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CMO to oversee Target’s Canadian venture

BY DSN STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS — Target announced that its chief marketing officer, Michael Francis, will serve as the executive committee sponsor of Target’s entrance into the Canadian market. In this role, Francis will oversee the extension of Target’s brand as part of the corporation’s first-ever expansion of its stores beyond the United States, the company reported.

“Under Michael’s leadership, Target has emerged as one of the most recognizable brands in the world and I am pleased that he will guide our expansion into Canada,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president and CEO. “With more than 25 years of experience with this corporation, Michael has a deep understanding of Target and the retail industry. His responsibility for corporate brand and reputation, including our community relations efforts, uniquely position him to lead this effort.”

Target recently announced that the company acquired leasehold interests in up to 220 sites from Zellers, in an effort to open 100 to 150 Target stores across Canada beginning in 2013.

Francis began his marketing career in 1985 with Marshall Field’s in Chicago. In 1990, Marshall Field’s was acquired by Target and Francis joined the marketing division of the department stores division, where he held a variety of positions. He was promoted to EVP marketing for Target in 2001, and most recently was named chief marketing officer in August 2008.

In his role as chairman, president and CEO, Gregg Steinhafel will continue to oversee all aspects of corporate strategy and operations. Francis will continue to report to Steinhafel.

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A&P trims Q3 net loss

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. — Bankrupt grocer A&P narrowed its net loss during the third quarter and executives expressed optimism as it has access to a "significant amount of liquidity" and is forging ahead with its turnaround plan.

As previously reported, the 395-store supermarket chain filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 12. Furthermore, the court approved $800 million in debtor-in-possession financing, which now is fully accessible by the company.

Sales for the third quarter totaled $1.8 billion, compared with $2 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales decreased 4.9%. Net loss during the quarter totaled $199.4 million, or a loss of $3.78 cents per diluted share, compared with a loss of $559.6 million, or a loss of $14.35 per share, in the year-ago period.

"We saw modest improvement in certain of our third-quarter financial results due to the steps we’ve taken to implement our turnaround plan and the continued dedication of our talented associates. Chapter 11 will allow us to restructure our debt, reduce our structural costs and address our legacy issues. With access to a significant amount of liquidity, we are making strategic decisions that will enable us to complete our turnaround and emerge with a new capital structure and an enhanced ability to provide value to our customers," stated Sam Martin, president and CEO.

In a separate announcement, A&P reported that Hans Heer, GM of The Food Emporium business, has left the company. He has been a member of the company’s executive team since 2006. Dan Wodzenski, district manager of sales and operations for The Food Emporium, and The Food Emporium’s operations team will report to Paul Hertz, EVP operations at A&P. In addition, The Food Emporium marketing and merchandising team now will report to Tom O’Boyle, A&P EVP.

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Safeway to donate funds to Tucson shooting victims

BY Allison Cerra

TUCSON, Ariz. — Safeway announced that it has formed a fund to aid the victims of the recent shooting that occurred in one of its Tucson stores.

The company launched the fund with an initial contribution of $100,000 from the Safeway Foundation, and is encouraging in-store contributions from Safeway customers and community members in the company’s Arizona stores.

“We have felt the shock and the sadness, and with our neighbors, we have felt this community come together to heal and to reach out to the victims and their families,” said Dan Valenzuela, Safeway’s division president for Arizona. “The fund is an extension of what we — and everyone in Tucson — have done from the very beginning. As a community, we have tried to find ways to help where we can and to stand together."

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