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Most Philly SuperFresh locations to convert to Pathmark Sav-A-Center

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. has announced that it will convert the majority of its current SuperFresh store locations in the Philadelphia market to its recently premiered Price Impact format under the Pathmark Sav-A-Center banner.

The format recently launched in the Irvington and Edison, N.J. locations. The redesigned Pathmark format provides customers with substantially lower prices.

For example, the new Price Impact format offers a variety of in-store value programs including Yellow Tag Savings. Each week, customers find more than 5,000 Yellow Tag price reductions throughout the store, as well as thousands of items on Price Hold, which will retain the same low price from week-to-week. In addition, hundreds of items ranging from soda to fresh corn are offered at special Power Prices, which are the best buys of the week. The new Price Impact format also provides shoppers with deals on fresh foods such as meats and baked goods, as well as seafood through Pathmark’s Catch of The Week program.

The company also stated that the existing Pathmark stores in this market will converted to the new Price Impact format. A number of SuperFresh locations will remain and retain the Fresh format with “significant upgrades.”

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Consumer technology sales jump 7 percent in May

BY Doug Desjardins

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. Consumers spending their economic stimulus checks helped consumer technology sales jump 7 percent to $5.4 billion in May, the biggest monthly increase of 2008.

Notebook computers and LCD TVs were the strongest categories followed by digital cameras, MP3 players, inkjet cartridges and desktop computers.

Consumer technology spending had been down 5 percent from January through April. “The stimulus checks played a part in the positive results we saw in May but we still have a lot of ground to make up,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for the NPD Group.

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Blu-Ray on pace for $1 billion in 2008 sales

BY Doug Desjardins

LAS VEGAS Home entertainment executives said they expect the Blu-Ray DVD format to gain traction this year and approach $1 billion in sales as player prices fall and consumer awareness rises.

“I think we’re going to come close to $1 billion in software sales for 2008,” 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment president Mike Dunn told retailers at the 27th annual Home Media Expo in Las Vegas this morning. That compares to just $260 million generated by Blu-Ray in 2007.

While those sales will represent only 7 percent of the $15 billion in total DVD sales expected in 2008, they’ll more than double to $2.5 billion in 2009 and overtake standard DVD by 2012, according to the Entertainment Merchandisers Association. The industry is counting on Blu-Ray to reinvigorate the DVD business, where sales were flat last year and are expected to decline the next few years.

During the Home Media Expo opening session June 24, Blockbuster Entertainment president Jim Keyes told the audience more than 2,000 Blockbuster stores now have Blu-Ray display areas that give customers a side-by-side comparison of movies on Blu-Ray compared to standard DVD.

Keyes said the chain is also training employees to explain the benefits of the high definition format. “This is the first time in a quite a while that we’ve had something really new to talk about in stores,” said Keyes.

But Forrester Research principle analyst James McQuivey said it would take at least another year for consumers to get on the Blu-Ray bandwagon. “I don’t think you’re really going to see it happen until the 2009 holiday season,” said McQuivey.

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