Wal-Mart, Wild Oats team up on discount organic food
Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart will carry Wild Oats organic food items later in April with a new, more affordable price point on products covering a broad variety of categories. Wal-Mart estimates customers will save 25% or more when comparing Wild Oats to national brand organic products.
Walmart and Wild Oats will introduce nearly 100 products as part of the line, with the goal of removing the price premium associated with organic groceries. Internal research found that 91% of Wal-Mart shoppers would consider purchasing products from an affordable organic brand at the retailer.
“We know our customers are interested in purchasing organic products and, traditionally, those customers have had to pay more,” said Jack Sinclair, executive VP of grocery at Walmart U.S. “We are changing that and creating a new price position for organic groceries that increases access. This is part of our ongoing effort to use our scale to deliver quality, affordable groceries to our customers.”
Family Dollar makes strategic changes following disappointing Q2
Family Dollar plans to close 370 underperforming stores, cut jobs and lower prices on 1,000 basic items following a disappointing second quarter, which was adversely affected by the extra week in last year’s quarter, severe weather, holiday promotions and a challenging consumer environment.
The company is also slowing its new store growth beginning in fiscal 2015 to bolster its return on investment. It now anticipates opening 350 to 400 new stores as opposed to approximately 525 stores in 2014.
Net income in the quarter ended March 1 fell 35% to $90.9 million from $140.1 million in the year-ago period. Net sales decreased 6.1% to $2.7 billion, from $2.9 billion. Same-store sales declined 3.8% as a result of decreased customer transactions, partially offset by an increase in the average customer transaction value.
“Our second quarter results did not meet our expectations,” said chairman and CEO Howard R. Levine. “The 2013 holiday season was challenged by a more promotional competitive environment and a more financially constrained consumer. In addition, like many retailers, our second quarter results were significantly impacted by severe winter weather, which resulted in numerous store closings, disrupted merchandise deliveries and higher than expected utility and store maintenance expenses.”
The job cuts and store closures are expected to reduce annual operating costs by $40 million to $45 million beginning third quarter of fiscal 2014.
Looking ahead, the company expects to record an estimated $85 million to $95 million restructuring charge in the second half of fiscal 2014 related to the workforce reductions and store closures.
For the third quarter of fiscal 2014, Family Dollar expects that same-store sales will decline in the low-single-digit range and for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, the company expects that same-store sales will be flat to up slightly. Family Dollar also expects a low-single digit increase in net sales during the full fiscal year.
Ann Inc. renews Alliance Data credit card services
New York – Ann Inc. has signed a long-term renewal agreement with Alliance Data Systems Corp. to continue providing private label and co-branded credit card services. Alliance Data will continue to deliver marketing-driven private label and co-branded credit card programs that recognize and reward Ann Taylor and Loft card members.
Ann Taylor and Loft brands are marketed in approximately 1,025 stores across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico through its Ann Taylor, Loft, Ann Taylor Factory and Loft Outlet stores, as well as globally online.