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Former Walmart executive named Save-A-Lot president, CEO

BY Allison Cerra

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Supervalu banner Save-A-Lot has appointed a new leader, replacing company veteran Bill Shaner, who lead the division since 2006.

Taking the reins from 27-year veteran Shaner, who outlined a significant growth strategy for the hard discount chain, is Santiago Roces, who most recently served as SVP and general manager of Walmart’s small-format division. Roces’ career includes more than 20 years’ experience in the grocery and food industry, as well as experience in franchise development and private-brand penetration, which likely will aid Supervalu’s previously announced plans to to double the number of Save-A-Lot stores to more than 2,400 locations by the end of 2015, as well as Save-A-Lot’s business model, which boasts nearly 80% of its products packaged under private label.

During Shaner’s tenure, the company grew by 92 stores in 2010.

“Santiago is a nice fit for our company and for Save-A-Lot,” Supervalu president and CEO Craig Herkert said. “We believe he is the right individual to lead this organization forward and to help ensure [that] we realize the aggressive growth plans that have been established."

Herkert added, “We wish Bill well in all his future endeavors and appreciate his commitment to Supervalu for the past 27 years, and more recently his leadership and guidance as we laid out an aggressive growth strategy for Save-A-Lot.”

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Food Lion opens third LEED store

BY Gail Hoffer

SALISBURY, N.C. — Food Lion has opened its third store certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, in Hope Mills, N.C.

“By building our third LEED grocery store, we will reduce energy costs by more than 20% compared to a typical supermarket, as well as conserve 40% more water than other Food Lion stores,” said Kyle Mitchell, VP store development for Delhaize America South. “Food Lion has one of the most advanced retail energy conservation programs in the country.”

Mitchell noted that, for the past 10 years, Food Lion has been dedicated to such sustainability initiatives as energy conservation and reducing carbon dioxide emissions throughout its 11-state footprint, reducing its energy consumption by more than 27% since 2000, or 2.5 trillion BTUs.

The new Hope Mills store touts a number of eco-friendly features, including LED lighting in the frozen food cases, low-flow and sensor-activated water fixtures in restrooms, and native plant species that eliminate irrigation requirements.

Other green features include:

  • Enhanced air quality for associates and customers by using low-toxicity materials and implementing proactive management plans throughout construction to ensure optimal indoor air quality;

  • Environmental education via a kiosk in the store;

  • Construction waste diverted from landfills through recycling; and

  • Customer and associate recycling programs at the store that feature environmentally friendly construction and energy-efficient services, including an on-site recycling center, an educational kiosk and preferred parking for carpool vehicles.

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Census Bureau: Retail sales rise for 10th straight month

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — U.S. retail sales rose for the 10th consecutive month in April, increasing 0.5% to $389.4 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday.

The government agency also disclosed retail sales experienced a 7.6% jump above the year-ago period. Across retail sectors, grocery stores during April rose 1.5% to nearly $45.9 million, up from $45.3 million in March; while health and personal care stores, which have experienced positive numbers over the past several months, saw a surprise drop of 0.3% to nearly $22.7 million for the month.

Although advanced estimates for pharmacies and drug stores are not included in the report, the U.S. Census Bureau reported a surge in sales to about $19.9 million in March, up from nearly $18 million in February.

Commenting on the positive sales results, the National Retail Federation said that retailers are on the front lines of economic recovery, although increases in retail and gas prices are looming. “Positive economic indicators, such as increases in job openings and wage growth, are certainly helping boost consumers’ confidence and support spending,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “While there are reasons to be optimistic, plenty of other concerns exist [that] could very easily shift consumers’ spending habits, including decreasing home prices, high unemployment levels and rising costs at the pump.”

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