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Sprouts Farmers Market, Athleta among brands in expansion mode

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Markets Inc. is expanding. The natural-foods supermarket chain expects to open 22 to 24 stores in fiscal 2014, including five locations in the Atlanta area.

Sprouts currently operates more than 165 locations in eight states.

Meanwhile, Gap Inc. continues to expand its newest banner, Athleta, with about 30 additional U.S. stores on tap for fiscal year 2014.

In more store expansion news:

  • Lowe’s Cos. plans to open approximately 15 home improvement stores and five neighborhood hardware stores this year.
  • Macy’s will open stores in Sarasota, Fla.; Las Vegas; and The Bronx, N.Y., in fiscal 2014. A new Bloomingdale’s will open in Palo Alto, Calif., to replace an older store in the same shopping center.
  • Aventura Mall, in the Miami suburb of Aventura, plans a significant expansion that will include a new three-level, 241,000-sq.-ft. retail wing and parking garage. Construction is expected to begin in 2014.
  • Pancheros Mexican Grill will open 16 new locations in 2014.

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Walgreens Q2 sales rise 5.2%

BY Dan Berthiaume

Deerfield Park, Ill. – Total sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 at Walgreens were $19.61 billion, up 5.2% from $18.65 billion in the same quarter in the prior year. Same-store sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 increased 4.5%, while front-end same-store sales for the quarter increased 2%. Prescriptions filled at same stores increased 2.4% in the second quarter and same-store pharmacy sales increased 6.1%.

Severe winter weather is estimated to have negatively impacted second quarter same-store front-end sales by 0.6 percentage point and negatively impacted the quarter’s prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 0.8 percentage point. Additionally, the company incurred incremental selling, general and administrative expenses throughout the quarter from the severe weather

In addition, Walgreens had February 2014 sales of $6.05 billion, an increase of 5% from $5.76 billion for the same month in fiscal 2013. Same-store sales grew 4.5%.Total front-end sales increased 3% compared with the same month in fiscal 2013, while same-store front-end sales increased 2% Customer traffic in same stores decreased 0.7% while basket size increased 2.7%.

Walgreens opened eight stores during February, including five relocations. On Feb. 28, 2014, Walgreens operated 8,681 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Amy Poehler set to help sales at Old Navy

BY CSA STAFF

Saturday Night Live alum and “Parks and Recreation” star Amy Poehler will appear in commercials for Old Navy following last year’s involvement with Best Buy.

Ad Age is reporting that along with starring in the commercials, Poehler will help write and direct them. The first ad, said Ad Age, features Poehler as an executive at a law firm interviewing a job candidate but getting distracted by the woman’s outfit from Old Navy.

"We approached Amy with a list of scenarios we’d come up with, and she started playing around with them too. She liked some, didn’t like some, came up with some new ones," said Ivan Wicksteed, global CMO at Old Navy, to Ad Age. "Amy is protective of her own brand and thinks very carefully about who she wants to work with. I think that was an important consideration in deciding to work with us. We gave her a lot of creative control. We’re not dictating what she has to say in advertisements."

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