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Whole Food Q4 profit jumps nearly 50%

BY Staff Writer

Austin, Texas — Whole Foods Market Inc. said Wednesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit increased nearly 50% on strong sales. The grocer’s company’s net income rose to $112.7 million for the period ended Sept. 30, up from $75.5 million a year ago.

Revenue rose nearly 24% to $2.91 billion, with an extra week in the most recent quarter. Same-store sales were up nearly 9%.

“We ended the year with strong sales growth and record fourth quarter results, delivering the best year in our company’s 32-year history,” said John Mackey, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market. "The pace of new store openings and lease signings continues to increase, and our accelerated growth plans are on track. We expect healthy comparable store sales growth and continuing operating margin improvement in fiscal year 2013."

Whole Foods said that Hurricane Sandy negatively impacted sales for the first five weeks of the first quarter, particularly in the Northeast region. The company said it is working with its insurer to assess the damages, a process that could take several months. It expects to record a one-time charge in the first quarter for estimated uninsured losses.

Whole Foods earned $465.6 million for its 53-week fiscal year, compared with $342.6 million for its 2011 fiscal year. Annual revenue increased to $11.7 billion from $10.1 billion.

The company recently signed 11 new leases averaging 37,500 sq. ft. in size in Altamonte Springs, Fla.; Clearwater, Fla.; Hyannis, Mass.; North Carolina; Morristown, N.J.; New York City (two stores); Philadelphia; South Hills, Pa.; Dallas, and Seattle. These stores currently are scheduled to open in fiscal year 2014 and beyond.

In addition, Whole Foods recently announced plans to purchase six leases from Johnnie’s Foodmaster, expanding its presence in the Greater Boston area to 26 stores. Johnnie’s Foodmaster will close the stores prior to the November 30 transaction closing date. Whole Foods plans to remodel and reopen the locations under their own banner before the end of September 2013.

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Starbucks goes live with Square Wallet mobile payment application

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Starbucks Coffee Co. on Thursday started will accepting Square’s mobile payment application, Square Wallet, in approximately 7,000 U.S. Starbucks stores.

The new application, which allows customers to pay at Starbucks and explore nearby businesses, browse menu information, store hours and transaction history on their phone, is in addition to Starbucks own mobile payment applications on iOS and Android.

“Starbucks was the first national retailer to offer its own mobile payment technology combined with a world-class loyalty program in January 2011, and we have seen a tremendous response from our customers with more than 100 million mobile transactions occurring in our U.S. stores since its launch,” said Adam Brotman, Starbucks chief digital officer.

To use the Square Wallet application, customers simply download it to their iOS or Android device to set up an account. Customers tap “pay here” and scan their QR code – similar to the customer experience on the existing Starbucks mobile payment applications. Their digital receipt appears instantly.

“Square Wallet gives people an easy way to pay at Starbucks and neighborhood businesses,” said William Henderson, Square Wallet director. “We’re excited to work with Starbucks to introduce a broad new group of people to the benefits of using Square."

The Starbucks Digital Network in Starbucks stores will feature the Square directory so customers can discover neighborhood businesses near their favorite Starbucks store.

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Apr-05-2013 06:42 am

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A.Charli says:
Apr-05-2013 06:42 am

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The Birth of a Trend: Using Social Analytics to Predict Trends

BY CSA STAFF

By Dr. Trevor Davis, [email protected]

How can you identify if a trend is worth caring about? That is, if it’s something that’s going to stick around for a while and attract a whole lot of people – all of them potential customers? It’s one of the eternal questions of marketing – and a lot is depending on the answer. Clearly, it’s important to capitalize on a trend while it’s still on the upswing. Nobody wants to be manufacturing pleated trousers after the cognoscenti have started wearing narrow flat-fronts.

Marketers of course have a number of tools at their disposal to sniff out trends – surveys, focus groups, consumer panels, instinct. They go to trade shows. They talk to their friends and neighbors. They keep their eyes open. All these techniques are valid and helpful. But now, innovations in technology are providing CMOs with powerful new capabilities. The advent of social media and sophisticated analytics software enables marketers to identify trends as they develop. The software can be used to spot “weak signals” online – nascent trends that reflect something new with a lot of upside potential. Case in point – Cycle Chic. Around 2006, I started noticing a small number of people online talking about cycling in fashionable clothing – often tweeds. They liked to share photos of themselves on their bikes – which invariably boasted classic or vintage styling. The tiny group of enthusiasts grew quickly; and using a custom algorithm, I was able to chart how the trend blossomed online – and offline – as the years unfolded.

In 2007, the Cycle Chic blog was founded in Copenhagen – an important milestone. The online discussion soon spread from Copenhagen to Berlin, Stockholm, Portland and Los Angeles. Then in 2009, the trend really began to gather steam, with online conversation sprouting up in London, Amsterdam, Dublin, Atlanta, New York, Ghent, Boulder, Seoul, Charleston, Phoenix, Poznan, and Dallas. In the meantime, the brick-and-mortar world was taking notice. Small consumer products companies and retailers started to serve the trend – offering fashions specific to Cycle Chic. In 2009, the first “Tweed run” – events where people dress in vintage or modern tweeds and cycle in groups – was organized, in Savile Row, London.

By 2011, bigger players had gotten involved. Ralph Lauren introduced the Tweed run-influenced Rugby Collection. Target began selling the new Missoni for Target bicycle. This year, Levi’s introduced its Commuter Series jeans, and – in a nod to Cycle Chic – fashion weeks in New York and London merged high fashion and cycling. Today – even though many still may not have heard about it – the Cycle Chic trend is something of global phenomenon. There are more than 100 blogs. There are Cycle Chic events going on all the time. There’s even a song. My study of this trend illustrates an important point: Using algorithms to identify and follow a trend in its infancy opens up a world of possibility for marketers. It enables them to estimate the size – and location – of a potential market. It identifies likely customers. It provides insight into what competitors may be doing – not just established players, but startups as well.

There are 500 million people on Twitter – that’s way bigger than any focus group. The vast number of online participants posting and sharing creates mountains of valuable data from which insight can be extracted. Marketers who understand how to use this data will have a much better chance of catching a powerful trend early on and riding it for maximum profit.

Dr. Trevor Davis is a consumer products expert at IBM Global Business Services. He can be reached at [email protected].


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P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 12:08 pm

The tiny group of enthusiasts grew quickly; and using a custom algorithm, I was able to chart how the trend blossomed online – and offline – as the years unfolded. chat random

P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 12:08 pm

The tiny group of enthusiasts grew quickly; and using a custom algorithm, I was able to chart how the trend blossomed online – and offline – as the years unfolded. chat random

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Jan-03-2013 04:53 am

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B.Low says:
Jan-03-2013 04:53 am

Sant Ritz is also near elite schools such as St. Andrew’s Secondary School and St. Andrew’s Junior College. Cedar Girls’ Secondary School and CedarPrimary School are also around in the area. For vehicle owners, it takes less than 10 minutes to drive to the business hub and vibrant Orchard Road shopping district, via Pan Island Expressway (PIE) and Central Expressway (AYE). Potong Pasir New Launch

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