Coca-Cola hosts ceremony to honor veterans, U.S. military members
ATLANTA — As part of a week-long observance of Veteran’s Day, Coca-Cola will host a ceremony to honor the men and women who have served the country, which includes more than 3,000 veterans employed by the company.
On Thursday, Retired First Class Sergeant Michael Schiltz will provide a keynote address where he will share his story of courage in the aftermath of an accident during a military campagin in Iraq. The 82nd Airborne Division "All-American" Chorus also will be on hand to pay tribute.
“This event provides the opportunity to recognize co-workers who have served or are serving in the military,” Steve Cahillane, president of Coca-Cola Americas, said. “On this special day, we also remember the families of those serving, for their sacrifices are often deep and long as they wait patiently for the safe return of their loved ones.”
On Nov. 13, associates at Coca-Cola helped stuff more than 10,000 care packages for the USO, which will be distributed to help boost the morale of troops around the world. The packages include items like batteries, Odwalla bars and personal thank-you letters from Coca-Cola associates.
“The Coca-Cola Company has a proud history of standing behind America’s men and women in uniform, which dates back more than 70 years,” Cahillane added. “We continue that tradition today by partnering with organizations like the USO, bringing veterans into the Coca-Cola workforce and refreshing the members of the extended U.S. military family millions of times around the world each day.”
Ahold’s U.S. sales up slightly as global sales fall
ZAANDAM, Netherlands — Royal Ahold had sales of $9.96 billion in third quarter 2013, compared with $10.2 billion during the same period last year, the Dutch supermarket operator said Thursday.
The results announced Thursday marked a 3.1% decrease in sales, though sales increased by 0.6% when measured by percentage change in constant exchange rates. Sales of the retailing company’s U.S. division were $5.9 billion, a 0.2% increase over third quarter 2012, while same-store sales increased by 0.1%, or 0.6% when excluding the effect of changing gas prices. The U.S. division includes the Stop & Shop, Giant Food of Landover, Md., and Giant Food Stores of Carlisle, Pa., supermarket chains and the online grocer Peapod.
Sales in the Netherlands increased by 1.4%, while sales elsewhere in Europe were down by 4%. Ahold CEO Dick Boer cited weak consumer sentiment in the Netherlands as a factor in the company’s lackluster European sales.
"In the United States, we continue to operate in a very competitive environment with low inflation," Boer said. "With limited sales growth, we gained market share in the supermarket segment and maintained our share in the all-outlet market. We were able to maintain a solid underlying operating margin, supported by continuous cost-savings."
Ahold sells off Slovakian division
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.