FINANCE

Supervalu Q3 loss widens after charge

BY Staff Writer

Minneapolis — Supervalu Inc.’s fiscal third-quarter loss widened on larger write-down’s and weaker sales. The company reported a net loss of $750 million, including non-cash goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges of $800 million after-tax, from a loss of $202 million a year ago.

Supervalu said same-store sales fell 2.9% in the latest quarter. Net sales fell 4% to $8.33 billion, below analysts’ average forecast of $8.42 billion.

Shares were down 4.7% at $8 premarket as revenue missed expectations and the company cut its sales view for the current year. Through Tuesday’s close the stock is up roughly 11% in the past year.

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OPERATIONS

Kohl’s is People’s Pick in new poll by Harris Interactive

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Kohl’s is the recipient of the People’s Pick award in The Harris Poll Customer Relationship Series, conducted by Harris Interactive. The award cognizes the strength of consumers’ bonds with mid-tier department stores and reflects the customers’ connections and future intentions.

The poll measure the strength of a brands relationship with their customers based on scores in three key dimensions: emotional affinity, rational performance and behavioral intentions. Kohl’s edged J.C. Penney on two of three customer relationship metrics – emotional and behavioral – while sharing the lead with J.C. Penney on the rational dimension.

"While neck and neck with J.C. Penney on several metrics, what really stands in Kohl’s favor is the customer’s perception of the unique benefits offered by the department store, as well as their advocacy for Kohl’s as demonstrated in their likelihood to continue to shop at and recommend the department store to friends, family and colleagues," stated Mike Chadsey, senior consultant for Harris Interactive’s customer relationship consulting team.

For example, Chadsey noted, a particular competitive advantage is Kohl’s performance on providing unique benefits (5.4), scoring significantly higher than other mid tier retailers (J.C. Penney (5.1), Dillard’s (4.9), Sears (4.9) and Macy’s (4.8).

“Kohl’s has earned the desired behaviors that retailers seek in a long term customer relationship,” he said. “The challenge will be to find ways to maintain and leverage that level of engagement while striving to improve store profitability."

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REAL ESTATE

Blackstone Group and DDR Corp. buy 46 shopping centers from EPN Group

BY Staff Writer

Beachwood, Ohio — Buyout firm The Blackstone Group and real estate investment trust DDR Corp. will buy 46 shopping centers owned by EPN Group for $1.43 billion, which includes the assumption of at least $945 million in debt.

Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII, an affiliate of Blackstone, will own 95% of the joint venture. DDR will own 5% and invest $150 million in preferred stock with a fixed dividend rate of 10%.

According to DDR, the shopping centers are 90% leased and are spread across 20 states. The centers had been owned by EDT Retail Trust. EPN acquired a majority interest in the trust in 2010 and became joint manager along with DDR, which has leased and managed the shopping centers, some for more than 15 years.

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