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Supervalu beats street with Q2 results

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Supervalu Inc. beat Wall Street estimates with second quarter fiscal 2014 net earnings of $40 million, compared to a $111 million loss in the year-ago period.

The supermarket operator reported net sales of $3.95 billion, up 0.2% from $3.94 billion last year.

Same-store sales results varied by banner. Same-store sales in the Save-A-Lot network were negative 0.3, while same-store sales for corporate stores within the Save-A-Lot network were positive 4.6% and were negative 0.9% in the Retail Food segment.

Reduced operating costs resulting from Supervalu selling roughly 900 stores, or more than half its total, earlier this year were a major driver of the retailer’s improved performance.

“Similar to what we outlined in the first quarter, we remain focused on delivering steady improvements in our business each and every quarter,” said Sam Duncan, Supervalu’s president and CEO. “While our end goal won’t be achieved overnight, I am encouraged with our results this quarter and, more importantly, the way we are achieving these results by building a strong foundation that is focused on our customers.”

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Rewards program helps drive Q3 growth at Overstock.com

BY Dan Berthiaume

Salt Lake City – Overstock.com reported year-over-year gains in net income and revenue during the third quarter of fiscal 2013, which the company partially attributed to growing participation in its Club O paid loyalty program.

Net income increased 31% from $2.7 million to $3.5 million, while revenue grew 18% from $255.4 million to $301.4 million. The growth in net revenue was primarily due to a 16% increase in average order size, from $147 in third quarter 2012 to $170 in third quarter 2013, coupled with a 2% increase in orders.

The company also said Club O customers are spending more and a new warehouse is enhancing delivery operations.

"In Club O, we built what we believe is the best, most generous loyalty program on the Internet, with free shipping, 5-25% rewards on products, and books priced at Amazon prices but with 15% rewards, all for $19.95 per year,” said Patrick Byrne, chairman and CEO of Overstock.com. “Our Club O customers are rewarding us with their business. In addition, with the opening of our new warehouse in Pennsylvania, we are now providing even faster delivery to our customers on the east coast."

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NRF: Shutdown deal avoids issues

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation released a statement on the decision to reopen the federal government through Jan. 15 and raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7. Shay said that while the agreement provides some satisfaction, it essentially continues debate and postpones difficult economic decisions that must be made.

“As we head into the holiday shopping season, retailers and consumers need stability and certainty from policymakers in Washington and assurance that the economy will not implode due to their actions or more important, lack thereof,” said Shay. “This new norm of legislating from crisis to crisis is no way to govern.”

Shay also said that the economic recovery is retail-led and consumer-driven, and that cuts in consumer spending hurt retailers as well as the economy as a whole and U.S. taxpayers.

“Today’s decision will provide some breathing room for legislators to negotiate and compromise, but it is not a solution to our long-term economic or fiscal challenges,” concluded Shay.

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