SuperValu achieves Q4 profit, beats expectations
Minneapolis – SuperValu Inc. swung to a profit in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 from a net loss in the fourth quarter of the prior fiscal year. Net earnings were a better-than-expected $26 million, compared to a net loss of $1.41 billion a year earlier.
In addition, net sales rose 1.4% to $3.95 billion from $3.9 billion and same-store sales increased 3.5%. The substantial improvement in profits partially resulted from a significant decrease in charges and costs.
For the full fiscal year 2014, net earnings were $182 million compared to a net loss of $1.47 billion in the previous fiscal year. Net sales slightly rose from $17.14 billion to $17.15 billion.
"Fiscal 2014 was an important transition year for Supervalu as we stabilized the organization and set the foundation for our future,” said president and CEO Sam Duncan. “I am pleased with the direction of our business segments and look forward to the new fiscal year where we can focus our attention on driving sales growth across the organization.”
Sears offers advice service to loyalty members
Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Sears is offering a new service called Get Advice to members of its Shop Your Way omni-channel loyalty program. Shop Your Way members can post online requests for advice on shopping decisions and receive answers from both Sears associates and other loyalty members.
In addition to posting answers, members can also vote on answers they think are the most helpful. The service is designed to generate answers within minutes and currently is only open Shop Your Way members shopping at Sears and not Kmart.
Survey: Large companies improve customer service
Waban, Mass. – The percentage of large organizations that have reached the two highest levels of customer experience maturity has grown from 6% in 2013 to 10% this year. During the same period, the percentage of companies in the lowest level of maturity has dropped from 40% to 31%, according to a new report from Temkin Group, “The State of Customer Experience Management 2014.”
Other findings include:
- Sixty-five percent of companies have a senior executive in charge of customer experience.
- More than half of companies have at least six full-time customer experience professionals.
- Almost two-thirds of respondents rate customer experience with phone agent as good or very good, the highest rated interaction. Less than 30% rate mobile phone and cross-channel experiences at that level.
- The top obstacle to customer experience is the same as it has been for four years, "other competing priorities."
- We compared companies that have strong customer experience maturity with those that are weaker and found that customer experience leaders have better financial results, have more senior executive commitment, and focus more on their organization’s culture.
"Few companies have mastered all of the competencies required to deliver and sustain great customer experience, but it’s great to see the strong improvements and ambition," said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group.