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Magnacca’s role at WAG expands

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens has expanded Joseph Magnacca’s role at the drug store chain by appointing him president of daily living products and solutions.

In this capacity, Magnacca — the former Shoppers Drug Mart vet, who as chief merchant of Duane Reade proved instrumental reinvention of New York City’s homegrown drug chain, converting the stores to the talk of the industry behind a series of major enhancements — will oversee Walgreens’ marketing and merchandising operations, led by chief marketing officer Kim Feil and chief merchandising officer Bryan Pugh. Magnacca’s expanded role will unite the aforementioned operations to help enhance and carry out the company’s strategy to be America’s first choice for health and daily living.

Feil and Pugh also will help with Walgreens’ transformation to better cater to the evolving needs of its customers and patients.

Meanwhile, Magnacca, who now reports directly to Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson, will continue to lead the integration of the Duane Reade drug stores, Walgreens noted.

“We are bringing together and raising the profile of one of the strongest teams in retail to lead our marketing and merchandising efforts and enhance our daily living products business, much as we have already enhanced our pharmacy, health-and-wellness services and solutions business,” Wasson said.

“Joe’s exceptional strategic market focus, combined with the leadership, experience and expertise that Kim and Bryan have brought to our marketing and merchandising operations, means we are now better positioned than ever to meet the daily living needs of our customers," Wasson added. "In addition, the creative innovations and improvements that Joe brought to Duane Reade will now benefit and be extended across our entire organization.”

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Brantley Research completes CPR acquisition

BY Allison Cerra

MILFORD, Pa. — Brantley Research announced it has completed its acquisition of a leading research company.

The company said that its acquisition of Competitive Promotion Report will provide it with "a solid foundation" to build Bentley Research’s business. CPR specializes in providing information for the health, beauty care and general merchandise sectors of the consumer packaged good industry.

“CPR has been well managed over the years and has shown steady and consistent growth," said Glenwood David, Brantley Research president and CEO. "We are extremely fortunate to be able to complete this acquisition and are eager to take on the challenge to leverage their prior success. We will work with our customers and supplier partners to better understand how we can work together as a team to deliver the products and services they want and need.” Davis will also assume the position of President, Chief Executive Officer for Competitive Promotion Report, LLC.

CPR will continue to operate under that name out of the Milford, Pa., office.

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Delhaize emphasizes private-brand implementation

BY Allison Cerra

SALISBURY, N.C. — Delhaize America is emphasizing its private-brand assortments, the supermarket conglomerate reported in its earnings release.

Delhaize said it forged ahead with its New Game Plan, which includes "important price investments," and noted that its U.S. operating companies — which include such banners as Food Lion, Bottom Dollar and Hannaford — are reinforcing their private-brand assortments through the introduction of a new value line called My Essentials.

"We intend to carry 500 My Essentials products in all our U.S. stores by the end of the second quarter of 2011," the company said. "Our target for U.S private brand is to reach 35% of total store revenues by the end of 2013, compared to approximately 27% at the end of 2010."

What’s more, Delhaize Group said that effective March 1, Ron Hodge, who previously held the position of CEO of Delhaize America operations, has been promoted to CEO Delhaize America, replacing Pierre-Olivier Beckers, Delhaize Group president and CEO.

For the fourth quarter, revenues for Delhaize America totaled $4.7 billion, while its comparable-store sales for the quarter declined 0.8%, an improvement compared with a 1.8% decline in third quarter 2010. The comps improvement, Delhaize said, was due to improving trends in its southeastern stores, particularly its Hannaford banner.

For its operating profit, Delhaize America saw an increase of 28.6% to $296 million. Excluding the restructuring, store closing and impairment charge of $61 million in 2009, operating profit increased by 1.5% in fourth quarter 2010, as a result of cost-savings efforts, partly offset by continuous price investments at Food Lion. The operating margin increased to 6.3% of revenues, the highest quarterly U.S. operating margin in the last 10 years, Delhaize said.

For the year, Delhaize’s U.S. operations posted a 1% decline in 2010 revenues, compared with last year. The supermarket conglomerate said its 2010 revenues totaled $18.8 billion, while its comparable-store sales also declined 2%, compared with 2009.

Delhaize America operates 1,627 stores in 16 states in the eastern United States.

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