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Haggen opens in California, names expansion team

BY Gina Acosta

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — As burgeoning food retailer Haggen charts a path of expansion across the West Coast, the company is also making some key executive moves to support its growth in the Southwest.

The grocery chain Haggen named the first five senior members of its Pacific Southwest leadership team this week:

  • Wendy Oliver, SVP, Operations. A former Vice President of the Southern California Division of Albertsons
  • Chris Linskey, SVP, Marketing. A veteran of Vons, Linskey was most recently EVP, Sales, with Intelligent Clearing Network after working for Valassis and Catalina Interactive.
  • Rich Winters, VP, Fresh foods. He was formerly VP of Sales and Business Development for Sun Pacific, Pasadena, Calif., and, before that, VP, Retail Merchandising and Marketing, for the Northern California Division of Safeway.
  • Jaime Prager, VP, Center Store, who was formerly Director of Hispanic Category Management for Smart & Final, Los Angeles
  • Melina Ranii, VP, Human Resources, formerly Director of Recruitment and Development for Trader Joe’s in Monrovia, Calif.

“Each of our leaders has extensive experience in the grocery business as well as professional and personal connections to the Southern California marketplace,” said Bill Shaner, Haggen CEO Pacific Southwest. “You couldn’t ask for a stronger group to lead our historic rollout of 100 stores in 100 days.”

Haggen is in the process of converting 100 former Albertsons and Safeway stores in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada to its own brand, with five conversions in the San Diego area and six stores scheduled for this month. These stores are the first of 83 California stores Haggen plans to acquire and convert to the Haggen brand in the first half of 2015. Once the acquisition is completed, the Oregon-based grocery chain will expand from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies to 164 stores with 106 pharmacies.

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Study: Multicultural consumers grow in importance

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK — Multicultural consumers are growing in importance as the United States increasingly becomes a multicultural country. According to an upcoming study from Nielsen, “The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers,” multicultural consumers today are leaders in technology adoption.

These heavy consumers over-index against non-multiculturals on smartphone usage (82% compared to 70%), mobile app duration (index of 130) and number of apps used (index of 142).  Individual social media apps were tracked for the report and these multicultural heavy consumers over-indexed non-multiculturals on Facebook (index of 128), Twitter (index of 149) and Instagram (index of 231).

By 2030 all of the nation's population growth will come from multicultural consumers, as 2012 was the first year that non-multicultural mortality exceeded births. Most importantly, the compound effect of relative youth and longer life expectancy translates into extended effective years of buying power for Hispanics (56.5), Asian-Americans (52.3) and African-Americans (42.3), compared to non-Hispanic whites (36.7).

For marketers and advertisers, the many additional years of effective buying power represented by multicultural consumers translates into a better long-term ROI on their marketing and advertising dollars and a chance to align their brand with a fast-expanding pool of empowered tech-savvy shoppers.

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NRF puts Easter spending at $16.4 billion

BY Marianne Wilson

WASHINGTON — The average person celebrating Easter this year will spend $140.62, slightly more than last year’s $137.46, according to the National Retail Federation’s Easter Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Total spending for Easter is expected to reach $16.4 billion.

According to the survey, 45% of those celebrating will purchase clothing, spending more than $2.9 billion on bright colored apparel items for themselves and their families. However, more people plan to buy food for the holiday: 85.7% will purchase food for a family meal or other festivity, spending more than $5.3 billion on Easter fare.  

Children and sweet-tooth craving adults will also purchase candy this Easter: 87.1% of those celebrating say they will buy candy, spending more than $2.2 billion on jelly beans, chocolate bunnies and flavorful chick-shaped Peeps.

Consumers this holiday will also spend $2.4 billion on gifts, $1.1 billion on flowers, $998 million on decorations and $695 million on greeting cards.

With a laundry list of items to buy, 58.6% will head to discount stores to purchase their holiday merchandise. Another four-in-10 (40.7%) will shop at department stores, while 23.8% plan to shop at a local or small business.

Additionally, 21.8% will head to a specialty store like a florist or jewelry store and 18.8% will shop online.

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