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Kmart underscores uniform offering for BTS

BY Allison Cerra

HOFFMAN ESTATES. Ill. — Kmart said it has adjusted its approach to back to school by increasing the number of stores that sell uniforms and aligning its back-to-school sales periods by region to match that of the local school districts.

The chain, which sells school uniforms online and at more than 450 locations across the United States, said has varied its in-store and online offerings and also increased its marketing efforts to support this trend. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 23% of all public and private schools in the nation now have a uniform policy, with public schools making up the majority at about 19%.

"As the back-to-school landscape changes, Kmart is making the necessary adjustments to provide customers the merchandise they need, when they need it," Kmart interim chief marketing officer Andy Stein said. "By offering school uniforms in more markets such as Chicago and New York and online, and shifting the back-to-school sales periods in applicable markets such as California and Hawaii we can provide greater value to our customers."

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Report: Safeway bids farewell to gas discount program

BY Allison Cerra

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway shoppers looking to save at the pump this summer and beyond no longer will be able to, according to published reports.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the company discontinued its 3-cent-per-gallon gas discount for customers who carry the supermarket chain’s club cards. The news follows a preliminary injunction filed in May against the chain, which said one of Safeway’s stores, located in Dixon, Calif., "shall not set its fuel prices and related Club Card discount at levels that result in the sale of fuel below fully allocated costs unless the discounted Club Card price is at or above the documented price at which a surveyed fuel competitor is selling fuel within the 24-hour period to the Safeway sale of fuel below fully allocated cost." Safeway reported that the discontinuing of the gas discount program had nothing to do with the lawsuit.

Safeway officially discontinued the Club Card program nationwide last week and recently launched its Just for U loyalty card program, which bolstered the chain’s quarterly earnings and is expected to drive sales for the future.

Click here for the full report.

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New Shoppers Drug Mart store slated to open in Edmonton in 2013

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALBERTA — The former Cromdale Hotel in Edmonton is being demolished to make way for the construction of a new Shoppers Drug Mart on the property, the Canadian retailer recently announced.

The demolition is expected to take just more than a month, and construction of the new store will begin in September.

"Through the revitalization of communities and support of urban development projects, we continue to ensure we remain one of the top urban economies in the country," stated Mayor Stephen Mandel. "To that end, we are pleased that Shoppers Drug Mart has chosen to invest in its real estate network in the city of Edmonton."

The new 10,500-sq.-ft. store will be a relocation of the current Shoppers Drug Mart store located down the street at 9452 118th Ave., and is expected to open in spring 2013.

The new store will feature a cosmetics department; a convenience food and beverage section, including a larger assortment of such everyday food items as milk, eggs and bread; and the Simply Food line. The store also will feature a pharmacy area with innovative tools and services to help customers and patients manage their health.

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