REAL ESTATE

Two new tenants to open in Montgomery County, Pa.

BY CSA STAFF

Plymouth Meeting, Pa. — Fameco Real Estate, L.P. said that Patel Bazaar and Spice Kitchen have signed leases for 6,900 sq. ft. along the 422 Corridor in Montgomery County, Pa.

Patel Bazaar, an Indian grocery store, has signed a 4,900-sq.-ft. lease at Jefferson Plaza Shopping Center in West Norriton Township. The grand opening is scheduled for January 14. Spice Kitchen, an Indian restaurant, has signed a lease for 2,000 sq. ft. at the Park Ridge Shopping Center in Trooper. The center is anchored by Acme. Spice Kitchen opened its doors several weeks ago.

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Sales, profits up at Family Dollar

BY CSA STAFF

An expanding number of consumers in search of value and an improved shopping experience at Family Dollar propelled the company to its strongest first-quarter same-store sales increase in 12 years, but profits for the period and the earnings outlook were below analysts’ estimates.

“Our comparable-store sales increase of 6.9% is the best first quarter result we’ve delivered in more than 12 years,” said Family Dollar chairman and CEO Howard Levine

“Clearly, our investments to improve the shopping experience in our stores are positioning us well to serve a growing number of Family Dollar customers.”

Overall, sales for the period which ended on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, or Nov. 27, increased 9.5% to nearly $2 billion and profits increased 9.9% to $74.3 million. Earnings per share increased 18.4% to 58 cents comparedwith 49 cents the prior year, but that figure was below the 61 cents analysts forecast. In addition, the company’s second-quarter guidance, which calls for earnings in the range of 92 to 97 cents, was below analysts’ estimates of $1.

While the company said it attracted more shoppers during its first quarter, average transaction size was flat. Sales were strongest in such consumable categories as food and candy, which in turned pressured gross margins that declined slightly to 36% from 36.1% the prior year. The company managed to leverage its expenses, though, as a result of the sales momentum so selling, general and administrative costs declined slightly to 29.9% compared to 30.1% the prior year.

Family Dollar continued to add stores at a rapid clip during the quarter with 85 units opened and 18 closed, compared to the prior year’s first quarter when 43 stores were opened and 33 were closed. In addition, 173 stores were remodeled during the period.

The pace of new store activity will continue through the remainder of the company’s fiscal year with a total 300 new units planned along with 80 to 100 closings, which should come close to pushing the retailer’s store count above the 7,000 mark.

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Sam’s Club starts new year with new health services

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Sam’s Club announced that it is offering its business, advantage and plus members tools to help them achieve their health goals including free monthly in-club health screenings and access to a new health management benefit, The Prevention Plan from U.S. Preventive Medicine.

"Through our member insights, we know our members want to stay in control of their health," said Jill Turner-Mitchael, SVP Sam’s Club health and wellness. "We’re proud to offer these simple health solutions, including free health screenings along with great products like The Prevention Plan, so our members can maintain control of their health decisions, minimize health risks and keep health care costs low for their families, employees and themselves."

Sam’s Club said it is now offering The Prevention Plan at $99 for its members. The program involves an online health assessment and at-home blood test to identify potential health issues for which a personalized plan is developed to address risks.Personal health coaching, ongoing support, a variety of tools and a plan-wide health challenge are provided through The Prevention Plan to keep members motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the company reported.

In addition, Sam’s Club announced that allSam’s Club members across the country can participate in the free monthly health screenings beginning in January.

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