales and other revenue increased 1.0% to $8.3 billion in the first quarter of 2014 from $8.2 billion in the first quarter of 2013, primarily due to an identical-store sales (excluding fuel) increase of 1.8%, partly offset by lower fuel sales in 2014.

“While sales met plan in the first quarter, income was slightly below plan, in part as a result of inflation in produce, meat and pharmacy that was not fully passed along for competitive reasons,” said Robert Edwards, president and CEO of Safeway. “In the second quarter of 2014, identical-stores sales are currently running well above 2%, and we expect to pass along most of the inflation we are experiencing. In addition, the direct and indirect cost initiatives we are implementing are expected to improve profitability in the second half of 2014."

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Lux Beauty Boutique increases transaction size with SelfPay Shopper App

BY Dan Berthiaume

Edmonton, Canada – Lux Beauty Boutique has launched the SelfPay Shopper App from Digital Retail Apps. Since rolling out the mobile self-checkout app, Lux has seen results including 7% of all in-store transactions flowing through the SelfPay mobile app during launch weekend and higher than average transaction values when compared to purchases completed at the cash register.

In addition, Lux observed that the self-checkout app attracts the majority of new users during times when the store is busiest and lines are long. And when faced with long lines at checkout and busy store associates, shoppers will not only download SelfPay but will also spend more than they would have at a cash register after waiting in line to pay.

“SelfPay is great for shoppers,” said Jennifer Grimm, Owner, Lux Beauty Boutique. “We promote it during slower periods precisely so that during busier times, shoppers are aware of it, we don’t lose sales, and provide a better shopping experience. Once implemented, SelfPay will pay dividends time and time again.”

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360pi launches partner program

BY Dan Berthiaume

Ottawa, Canada – 360pi has formally launched the 360pi Partner Program. This initiative provides a framework for retail technology providers to leverage 360pi’s pricing intelligence in their solutions.

360pi partners gain access to competitive pricing intelligence, a technical team, and live data for building prototypes and selling solutions. 360pi’s competitive information can be integrated with price optimization, point-of -sale, electronic shelf labeling, digital ad optimization, store management, price strategy and other business processes to help drive profitable decisions.

"We are very excited to build upon the success of our IBM relationship with the official launch of the 360pi Partner Program,” said Alexander Rink, CEO of 360pi. “Pricing intelligence has emerged as a cornerstone of smart retailers’ pricing strategies, and the effectiveness of retailers’ pricing decisions is directly related to the quality of the pricing intelligence. By building an ecosystem of retail technology leaders, we are delivering retailers the tools and knowledge that they need to succeed."

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