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Costco reports decrease in March comp sales

BY Antoinette Alexander

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco has reported a dip in same-store sales for the month of March.

Same-store sales decreased 2% for the total company and were flat in the United States.

For the five weeks ended April 5, net sales were $10.4 billion compared with $10.43 billion during the similar period last year. This year's total reflects one less sales day than last year, due to the timing of Easter. This calendar shift negatively impacted this year's net and comparable sales by an estimated 1% to 1.5% percent.
 

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Weis Markets chairman to step down

BY Gina Acosta

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets is losing one of its longest serving executives after the company announced that the chairman of the board is stepping down.
 
Robert Weis will not stand for re-election to its board of directors at the company's annual meeting of shareholders on April 23, the company said.
 
"We are deeply indebted to Robert for his 69 years of leadership and tireless dedication to our company," said Harold Graber, Jr., a director and secretary of the company.
 
Weis is currently the chairman of the board of the company, and he indicated that his decision not to stand for re-election was motivated by his desire to focus on his health. Weis has served as an employee, director or officer since 1946 and was appointed chairman of the board in April 2002. The board of directors has not designated a substitute nominee for Weis and has reduced the size of the company's board from six to five.
 
Jonathan Weis, currently the vice chairman of the board, and the company's president and CEO, has been elected by the board as its new chairman effective at the annual meeting, provided that he is elected as a director by the shareholders. Jonathan Weis is the son of Robert Weis. "My father's contributions to the growth and development of Weis Markets are far too many to detail," said CEO Jonathan Weis, adding that "throughout the years, I have relied on him for valuable advice, and he has always been available to discuss any detail or issue."
 
The company also announced that Robert Weis will be appointed, effective following the upcoming annual meeting, to the honorary position of "Chairman Emeritus" in recognition of his many years of service to the company.
 
Weis operates 163 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia.
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Survey: Three-in-four shoppers use mobile in-store

BY Dan Berthiaume

ATLANTA — Purchases in brick-and-mortar stores still accounted for more than 94% of all retail sales in the United States last year, totaling $4.4 trillion. But according to the new “Reality of Retail” report from retail marketing firm InReality, consumers are shifting their in-store shopping habits.
 
For example, 75% of surveyed shoppers use mobile devices in-store, with 25% making mobile in-store purchases. Perhaps reflecting this increased reliance on mobile technology to support store activities, only 12% of shoppers feel the in-store sales associate is an important touch point in a purchase decision.
 
However, consumers are still regularly performing old-fashioned in-store research. Fifty-three percent of shoppers surveyed prefer to research products in-store. Surprisingly, 57% of shoppers surveyed in the “digital native” 18-to-24-year-old group prefer to research in-store.
 
Other findings include:
 
• 56% of shoppers still think advertising is important to their purchase decision in-store.
 
• 46% of shoppers who use loyalty programs consider them to be important in their decision to purchase.
 
• 71% of shoppers who use loyalty programs still use their mobile for price comparisons.
 
The Reality of Retail Survey was conducted in December 2014 and collected a total of 1,361 survey responses across 11 retail categories.
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