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Saks announces iPad app

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Saks Fifth Avenue announced the availability of its shopping application for the iPad. The free app, available worldwide from the Apple App Store, is an entirely shoppable app, and customers can create wishlists that can be shared through email, Facebook, and/or Twitter.

“Saks Fifth Avenue is so thrilled to offer customers the ability to engage directly with the Saks brand, connect in new ways with our store online and learn about in store events. Fashion devotees are now able to enjoy a robust mobile shopping experience," said Denise Incandela, chief marketing officer and president of Saks Direct.

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Target Q3 profit up 3.7%, beats expectations

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis — Target Corp.’s profit increased a better-than-expected 3.7% in the third quarter to $555 million, up from $535 a year earlier. The retailer’s performance was helped by solid spending and improvement in its credit card business.

Revenue rose 5.4% to $16.05 billion. Same-store sales were up 4.3% in the quarter.

“We’re very pleased with our third-quarter financial results," said Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s chairman, president and CEO in a statement. "We’re confident that we have the right strategy and team in place to drive continued strong performance this holiday season and well into the future."

Target said that its third-quarter average receivables for its credit card segment declined 9.9% to $6.2 billion in 2011 from $6.9 billion in the same period a year ago. Bad debt expense was $40 million during the third quarter, down from $110 million in the year-ago period.

Target REDcards, which include credit cards and debit cards, were used for 9.5% of sales at Target stores during the quarter, up from 5.5% a year ago.

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Revenue, comps rise for Delhaize America in Q3

BY CSA STAFF

SALISBURY, N.C. — Network growth and higher retail inflation prompted growth in both revenues and comparable-store sales for Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Delhaize Group, for the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

Revenues realized a gain of 3.5% to $4.9 billion, compared with the year-ago period, while comparable-store sales jumped 1.9%. Delhaize, however, acknowledged that due to the economic environment and the decrease of consumer confidence, particularly in the southeastern United States, volume trends were down from the previous quarter.

The company also noted that operations were disrupted by Hurricane Irene, which resulted in the closing of 350 Food Lion stores for several days. Additionally, Delhaize America also accrued $10 million in other operating expenses — mainly due to product losses and inventory write-offs — which were partially offset by impairement reversals (worth $5 million) at Sweetbay banner stores.

Despite these setbacks, the company forged ahead with its relaunch of 200 Food Lion stores in Raleigh, N.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn., pilot markets, reporting that comparable-store sales growth increasingly outpaced the rest of the network, despite the additional price investments in the stores. Delhaize America said the company "intends to have completed the roll out of this work to between 700 and 800 stores in total by the end of 2012."

Delhaize America also said that its Bottom Dollar Food stores in Philadelphia have garnered positive feedback, while its Northeast Hannaford stores also saw a good performance, which was in line with the trends seen in the previous quarter.

Commenting on the results, Delhaize Group president and CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers said, “We are pulling the right levers is evidenced by the momentum in the rebranded Food Lion markets that continue to deliver excellent results and outperform the rest of the network. At the same time, the economic environment, especially in the southeast of the U.S., continues to weigh on customer sentiment and their spending behavior.”

As of Sept. 30, Delhaize America had 1,640 supermarkets in operation.

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