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Final call for entries for Retail Store of the Year

BY Marianne Wilson

NEW YORK — Due to the holiday rush and related closings, Chain Store Age has extended the deadline for its 32nd annual Retail Store of the Year design competition until Friday, Jan. 8. 

More than 20 competition categories are featured, including department stores, supermarkets, discounters, restaurants, convenience stores, specialty stores, service, sustainability and pop-up stores. This year, for the first time, the competition also includes the category of in-store digital innovation.

Retailers, design firms, architects and suppliers are all eligible to submit entries. Click here for more information and for an entry form.

Please email Chain Store Age editor Marianne Wilson at mwilson@lf.com with any questions. Eligible projects are single-location or multiple-unit stores/restaurants opened between Nov. 30, 2012 and Dec. 30, 2013.

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Unilever and Feeding America join forces to fight hunger

BY Ryan Chavis

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — In 2013, Unilever donated more than $1 million cash and the equivalent of 1.6 million meals to Feeding America, a hunger-relief organization.

The donation includes $825,000 from cause marketing programs — like Hellmann’s 100th birthday celebration and the “Add Hope” campaign — and $225,000 from the Unilever U.S. Foundation to support child hunger programs. Unilever’s employees also joined in to fight hunger through a company-wide food bank drive at more than 29 locations across the United States which resulted in the collection of more than 25,000 pounds of food and personal care products.

“With a growing number of American families struggling with food insecurity, it is important that we do our part in the fight against hunger. By partnering with organizations, like Feeding America, we are able to improve the health and well-being of families across the country that are finding it difficult to make ends meet or are forced to go without food for several meals, or even days, ” Jonathan Atwood, Vice President, Sustainable Living and Corporate Communications for Unilever, said.  “Our employees are passionate about making a difference in the communities where we work and live, and thanks to their efforts we increased our donations from last year’s food bank drive. We are proud of the meaningful contributions we made in 2013 and look forward to continuing our support of hunger-relief initiatives.”

Feeding America and its network of food banks help to feed more than 37 million people each year through food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in communities across the nation. 

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Rite Aid reports increase in sales, comps for December

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid reported a 2.9% increase in same-store sales for the month of December, the retail pharmacy chain said Friday.

For the four-week period that ended Saturday, front-end same-store sales increased by 1%, while pharmacy same-store sales increased by 4.1%, including a 1% negative effect from the introduction of new generic drugs. Meanwhile, a decrease in sales of flu shots and prescription flu drugs resulted in a 2% decrease in same-store script count.

Total sales were $2.109 billion, an increase of 2.7% over December 2012.

Meanwhile, for the 43-week period that ended Saturday, same-store sales increased by 0.5%, including a 0.1% increase in front-end same-store sales and a 0.7% increase in pharmacy same-store sales. Total sales during the same period were $20.953 billion, a 0.2% increase over the same period in 2012.

 

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