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‘Positive traffic and a strong finish’ aid May sales for Fred’s

BY Allison Cerra

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Discounter Fred’s noted a 5% rise in its fiscal sales for the month, which ended May 29.

The chain said sales totaled $141.5 million, up from $134.9 million in May 2009. Comparable-store sales for the month rose 3.5%, compared with an increase of 0.2% in the same period last year.

Fred’s total sales for the first four months of fiscal 2010 increased 3% to $613.1 million. On a comparable-store basis, year-to-date sales increased 3.5% on top of an increase of 2.1% in the same period last year.

CEO Bruce Efird said, “We are pleased that May comparable-store sales came in at the upper end of our expectations, highlighted by positive traffic and a strong finish before the Memorial Day holiday. This performance reflected a number of positive factors, including good results from our May advertising circulars, solid comparable-script growth in our pharmacy department and continued success with the new sales-driving initiatives we are implementing this year. Despite economic uncertainty and high unemployment, the sales momentum building thus far in 2010 positions Fred’s well to capitalize on our customers’ desire for savings, selection and convenience.”

Fred’s operates 670 discount general merchandise stores, including 24 franchised Fred’s stores in the southeastern United States.

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Kodak introduces new Vision3 products

BY Allison Cerra

ROCHESTER, N.Y. Kodak has added new products to its Vision3 line of motion picture products.

The stock additions include a medium-speed, tungsten-balanced color negative camera film and a color intermediate film optimized to work with digital post-production technologies.

“These new Vision3 films are the tangible result of our ongoing commitment to filmmakers,” said Kim Snyder, president of the Entertainment Imaging Division and VP of Eastman Kodak Co. “They were designed based on our customers’ suggestions and with the goal of increasing creative freedom and efficiencies in production and post-production. As filmmaking technology evolves, Kodak continues to lead the way, delivering the highest quality imaging systems and innovative products and services for visual storytellers,” Snyder added. 

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Supervalu names EVP market, real estate development

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS Supervalu on Tuesday promoted J. Andrew Herring as the company’s EVP market and real estate development, effective June 6.

Herring, 51, most recently served as SVP real estate and store development. In his new role, he will be responsible for driving Supervalu’s major growth initiatives, including store development for the company’s traditional retail and Save-A-Lot stores and for its independent retailers, as well as new store growth. Herring will report directly to Craig Herkert, Supervalu CEO and president.

“Driving growth is a critical element of our strategy, and I’m excited to have [Herring] lead this effort and join my executive team,” Herkert said. “[Herring] has a broad range of experience with the company beyond real estate and has played key roles in many of our largest acquisitions. He has been a great asset to us for 12 years and will be invaluable as we continue our focus on being America’s Neighborhood Grocer.”

Herring joined Supervalu in February 1998 as VP corporate development and external relations and was promoted to SVP in 1999. In this position, he was responsible for mergers and acquisitions, corporate communications, industry and government relations, and the company’s corporate foundation. In 2002, he was named EVP Supervalu retail pharmacies, responsible for the company’s in-store pharmacy operations. Starting in late 2005 and during 2006, Herring played a leading role in the acquisition of certain assets of Albertsons and worked in the Supervalu Enterprise Office on post-merger integration matters related to the acquisition.

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