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Mars’ Snickers brand teams with Feeding America, comedian Jim Gaffigan to ‘Bar Hunger’

BY DSN STAFF

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — Mars Chocolate North America announced that its Snickers brand is continuing its partnership with Feeding America to help "Bar Hunger." Comedian Jim Gaffigan was selected to champion the cause.

Through the campaign, Snickers will help provide the equivalent of up to 3.5 million meals to Feeding America and will educated consumers to help.

To help raise awareness, Gaffigan has pledged to go joke free through the weekend. "Over the years, I’ve made jokes about eating and food," Gaffigan said. "But the fact that 50 million Americans — or 1-in-6 of our neighbors — don’t always know where their next meal might come from is not funny; it’s truly sad."

"Hunger continues to be a real and growing problem in America," added Debra Sandler, chief consumer officer at Mars Chocolate North America. "We hope this campaign can make a real difference in raising awareness and helping provide the resources for Feeding America to support those in need."

Consumers can get involved by texting the code from specially marked Snickers bars to 45495 or by entering the code online at Snickers.com. For every code texted or entered through Oct. 23, Snickers will help provide two meals to Feeding America.

For more information, visit Snickers.com or Facebook.com/Snickers.

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99 Cents Only reports Q1 sales growth

BY Gail Hoffer

CITY OF COMMERCE, Calif. — 99 Cents Only Stores reported total sales of $368.3 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 ended July 2. This represents an increase of 6.3% over total sales of $346.5 million for the same quarter last year.

Eric Schiffer, 99 Cents Only CEO, commented, "In the first quarter, we are pleased to report that we achieved 5.9% same-store sales growth for the full quarter and 2.7% same-store sales growth for the last ten weeks of the quarter starting with Easter Sunday. These sales results are essentially in line with our expectations for the quarter and our guidance for low single-digit growth for the fiscal year and we believe underscore the strength of our business model and our ability to attract new customers in a challenging economic environment."

The company’s overall same-store sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 increased 5.9%.

In fiscal 2011, the Easter holiday fell on April 4, 2010 compared to April 24 this year. As a result, the first quarter same-store-sales calculation for the first quarter of fiscal 2012, starting on April 3 and ending on July 2, 2011, includes the three weeks prior to Easter and is being compared with a 13-week period of fiscal 2011 which started on April 4, 2010 and ended on July 3, 2010 and therefore did not include any Easter sales effect, the company reported.

In fiscal 2012, the company currently plans to open 16 new stores, which is a store growth rate of approximately 6%.

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Ahold looks to bring in local/diverse suppliers for its stores

BY Alaric DeArment

CARLISLE, Pa. — The U.S. subsidiary of Dutch supermarket operator Royal Ahold is hoping to attract local and diverse suppliers to its stores in the markets in which it operates.

Ahold USA said Thursday that it had its first annual Local/Diverse Business Opportunity Fair last month. The fair attracted participants from more than 140 companies that were given the opportunity to have their products reviewed by Ahold USA procurement teams for placement in more than 750 stores throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic.

“At Ahold USA, we maintain a strong commitment to developing business opportunities with women-owned, minority-owned and regional businesses, and supplying their products to our customers,” Ahold USA director of supplier diversity and trade relations James Sturgis said.

Ahold said its Giant-Carlisle and Stop & Shop chains had similar events in previous years, but recent restructuring had provided the opportunity to have an event that would include all the company’s divisions. Ahold operates three supermarket chains — Stop & Shop in the New York metropolitan area and New England; Giant-Landover in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., area; and Giant-Carlisle in Pennsylvania — as well as Peapod, an online grocery shopping and delivery service.

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