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Anthony Hucker to head Giant-Landover

BY Alaric DeArment

CARLISLE, Pa. — Ahold USA has appointed a former Walmart executive to head its Landover, Md.-based Giant Food division, the supermarket operator said Tuesday.

Ahold, the U.S. subsidiary of Netherlands-based Royal Ahold, announced the appointment of Anthony Hucker as division president of the division, also known as Giant-Landover, effective Oct. 3. Hucker will replace Don Sussman, who has served as the division’s interim president since the end of last year and will assume the role of EVP supply chain for Ahold USA. Giant-Landover operates 173 stores in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Hucker, who has worked in retailing for more than 25 years, most recently served at Walmart as corporate VP and head of the Walmart Express division, having joined the retailer in 2004. He began his career in the European retail industry, particularly Aldi, where he was part of the original startup team for Aldi UK.

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Family Dollar gets in-store learning experience

BY Gail Hoffer

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Family Dollar has found a way to better understand how customers respond to its in-store displays and promotions, and how they can be improved to generate more sales.

The discount retailer has engaged RockTenn, manufacturer of consumer packaging solutions and BVI Networks, a provider of real-time in-store monitoring, to open the first large format "ShopperGauge" branded retail learning lab at Family Dollar stores.

The 20-store testing environment is the first of its kind in the industry and will enable Family Dollar to test designs, displays and promotions with customers. ShopperGauge uses video and advanced analytics to automate the process of collecting and analyzing shopper behavior in real-time as shoppers move about the store, naturally interacting with brand messaging and displays. The system then generates quantifiable metrics showing how many shoppers visited each location and which brands were most effective in engaging and converting them to purchase.

“Family Dollar is committed to providing the best in-store shopping environment to our customers,” Family Dollar SVP customer marketing Don Hamblen said. “We are always looking for ways to better understand how to meet their needs, and design our stores accordingly. The ShopperGauge learning lab will provide us with instant access to shopper insights, allowing us to incorporate the voice of the customer into our in-store merchandise and marketing decisions. In addition, our supplier partners can work with us to measure the impact of their merchandising with the Family Dollar shopper,” Hamblen said. “We can help our participating suppliers be more efficient and effective with their shopper marketing and promotional programming, ultimately bringing better value to the Family Dollar shopper.”

The ShopperGauge system was introduced in 2010 and has been live tested in several retailers to prove its viability to generate accurate data.

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Study: Sanofi insulin reduces weight gain, increases blood sugar control

BY Alaric DeArment

PARIS — An insulin analogue made by Sanofi appears to work better in certain cases than competing treatments at reducing weight gain and controlling blood sugar among patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The French drug maker announced the release of data from a 2,900-patient study showing that initiating patients with Lantus (insulin glargine [rDNA origin]) led to better glycemic control and comparable or modest weight gain compared with other insulins, oral anti-diabetic drugs and dietary changes. The lowest weight gain was seen in patients ages 65 years and older. The data were presented at the 47th annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Lisbon, Portugal.

"Weight gain is a commonly perceived effect of using insulin in Type 2 diabetes," lead study investigator and University of Vermont professor Jack Leahy said. "[These data demonstrate] that initiation of Lantus when A1C is less than 8% may help to limit weight gain in this patient population."

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