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Stater Bros. net income soars in Q1

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Bernadino, Calif. – Stater Bros. Holdings Inc. reported a substantial increase in net income, for the first quarter of fiscal 2014. Net income more than doubled to $11.1 million from $5.4 million in the same period a year earlier. Net sales rose almost 2% to $984 million, to $968.7 million.

Same-store sales grew 1.4%. Jack H. Brown, chairman, president and CEO of Stater Bros., credited the supermarket retailer’s maintaining of a low-price market strategy during difficult economic times with boosting financial performance.

"During the extended economic downtown, we have sacrificed gross margin by not fully passing on the costs of inflation, which has allowed us to keep our prices low for our valued customers,” said Brown. “In addition, in order to continue to invest in our customers, we are constantly looking for opportunities where we can reduce our costs in areas such as improving our shrink or product loss, and improving our efficiencies at both our stores and in our distribution facility.”

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IBM unveils ‘Ready for Smarter Commerce’ program

BY Dan Berthiaume

White Plains, N.Y. – IBM has unveiled the ‘Ready for Smarter Commerce’ program, a new ecosystem that gives clients access to certified pre-built partner solutions with integrated cloud, mobile and social capabilities. The ecosystem features partner-led solutions built on IBM Smarter Commerce capabilities such as IBM Commerce and IBM Digital Marketing Optimization.

As part of the new ecosystem, certified partners can help extend IBM Commerce solutions by enabling customers to quickly and easily consume their solutions using IBM Commerce Composer for WebSphere Commerce. IBM Commerce Composer helps companies build and manage digital customer experiences.

IBM Commerce Composer cuts time to market by giving line of business leaders control over the look, feel and functionality of their online storefronts with no technical coding skills required. Using intuitive click-to-install templates, marketers and e-commerce leaders can quickly customize page layouts, optimize navigation and add new site functionality in minutes. IBM Commerce Composer will be available in February 2014 as part of the release of WebSphere Commerce Feature Pack 7.

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Amazon is hiring

BY CSA STAFF

Amazon plans to fill more than 2,500 new full-time jobs across its growing U.S. fulfillment network. Median pay inside Amazon fulfillment centers is 30% higher than traditional retail jobs, the company said, although it stopped short of disclosing the actual median pay rate for the positions it intends to fill.

“Last year, we hired more than 20,000 people into full-time jobs across our U.S. fulfillment centers — with more than half starting as seasonal employees,” said Mike Roth, Amazon’s VP of North America operations. “Today, we’re excited to announce 2,500 full-time jobs, bringing new employment opportunities to local communities across the country.”

Fulfillment center jobs picking, packing and shipping customer orders are currently available in Chester, Va.; Dupont, Wash.; Coffeyville, Kan.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Columbia, S.C.; and Petersburg, Va.

Amazon offers employees a comprehensive benefits package including healthcare starting on day one of employment, 401(k) matching, performance-based bonuses and its Career Choice program where the company pre-pays 95% of tuition for eligible employees to go back to school regardless of whether or not the skills they learn are relevant to a career at Amazon.

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