FINANCE

U.S. Retail Sales Rise 14% in Post-Holiday Week

BY CSA STAFF

Los Angeles Post-holiday discounts and shoppers redeeming gift cards helped boost retail sales 14% for the last full week of December, according to data released on Wednesday.

ShopperTrak RCT, which tracks sales at more than 50,000 U.S. retail locations, also found that retail traffic rose 7% over a year ago during the week ended Dec. 29. But both sales and traffic that week were down from the prior pre-Christmas week, a peak period when droves of shoppers hit stores to take advantage of final last-minute discounts, the data found.

Sales fell nearly 18% and traffic dropped 8% from the week ended Dec. 22, ShopperTrak said, a decrease that also reflects one less shopping day—Christmas Day—in the week ended Dec. 29.

Winter storms in the U.S. Midwest and Northeast also curtailed shopping during the first part of December. But ShopperTrak said it still expects total holiday season sales, which it defines as sales in November and December, to rise 3.6% over the prior year.

SpendingPulse, a report released by MasterCard Advisors that measures the period from the Friday after Thanksgiving through midnight Dec. 24, said two weeks ago that holiday sales rose 3.6% this season. But those results do not include the post-Christmas spending activity, which has been growing with the popularity of gift cards.

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Stater Bros. promotes two executives

BY CSA STAFF

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. Stater Bros. Markets Monday announced the promotion of two senior executives. George Frahm has been named evp of retail operations and administration and Dennis McIntyre will assume the role of evp of marketing.

Frahm joined Stater Bros. in 1973 as a courtesy clerk, working his way through a variety of retail store and district supervision positions. In 1995 he became director of labor relations and then vp of labor relations in 1996. In 2001, he was promoted to senior vp of administration and became group senior vp of administration in March 2006. He assumed his most recent role of group senior vp of retail operations and administration in September 2006.

McIntyre joined Stater Bros. Markets in 1978 as a courtesy clerk and progressed through a variety of roles until becoming a buyer in the marketing department in 1983. In 1994, he was promoted to assistant vp of marketing and in 1999 he was promoted to vp of marketing. In 2000, McIntyre was promoted to senior vp of marketing, and he was promoted to his most recent position of group senior vp of marketing in 2002.

Jack Brown, chairman and ceo of Stater Bros. Markets stated, “George and Dennis are well-respected and valuable members of our senior management team. Their promotions reflect the leadership skills and the contributions that each has made and will continue to make to the success and growth of Stater Bros.”

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Wakefern in wholesale deal with Gristedes

BY CSA STAFF

KEASBEY, N.J. Through an agreement with Wakefern Food, New York City-based supermarket chain Gristedes will be offering Wakefern’s ShopRite private label brand at its stores.

Gristedes will now offer ShopRite Organic products, health and beauty care and imported specialty items.

“After trying the ShopRite brand myself, I believe they are just as good if not better than national brand products,” said Charles Criscuolo, senior evp of Gristedes. “By bringing the ShopRite brand into my stores, I’m offering more variety and added value to my customers seeking high quality products at an affordable price.”

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