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Vitamin Shoppe’s Q2 earnings leap 64%, to open 48 stores

BY Staff Writer

North Bergen, N.J. — Vitamin Shoppe reported Thursday that net income in the second quarter increased 64% to $11.95 million, compared with $7.3 million in the year-ago period. The retailer cited strong sales both in-store and online for its improved performance.

Revenue rose 12.3% to $215.9 million, topping Wall Street expectations. Same-store sales increased 8% in the quarter.

Vitamin Shoppe said it is on track to open 48 new stores in the fiscal year.

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Whole profits at Whole Foods in Q3

BY CSA STAFF

AUSTIN — While the White House may be working with several retailers to combat so-called food deserts, those who can afford to spend more on their grocery bill are doing just that, helping to drive up profits at Whole Foods.

The company reported that its third-quarter profit rose 35% to $88.5 million,compared with $65.7 million in the year-earlier period.

Revenue rose 11% to $2.4 billion, meeting Wall Street expectations, and same-store sales rose 8.4%.

With its strong showing, particularly as its traditional grocer peers struggle with shrinking margins and curbed spending, Whole Foods raised its full-year forecast and said it would add stores in 2011. On the heels of seven store openings in the third quarter, including three relocations, and two openings so far in the fourth quarter, the grocer said it expects to add three additional new stores in the fourth quarter and is on track to open another eight in 2012.

"We are continuing to gain market share at a faster rate than most public food retailers as reflected in our 8.5% comparable store sales growth year to date,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of the company. "We see a new era of possibility for Whole Foods Market as customers increasingly embrace healthier lifestyles, and we look forward to accelerating our growth in the coming years."

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Free admission to art museum courtesy of Walmart

BY CSA STAFF

Walmart said it will donate $20 million to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art to provide for free admission for the next five years. The expansive world class facility scheduled to open Nov. 11 in Bentonville, Ark. was founded by the Walton Family Foundation in 2005.

“While saving people money is how we make people’s lives better every day, we realize that things like listening to your favorite song, seeing a beautiful painting or laying eyes on an amazing sculpture make our lives better, too,” said Wal-Mart Stores Inc. president and CEO Mike Duke. “We are excited about the cultural opportunities Crystal Bridges is bringing to our area and even more excited that our families, friends and neighbors will experience it at no cost.”

The museum’s executive director, Don Bacigalupi, added, “One of the greatest challenges for museums today is finding ways to remove barriers to community participation, including admission charges. Walmart has shown extraordinary vision and foresight in funding access to the museum, providing all that Crystal Bridges has to offer to all people at no cost. We know that this gift will allow the museum to become a daily resource in our community.”

Crystal Bridges is currently building its permanent collection through the efforts of its professional staff as well as important gifts from private collectors such as Alice Walton and others. The collection features American masterworks dating from the Colonial era to contemporary times. The Museum also will display a changing array of special exhibitions featuring art from museums and collections throughout the region, the nation and abroad.

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