Albertsons
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Albertsons withdraws IPO plan

BY Marianne Wilson

Albertsons Companies Inc. filed Friday to withdraw its plan for an initial public offering, MarketWatch reported.

The food and drug retailer withdrew its plan because of its previously announced deal to merge with Rite Aid Corp., which was announced in February.

Albertsons said the registration statement for the IPO, which was last amended in November, had not yet been declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to MarketWatch.

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Sally Beauty cutting staff; to focus stores on hair color/care

BY Marianne Wilson

Sally Beauty Holdings is reducing headcount, primarily at its headquarters, as the first part of a cost-reduction plan.

In addition to job cuts, the plan includes cost savings initiatives focused on “organizational efficiencies, sourcing of product and brands for resale, indirect procurement, store operating expenses, and inventory management.” Sally expects annual savings to be in the range of $14 million to $15 million. The company expects to reinvest the savings in technology to improve customers’ in-store experience and accelerate online growth, and store employee wages.

In addition, Sally Beauty plans to reinvest in strategic initiatives to accelerate growth in its core hair color and hair care categories, which, which, combined, represent more than half of Sally’s revenue in the U.S. and Canada.

“We have dedicated a substantial amount of work over the last several months into the development of initiatives that we expect will generate meaningful financial benefits, within both product margin and G&A expenses,” stated Chris Brickman, president and CEO. “We plan to utilize these benefits to maintain our profitability and fund the key investments required to transform the business and intensify our focus on our most differentiated categories — hair color and hair care.”

Brickman said that Sally’s primary goal “is to have every customer feel confident in her ability to color and care for her own hair, and we will tailor our assortment, service and education to ensure we are her go-to store for that purpose.”

“Our unique assortment and demonstrated expertise have established us as the market leader in hair color and hair care, and these categories have sustained healthy growth while other categories have faced increasing competition,” he said.

Sally Beauty sells and distributes through 5,177 stores, including approximately 184 franchised units, and has operations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany.

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GNC in more global expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

General Nutrition Corporation is expanding into the land down under.

Just a month after it announced plans to ramp up its business in India, the retailer said it will establish and develop a presence in the Australian market. Under a master franchise agreement, GNC will partner with Rapid Nutrition to market, sell and distribute GNC products through retail store expansion, e-commerce, and other potential distribution channels throughout Australia. In addition, Rapid Nutrition will be able to distribute its owned brands through the GNC global network.

“We are pleased to partner with one of the leading distributors of health and wellness products in Australia and believe this partnership will fuel our entry and expansion into the large Australian market,” said Ken Martindale, CEO of GNC. “Rapid Nutrition has an established presence in Australia and shares our commitment to advanced, high-quality products and ingredients.”

According to Euromonitor, Australia’s consumer health market was approximately $3.1 billion in 2017.

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