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Ahold to roll out more Peapod pickup points in 2013

BY Alaric DeArment

AMSTERDAM — Keeping stores open during Hurricane Sandy was one of the factors that contributed to an increase in total store sales and comps in the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2012 for Ahold USA, the supermarket operator’s Dutch parent company said Thursday.

Ahold attributed its 4.3% increase in sales in the fourth quarter, to $6.1 billion, partially to the Hurricane Sandy effort. The quarter also saw comps increase by 2.4%, while full year sales were $25.8 billion, a 3.1% over 2011, as comps increased by 1.4%.

The company opened eight pickup points for Peapod, its online grocery service, in 2012, and opened a ninth one in New York on Wednesday, CEO Dick Boer said in a conference with analysts in Amsterdam Thursday to announce the results. The company is planning a further rollout of pickup points in the United States in 2013. The company also hopes to have 40% private-label penetration by 2016.

Other highlights included strong growth in loyalty programs, with 8-in-10 primary shoppers now participating. The presentation Thursday included a video introducing the program, which has allowed Ahold banners like Stop & Shop to collect data that it uses to adjust inventory. This includes the use of an in-house analytical tool called SKUBA — short for SKU Business Analyzer — which does a "deep dive" into each store’s product assortment and allows managers to understand whether anything needs to be different by region, demographic or geography.

In addition, the company expressed satisfaction with the performance of 15 former Genuardi’s stores in the Philadelphia area purchased from Safeway, which have since been converted to the Giant-Carlisle banner, as well as highlighting the rollout of ScanIt! Mobile to all of Stop & Shop stores and Giant-Landover’s acquisition and conversion of two Fresh & Green’s stores. 

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Energizer introduces new portfolio of lighting products

BY Jason Owen

NEW YORK — Energizer is set to launch a new portfolio of lighting products this spring, the New York Times "Gadgetwise" blog reported today. The new line is expected to hit Target shelves in late March, followed by other mass merchandisers later on.

The line consists of four portable, multipurpose lanterns and flashlights that incorporate what the company calls “smart dimming technology,” essentially a dimmer switch that allows users to lower the intensity of the light and conserve battery life. The Energizer Folding Lantern (pictured above) uses light from tiny LEDs that are spread across a flat, plastic panel to provide 360 degrees of light.

The entire portfolio of lighting products uses “light fusion technology,” which distributes light uniformly through laser-etched acrylic panels.

Energizer claims the Folding Lantern output provides up to 300 lumens and can run for up to 100 hours, has a SRP of $40 and can run on four or eight AA batteries.


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Safeway contracts OneHealth Solutions on comprehensive ‘healthy living’ service for employees

BY DSN STAFF

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. — OneHealth Solutions on Wednesday announced that Safeway has selected OneHealth to help support healthy living for its 171,000 employees. "Safeway is committed to developing programs that enable our employees to make informed and sustainable healthcare decisions," stated Kent Bradley, SVP and chief medical officer at Safeway. "We offer a number of innovative healthcare programs, and integrating a peer support program like OneHealth allows us to leverage the power of the community to support individuals on their health journey."

Safeway’s benefit-eligible employees and their dependents can access OneHealth’s private, technology-enabled service for a wide range of chronic behavioral and medical conditions, including addiction, depression, stress reduction, asthma, obesity and caregiver/family support around the clock. OneHealth’s HIPAA-compliant Social Solutioning platform includes access to peer health coaches, community managers, expert discussions and live online meetings and group chats where members can learn and interact with guest experts to drive positive behavior change.

The importance of implementing programs that help improve the psychosocial aspects of employee health is underscored by a new study co-authored by Ron Goetzel, a research professor and the director of Emory University’s Institute for Health and Productivity Studies and VP consulting and applied research for Truven Health Analytics, demonstrating that 22.4% of the $366 million spent annually by seven employers can be attributed to just 10 health risk factors. For example, the study found that annual medical spending for an employee with depression is 48% higher than for a worker without depression.

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