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Combined effects dampen Spartan’s Q4, fiscal-year earnings

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Combined effects of a bad economy, price deflation and sold or closed stores dampened sales for Midwestern supermarket operator Spartan Stores in fourth-quarter 2010, causing a drop to $558.8 million, compared with $581.3 million in fourth-quarter 2009, the company said in an earnings report Wednesday. Spartan’s fiscal year ended March 27.

Sales for the fiscal year as a whole saw a smaller decrease, falling to $2.55 billion, compared with $2.58 billion in fiscal year 2009. Profits for fourth quarter 2010 were $13.7 million, compared with $17.3 million in fourth quarter 2009. Profits for the year were $63.5 million, compared with $72.7 million in 2009.

“We expect to generate improved cash flow, to further strengthen our balance sheet and to execute additional elements of our consumer-centric business strategy during fiscal 2011,” Spartan president and CEO Dennis Eidson said. “Following our aggressive capital investment program during the past two years, our retail store base is in good physical condition.”

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Coupons.com expands its retailer network

BY Allison Cerra

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. Coupons.com has expanded its digital coupon network to more than 38,000 retail outlets, the company said Wednesday.

The announcement comes on the heels of the company’s introduction of its digital clearing services for retailers and manufacturers for digitally-redeemed coupons, including verification, redemption, payment and settlement.

“Digital coupons represent the fastest growing category of coupons, in part due to the growing number of retailers tapping them to engage with their customers,” said Steven Boal, Coupons.com CEO. “With our new retail partners, the Coupons.com network spans over 38,000 retail outlets operated by many of the nation’s top grocery, drug and mass retailers. As our distribution network grows, we expect brands—more and more—will look to digital coupons as an increasingly important part of their promotions marketing mix.”

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Duane Reade to be presenting sponsor for AIDS Walk New York

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Duane Reade will be the first-ever presenting sponsor of AIDS Walk New York on May 16 and has pledged a minimum contribution of $225,000 through the Duane Reade Charitable Foundation.

Also as part of its sponsorship, Duane Reade is selling special $1 paper red-ribbon pinups in its more than 250 New York metro-area stores through May 15 — the day before AIDS Walk New York. All of the funds raised by the ribbon sales will support GMHC and dozens of other local HIV/AIDS services organizations in the tri-state area.

It is estimated that 45,000 people will join the 25th annual AWNY, a fundraising walkathon beginning and ending in Central Park. Duane Reade’s employee group will be one of an anticipated 2,900 corporate and community fundraising teams participating.

In addition, GMHC and Duane Reade are working together on multiple efforts to raise awareness about HIV, GMHC’s work and the AIDS Walk. This includes in-store AIDS Walk registration drives and on-site free and confidential HIV testing through GMHC’s mobile testing unit.

Duane Reade became a sponsor of AWNY in 2002, and has increased its sponsorship level in subsequent years.

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