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99 Cents Only opens nine new California stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

CITY OF COMMERCE, Calif. — 99 Cents Only Stores is opening nine new stores in California between April 9 and April 11. The stores will be located in the communities of San Luis Obispo, Ontario, Sonora, Santee, Escondido, Tustin, San Bernardino, Cypress and South El Monte.
 
99 Cents Only currently operates 384 stores located in California, Texas, Arizona & Nevada.
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Report: Kroger rebranding some Harris Teeter stores

BY Gina Acosta

 

CINCINNATI — Kroger is moving ahead with its strategic plan for 2015 by closing and rebranding some of its Harris Teeter stores in Tennessee, according to the Nashville Tennessean.
 
The four Harris Teeter stores owned and operated by the Kroger Co. in the Nashville, Tenn., area will be closing on or before June 15, the newspaper reports. Three of the stores will re-open, but under the Kroger banner. This is the first time the Kroger Co. has switched banners on a Harris Teeter store.
 
Earlier this year the Kroger Co. closed another Harris Teeter store in Nashville. Kroger has about 45 stores in the Nashville area.
 
Last month the Kroger Co. Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen declared 2014 an “outstanding year” for Kroger. Kroger’s identical store sales increased 6%, excluding fuel, in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, while total sales including the benefit of acquired Harris Teeter stores increased 12.9% to $25.2 billion. Net income increased 27.5% to $518 million, or $1.04 a share, compared to $406 million, or 81 cents a share the prior year. Earnings per share exceeded analysts’ consensus estimate by 14 cents.
 
"2014 was an outstanding year by all measures. Kroger captured more share of the massive food market, delivered on our commitments and invested to grow our business,” McMullen said. “While improved fuel margins contributed to our results in the second half of the year, our core operating performance without fuel shows that our associates are improving our relationship with customers in ways that grow loyalty and generate strong shareholder returns.”
 
The Kroger Co. operates 2,625 grocery retail stores in 34 states under nearly two dozen banners.
 
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Kroger names new president for Dillons banner

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI – Kroger on Tuesday announced Marlene Stewart has been promoted to president of the company's Dillons division. She replaces Joe Grieshaber, who was recently named president of Kroger's Columbus division.
 
Stewart currently serves as VP merchandising at QFC, based in Seattle.
 
"Marlene combines a passion for people and proven merchandising and operations leadership," said Mike Ellis, Kroger's president and COO. "We look forward to Marlene bringing her knowledge of our customers and business, and commitment to our associates, to the Dillons team."
 
Stewart started her career with Kroger in 1977 as a bagger in the company's Cincinnati division, where she worked full-time while attending the University of Cincinnati. She went on to serve in many leadership roles in Cincinnati, including store and district management, training and merchandising. In 2005, Stewart was named director of operations for Kroger's Mid-Atlantic division before being named VP operations in 2007. She was named to her current role in 2011.
 
Stewart has been involved in a variety of community organizations throughout her career, serving on the boards of local food banks, the Girl Scouts and the United Way.
 
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