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Ahold sells off Slovakian division

BY Alaric DeArment

ZAANDAM, Netherlands — Dutch supermarket operator Royal Ahold will sell its Slovakian business to Slovakia-based retailer Condorum, Ahold said Thursday.

Ahold – whose U.S. business includes the Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover and Giant-Carlisle supermarket chains and the Peapod online grocery service – said exiting the Slovakian market would allow it to focus on improving its business in the Czech Republic. Ahold Slovakia operates 24 stores, with sales of $214 million last year, which the company described as a "limited market position"; the company operates 283 Albert stores in the Czech Republic, with $2.4 billion in sales last year.

Condorum operates more than 90 retail stores in Slovakia under the Terno and Moja Samoska banners, with $171 million in sales last year. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 

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Kmart, Sears offer early online holiday shopping for Shop Your Way members

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears and Kmart are offering an online pre-sale to members of the Shop Your Way loyalty card program, parent company Sears Holdings said.

The retailers said they would offer more than 1,000 doorbusters as part of the pre-sale on Nov. 22 at Sears.com and on Nov. 24 at Kmart.com.

"Shop Your Way members always get more, and giving early access to Black Friday doorbusters is the ultimate shopping perk," Sears Holdings EVP and president for marketing, online and financial services Imran Jooma said. "Sears and Kmart also offer integrated retail conveniences like free store pick-up, Anywhere, Anyone Pick-Up and online layaway options to help you manage your holiday budget."

While many mass merchandise retailers are planning to start Black Friday shopping early, mostly on Thanksgiving evening, many Kmart customers strongly criticized the retailer last week due to its decision to open stores at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. Kmart’s rent-to-own program has also come under criticism. According to published reports, it charges the equivalent of 100% interest or more, resulting in a $300 TV costing $415, though the retailer has defended it by saying it helps low-income consumers who may not qualify for credit, and its costs are lower than competitors’.

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Rite Aid donates to Red Cross for Philippine typhoon-relief efforts

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid’s philanthropic arm is donating $50,000 for relief efforts in the Philippines in the wake of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

The Rite Aid Foundation announced Wednesday that it would donate the money to the Red Cross for people and communities affected. The typhoon, which hit the Southeast Asian island nation Friday, left an estimated 582,000 homeless, according to government estimates cited by CNN, devastating communities like the city of Tacloban. Philippine president Benigno Aquino III told CNN that the death toll was likely to be around 2,500.

"Our hearts go out to the people and communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan," Rite Aid president and COO Ken Martindale said. "So many lives were forever changed as a result of this devastating tropical storm."

 

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